Daring, not trampy
For New Year's Eve, bring sexy back with a black lace party dress
Nothing says safe like a little black dress. I should know, since an entire rack of my closet is dedicated to the perfectly-appropriate-for-every occasion dress. It’s a fine choice for evening — really it is — but New Year’s Eve calls for something a bit more than just…nice.
New Year’s Eve is about sexy and daring without looking trampy (unless that’s the look you’re going for, in which case, stop reading now).
Taylor Swift and Emma Watson recently were red carpet stunners in black lace dresses. Swift slipped into a Jenny Packham sequined lace mini dress at the CMT Awards and Watson truly wowed in a daring feathered and lace dress by Rafael Lopez at the Harry Potter premiere red carpet. Hilary Swank also jumped on the black lace trend, donning Emilio Pucci at Gotham Independent Film Awards. Dolce & Gabbana and Stella McCartney recently sent lacy variations down the runway, so there’s plenty to slip into on New Year’s Eve.
Wearing lace without looking old or unsophisticated depends on length. Unless you are mother-of-the-bride and the wedding is New Year’s Eve, stay away from tea-length lace-infused gowns. And if you haven’t worn an odd-digit clothing size to a school dance recently, stay away from the juniors department.
BCBG MaxAzria works lace into the shoulders of a tiered dress ($142) and fancies up a blush sheath dress ($196). Most lace dresses maximize the legs and many have higher necklines, so Coquette Boutique owner Aries Milan says to avoid earrings and necklaces when accessorizing.
“I’m not a huge fan of earrings, but I think cuffs look great. Stack them for a statement and if you have to wear earrings, just go with diamond studs,” Milan suggests.
Lace has been a popular choice with shoppers at her Westheimer boutique and because her taste is “a little off the side of the table when it comes to trends” the white lace Mason dresses ($485) are going fast, as are the Sass & Bide lace bodysuits ($195).
Other lace dresses I came across include a black form-fitting sheath with bolero jacket ($188) from White House/Black Market, a gorgeous but pricey lace shift dress at J. Crew ($595), and a strapless black lace dress from French Connection ($249).
Glam gams look that much better in heels. Milan says to go high, high, high — and while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to wear color, "especially if the dress is black. Have fun. That’s what New Years is about."
If your post-Christmas clothing budget is a bit slim, you can still find lace dresses for New Year’s Eve. Forever 21 has multiple options under $30, Apricot Lane carries a lacy frock accented by a red cummerbund for less than $100, and The Limited has lace overlay halter dress ($50) and draped cocktail dress with lace accents ($55), available online only.