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Ladylike in lace

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One overarching trend that’s dominating this fall — looking like a lady. Not a lady in the stuffy, uncomfortable way that may come to mind when you hear the word, but lady in the true stylish sense of the word -- decked out, timeless, couture, and undeniably feminine.

We’ll be exploring the finer elements of ladylike style throughout this season, but let’s start with a quintessential fabric of this haute look—lace.

In the last few years, lace has been reinvented by designers everywhere. It’s shed its outdated, frumpy past and been reallocated as fresh, girly trim on that lingerie inspired top — decadent overlay on a classic black trench — and even, a pretty print for a sexy pump. In other words—shed your past conceptions, and when you’re looking for style this season -- look to lace.

Here are three examples of the new face of lace:

Lush and Light. Look for luxe layers of ruffled lace, or vintage-inspired tops or even stretch Ts and soft sheath dresses—all in nudes, neutrals or blush tones of this lightweight fabric. The combination of the sheer lace in a tame hue—is positively ethereal. A faintly pink tunic from Macy’s at Lakewood Center ($46) is a taste of the flirty match-made-in-heaven when lace and light colors come together.

Edgy and Extroverted. Style outside the lines. Look for old favorites—a classic lace top—in new forms. The asymmetrical lines of lace make a piece from Ann Taylor at The Oaks ($98 ) look modern, trend-forward, and dazzling.

Delicate and Daring. Overlay always makes the delicateness of the lace, pop. Choose pieces with color on color lace to backing for a subtle touch of glamour, or be forward with your femininity and look for contrasting base layers to demand more attention. The long top from Express at Los Cerritos Center ($69) shows the richness of a contrasting shade.