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Lace gets the edge

October 26, 2008|Melissa Magsaysay | Magsaysay is a Times staff writer.

Lace has a perennial place in fashion, from late 19th century mourning dresses to Madonna's '80s-era, piled-on pop star layers. But this season, lace is showing up everywhere, including on shoe booties and hipster leggings, thanks to Miuccia Prada's fall runway collection. The trendsetting designer proved that this most delicate material can look fierce, showing peekaboo lace skirts and shirts, and lace- and ruffle-trimmed handbags.

But lace can be tricky to wear in real life. Adding it to your wardrobe in small doses is the safest way to keep from looking as if grandma's curtains fell on you. Lace can be rich and expensive, but this fall, it is turning up on clothing and accessories at every price point. Urban Outfitters has a $58 cotton dress in royal blue or black with a feminine lace yoke. The lace makes the simple dress, which is fitted at the waist with an A-line skirt, feel special enough for the holidays. Beginning the second week of November, the Freedom by Topshop label, newly available in the U.S. at topshop.com, will offer a fabulous bib-style statement lace necklace with scattered rhinestones for $120 that looks like it could be Lanvin. It's a more daring way to wear lace, but the dramatic length and hint of sparkle would make a whole outfit.

Another option is to make a lace piece yourself. This DIY project might be the most inexpensive way to incorporate lace into your everyday look, instead of just saving it for dress-up affairs, lingerie or your wedding dress.

I got the idea for these lace-trimmed T-shirts from a friend who made them as gifts for her bridesmaids. She made various color combinations -- a subdued heather gray T-shirt with a black lace collar and a punchy purple T-shirt with a turquoise lace collar. The feminine lace and comfy cotton jersey shirts can be worn with denim, a workday skirt or even sweat pants. The article at right shows how to make your own lace T-shirt.

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melissa.magsaysay@latimes.com

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