31 In Style

How To Make White Lace Edgy

I’ver never been a fan of lace, especially white lace.  I’m not a girly girl and I don’t feel it represents me or my style at all.  There was not a single fibre of lace on my wedding dress, the one day I MIGHT have made an exception to my lace aversion!  But like every single ‘rule’ I have about fashion, it is made to be broken.  Enter this absolutely exquisite cutwork lace dress from Marks and Spencer.  As soon as I saw it, I wanted it.  Like a lot of gems you can find on M&S, I think it looks well above its £89 ($134) price point.  It also comes in a A-line midi skirt version with a Gucci-esque sport stripe waistband, but I prefer the dress.

I can cope with this lace because it is a foliate pattern rather than prissy floral one.  I like the discreetly sexy short slip inside so that the light streams through the open lace at the bottom.  And I like the minimalist black cord belt.  You could change it a lot by putting any belt with it really… a dusty pink satin ribbon to match a pair of shoes, a sparkly silver one for evening, or a tan leather one to dress it down with a pair of flat summer sandals.  Today, I decided to stick to the minimalist cord one it came with.  It was SO windy and chilly today that I wore my favourite black satin jacket over it (seen here before).  A biker jacket works brilliantly as well, but I just did that a few posts back.  Maybe because I’m wearing my hair up (due to the crazy wind), every shoe I put on with this outfit made it look a bit prim and evening-ish, so for a daytime look, I went in the opposite direction and chose these black suede studded Isabel Marant boots.  I realise they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but man, are they mine!  Just like the cutout lace dress, it was love at first sight.  The selling points for me were: a)  because of the iconic unusual heel,  it won’t look dated in a few years,  b) the edgy silver studs because I love anything shiny as you well know! and  c) the clever way the boot dips down in the front, elongating the leg when you wear it with cropped jeans, or a shorter dress that shows it off better than this one.

White lace dress M&S

I’m just going to leave you with lots of photos of this dress photographed at Chiswick House, bathed in glorious Spring sunshine, as a backdrop.  It is such a magnificent location; one we’re so lucky to have in West London.  It is a dream, really, a villa set amongst 65 acres of wilderness and gardens.  I wish I could move in!

Chiswick House, Lace dress

M&S white lace dress

Coat and white lace dress

Camelia tree and dress


Crocus purple

Doorway and Marks and Spencer Lace Dress

outfit Details


Dress: Marks and Spencer (UK link)
Dress: Marks and Spencer (US link)
Midi Skirt: Marks and Spencer (UK)
Midi Skirt: Marks and Spencer (US)
Jacket: Barbera Bui (old)
Boots: Isabel Marant (sold out)
Sunglasses: ZeroUV Rihanna
Silver clutch: Uterque (old)

Linking to: visiblemonday, notdressedaslamb, stylenudge, honestmum, fashionshouldbefun

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  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    That’s a gorgeous dress, and I don’t normally do lace either. Good old M&S – they really have some gems this spring. I love the boots with it. They do make the dress, along with the jacket, edgy and cool. A lame question but are the boots comfortable to walk in? (I never thought I would be asking that….I have turned into my mother).

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 12:09 PM

      Thanks so much Gail, and a snip at the price too! Yeah, the boots are super comfortable. They don’t look like it. The heel is a funny shape, but it actually isn’t a very high heel, it just looks high because it is slanted rather than straight up, if that makes sense. I love any shoe I can just slip into! The only thing I’ll have to be careful about is the rain; Scotchguard only does so much! xx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Another absolutely stunning shoot woman!
    I agree 100% with your choice of footwear & am tempted to copycat as my love for IM has never waned. I see this dress with flat sandals too, as you say it is infinitely styleable (is that a word?) Somehow I can’t imagine your hair down for this outfit, the ponytail is perfect!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      Awww, thank you Michelle! I’m mad for the boots too, the more I wear them, the more I love them! I’m never sure about a ponytail/messy bun on me, but the wind left me no choice. It is nice to have a former hair and makeup artist’s approval! 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    March 5, 2017 at 3:20 PM

    When I opened this post I went: “Oh.. she’s got the boots!!” Yes, it is a very beautiful dress and as you say, versatile. But the boots… delicious. Very much my taste. The jacket with this dress works very well together with the boots. Again, please give your husband my compliments for the photos. And the background. And the cropping. I showed Ron the fifth photo and said: “Talking about backgrounds.. check this out”. He fully agreed. And all those lovely close-ups! Nice and sharp. My cup of tea.

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 5:01 PM

      Hahaha, yes the boots FINALLY came out of hiding! I’m sick in love with them. The dress is really not my usual style, but I still love it… it is good to keep things interesting and challenging. I shall pass along your compliments to Matthias; he’ll be very glad to hear them, after having me ‘art direct’ my shots (aka, telling him what to do)! The location is so amazing, I just walk around and stare at the architecture. Unbelievably, this is where we frequently walk our dogs!! Thank you, Greetje xx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    Love how the LACE matches the cut outs in the BENCH!!!!!!!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 4:58 PM

      Thanks so very much, Elizabeth! I always notice those tiny details; the bench was a perfect happy unplanned background. Thank you for your compliments about the photography. xx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 5:04 PM

    Good grief woman, when I met you I didn’t like sequins and now I’m wearing them. I am now rethinking my love/hate relationship with lace. What have you done to me?! You look awesome and some of those pics are magazine worthy.
    Michelle xxx

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 8:13 PM

      I’m changing the world, one sequin at a time! I’m so glad you’re wearing sequins… that warms my heart. As for lace, well… I like this dress, but it IS an exception. Don’t expect me to turn up in a pink lace dress anytime soon. Thank you for your compliments on the photos… my photographer will be swelling with pride. xx

  • Reply
    mithra ballesteros (@findernotkeeper)
    March 5, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    I’ve been scrolling through some of your old posts from before we were friends. Your style was so well-honed right from the start. And yet it has evolved. This lace gown is proof in the pudding. I can’t quite put my finger on the new ingredient. Are you taking bigger risks? Or are you having more fun? What exactly is going on? I’m all ears.

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 8:22 PM

      Mithra, you’re absolutely spot on. I am definitely having more fun now AND taking bigger risks. The risk IS the fun! I think when I first started I was finding my feet a bit, and now that I’ve done that I like to challenge myself and push the boat out further. Also, I now think ‘in photographs’; I know exactly how I want something to look in a post (Some outfits look great in real life, but they photograph badly, so I don’t bother putting those photos on the blog).

      My style has definitely evolved (I’m certainly wearing more colour), but I still love the same things I loved when I was 15, so a big part of it is constant. Very interesting question. xx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    My goodness Lisa you are a beauty!!!! I love lace of any description so needed no persuasion, but you just add infinite sass and edge to it. It’s a stunning dress worn by a stunning woman. The boots are to die for and the location couldn’t be better. As always with your posts, I feel like I’m reading Vogue xxxx

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 8:28 PM

      Oh Liz, thank you SO much for your compliments. Heavens, that is SO kind of you to say! I feel like a bit of a fraud wearing lace, being so un-girly, but this lace was un-girly enough even for me! I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading the posts. xx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 11:22 PM

    Wow, this outfit, and you, are just stunning! Love the white lace and the way you are owning it. xox


    • Reply
      March 6, 2017 at 8:49 PM

      Thank you so much, Patti! xx

  • Reply
    March 6, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    Extremely sophisticated … and at the end an awesome look 😉


    • Reply
      March 6, 2017 at 8:48 PM

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Suzy Turner
    March 6, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    This couldn’t be more perfect! The fact that you’ve given a white lace dress a rock chick vibe just does it for me! I absolutely adore those boots!!!! They’re heavenly. And OMG, what a smashing location for a shoot. You’ve totally nailed this <3
    Suzy xxx

    • Reply
      March 6, 2017 at 8:48 PM

      Awww, thank you Suzy! I’m glad you liked this post. Yeah, the location is pretty fabulous. I’m sure I’ll do some more photos there in the future! xx

  • Reply
    March 6, 2017 at 11:12 PM

    You certainly managed to make white lace edgy, Lisa! I’m usually not a fan of white lace neither. Black yes, any time, but white looks too virgin to me. Except of course your dress – an absolute stunner! ❤️ xx Abby

    • Reply
      March 8, 2017 at 8:12 PM

      Thank you, my friend! I’m so glad you like it! xx

  • Reply
    March 6, 2017 at 11:44 PM

    You have definitely accomplished making white lace look edgy by combining this dress with your black trench coat and those edgy booties! Hope you had a terrific weekend love and great start to your week!

    Rina Samantha

    • Reply
      March 8, 2017 at 8:11 PM

      Thanks so much, Miss Rina! xx

  • Reply
    Emma Peach
    March 9, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    Those boots are fabulous – definitely my cup of tea. I’m not usually a fan of white lace but I love this dress. Like you say, the pattern is modern which prevents it looking like net curtains, and the half slip under it gives it a sexy edge. Stunning location!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      March 9, 2017 at 6:53 PM

      Thanks Emma! I love these boots SO VERY MUCH! The M&S spring and summer collection has some real winners. I loved this dress (and the skirt) from the moment I saw them. Never say never, eh?! xx

  • Reply
    Little Red
    March 10, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    On the other hand, I like lace but you’re quite right about needing to be careful. This dress is incredible. I can’t stop looking at that vivid pattern.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2017 at 8:40 PM

      Isn’t it just beautiful? I adored it from the moment I saw it (pre-season). I think it will be really versatile and easy to style a few different ways in the summer too. xx

  • Reply
    Dawn Lucy - Fashion Should Be Fun
    March 11, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Wow … amazing dress, totally cool styling, and an eye catching photo shoot too! I’m more edgy than lacey myself. (My wedding dress? I eloped in my LBD!). 😉

    Thanks for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Dawn Lucy

  • Reply
    Sheela Goh
    March 13, 2017 at 7:01 PM

    You had me at hello, Lisa, you had me at hello. My wedding dress (both of them) were completely devoid of lace too, for the very same reasons. I’ve always found lace to be too girly and prissy and reminiscent of mothballs, chintz curtains and the clinking of old china teacups GRIN I cannot love this outfit more, that’s all I can say xoxo

    • Reply
      March 13, 2017 at 8:44 PM

      Yes, knowing you and your style, I can see why you’re as anti-lace as I (generally) am. Isn’t it funny how we break our own fashion ‘rules’ though, when the right thing is put in front of us? I’m so pleased you liked this, Sheela! xx

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