THE LACE BLOUSE

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I love nothing more than a lace blouse. Whimsical and feminine, it looks as great with a black tuxedo as it does a pair of cropped jeans. Delicate lace, crocheted lace, broderie anglaise, it really doesn’t matter, but this summer, the lace blouse is an essential item in your wardrobe.

The good news is that there are plenty to choose from, both high-end and on the high street. I adore the ruffle broderie anglaise Victorian-style blouse by Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini, being a sucker for a puffed sleeve and it goes up to a generous size 16 which is always a bonus (although the price is positively breathtaking).

However, after what feels like an eternity, Warehouse are back on form, and have several lace blouses to choose from, from Victoriana frills and ruffles to pretty cut-out lace tops. Zara are also on a roll with these pretty blouses below.

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Zara Handmade Embroidered Top, £29.99

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Zara Cutout Top, £25.99

As well as the high street, there are smaller brands and stores that have some of the best lace blouses that are somehow ‘just right’. London-based Iris (also online), have a beautiful classic broderie anglais blouse that really will go with just about everything. Another brand that I have just discovered via Instagram is French concept store, Pretty Wire. They have at least five lace styles to choose from at pretty reasonable prices. I absolutely adore the Lilou cotton broderie anglais blouse, but as it only comes in two sizes, sadly I think it will be too risky. If you’re between a size 8 and 12, I’d say go for it.

Another favourite who I have blogged about before is Self Portrait. Each piece is made of some form of lace and their blouses are just divine. I am also in the process of sending my measurements (waiting for those extra pounds to miraculously disappear before I commit) to Anna Mason, one of my favourite designers who makes to order. The Birdie Blouse with it’s puffed sleeves and long cuffs is my idea of heaven!

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  1. Warehouse Panelled Lace Top, £69

2. Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini Ruffled Broderie Anglaise Georgette Blouse, £370

3. Masscob Calma Lace Panel Top, £194

4. Monsoon Marilyn Top, £59

5.  Iris Broderie Anglaise Top, £98

6. Kirei Alice Cutwork Blouse, £140

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  1. Anna Mason Birdie Broderie Anglaise Blouse, from £300

2. Self Portrait Balloon Sleeve Lace Panel Top, £200

3. Self Portrait Contrast Lace Panelled Top, £170

4. Pretty Wire Lily Cotton Broderie Anglaise Blouse, €75

5. Pretty Wire Lilou Cotton Broderie Anglaise Blouse, €75

LABEL ALERT: SELF PORTRAIT

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It’s new discoveries like this, Self Portrait, that spur me on to lose a couple of stone (sadly pounds won’t cut it). Initially I kept seeing the odd dress pop up on Instagram (worn by some of those that I follow), and this week two dresses were pictured on the party pages of Grazia.

Admittedly, a lot of the collection is a little too ‘out there’ for me, I don’t usually wear ‘structured’ clothes and the idea will take some getting used to. However, there are several dresses that I absolutely adore, my favourite being the black dress below.

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I love the details on the top half and the sleeves, along with the length (just below the knee is perfect for me) and it’s lined so there’s no faffing about with under slips which can be a real fag. Admittedly, they are not cheap, but then it’s a dress for a special occasion such as a wedding or special night out. Despite being so unusual and unique, there is still a strong classic element about the shapes and I know that I would wear it again and again.

I also love the bright red lace cut dress (pictured below), but it would never be the right shape for me (I need to wear a bra), so I’ll just have to fantasise about that one. A girl can dream!

Untitled-1All dresses by Self Portrait