There's a fine line between doily and darling.
Crochet clothing and details are all over summer styles this season, but how do you wear the look without looking like an out-of-date hippie, or -- the horror! -- like you raided your grandmother's closet?
Celebrity stylist Jessica de Ruiter (Zooey Deschanel, Isla Fisher, Anna Kendrick) says the crochet look has made its way back into trend territory.
"During the warm summer months we often seek out fashion that has more of an effortless, elegant undone and easy feel," she tells StyleList. "Crochet fits the bill perfectly. ... Overall, I think if you are going to wear crochet it should be the main focus of the look -- a dress or bikini. Separates made of crochet like a hat or shirt tend to look cheap or too hippie. It can easily go in the wrong direction."
And, a little irony doesn't hurt when it comes to fashion, either, says Collen Winter, marketing director for online retailer Lulus.com.
"What is more ironic than making your grandma's crochet-work chic?" she tells StyleList. "In their fall 2010 runway collection, the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte worked crochet and other handiwork into their collection with arts and craftsy naivety. It is the ultimate country goes to the city look or city girl goes to summer festivals look. Our buyers brought in some amazing crochet pieces this year that have been flying off of the shelves."
Here's how to weave crochet into your wardrobe:
- Dress Success: "I think a crochet dress can be a great investment," de Ruiter says. "It is very versatile when worn with different accessories, taking you from a day at the beach to a chic city soiree. Pair it with some classic K. Jacques leather sandals and a favorite straw hat for daytime in the surf and sand. Then transition into evening by mixing it with some sexy platform strappy heels or lace-up booties and a fabulous oversize Tom Binns necklace."
- At the Pool Cool: "A crochet bikini is a great lasting piece to have in your wardrobe. Think Brigitte Bardot somewhere on the coast of Capri," de Ruiter says. "L.A. designer Ashley Paige makes a fantastic collection of crochet swimsuits in both one- and two-piece and is known for her custom knit swimwear."
- All in the Details: "A delicate crochet trim on a cotton summer blouse or vintage dress can be very pretty and feminine and a good way to incorporate the trend if the idea of wearing a full crochet dress is too daunting," de Ruiter says. "Vintage crochet can be especially fine and beautiful ... Check out your local flea markets. The Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena, Calif., has a stand that sells only the most amazing antique French white cotton pieces all with the most incredible crochet trim. Heavenly!"
- Making it Modern: "I think crochets look their best when done in softer, neutral colors like cream, ivory, gray, navy," de Ruiter says. "Again, bright colors and black could end up looking a little tacky. In terms of pattern, I think it best to stick with a tighter weave to avoid exposing too much skin or looking too much like you are wearing a table cloth or doily."
- Winter agrees that crochet done in nudes, whites and off-whites goes with everything and lends an instantly fresh look. "For instance, we had a crochet look tank top that was sheer and, when styled with a neon bandeau, it looked super hip and comfy," she says. "You can always go for neons, tie dye or black if you keep the rest of the outfit simple."
- What to Wear it With: "Look for pieces that you can layer with more modern favorites," Winter says. "For instance, a crochet skirt looks oh-so-chic with a pair of killer wedges and a distressed or printed tee. A loose-fitting crochet top can be paired with cut-off shorts or a pair of ultra skinny jeggings. One of our favorite looks is when you keep it vintage and simple by throwing on a crochet mini dress, a simple nude slip and a pair of our Steve Madden ankle boots."
- "Keep all your accessories fairly timeless and simple in order to remain looking fresh and modern," de Ruiter adds.
Looking for more advice on wearing the latest trends? Here's how to wear summer hats.