Eyelet: Open for spring
Last weekend, I heard a sound unknown for the last year: laughter ringing up from the street. It was not the familiar, shrieky glee of the primary-schoolers from the schoolyard across the street—this was rippling, melodic adult laughter—the sound of revelry. If New Orleans is The Big Easy, Montréal is The Chilled Easy—and when we cast off our parkas, the similarity intensifies. We are releasing terrific pent-up demand, even subdued by an 8 p.m. curfew.
With the return of street society comes lighter clothing. Young women appeared in little cotton dresses as soon as the temperature hit double (Celsius) digits. One wore a thin white cotton dress, ankle boots and a heavy, cabled waist-length cardi, an incongruous but optimistic outfit.
I began to think of the charm of cutwork fabrics, especially eyelets. Having fallen into some floral mistakes awhile ago, I am aware that the fussier eyelets too can look too young and sweet, but black eyelet leavens darks for summer, white charms with its freshness, and colours in eyelet show subtle, unexpected wit.
Left: Gap squareneck eyelet top, sleeve hits above three inches above elbow. Shown in black; other colours available. Price (sale), $CA 59. This is a classic Mexican/peasant style; I imagine sewing a scatter of beads around the neckline as a little zhuzh.
Bottom right: PartTwo Heenapw white lace blouse: the sleeve ruffle is fairly discreet, and the fan pattern is just so pretty. Price, €119.
It's hard to find colours in eyelet, but J. Crew have made their classic-fit shirt in two complementary fabrics, with a detachable matching cami, in both neutrals and brights. Shown, turquoise; price $CDN 118.
For tops made without a cami: if a flesh-coloured bra feels too revealing, wear a fine cotton cami that matches your skin. I'm white-skinned, so this is my go-to, very cool and comfortable.
FineLines thin-strap v-neck cotton cami at HerRoom; price, $CDN 27. Shown in "Skin" (sorry for the non-inclusive name); this is ultralight, ideal for the hottest days.
Old Navy have a good inexpensive all-cotton cami selection for a range of skin colours; shown, Old Navy cami in Latte. Price, $CDN $8. I bought several and can report that they wash well; they are at least 30% heavier than the FineLines.
Eyelet for evening
When the sun is low, I like to wear a pretty bra under the eyelet. For me, that's lace; with black, for example, a Prima Donna "Orlando":
Under white, there is white, but a pastel is unexpected and fresh:
Top right: White Bali Lace Convertible Wire-Free.
Bottom: Freya "Fancies" underwire in petal.
I ardently classify lingerie as an art form, self-care star, and an affirmation of your precious perfection, regardless of shape, size and age.