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.

Upper right: Everlane eyelet Lantern Top, shown in Golden Hour. Price, $CDN 112. Also in black and white.

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 left: Empreinte seamless "Cassiopée" lace bra in bleu tendre.

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. 



LauraH said…
Love the bras you showed, they are so pretty and uplifting (sorry, couldn't resist!). Lace and colour starts my day off right.
Jane in London said…
My goodness, I'd sort of forgotten all about eyelet (or broderie Anglaise, as we call it in the UK).

In my early 20s I had a lovely gypsy style blouse in white broderie Anglaise, with a deep flounce around the neckline which was elasticated to allow it to be worn on or off the shoulder (daring!). I loved that blouse and wore it with just about everything in my wardrobe.

I had mentally written off broderie Anglaise as a fabric that no longer fits my personal style - but you've got me thinking again with that black top...

Jane in London
Leslie M said…
I so enjoy the surprising offerings each week! I can’t say that eyelet is in my future, but only because it is too reminiscent of my youth. Been there, done that. I also thought of it as a “girly” fabric. I don’t know why, but it offended my sensibility. 🤣 The wave pattern on the white shirt adds a lot of character and is very pretty. The link to the camisole on the Herroom site is what, dare I say, excited me. (It doesn’t take much these days.) I have several of a brand that I bought from Nordstrom, but they are hot, don’t breathe and cling too much for comfort. I have one from Hanro that I love, but can’t afford another at those prices. Yours are a good price and look quite comfortable.
Duchesse said…
LauraH: A pretty bra in spring colour delivers respite after winter! My usual is a reather plain nude but I am going to wear these now and not save them for "dress up".

Jane in London: I had the same association but the new broderies are more 'tailored' if that makes sense. I draw the line at tie-dye though ;)

LeslieM: I just love that FineLines cami and I wash it in a lingerie bag as it is fine. Yes, like Hanro for much less. I haven't bought anytihing else by them but these are very good.No spandex which makes a cami hot. I am a 38C and wear an XL.
royleen said…
Like your other readers, I didn’t think I like eyelet. Hmmm, may have to reconsider.

Pretty bras!
Ocd said…
Love eyelet! Eyelet has been a favorite of mine since childhood & at 56 I still wear it when it can be found, in part because it is usually 100% cotton (the Old Navy camis tragically have 5% spandex; all cotton camis are too rare for me to spend hours hunting), in part because I find it beautiful. Cotton eyelet is great for hot humid oppressive climates. One can find cotton lined (!) eyelet skirts from Talbots & J. Crew on ebay for great prices.
Katrin Leblond is featuring "double gauze" summer blouses that have a similar feel to the Gap black eyelet blouse - perhaps a bit more casual; for outings to the Jean-Talon market and similar destinations. I agree that a bit of multicolour beading at the neck would give it a distinctive touch without going too Frida Kahlo.

The current Leblond sizing seems to skew quite large.

Although I've lost quite a lot of weight, I can't get by with just a cami. I wouldn't wear an underwire bra with the Gap or Leblond tops, but need at least a sport-type one.
Duchesse said…
Ocd: I know the Old Navy has spandex which is one reason why they are considerably heavier, the FineLines is lovely 1005 cotton. Hanro's cotton cami is pure cotton too, and also available online, but much pricier.

lagatta: This post is devoted to eyelet, but there are other lightweight options, such as cotton gauze (but double layered makes it heavier), linen and some fine percales.
Duchesse said…
Ocd: Typo! That's "100% cotton".

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