Last weekend, I headed to a girlfriend’s house for cocktails with the girls before heading to an event. One of our adorable hostesses answered the door and everyone immediately admired her dress, acquired that day from Madewell in Georgetown.
Amid the “That is so cute”s and the “Where did you get it?”s. I said, “Yes, I simply love Battenburg lace. I’ve been lusting after a couple pieces but my AmEx bill is through the roof.”
Overlooking my well-known inability to control my wardrobe spending, the three girls asked in unison, “What’s Battenburg?”
Well, girls, let me fill you in. Battenburg is a specific type of lace, commonly used in draperies, tablecloths and wedding gowns and less-often seen in regular clothing. It’s named for the Duke of Battenburg, Queen Victoria’s son-in-law. In 16th century England, every Duke had his own lace pattern (naturally). Battenburg must have had excellent taste, because his namesake lace became a popular fashion item and remains so today.
Battenburg is thicker, wider, and less delicate than most types of lace. Rather than floral, the pattern is lattice. I find the style of lace to be less bedroom and cocktail-hour appropriate and better for summer brunch and shopping—which may be one of the reasons I love it.
You can dress a Battenburg lace piece up or down. For a more casual look, belt a shift dress with a rugged brown leather belt, pair a tank with jean shorts, or wear a skirt with a Chambray button-down. To dress a Battenburg piece up, go for a neutral all-ivory look. Wear a dress with nude pumps and pearls, pair a tank with white trousers, or wear a skirt with an ivory silk tank.
Here are my favorite pieces, gals.
Bird by Juicy Couture Skirt, $280, Net-a-porter.
Pins and Needles Battenburg Tank, $54, Urban Outfitters.
Lattice lace tank, $168, Madewell.
Marie Kate Dress by Lilly Pulitzer. $378.
Shaw’s Cove Dress, $41, Hollister. (I can’t believe I’m featuring a Hollister dress. But, it’s cheap, pretty cute, and I don’t see a blatant Hollister logo anywhere).
Lastly, the dress the aforementioned female was wearing is no longer available on Madewell.com, nor is a similar dress found at J.Crew.com (In case you’ve been living under a rock, Madwell is owned by J.Crew). The dress looked like this one, below, and you may be able to locate it by calling your local Madewell or J.Crew. Happy shoppping!