4 Ways to Wear Eyelet Without Looking Like a Doily

There is nothing I hate more than when I put on an eyelet dress (in hopes of catching that summer breeze through its perforations) and someone mistakes me for a doily. Someone just goes and sits right on top of me as though she “didn’t see me there” and thought I was “part of the couch.” It’s so rude. Wear your glasses out of the house.

I like eyelet a lot, but wearing it can have consequences such as the above. It can also look a little bridal, or a little little-girl-ish. So how do you avoid the doily thing, the being sat on, the baby baptism comparisons or questions like, “Hey, which way is the chapel?”

I’m so glad you asked. Keep these four things in mind and be glad a whole summer of breezes stretches out in front of you.

Eyelet Doesn’t Have To Be So Precious

Treat an eyelet dress as you would any other on a hot day in an air-conditioned environment and layer it, like I’ve done to this ruffled number by Alexis. Underneath: a striped shirt up top, an eyelet skirt down below for extra length. (The Alexis dress was pretty as-is, but I wanted the silhouette to hit mid-calf.) The red belt around her waist breaks up all the white and the shoes down at the bottom were meant to clash a bit.

Eyelet Doesn’t Have To Be So Fancy

Let it be the sleeves of an office sweater that you pair with a leopard skirt, which you then wear with green socks and gingham slides. No one will sit on you in this outfit, although they may still mistake you for your cool grandma’s couch. (If so, take it as a compliment.)

Eyelet Doesn’t Have To Be Ecru or White

Or eggshell! Eyelet clothes come in all sorts of colors, so why not dip your toe into yellow (after you slip both your feet into terracotta slides) and then throw on a robe over to knot at the waist so that you’re just as ready for tea time as you are to watch your soaps.

Eyelet Doesn’t Have To Be So Styled

It’s a summer fabric; it’s meant to be easy. Give yourself a break now and then to catch that blessed up-skirt wind. Try a mini dress with a short-sleeved “coat” over it (find one this light and you’ll barely feel it) and then, most importantly, wear silver pillows on your feet…just in case you fall asleep. After all, eyelet is the stuff of doily dreams.

Modeled by Symone Challenger of Silent Models NY, follow her on Instagram @symone_ch. Photos by Edith Young, styled by Amelia Diamond with market assistance by Elizabeth Tamkin.

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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