Black Lace

Today's subject matter-lace-dates way back to the fifteenth century when women wore elaborate headdresses detailed with the patterned cloth. Ever since, it has gone on to impact fashion immensely (ranging from the Victorian era's lace collars to fingerless gloves and biker shorts' trim circa 1985), and we expect its popularity will continue to recycle and reform every few decades. Case in point: it is currently one of our favorite byproducts of the prevailing gothic trend (see Currently Channeling: Tim Burton), which has definitely become one of the most important looks of the season. In fact, we are fairly certain dark undertones are here to stay, which is all the more reason to indulge yourself with a little lace. Fashion devotees will recall the brilliant traces of it shown on the fall runways and how designers applied the raven textile to create little black dresses, hair veils (Stella McCartney), handbags (Prada), and more! In order to get you in on the action, dear readers, we bookmarked a few of our favorite laced-pieces for you to Go Buy Now.

Keep in mind, there are countless ways to work this patterned fabric into your wardrobe, but we are particularly influenced to take cues from ladies like Katrina Van Tassel and Morticia Addams, rather than Madonna. (We love the Material Girl, but an improperly executed eighties outfit is an entirely different breed of scary). Tassel achieved an ethereal look in Sleepy Hollow by contrasting her pale skin with nero lace-embellished petticoats and hats, while Addams reigned over her sinister family while clad in long lace sleeves. Derive similar real-life inspiration from Mary Kate Olsen, who flawlessly mastered some goth getups (lace included, of course) in a recent photo shoot for TANK magazine. Pixie Geldof also encompassed an impressive darkly romantic look with the Chantilly Blouse she wore to the PPQ show during London Fashion Week.

Aside from suggesting an esoteric theme, black lace always pleasantly reminds us of the sort of timeless, sultry appeal that Marilyn Monroe made famous. Erin Wasson modeled her own modern sex kitten version of that look at Teen Vogue's Young Hollywood Party last month, when she wore a body-conscious Whyred Melina Lace Dress ($265), Emma Cook for Topshop Lace-Up Boots, and an of-the-moment Alexander Wang Bag. We suspect that these exemplary muses will assist you as you embrace our enchanting selection of lacy things today into your own attire, but be sure to revisit our Alexander McQueen-inspired lace items, as well!-Jessica Amento

1. Prada Pizzo S Satchelicon($1995)
The moment we first laid eyes on this beautiful bag, we knew our Christmas list this year was going to be very short and sweet: one magnificent Prada Pizzo S Satchel! Not only will this gothic purse add an interesting twist to any ensemble, but it's the perfect way to incorporate lace into your outfits on a day-to-day basis.

2. Nanette Lepore Black Tie Top Blouse ($524)
This Victorian-reminiscent top is versatile enough to wear to work or on a date. We'd love to see it tucked into a high-waisted skirt and cinched in with a cute belt!

3. shu uemura Premium Black Gown False Eyelashesicon($50)
We are jaded by the endless hours we scout fashionable booty online, so it takes something very special to leave us awestruck. These drastically cool lashes definitely have the wow factor we're referring to! They are statement-making enough that you can downplay the rest of your beauty look (think: nude lips, understated hair) so that everyone can focus on your cutting-edge lashes.

4. Target Lace Beaded Necklace ($18)
Whether you're wearing a casual low-cut tank or a fancy cocktail dress, this antiqued necklace with black mesh detailing will give you an on-trend finishing touch. Wear your hair in a messy bun to show off the lacy bow closure!

5. Express Lace Leggings ($50)
We always rely on accessories to keep us aligned with the latest with trends without breaking our piggy banks. These lace leggings are a superb and inexpensive way to do just that! (If you've got extra money to spend, you can upgrade to Kova & T's Lace Leggings($110), for an even more luxe look.) Plus, they are a subtle nod to Marianne Faithful-always a good thing! Our advice? Buy them. Wear them. Love them.

6. French Connection Nero Lace Dress ($218)
You can emulate Erin Wasson's above ensemble with this little black number. Try it with Pedro Garcia's Mireya Stretch Peep Toe Bootie($410) and Antik Batik's Eryx Pouch($125).

7. All Black Lacey Lady Ankle Strap Flat($63)
We imagine that Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas has a pair or two of these in her closet. You can wear them with casual outfits, or even swap them out with your heels in an evening look.

Photo of Pixie Geldof, Getty Images. Photo of Erin Wasson, WENN. Runway Images, First View.