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Lace is often associated with two very different extremes: Racy lingerie and grandma's doilies. But this winter, the fabric proves to be more versatile than you'd expect: A lace blouse offers the perfect dose of formality for an office holiday shindig. Yes, it is possible to be both naughty and nice.

1. For the purposes of work, even if it's am office holiday party after hours, keep the look decidedly out of the boudoir. Opt for a camisole in a solid shade underneath the blouse, preferably black.

2. Lace can be tricky: It can read either too innocent or too edgy - and you don't want too much of either. Instead, stick to sophisticated black, like the ladylike looks at Dolce & Gabbana's fall presentation (above left) for the most refined interpretation.

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3. Remember that you're dressing for a work function, not a full-out formal affair. To this end, pair lace with office-appropriate fabrics such as wools, tweeds or herringbones. It will read less red-carpet that way.

Styling by Sarah Jay (www.sarahjay.ca); hair and makeup by David Goveia for TRESemmé/Judy Inc. (www.judyinc.com).

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