She was more distracting with lace draped over her small, slight form, than when she was completely naked.
John, of course, knew where to look, regardless, and that horrible Adler woman knew it. Lace or naked as the day she was born (well, not quite that naked, perhaps, because there was still something there, she wasn’t as abandoned as an infant, not to rage, not to the shock of being born, being out in the air for the first time - no, even naked, Irene Adler was wearing a disguise) John was unfazed. He had seen plenty of naked women before her, and he would see plenty of naked women after her.
Sherlock, on the other hand, had not seen many naked women. He had seen less than a handful of living ones, anyway, and none of them could wear lace quite so well.
It was distracting. The image of that woman, dressed expensively in lace and draping herself casually over whichever surface would have her, infiltrated Sherlock’s mind palace. She never sprang on him unawares, no, she was not quite so pedestrian. But he would turn a corner and there she would be, inexplicably, suddenly, and yet looking for all the world like she belonged there, and that it was he who was intruding. Into his own bloody mind!
The worse part was that he couldn’t even really be angry. The curve of her lip, the quick flash in her eyes, the mocking, knowing looks with which she favored him, as if she were always, always two steps ahead, no, three…and the way that the damnable lace played about her pale skin…skin so even and so touched with dew that she hardly seemed human…well, each time he saw her, it was all he could do not to invite her to join him for dinner.