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Everywhere you look, chiffon is taking center stage. From see-through tee shirts to maxi skirts with short slips, the sheer trend is hot for summer. One of the most popular variations of this trend is the sheer blouse; it can be an easy way to incorporate this trend into your daily wardrobe. However, without proper planning a sheer blouse could prove to be a wardrobe mistake.
Here are some tips on how to wear a sheer blouse this summer and make it appropriate for day or for play.
Lace trim, puffed sleeves, pussy bow at the throat – these are blouses that evoke an earlier time. The silhouette is perfect for pairing with a pencil skirt for the office or with jeans and heels for happy hour. How you wear it determines whether it ends up looking appropriate for either situation.
For Day: If the blouse is a solid color, a camisole in the same color will offer modesty and intensify the hue. If it is a print, a nude camisole or one in a lighter color in the print will offer coverage without sacrificing the pattern in the fabric.
To keep things professional, choose a bra that either matches your skin or else the color of the camisole so that it doesn’t show. A camisole in a silky fabric will keep the blouse from sticking to it or bunching. Even though the blouse covers your décolleté, be sure the camisole provides proper coverage – no extreme cleavage, cropped styles, or backs lower than your bra strap. While your blouse may be sheer, it isn’t invisible and your skin will show. On the other hand, a wide-strapped or tank-style layer can ruin the line of the blouse – choose a camisole with straps no wider than a bra or slip to maintain the vintage vibe.
For Play: A solid black bra with full coverage is a sexy way to wear such a blouse – it’s also a cheeky way to play up the prim, vintage silhouette. If you have one, you could also wear a solid bustier. A black or nude camisole is a good option for those who desire more coverage. As with the day option, a slim strap and silky fabric will provide the best effect.
A tee shirt in chiffon, gauze, or a very weathered jersey is a fun addition to the wardrobe. It’s a creative alternative to a classic shell under a work blazer, and is more sexy and stylish than a traditional knit jersey. Here’s how to make such a garment look chic.
For Day: If you work in a creative or casual office, a classic tank top is a great base layer for such a shirt. Choosing a tank in the same color is a safe bet, but this is a great opportunity to try a variation of colorblocking with a tank in a contrast shade or a shade slightly lighter or darker than the tee. The transparency of the tee will create a fun third color for the torso. If you wear the tee untucked, you can either wear the tank untucked for a continuation of the color, or tuck in the tank for a different effect over the color of your skirt or trousers. If you’re wearing under a suit, both the tank or camisole and the tee should be tucked in for a more classic effect.
For Play: As seen in the image above, a bandeau or tube top in the same color will give the necessary modesty without sacrificing the style of the sheer top. The graphic line of a tube or bandeau will complement the sporty cut of a tee shirt and keep it fun and feminine. If the top is off the shoulder, you could also choose a tank top in most any color for a “Flashdance” feel.
Maybe it’s a lacy babydoll dress or a gauzy peasant blouse, possibly it’s a menswear-inspired shirt or an oversized tank – the sheer tunic is a hot look this summer. In a creative office, such a piece could be worn with skinny pants or leggings and for evening or weekend it would look fresh with distressed denim shorts or a pair of denim stovepipes.
For Day: Wearing a tank or camisole in the same color will make an otherwise sultry piece look day-friendly. A gray lace peplum top with gray tank and narrow black trousers could work in many corporate settings if the tank has good coverage and is of a refined fabric (not a ribbed cotton tank, something smooth and possibly with a bit of poly or Lycra to give a silky finish). You could also match the base layer to your skirt or pants, such as a teal sheer tunic with a navy shell and navy trousers. If the piece is printed, stick to the tips for a vintage-inspired blouse and go with a base layer that doesn’t compete with the pattern. Even with these tips, sheer tunics can often be inappropriate for the office – one doesn’t want to look like a fortune teller, a hippie, or a club kid in the workplace. If you aren’t sure, keep the piece for play.
For Play: With such a piece, all things are go. A boho-inspired peasant top would look best with a delicate or feminine base layer (solid bra, skinny-strap camisole, lacy spaghetti-strap tank). Vintage-inspired and modern pieces look great with most anything – this is the time when pattern and color mixing can really work. Consider wearing a floral-print tunic over a leopard-print cami, a sheer red top over a blue tank and green mini skirt, a black lace tunic over a paisley-print tube dress. If you wish to play up the silhouette or fabric of the tunic, consider a bra or camisole free of details and in the same color, black, or a color close to your skin.
Do you like the sheer trend? What is your favorite way to wear such a wardrobe piece?
Vyque @ Fasshonaburu says
Love this – I swear sheer is so much harder to pull off than you originally think!
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
Honestly, you won’t see me wearing sheer clothes any time soon. I recently bought a crinkle chiffon maxi, but gosh it was hard to find one I liked that had the lining as long as the sheer part! However, I have seen some women who aren’t stick thin completely ROCK the sheer trend with a simple black bra underneath and it is really inspiring. I think this trend, along with most trends requires confidence and knowledge of one’s body and personal style. And for me, I have confidence and I know my body and personal style and that’s why I doubt you will ever seem me wear this trend. I will just admire those who wear it, and hopefully these tips will help those who want to wear it but aren’t quite sure how to carry it off. 🙂
Grace McNamee Decker says
I have to say, this is a trend I have a really hard time imagining trying. Even on skinny celebrities, it grates on me to see a completely visible bra under something sheer. MAYbe with a full cami or tank underneath, for an evening outdoor thing, but even then? I think part of my hesitation is that I’m skeptical about this one looking right on a bigger gal. It seems like “Oh, she’s hiding” on a girl my size (20) as opposed to “Ooh, how fun and kinda revealing” on a slim girl. Anyway, I always appreciate your posts and suggestions! Read you every day. 🙂
Kasmira Kit says
I love to wear a neon bra or bralette under a sheer top:
http://whatiwore2day.blogspot.com/2011/07/glow-and-blow.html (neon bra under sheer white blouse)
http://whatiwore2day.blogspot.com/2012/02/sea-sea.html (neon bra under nude slip under sheer aqua blouse)
http://whatiwore2day.blogspot.com/2012/05/backyard.html (neon bralette under sheer navy tee)
And I also like to wear something printed under something sheer:
http://whatiwore2day.blogspot.com/2011/06/wings.html (patterned dress under sheer pink blouse)
http://whatiwore2day.blogspot.com/2012/05/in-between.html (striped tunic under sheer black dress)
Sheer clothing is so fun to layer!