My middle-aged retail customer held up the sheer blouse to the light, tousled it, and shook her head,
“But I don’t want a sheer blouse,” she said finally. “I think we’re running out of options.”
“I think it’s trending right now,” I replied.
Another day, another customer, another complaint as they shook their heads at what I offered them.
I secretly agreed with the elder ladies. By default I don’t believe in such things as “bad” fashion as long as it represents YOU. But at the same time, when off-the-rack clothing too often blurs the line between lingerie and fashion — unless it’s a deliberate fashion-themed photoshoot for a magazine spread — sheer style looks less like a deliberation and more like an afterthought before you head out the door.
And let’s face it, a lot of my customers (not just the middle-aged) were looking for ideas on how to wear sheer clothing without feeling too exposed.
So after some contemplation, I came up with some ideas on how to style those oh-so-chic sheer tops that may need a little modification to make us feel less vulnerable and more chic.
1. Wear a color-matching tank top/camisole underneath.
This one’s a no brainer. One of my favorite models who pulls off the style is Aly from Aly Art.
I may be biased, but I do recommend a ribbed tank top from Banana Republic. It’s a guaranteed fail-safe from any peek-a-boo scenarios.
2. Nude bras.
Sometimes, some white shirts are just thick enough that you can stick a bra underneath without anything showing underneath. Other shirts that pair well with nude bras and make them inconspicuous include shirts in neutral-colored palettes since darker tones absorb more light and could thereby blend in with your bra.
3. Shirt layers
Try layering shirts together when not even nude bras will cut it. For instance, in my case, I have one white shirt that is way too sheer to wear by itself, so I pair it with a layer-on top from Yesstyle and matching shorts.
Also, has anyone considered a tube top underneath sheer wear?
4. Wear a long undershirt
…particularly a turtleneck, my favorite capsule wardrobe piece.
Mesh and turtlenecks were quite a staple in the 80s! Just something to consider if you’re ever doing a “themed” look as well.
5. Add a second layer of lining to your top.
Okay, if you want to do it manually, here’s one idea.
Alternatively, if you want to fix it the easy way, take it to your local tailors. I think they do it for $50 total. Not the cheapest, but it’s an investment. I myself invest in my tailor whenever I need some adjustments done for something I really really like.
I hope this list gave you some ideas!