At the mention of sheer clothing, many will immediately say it's not for them. Sheer tops in organza, mesh, or even lace can be quite intimidating to don, especially because see-through pieces aren't exactly the most practical to wear. It could also be because sheer pieces do have that tendency to make you feel overexposed, or another reason could be attributed to the fact that most women in their 30s already fear they're not age-appropriate. And lastly, some believe they're not something you can freely wear to the office or on a daily basis.
But despite these apprehensions in wearing sheer clothing, its sartorial potential actually lies in how it's styled—and we dare say, for the love of fashion, it's always worth the risk. Below, we give you some styling techniques you can employ to help you master the art of wearing sheer tops.
What to Wear Underneath
Here are some general rules of thumb to follow when you're wearing sheer tops:
1. Wear the appropriate bra.
Opt for lingerie that are specifically meant to be shown. This crosses out your usual nude or strawberry-printed brassieres. If you're comfortable in wearing just a bra underneath, you have a myriad of bra styles to choose from. For an athletic take, wear a sports bra. If you prefer to go the edgy route, go for a solid, black triangle bra. If you're going for a sweet look, lacey ones will do a fine job.
Remember, too, that you can always add more coverage by reaching for bandeau tops or by donning a camisole underneath the sheer top.
2. Mind the color.
It's been an unspoken rule to wear the same color of bra as your sheer top, but honestly, there's always an exception to this rule. You can do color mixing by wearing contrasting colors together (like black and white) or color blocking (like yellow and blue). Avoid wearing skintoned innerwear unless you're intentionally going for a nude aesthetic underneath the see-through top.
1. Layer a camisole over it.
If you're not one to show off your bra, you can easily get in on the trend by wearing a camisole over your sheer top. Doing so will provide you the right amount of coverage and will even make sheer tops wearable to the office.
2. Wearing mesh tops will add texture to your look.
Got a crisp button down that you're dying to re-style? Layer a sheer top underneath to give your office look an edgier vibe. You can even wear this to a night out with your gals!
3. Extra details could make all the difference.
If you're not so keen on wearing skin-tight bodysuits, opt for sheer tops that have puff sleeves or ruffled details. In fact, you can also go for pieces with subtle drama like polka dot prints and ruched cuffs.
4. Soften menswear-inspired pieces by opting for sheer fabrics.
While borrowing from the boys is always a great idea, the structured pieces can often look too heavy on petite frames. Offset the boxy silhouette by reaching for menswear-inspired pieces that come in soft, sheer materials.
5. Prints can make see-through tops look opaque.
Cheat your way into the sheer top trend by going for pieces that bear prints or patches on 'em. These patterns can easily make the sheer top less transparent.
6. Wear it with a low cut top.
Here's a nifty solution when you want to wear a dress or top that rests too low on your chest: Secure more coverage by layering a sheer top underneath.
7. Don it as a jacket.
We all know the struggle of living in a tropical country. Wearing a jacket on the daily is almost weird. But if you choose to add a sheer jacket or blazer over your usual outfit, you can add some depth and sartorial flair to your look without feeling too hot.
8. Ease into the trend and start with sheer sleeves.
Still hesitant in wearing see-through pieces? Try warming up to sheer pieces with tops that have an opaque bodice and transparent sleeves. For a dramatic take on this, opt for puffed sleeves. It's an instant level up for the casual crop top, you'll see!
9. Wear your underwear over the sheer top.
Mix things up by reversing the layering process. Instead of wearing your bandeaus, crop tops, or sports bra under the sheer piece, wear your innerwear on the outside for a cool layering technique. This way, you'll get to show your printed pieces, too!
10. Color block.
Because sheer tops show what you're wearing underneath, you can take this opportunity to masterfully mix and match the colors you're wearing. We suggest you dabble into mixing pastel-hued sheer tops with bright fluoro tops layered underneath for a modern color mixing technique! Take cues from Liz Uy!
11. Wear it with a blazer.
Don't know what else to wear with your trusty blazer and trouser combo? Here's an idea: Wear a mesh top underneath! Doing so will bring a touch of softness and femininity to a very structured look in the office. Don't forget to layer minimalist gold pieces to elevate your OOTD.
12. Pair with sleeveless pieces.
Sheer tops are great in adding subtle drama to your daily OOTDs. Case in point is this cool plaid-on-plaid outfit. The sheer sleeves provides a welcome break from the heavy prints.
13. Don it as outerwear.
Spice up your casual tank top and daisy duke combo by adding a sheer trench coat. It's a barely-there third piece that makes all the difference!
14. Break the all-black look.
It's always tempting to wear head to toe black outfits. They make no-fail chic OOTDs, after all! But you may want to consider adding see-through pieces just to break the ebony OOTD. Sheer tops make your overall look a tad more sophisticated and you'd be able to effectively avoid being engulfed by the color's hefty vibe when layered together.
15. Wear over a slip dress.
If you're in need of a light layering piece to add to your boudoir-inspired slip dress, then consider adding a delicate sheer organza top over it!
16. Wear it with high-waisted bottoms.
If you're still iffy about showing too much skin when wearing sheer tops, you can always tuck them into high-waisted bottoms for more coverage.