How to Wear Sheer Fabrics!

It’s been a few seasons now, yet sheer fabrics continue to be a strong part of the equation for Spring.  Elegant and chic, this transparent trend gives a feminine and flirty vibe to any ensemble.  While adding a little sexy to one’s wardrobe can be a beautiful thing, it is important to remember that any peek-a-boo piece can easily transition from tasteful to tawdry. The key lies in knowing when and how to wear it.  If your would like to add a touch of this alluring accent without bearing all, read on for some helpful tips that are nothing short of sheer genius (smile).
835Modesty may be the best policy. I’d first encourage you to think about the situation you find yourself in and what’s considered appropriate.  For most work environments, you’ll want to keep your sheer statement to a minimum. Think about sheer sleeves or transparent panels instead of sporting an all-sheer blouse or skirt. Alternatively you may want to cover up with a jacket or cardie for day.  On the other hand, you can easily tick up the amount of transparency for social events, as long as you stay within your comfort zone and can wear it with confidence!

It’s what’s underneath that counts. Choose your undergarments carefully. For those more modest amongst us, you might choose to wear a cami and/or boy shorts instead of a bra and panties.  Regardless of the coverage, for the most elegant execution opt for opaque undergarments that match your skin tone or the color of the item.  All-lace underwear amps up the allure and is probably best saved for evening wear.

Maintain a sense of balance. If you decide to go sheer in one area, cover up another. For instance, if you wear a sheer top, team it with a pair of trousers or midi-skirt to limit the exposure. Or if you are wearing a skirt with sheer panels, think about a top with ¾ sleeves or one with a higher neckline. Wearing sheer allover may not only send the wrong message, but you could run the risk of looking like a bathroom or kitchen curtain!

It all goes back to our ABC’s. Let’s face it…there are certain areas of the body that we went to accentuate, others that we want to balance or camouflage. Think about “strategic” sheer placement.  Do you have toned arms?  Look for a blouse with sheer sleeves.  Love your shoulders?  Choose a top with a sheer front panel that runs from the shoulders to the top of the bust line.  Are you blessed with shapely legs?  Consider a skirt that’s sheer from the knees down. Transparent fabrics are one of the many tools in our dressing toolbox that allow us to highlight a particular area – and as a result – draw attention away from another.

Keep it simple. This trend is worn best when it’s done in an understated and elegant way.  With that in mind, you’ll want to KISS (keep it simple) with your accessories so that they convey the same vibe and aesthetic. Less is more here so you’ll want to downsize a bit on the quantity and scale of your jewelry.  Similarly you’ll want to stay away from chunky heels and over-sized bags. Instead try a thin, kitten heel or strippy, strappy sandal worn with a small cross-body bag or clutch.

Take care. Transparent fabrics are often delicate and require special attention when handling. Make sure to remove all jewelry when taking a sheer item on or off.  While hand-washing in a mild detergent is best, with certain less fragile fabrics you also have the option of laundering them in a lingerie bag.  If your item is sheer at the shoulders, it’s best  to hang it on a padded hanger or fold in a drawer.

Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or any day, why not go ahead and dare to bare…at least a bit!

 Article by Carol Davidson, Styleworks of Union Square

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