Sheer Clothing [Guide]
How to do Sheer Clothing with style.
Sheer clothing seems to be quite the controversial topic on here, so I thought I would make a guide and inspiration album on how to incorporate sheer fabrics into your wardrobe in an interesting and (partially) non offensive way.
Sheer fabric does not always mean cheap. The recent trend of sheer fabrics in low tier mall stores may have left a bad taste in your mouth, but a lot of nicer sheer fabrics hold up beautifully, move well and look lovely. Sheer fabric can be made from silk, polyester and a variety of other synthetics. Sheer silk will often cost more than sheer polyester, but don’t discount polyester! One of my favorite sheer shirts is an Acne polyester shirt that nearly feels like silk, but has an interesting texture to it. Polyesters are often also less delicate than silk, and I’m not as worried about hurting them.
Sheer fabrics can range from barely sheer, to nearly transparent. Sheer can also be created not only through the materials it’s made from, but by the tightness of the weave. Other ways that sheer has become prevalent in recent years is mesh, shreds and loose knits.
How to Style:
You are probably thinking that sheer fabrics are hard to style because of the various layers involved to make them feel comfortable and appropriate. Personally though, I think that’s what makes sheer clothing interesting! It’s a bit harder to style sheers for an office or professional setting, but I think for casual use they’re fantastic. However, I think you can still mix in sheers and have them not be wholly casual only. An example of this would be adding a sheer overshirt to an otherwise subdued outfit, playing with things that have a line of sheer fabric at the hem, sleeves or neckline, and layering sheers until they’re nearly opaque. I’ve even seen sheer back panels on jersey knits or cardigans that look particularly compelling but still very appropriate. I personally prefer sheer clothing in more subdued colors, like gray, black, white and brown. Seeing as you’re already working with an attention grabbing feature, I think it’s best to keep it a bit toned down and not buy the neon sheer shirt bedazzled with studs.
If you want to wear sheer clothing without full layers underneath, considering your undergarments is an important step. I think that a bralette or bra with more straps or an interesting cut is exceedingly more interesting than a plain bra. A dark or contrasting color can make it seem more intentional, whereas a nude bra would look like you’re trying to hide the fact that your shirt is see-through. Here are a few ways I've styled sheer pieces.
Due to the fact that I’m talking about see through clothing, there may be a few boobs and butts in this album. Don’t feel like you have to exactly copy the pictures in this album, or that you can’t wear these things because you can’t wear them exactly how they’re pictured-- that’s not the point! The point of this album is to show that sheer fabrics are not all terrible, and that they can transfer easily out of the inspiration picture and into casual outfits. Sheer fabric is a fantastic way to add some textural variation into otherwise flat fits. It’s hard to find body diversity when looking for inspirational images, but do remember to look at the clothes instead of the bodies. I feel like this is a look that you can execute confidently at any size and season.
Download pdf: Sheer Clothing Guide