Sheer. Just the word alone can be totally intimidating, right? If you're anything like us, when you think about see-through clothing, your mind probably jumps straight to a bedroom negligee, costumey pieces, or tops and dresses that straight up throw modesty out the window — and require a decent amount of confidence to wear in public. So when fabrics like mesh and tulle first started popping up on our spring fashion radars, we'll admit we were a little nervous.
But just like the temps outside, we've warmed up to the trend. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that transparent fabrics are the layering heroes our spring lineup has been missing. Hear us out: Doing sheer doesn't automatically mean giving the world a peep show (though we rarely pass up an opportunity to show off a fancy bra). With the right styling — like wearing a transparent piece under or over your opaque closet staples — you can work sheer into your spring wardrobe no matter your aesthetic or willingness to bare skin.
In an effort to make the barely there fabric feel a lot less frightening, we tapped five R29 staffers to test-drive different ways to do the trend, sourcing from the fresh selection of see-through styles available on ASOS. Utilizing creative techniques, such as layering a ruffled, tulle top under a body-con dress and miniskirt, the outfits below prove that sheer — in its many shapes and forms — is really nothing to fear.
The One-Two Tuck
Not totally sold? Try out the diaphanous trend in a low-touch way by opting for a sheer-ish dress with a built-in slip, like our associate photo editor Cassidy Turner. By tucking the front of the dress into a cute miniskirt — and allowing the see-through layers to overflow — you'll take your look to a whole new level. Tie it all together with a bold jacket to give your arms a little extra lovin'.
The Sheer Foundation
A see-through top can be a prime excuse to invest in a cute bralette, but it can also work well as a piece to layer under your less-revealing clothes, as graphic designer Anna Sudit discovered. Make a long-sleeve mesh top the base of your outfit (bonus points if it's a fun color and has statement shoulders), put a body-con dress over your shirt, and tuck the dress into a miniskirt. Sounds like a lot, but the result is a cohesive and cool look that slays the trend — while also keeping you covered.
The Clutch Cami
A sheer cami seems like a piece you might stash in your lingerie drawer, but video distribution and partnerships coordinator Courtney Yates' outfit proves that it's definitely meant to see the light of day. Throw a tulle tank over your go-to graphic-tee-and-pants combo to add some extra edge to your look.
The Maxi-Mum Effect
You know the dress-over-pants trend that we love so much? Bump that up a notch like senior editor of Snapchat Discover Lauren Thompson did with this bold move. Layer a sheer maxi-dress over a crop top and frayed denim, and then top it off with a striped robe for a look that reads creative boss babe.
The Perfectly Uncovered Undergarments
You can never go wrong with wearing a sheer top the old-fashioned way: over a bra and nothing else. Put a fresh, monochromatic spin on that magic mixture like production assistant Camille Coklow to create a blurred effect with your bra and shirt. Match that pairing with a printed pant and metallic accessories for a look that simultaneously stands out and blends in.
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