Survivors of fashion in the Nineties may have thought the days when see-through blouses were all the rage were well behind them. For spring/summer, however, this particularly tricky trend has had a revival, with sheer detailing a key look for the season.
There are two ways to go with sheer. The first was seen at Givenchy, where Riccardo Tisci used fluttering wisps of organza and pinned them on to shift dresses for a softening effect that was feminine and girlish. The alternative approach is a more seductive one: sheer panels artfully placed to bare just a teasing hint of skin.
Getting this look right is about revealing skin but in a conservative, reserved manner; it’s easy to cross the line into overexposure. For the latter think Kate Middleton and the now-infamous see-through dress she modelled at a university fashion show, while Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent Antonio Berardi gown has split opinion. Layering sheer material is a good way to avoid revealing too much, as demonstrated by Alexander Wang’s tank dress with chiffon overlay, which is suggestive but leaves much to the imagination.
Unless you’re purposely pursuing an ice-dancer’s look or something better suited to a Las Vegas red carpet, when it comes to sheer fabric, steer clear of tight and tan – and anything sprinkled with crystals, sequins or feathers.
Don’t get caught out with inappropriate lingerie. If you’re revealing anything more than a modest slip of skin, your underwear will need to be more substantial; retro-style bras and high-waisted knickers in shades similar to the sheer clothing in question will be both stylish and appropriate.