You can find sheer blouses in different levels of transparency, which makes them versatile pieces of clothing to have in your wardrobe. Some types of sheer tops are better left to Friday night dates, while others can be appropriate for the office, depending on how you wear them.
Degrees of Transparency
A sheer blouse that's practically see-through is not considered professional business attire for women. You'll find certain blouses that are more opaque than sheer, however, and you can make these work for the office.
For going out, you have more options in sheer clothing, but you still don't want to be too risqué. A sheer top needs proper undergarments beneath it. Just wearing a bra under won't cut it.
Tips on Wearing Sheer Blouses
For maintaining a classy appearance, it's important to follow a few guidelines when wearing sheer blouses. This is one case where it's better to leave more to the imagination. What you see prancing down the runway rarely translates well to real life. Hollywood stars are often photographed in sheer-to-transparent clothing, but you'll need to practice a little modesty to get away with it.
- Layer well: A camisole seems like an obvious choice to sport under your sheer shirt; just make sure you choose the right one and in the best color. If your sheer top is white, a white camisole or spaghetti-strap tank top will work well. If your sheer shirt is black, select a black cami or tank. Because sheer blouses come in various colors and you might not have a matching undergarment on hand, you can try a flesh-colored cami or tank.
- Layer the right way: When wearing a sheer blouse, this isn't the time to wear a frilly, overly lacy camisole. You're not trying to attract attention to your undergarments. Your camisole or tank performs a basic function - to keep your look appropriate.
- Pair it with light clothing: Sheer tops are a warm weather option and should be put away for fall and winter. Your sheer shirt will look better with certain bottoms than others. A floaty, gauzy skirt or linen slacks or shorts pair well with such a light blouse and make a cute summer outfit. Denim is trickier and is sometimes too heavy to wear with a sheer blouse for the most flattering effect. Cotton, silk, linen and seersucker are preferred options with lightweight tops.
Sheer blouses can work in the workplace, but you'll need to adhere to stricter guidelines, not only to make sure you're following the dress code, but also to avoid unwanted attention.
- Choose tops that aren't sheer all over: You may have some luck wearing a sheer blouse to work if you select one that's opaque on the chest and back, while sporting sheer sleeves. This way, you can indulge in the sheer trend without going overboard.
- Wear correct covering: If you're planning to spend your entire day in a smart blazer and skirt or slacks, you can sport a sheer shirt underneath. However, it's still wise to make sure your blouse has an appropriate layer beneath it. You never know if you'll spill something on your jacket and need to remove it - you don't want to take your blazer off, only to reveal too much. You can also wear a vest over your sheer blouse, with or without a jacket.
- When it doubt, don't wear it out: If you work in a more conservative environment, a sheer blouse just may not be appropriate at all, even with a blazer on top of it.
Keep it Classy
Spring and summer fashion shows often promote the sheer trend. You can adapt it to make it work for you so that you don't look like a runway victim. In warm weather, it can be liberating to wear clothing that's barely there. Just make sure you layer well to avoid any embarrassing incidents and you can wear sheer tops to maximum style effect.