I’ve never been one for revealing clothing. While I always admired friends who wore plunging necklines, thigh-high slits, and micro mini skirts with reckless abandon, it just never felt like me. Perhaps that’s because my style has always erred on the cottagecore side, with voluminous, full-coverage silhouettes being my look of choice. I’ve always been a bit self-conscious about showing too much skin, until I discovered the power of sheer dresses in my mostly modest wardrobe. Maybe it’s that mesh frocks feel provocative while still allowing for some coverage when utilizing strategic layering. Or perhaps, I’m so sick of months upon months of plush, cozy loungewear that I’m going for the polar opposite effect. I can’t explain my sartorial loophole, but all I know is I’m living for a see-through look — and apparently I’m not alone.
As evidenced on the Spring/Summer 2022 runways of Tom Ford, David Koma, and Rejina Pyo the sheer trend is hitting hard this year. Bedazzled open knits, lightweight mesh shifts, and sheer mermaid-like sequin slips were all on full display, and I truly loved them all. That said, most of the sheer looks that sauntered down the catwalk last fall were worn solo with minimal styling, so as not to take away from the glistening, slinky masterpieces.
This is all fine and good for the warm summer months, but what about the impatient ones among us who want to test drive the look for early spring? Luckily, a fun sheer frock lends itself nicely to layering in a variety of ways. If a tank style is your jam, a fitted turtleneck or long sleeve bodysuit underneath is a great way to allow the dress itself to shine. If you’re running out the door and are in need of an easy and stylish topper, an oversized boxy blazer or faux fur could be the way to go.
It also goes without saying that sheer clothing is ideal from a versatility standpoint. Whether you opt for a breezy mini dress (akin to Carrie Bradshaw’s naked dress) or fitted maxi variety, these dresses move effortlessly through the seasons. In addition to layering, some simple accessory swaps make life easier: sleek boots and beanies for cold weather, sandals and maybe a bikini for hot summer days. It truly is a no-brainer purchase.
With the spring season quickly approaching and my wardrobe desperate for breezier ensembles, I’m stocking up on some sultry sheer dresses, stat. Ahead, the 12 items I have my eye on as I plan all the springtime outings. I guess I like to show a little skin, after all.
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Splash Of Color
Anyone who knows me (or has spent five minutes with me) knows I love a colorful ensemble. The latest iterations of sheer dresses — delivered in candy-colored iterations — are right up my alley. And as spring beckons closer, bright colors are a very welcome addition. For a ‘90s spin, I love the idea of pairing my vibrant frock with relaxed denim (á la Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2022 runway) and a fun loafer or platform sandal.
Up-to-there hemlines are having a moment, and the spring season is the perfect time to show a little leg. But if the sun isn’t quite yet out and this feels like too little fabric for colder temps, add some warmth via tights, faux fur toppers, and thigh-high boots. You can wear neutral or statement undergarments underneath, or cover up a little more with a tank top and bike shorts. These pieces will fit both dressed-up looks and dressed-down outfits with sneakers.
A sleek, sheer maxi dress is about as chic as it gets. I love a shimmering neutral style for more formal occasions and colorful, patterned varieties for daytime frolicking. One of the best parts about a sheer maxi is that you can convert it from a streetwear look to a dinner look simply with a change of styling. Plus, these days you can find prints including everything from florals and geometric to camo and abstract.
Additional reporting by Claire Fox.
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