How to Style the Sheer Trend Over 50

How to Style the Sheer Trend Over 50 are the tips you need to take part in what is a definitive trend for all of 2023 & beyond.

But first…

A Little History on Dressing Sheer

Since the French Revolution, scandal has surrounded sheer clothing. Diaphanous “X-ray” skirts and dresses made such an uproar in 1913 that the mayor of Portland, Oregon, ordered that anyone wearing them be jailed.

Starlet of silent films with 1925’s My Lady of Whims, Clara Bow established herself as a sex icon thanks to a scandalously see-through outfit. The garment was so revealing that it would still shock by today’s standards. It made it to the big screen before the entertainment business created a set of self-censorship norms known as the Hays Code.

Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress brought sheerness back into the public eye in 1962, and celebrities like Jane Birkin and Cher continued to popularize the contentious style throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Flash Forward to the 90s

But a true resurgence began in the 1990s. AlaïaJohn GallianoJean Paul GaultierPrada, and Atelier Versace were among the designers who adored sheerness and sent different interpretations of the trend down the runway. Sheerness also went well with the grunge aesthetic juxtaposing sexiness with the mostly male-dominated fashion era.

The decision to show one’s body carries great power. Rose McGowan attended the VMAs in a beaded, chain-mail-inspired dress in 1998. Decades later, she revealed that it was her first red carpet appearance since she was reportedly sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in 1997.

And the Aughts

Conversations about provocative clothing have the power to alter culture. The famous green Versace gown worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards, which was sheer and had a plunging neckline, sparked so many internet searches that Google Images was created as a result.

2008 saw the rise of pseudo-nudity, thanks to brands like Christian Dior and Chloé. But in 2014, when Rihanna accepted the CFDA Fashion Icon of the Year award wearing only a nude thong and a fur pashmina, the shocking potential of diaphaneity reached its zenith.

Sheerness returned in 2022 and has not slowed down since then. Among the brands that have experimented with transparency recently are ChanelNensi DojakaPradaFerragamoDion LeeRodarteEmilia WicksteadHeron PrestonRick OwensLaQuan Smith, and Y/Project.

We appear to be using sheerness to push limits more frequently now than ever before. Labels have always sent models down the catwalk with exposed breasts, but nowadays both celebrities and average people are increasingly willing to go full out.

Maybe it’s a cultural protest against the puritanical limitations placed on women’s bodies by the government. Whatever way you wear it, sheer is seductive, rebellious, and strong.

And Now…

How to Style the Sheer Trend Over 50

Know your fabric

Sheer fabric types: organzalacemuslinvoile, tulle, and gauze. Most often it can swing from natural silkcotton, or synthetic fibers like rayon or nylon.

Colorful & detailed undergarments

Get yourself some beautiful underpinnings. Maybe add a daring edge with a pop of neon.

Consider the color of your sheer clothing and choose a lingerie piece that creates a strong contrast, such as black lingerie under a white sheer top

Splurge on nipples covers. However, some of the new plastic covers seem to be skewed to lighter skin tones & not attractive. Stick on G-strings are also an option for a super nude look under clothing.

Aubrey Bra in Blue, $60, Forever And A Day

Try to match your skin tone with intentional lingerie pieces

Choose lingerie made of lightweight and thin fabrics to avoid distracting lines. Nothing overly frilly, instead layer with a seamless camisole or bodysuits to provide the coverage you need.

Soma Strapless Bra –

Instead of matching your skin tone, match the garment

It’s not always easy to find lingerie that exactly matches your skin, so another chic route is to match it to your ‘fit instead. Choosing undergarments in a similar shade as the sheer clothing is a super chic way of showing off your lingerie.

Or consider the color of your sheer clothing and choose underpinnings that creates a strong contrast, such as black lingerie under a white sheer top.

Go for a sportier look

For a sportier luxe vibe pair your sheer or netted pieces with cycling shorts, body suits, or a sleek bralette.

Don’t follow the status quo

Often sheer outfits will come with slips that aren’t always of the best quality. Level up the look by adding an extra layer of interest such as a belt or cross body bag.

Distract, Distract, Distract

If you’re just getting used to ‘risking it for the biscuit’ trying drawing attention elsewhere; classic ‘bait-and-switch’. Statement jewelry can draw attention away from your undergarments and towards your overall outfit.

Confidence is Key

The best way to style your sheer outfits is to be loud and proud about your undergarments. If they are cute and you’ve spent a pretty penny, why not show them off, right? Statement lingerie is having such a moment so have fun with it!

Sheer Fabric Care Instructions

  • Machine wash in cold water.
  • If your fabric is extremely dirty then leave it in water for about an hour, and then machine wash or hand wash. 
  • Do not twist the fabric after washing, as it will change its original shape.
  • As sheer fabric is mostly made from fine threads, ironing is strictly prohibited. Check the care instructions for best way to de-wrinkle your garment.
  • To protect the color, hang dry in a shady area. 

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