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Shy or sheer? Summer’s favorite continues into fall

Sheer dress Forever 21

Image via Forever 21

This spring and summer, I’ve been raising my eyebrows and pursing my lips at the heaps of sheer clothing that’s everywhere I look—from big fashion magazines to small-town blogs.

Sheer items usually come down the runway with no second layer to serve as a safety net, but sheer clothing often leaves me reaching for an extra layer (a tank top, a jacket, anything!) unless we’re in the hottest days of our DC summers.

I can get behind sheer sleeves, or a sheer panel that adds to the garment instead of uncovering more skin. Dresses with sheer yokes are a favorite of mine. Who says the collarbone can’t be a woman’s favorite feature?

After much inner discussion about this fashion fad, I turned to Closet Caucus stylist Kaarin Moore Vembar. I needed an expert, and Kaarin’s styled plenty of people on every part of the budget spectrum. She sets me straight in this quick Q&A:

DCGF: Why has sheer clothing become so popular? Is it just the heat of summer?

Closet Caucus: Sheer clothing is something that always comes back into style—I feel like it comes back every decade or so. The summer time has something to do with it, as the heat always influences clothing choices. This particular time around I’m seeing lots of sheer blouses, or blouses that are long and are only sheer at the bottom or on the back.

DCGF: Can sheer pieces be worn into the fall?

CC: Yes! I think they can be worn into the fall. If you have a sheer button up you can wear a tank top underneath. Or, one of my favorite looks is to have a sheer button up and to wear a tank top over it. Instead of being overly sexual, wearing a tank top over a sheer shirt is a way to look polished – it covers most of the torso while leaving the arms sheer and you can also see the top part of the collar.
DCGF: How can someone with a sheer aversion still keep up with their fashionable friends?

CC: I always go back to the saying “Inhale fashion, exhale style.” In other words, take in what is in fashion at the moment, but pick and choose what you love and make it your own. That’s style. Even though we are seeing lots of sheer clothing, people can participate or pass over the trend. That’s one of the best things about modern fashion: there is so much going on people can pick up the trends they like without having to participate in all of them.

If my clients find that they really aren’t into the trends at the moment or can’t find what they like in current department stores and boutiques, I always encourage them to look at consignment stores, or go to places like Goodwill! A wider variety of clothing is available from past years and seasons that can be mixed and matched with a current wardrobe.

Now now. I’m not a complete Debbie Downer. See some of my least-hated sheer elements on a spacial DCGF Pinterest board.

My main tips for this fad? Choose navy blue—it’ll serve you in late summer right through to fall’s hot color. Not willing to show skin? Choose a sheer scarf or wrap to feature on top of some of your favorite dresses or shirts. You’ll be so-in-fashion without being uncomfortable!

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2 Comments for Shy or sheer? Summer’s favorite continues into fall

Fashion Chic
August 31, 2012

I think it’s cute because as the title of the post suggests, it is somewhat torn between a stereo-typed lady-like dress and a mini skirt dress.. 😀
All the boys need is to call a strong wind..
but i like it. It suits very well the modern day ladies like me.. sophisticated and liberated

Perfect work pants |
September 18, 2012

[…] twisting about to hike up your low-rise pants at work (we’ve all been there). They’re navy, which is classic and particularly of interest this […]

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