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Sheer Dress: What to Wear Under or Over Sheer Clothing?

It’s 6 pm and the red carpet has begun. You’re somewhere in the crowd, taking note of attendees and their glamorous outfits. One strikes you from a distance. Her thighs, flat tummy, and upper bust glimmer from her nude-colored sheer dress, revealing her beige underwear.

As you move closer to get a better view of this stunning woman, you see you aren’t the only one mesmerized by her beauty.

lady wearing sheer dress at the 2021 VMAs

The cameras are flashing at her. The men are gazing at her. Other women aren’t left out. For some, their eyes dilate with utter disapproval while a few have a glint of admiration in their eyes.

lady wearing white top with sheer pants

You don’t care what they think about her. You instead admire her beautiful boldness.

lady wearing sheer two-piece top and pants with hat

That’s the kind of reaction outfits like that get. 

It takes some level of guts to wear a transparent dress in public. Even though the trend has become normal in today’s world, you’ll agree with me some people still deem it risqué.

back view of a lady wearing sheer trouser with heels

But should you cower to their standards or wear what you love? Should you damn their opinions and express your style even if it means donning a sheer dress and giving the world sneak bits of your alluring body?

lady wearing red sheer outfit

The answer to the above questions is none other than:

Do what suits your style. 

lady wearing green sheer green dress

If your style is to go all sheer or flash a little amount of skin, by all means, do so. As you’ll learn in this article, you can rock a sheer dress, top, or pair of pants in different ways with or without baring your whole body.

Wondering how?

Miley Cyrus wearing black sheer dress at the VMAs

It’s simple and I’ll show you how to pull off anything sheer without feeling shy as you garner stares of admiration (and disapproval, too).

Come with me.

What is Sheer Clothing?

lady wearing sheer dress at the Grammys red carpet

If you are a fan of body positivity and skin-baring clothes, sheer dresses must be on your to-wear list. These clothes are see-through made with transparent fabrics such as tulle, crochet, chiffon, organza, sheer silk, organdy, georgette, lace, gauze, batiste, cotton lawn, voile, sheer nylon, sheer polyester, netting, mesh, muslin, etc.

lady wearing black sheer jumpsuit with heels

They often come as tops, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, and pants.

lady wearing sheer skirt with jacket

These clothes are statement pieces. Wearing them down the street or anywhere means you’re ready for the attention it brings.

smiling lady wearing silver sheer dress with sweater

And if you really are, let’s see…

How to Pull off Sheer Dress, Top, or Bottoms Outfits

lady wearing black crop top with sheer leggings pants

Sheer dresses are fun pieces perfect for promoting confidence without giving off an indecent vibe. It all boils down to what you wear underneath or over your sheer clothing.

lady wearing black sheer with boots on the street

Base layers and outerwear add a subtle feel of modesty to transparent clothing. Celebrity Stylist, Danyul Brown, said it best in an interview with Instyle:

“With the right undergarments and base layers, sheer clothing can have a place in any wardrobe — even ones that lean more towards the modest side.”

Danyul Brown
lady wearing sheer top and sheer miniskirt with skirt

So, don’t write off sheer dresses off because you think they’re too risque for you. Rock them to achieve a modest or daring look (depending on your personal style) by using these tips:

lady wearing jacket on a sheer dress

1. Start Small

actress wearing green sheer dress at the Emmys

Instead of going all in to wear a 100% sheer dress, start with one little piece of see-through clothing or clothes with minimal transparent parts.

lady wearing sheer top with white pants

This could be sheer tops, bottoms, or dresses that are half-see-through and half-covered.

Do this and you’ll exude an edgy style without entirely leaving your comfort zone.

2. Choose the Best Base Layers for Your Sheer Top

lady wearing sheer white top with jeans

If you plan to don a sheer top, keep a black or beige bra handy. This can be a strapless, bandeau, lacy bra, sports bra, or any bra that suits the style of your top. 

You can also wear a nude bra or one that’s the same color as your top.

lady wearing purple sheer top with orange pants

And if you aren’t comfortable baring your bra, wear a tank top or singlet over it. This way, what they see underneath your transparent top is the tank top and not your skin or bra.

3. Wear Base Layers for Your Sheer Bottoms

lady wearing bra top with sequin see-through pants

For see-through skirts, shorts, or pants, you have a number of base layers to choose from. The best include high-rise briefs, bum shorts, short tights, leggings, jeans, bodysuits, or miniskirts.

High-waisted briefs help to cover your stomach and butt areas while leggings and jeans completely cover your lower body. 

lady wearing top and sheer midi skirt

Bum shorts and mini skirts act as little layers of coverage for your lower body. They are short enough to flaunt your thighs down to your legs and long enough to cover your waist and bum while highlighting your sheer clothing.

Similarly, bodysuits don’t just cover your lower body. They act as a top for your upper body, making one needless unless you’re layering.

4. Wear Base Layers for Your Sheer Dress

Rihanna wearing black sheer dress while pregnant

What you wear underneath your sheer dress largely depends on how much skin you want to bare. Let’s look at some of them.

Matching Set of High-waisted Briefs and Bra/ Tank Top

lady wearing sheer long dress

This option lets you cover your lower body while still showing a modest amount of skin. And if you don’t wanna bare your belly, consider wearing a tank top with your high-rise briefs. 

No briefs available? Not a problem. Pair your tank top with short tights, a miniskirt, or bum shorts. But make it a matching set for more effects.

Wear a Slip Dress Underneath

lady wearing short sheer dress

Is your dress so sheer that you can’t risk wearing it out? Don’t give up on it. Use it to layer a short slip dress and go turn heads.

Wear a Bodysuit Underneath

lady wearing a long sheer dress with slit

This is a great option if you want something tight-fitting that covers your body well enough to create a decent sheer dress look. Wear a sleeveless or full-sleeved bodysuit if you want. Anyone is fine.

Use Your Sheer Dress to Layer Another Outfit

lady wearing black midi sheer dress

You can also use your sheer dress to layer a complete outfit. This includes bottoms such as leggings, bum shorts, jeans, skirts, etc., with full coverage tops or crop tops.

lady wearing sheer dress with hat and sunshades

Leggings, skirts, or jeans will cover your lower body to a large extent. Know what this means? You can flash your upper body without appearing too revealing.

Wear with Your Beach Wear

lady wearing long sleeveless sheer dress

You can also use your sheer dress to layer your bikini when next you go chill at the beach. For more effects, under-layer with underwear that matches your skin color.

This way, you create an illusion of no underwear and make more eyes bulge with the thought that you have nothing underneath your transparent dress. 

5. Layer Your Sheer outfits

lady wearing white jacket on sheer outfit

Layering isn’t just stylish or handy for cold climates. It’s a hack for looking modest when wearing something sheer.

So, don’t hesitate to wear a suit jacket, shirt, denim jacket, or blazer over your sheer dress, top, pants, or skirt.

lady wearing a dress over a pink sheer top

You can also hang a sweater around your neck or wear a slip dress or pinafore over a see-through top.

6. Just…Damn What They Say

Lizzo rocking a sheer dress

While these tips are here to guide you, they don’t change one fact:

Fashion has no rules.

So, if you feel you’ll be far from yourself by following these tips, feel free to do you even if it means wearing your sheer dress with thongs or only one piece of underwear.

lady wearing pink sheer dress

You’ll turn heads, break the Internet and get tongues wagging. But…

So long as you feel confident and comfortable enough to pull it off, knock yourself out.

Don’t leave yet though. Feast your eyes on some sheer outfits we couldn’t resist curating for you. 

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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