Sheer is a divisive word in fashion. The ability to hide and seek — conceal and reveal — are some of its chicest qualities. The new approach towards this translucent beauty can be spotted on the runways of Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, et al.
Sheer, according to fashion gurus, is not solely about being alluring, suggestive or superbly exposed that onlookers can read your whole anatomy but projected more towards being romantic.
“The whole point of sheer is that it’s light and fey and soft and feminine. Sheer smooths and flatters, blurs and softens and you can be as elegant and bohemian as you want to be,” says designer Pria Kataaria Puri.
“It comes in two extremes: frilly and Frou-Frou, or pared down and geometric. Avoid the excessively frilly and anything that looks like a nightie. Pared-down and geometric is the grown-up way to go, which leaves you to embellish and dress up or down according to your mood and in chilly spring, according to temperature,” she adds.
Sheer overlays — dresses, tops and skirts — worn over basic silhouettes provide a nonchalant sense of cool. Play around with some ideas and try some things on.
Designer Karn Malhotra shares, “There are many chic and diverse options that one can try out. Biker shorts and a crop top under a crocheted kaftan is awesome for a tomboy-femme look. While a longer-length dress over a mini is a great way to show off your legs. One can also try out a piece that has a hint of sheer around the collar mimicing a jewellery-like appeal of a necklace. Also, long sleeves are back so you can pick garments that have long black sheer sleeves or an illusion neckline with sheer sleeves. An ideal purchase would be a perfectly plain round-necked sheer T-shirt, perhaps with a little-appliqued lace here and there. This could be worn with a plain bra under a tailored jacket, V-neck sweater or occasionally with frocks.”
While we may have convinced you to incorporate sheer pieces into your wardrobe, taking the transparent trend into the office arena can be a tricky move.
Designer Sheena Agarwal, owner of Agashe, suggests, “No matter how tasteful your underthings are, incorporating sheer garments into your workweek requires more creativity and strategic layering. If you work in a more buttoned-up setting, make sure all your bases are covered. You can nab a modest slip that you feel you can wear as a bottom layer, then throw on a sheer frock in an office-friendly silhouette with longer sleeves and a collar. Flat shoes in the same colour palette as the dress will help anchor the look and make you look more professional. You can also opt for a sheer black tee, and layer this versatile piece over a much bolder and louder top to help tone it down for the office. Pull up a pair of traditional work trousers with an elevated shoe, and you’re set to take on that project meeting.”