Don't Fear Sheer

IMG_7232HCG loves sheer blouses for many reasons, but what we love most is the light, floaty look achieved by wearing a great sheer blouse. We're always drawn to shirts with fuller sleeves, but certain knit tops with generously-cut sleeves often feel too heavy. A sheer blouse is the perfect piece to create an ensemble that reads chill yet polished. We were happy to learn that while the sheer blouse may seem limited in its wear-ability, this garment is one of the most versatile pieces we've ever owned. I picked up my first sheer blouse (pictured above) last Black Friday at the Banana Republic outlet (so edgy, I know). This purchase wasn't very calculated, and I didn't know how much game time this blouse would get in my wardrobe. The blouse and I were both pleasantly surprised; I wore it layered with a black camisole underneath all winter long - tucked into high-waisted skirts with tights and heels, untucked over skinny jeans with boots, layered under a chunky knit sweater and even under a faux fur vest.  On a whim near the end of the summer, I decided to wear it alone with a black bra, denim shorts and black flats, and the finished product was just what the style doctor ordered. To those people who kept staring at me in the Italian Market: yes, I knew my shirt was sheer.

HCG's tips for sporting a sheer blouse:

  1. Keep the cut loose. There is nothing grosser than a tight, sheer blouse and, while we do not think any HCG readers would err by purchasing an unflattering sheer blouse, a reminder never hurts. Remember that you want the blouse to have a relaxed, comfortable fit.
  2. When in doubt, go with black. Sheer blouses come in all colors, but we find black to be the most sophisticated and subtle shade.
  3. Start with something minimally sheer. For example, because of the pleats in the front of my blouse above, the look isn't offensively sheer (alright, it may be very sheer when viewed from the back. But my long hair helps to alleviate that concern). If you never intend to wear a sheer blouse alone, then the transparency of the piece isn't as much of an issue.
  4. Wear your good bra. If you're not wearing a camisole underneath, then this one should go without saying.  Maybe even spring for a new bra.
  5. Layer at work. If we have to tell you that a sheer blouse shouldn't be worn in most corporate environments without a camisole underneath, then you've probably been fired from a job before for wearing inappropriate clothing. Before you head into work, slip a black camisole on first and feel confident that you can sass around your office in an appropriate and on-trend top.

A few options for those interested in giving the sheer trend a whirl:

Elizabeth and James Aimee silk blouse ($265 at Net-a-Porter):e&jPintucked loop-front top ($59.50 at Gap):gapDot flouncette blouse ($98.00 at J. Crew):jcrew