The forties can seem like a daunting era for your wardrobe. You definitely don’t want to be caught in the relics from your early 20s, but do you absolutely have to break up with your favorite sheer LBD? The answer to that would be a yes and a no—with two decades of professional dressing experience behind you as a bona fide adult, you’ve worked on honing your style, and the forties needn’t warrant a seismic shift to a boring aesthetic.
Any trend is only as good as how you work it into your individual style, and no, just because you’ve hit the big four-oh, you needn’t swear off the runway favorites altogether. Sheer has taken over our collective fashion conscience, cropping up everywhere from the closets of street style stars to showbiz veterans. Once relegated to sexy negligees, this risqué trend has stepped out of the bedroom to make space for itself in the party section of your wardrobe as well as the workwear section the next morning. Wondering how to work the trend without risking any OTT moments? Take notes from the best.
If you’re looking for proof that age is just a set of digits, look to Malaika Arora whose wardrobe is only becoming more defined in her 40s. From nailing easy chic with a belted sheer tunic to showing off her curves in a traffic-stopping Manish Malhotra mini, there’s little that does without any flair. Likewise, Karisma Kapoor loves to play up her collarbones with sheer necklines, while Shilpa Shetty Kundra has the last word on nifty layering–if you’re running out of outfit ideas for brunch, look to her belted floral tunic over printed separates from Arpita Mehta.
What you should do
Not quite sure where to begin? Take a call on how comfortable you are, start from there and slowly work your way up. If you aren’t at your most confident with see-through fabrics, simply layer a sheer blouse with an opaque suit at work. Once you’ve built that essential base of trust, try layering a mesh sheer top under a jumpsuit or play with proportions by throwing on a diaphanous frock over a bodycon dress. An off-duty day out with the girls? Shrug on a see-through midi dress over your favorite bralette and ripped denim. If you’re looking to make things fun, invest in one sheer wardrobe staple and challenge yourself to find different ways to style it without ever repeating a look. Chances are you won’t run out of options before fall is over.
What you definitely shouldn’t do
While the very nature of sheer clothing calls for some fashion adventures, anything that your teenaged self-thinks cool will definitely serve as a red flag. Depending on the occasion you’re dressing for, ensure that you stay on the right side of risqué yet experimental. The occasional peekaboo flash of skin might keep things interesting, but you don’t want to get called in by HR. An easy copout would be to incorporate sheer elements into your already existing workwear wardrobe and reserve the sheer LBDs and playsuits for weekends.
This adventurous fabric also calls for military precision when picking the innerwear that goes along with it. An ill-fitting bralette will land you in the doghouse, as will jarring prints. While shopping, mentally pictures the innerwear that would go along with it. If you’re drawing a blank, don’t expect to wing it later on, but instead make a detour to the lingerie aisle for some new additions.
All set? Pick from our edit of the most fun sheer styles on the market right now.