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Sheer skin-baring fabrics in the form of long flowy gown adorned with sequins and embroidery have been a key element in 2019’s Spring/Summer fashion shows. Dior send their models on the catwalk wearing romantic pastels and flowy shapes. Christopher Kane went primal, linking sheer dresses with nature documentaries.
It is a trend I can fully get behind. While almost anyone can don a boho maxi dress and look fabulous in it, pulling off an almost transparent dress is a different matter altogether. It takes planning and a feel for how much skin one can get away with without looking naked. Fashion magazine Elle labels the sheer dress trend “the desperate attention-grab of the unimaginative” and describes it as shockingly against the #metoo movement.
sheer dresses are not undermining the #metoo movement
While #metoo has had a huge positive impact in enabling women to speak up about sexual abuse it has also given slut-shaming a wider stage. Some seem to think that a woman needs to button up to her chin, don the long sleeves and not show her ankles in order to be worthy of not being groped. It is an approach that has been around for thousands of years and obviously had very little impact on sexism and men’s ability to keep their hands to themselves.
Socialite Nan Kemper was refused entry to a prestigious New York restaurant in the sixties for wearing trousers and subsequently took them off and wore her suit jacket as a mini dress. She beat the outdated dress rules in such a creative and defiant way that the moment will forever be linked to Yves Saint Laurent’s le Smoking.
I believe that the sheer dress could become something similarly iconic. If anybody believes that I need to wear a floor length dress with a high collar to deserve respect, then the joke is on them. The sheer dress is not a cheap attention grabber, it is a jab at the establishment. Below I have assembled five ways to wear the sheer dress with style.
How to toughen up a sheer dress
High waisted black leather shorts and a black silk camisole toughen up a sequined sheer dress. Add thick soled Dr Martens for an extra dose of kick-ass during the day and kitten heels for nightly glamour.
The make-up is kept simple with the focus on signature brows. A soft lip/cheek tint and black mascara complete the look.
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How to keep a sheer dress sweet
Ruffles, flowers and pastel pinks mingle in this outfit. The collared button down sheer dress ads subtle coverage to high waisted bikini pants and a bandeau top. White sneakers are the perfect companion during the day and suede wedge sandals add sweet glam at night.
A fresh and glowy make-up with dewy cheeks, subtle mascara and rose coloured lips are all you need. A sweet crown braid is a perfect complement.
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How to embrace the full sheer dress glamour
Low Key happens to other people. This is a statement dress! Dazzling sequins all over are best paired with a modest one piece. The snake print ads a wild side while the grey perfectly complements the colour of the sheer dress. Rough Birkenstocks add another contrast while strappy sandals would be a more low key option. Keeping up with the dazzling theme, a heavily embellished shoulder bag is an eyewink to overmatching outfits.
Orange-red lips and black eyeliner bring the look together for drama and sophistication.
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How to make the sheer dress cool
Here a paint-stained khaki overall is paired with an oversized lace slip. Black pointed-toe flats or brown pumps ad some elegance while a white basket bag contributes some serious summer vibes.
A few dabs of lip tint and some mascara are all that’s needed to complete the look.
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How do you feel about the sheer dress trend? Hopefully, we inspired you to join the fun this summer. If you’re wondering why we didn’t add any jewellery then it’s because we want the dresses to be the centre of attention. That and we believe that a great perfume is the best accessory. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @mermaidsandwhalebones so we can see your creations.