Monday, June 13, 2011

Do or Don't: sheer shirt, black bra

The sheer shirt and black bra: to be, or not to be?

The Muses have been discussing this very question amongst themselves the past few days. WCM says there is something very French about the sheer shirt/black bra look- but isn't quite sure how to do it well. The ECM has decided to assist her Francophile WCM and instruct her in the way to go. We DO suggest sporting this look but the key is proper execution.

The trick of pulling off the black bra/sheer shirt is a matter of making it look purposeful, and not like it was an accident resulting from bad lighting in your apartment. Trolling the internet procured a few examples, and of course we had to share with all of you.


One-half of the Olsen duo could potentially have pulled this off had she swapped her black bra for a black cami. However, the effect of the black bra with a high-waisted black skirt in this instance makes it look like she made a juvenile mistake.

When it comes to fashion, we rarely find much for which to criticize Katie Holmes. However this outfit, worn to a gala, doesn't do it. The shirt looks like an afterthought paired with that elegant skirt, and the bra looks like something that would be better-suited for a yoga class, not a black-tie event. The shirt/bra combo could have worked with a light, 3/4 length cardi and cigarette jeans and flats during the day. But for an evening event - don't do it.


The brilliance of this outfit (from Candystore Collective) is the patterned sheer shirt and the dark bra that isn't overtly black (it may even be navy blue, which would have been a great call - it echoes the dark wash of her jeans). You can glimpse the waist of the model's jeans as well, but you can't see her belly button. Total winner, and completely accessible to even the average girl. We don't condone this outfit for work or church, but for a late lunch with the girls after a trip to the farmer's market - do it.

This look (also Candystore Collective) is definitely a little sexier because of the extra sheer back. Note that the entire shirt is not see-through, it is really just the back so it adds a sexy pop without being obscene. The Muses definitely suggest trying this hot look but if you do, remember that the sheer top/black bra should be the hero. If you add a leather mini skirt and 5" heels, you're just going to look like a stripper (definitely a Muse DON'T). It would be perfectly suited for a night out when paired with a pencil skirt and a low wedge. 

Though you can't see it well here, when Karolina Kurkova made a guest appearance on America's Next Top Model, she sported a black tank dress under a long sheer button-down, and tied a slim black belt around the ensemble. Her hair was slicked back in a sweet bun, and the neutral flats set it all off. Had she worn heels, it would have been too much. Same with extravagant earrings or big hair. The result was simple, sophisticated, and sassy. Winning combo, in our humble opinion.

What do you think, lovely ladies? Are you for this trend, or against it?


  1. Love you both, but very anti this trend. ;-) I just think some items of underclothing are best not displayed to the general public. Call me a prude, I guess. I do like the idea of a tank or a tank dress under a sheer shirt, however.

  2. Thanks for this!

    I had a killer outfit planned that consists of a loose, sheer, wide-necked white top tucked into a high-waisted pinstripe skirt. I wanted to put a contrast grey under the shirt, but all I had was a bra and somehow that looked a little hoochie. I think a cami would do the trick, though.

    Funny how a little bit of belly coverage can make the difference between stylish and sleazy.