ON PAPER, the trend for see-through clothing sounds too showy and scary to even contemplate. Put it into practice, however, and transparency has the potential to become one of this summer's chicest looks - yes, really!

The trick is to remember that sheer clothing doesn't have to mean baring all. It's about comfortably showing skin well within your limits. Think peekaboo tactics that still look perfectly demure.

The sheer aesthetic was seen gliding down the international runways in a variety of delicate designs at Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang and Givenchy. Alexa Chung unveiled a masterclass in transparent chic wearing an Erdem dress to the recent Met Gala.

This is definitely a look you need to follow the rules with, though - with clever styling tricks that flaunt a subtle flash of flesh without really exposing anything at all.

Here's how to inject some sheer brilliance into your summer wardrobe.


If the idea of a mini skirt or sleeveless top sends you running for the hills, the sheer trend might just stop you in your tracks...

The safest way to work the transparency trend is highlighting your limbs through sheer sections, whether it's sleeves, midriff or skirt.

All you need is a two-part garment with a gauzy layer that exaggerates the overall length. So, while you're wearing a skirt above the knee, the sheer layer over the top creates a maxi skirt that covers your legs but still reveals the subtlest hint of skin underneath.

The same rule applies to arms and decolletage. While one top underneath provides the solid foundation, the second layer's extended hems keeps the look conservative, whether you want long or short sleeves.


While you can still work this kind of see-through clothing demurely at your desk, the look can be a little more risque at night.

Black immediately takes the sheer trend into more devilish territory. Swap your LBD for a dress featuring sheer panels - these still won't reveal anything but their placement draws attention to your best features, whether it's your decolletage, waist or legs.

The wider the panels, the more risque your look, so keep them skinny for subtlety.

To achieve a sophisticated feel, always keep your sheer piece in one solid block colour. The same rule applies to any underwear that's oh-so-purposefully on show.

This isn't a trend for skimpy smalls. If you're braving a super-sheer top or dress, stay chic in plain underwear in a matching colour rather than over-fussy pieces and throw a blazer over the top.


Clothing isn't the only thing that's gone see-through. Not wanting to feel left out, accessories have joined the transparency party utilising clear perspex and plastic.

Once the domain of (whisper it) strippers, perspex shoes have received a thoroughly modern makeover, worn best as chunky block heels.

The beauty of the see-through plastic heel is that the shoe itself can be pretty wild. Opt for a neon bright or eye-catching print to nail two trends in one.

Only the clutter-free can work this season's must-have sheer plastic or perspex bags. Whether it's day bag or dinky clutch, these beauties are designed to show off your contents to the max - look out for complementary inner pouches and/or pockets to hide valuables from view.


Embrace sheer with these styling tricks to ensure you're not verging on streaker territory:

:: Lightweight fabrics like chiffon, tulle and organza are ideal for perfecting the art of showing a little skin whilst simultaneously appearing covered up.

:: For summer daytime, look for light, neutral colours to complement the sheerness. Sheer and white was a winning combination on the catwalks.

:: While neutral and white colours will emphasise the sheer, coloured pieces will detract if you're not feeling as brave.

:: Avoid going sheer from head-to-toe and pair see-through pieces with covered-up garments to strike a stylish balance.

:: This is a minimalist look. Keep your silhouette simple and clean and avoid over-accessorising.