Let's be honest: Summer pieces are basically ranked in order of opacity, from slightly sheer to completely transparent. Once temps start to rise, there tends to be a drop in fabrics (both in excess and in weight), and subsequently, an upswing in sartorial challenges.
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It's a problem that affects the Hollywood set, too—but luckily, some of our favorite celebs have figured out stylish fixes to common sheer-clothing problems. At an evening event, Rashida Jones's look was sheer genius—and a lesson in how to pull of a see-through dress like a pro. She gave her sexy black lace midi-length dress a polished (and slightly offbeat) spin by layering it with a crisp white shirtdress.
As major proponents of public decency, we took a sampling of summer's shockingly sheer offerings, which range from open-knit crochet tops to unlined dresses, and coupled each problematic piece with a solution for what to wear underneath. No risky business here.
1. The Problem: A Scandalously Sexy Black Lace Number
Chances are, a black bra and a black micro skirt underneath a sexy lace LBD won't sit well at the office or Sunday's family brunch. The solution: Knock down the sex appeal with a sleek, chic styling option, such as a crisp white shirtdress.
2. The Problem: A Translucent Shirt Dress
3. The Problem: White Linen Culottes
Unlike sheers, white pieces aren't intentionally cut to be see-through, but the problem persists anyway—especially when it's crafted from a fabric as light as poplin. The solution: Nude second-skin shorts that not only prevent unwanted exposure, but also offer support.
4. The Problem: A See-Through Black Skirt
You have a transparent black skirt—now what? First, stay away from nudes or white layers underneath. The goal is to cover up, not tease the eye. The solution: this black seamless Commando half-slip that not only lies flat, but also won't ride up.
5. The Problem: A LWS (Little White Shirt)
This one's a double whammy—it's a top that's not only cropped, but also sheer, thanks to its crochet finish. The solution: Pick up on the pretty crochet detailing with a bralette that provides full coverage.
6. The Problem: A Sheer Maxi That Looks Like a Nightgown
A dreamy floor-grazing number can be easily mistaken for a nightie. The solution: A satin skin-skimming maxi slip to harden the dress's softness without compromising its free-spirited ethereal aesthetic.
7. The Problem: A Cut-Out Skirt with a Questionable Lining
A super sheer skirt, like this white textured tulle piece, may already come affixed with a lining, but for extra protection, it doesn't hurt to add one more layer underneath. The solution: A half-slip in a similar shade that's just a hair shorter than that of the lining. No awkward peek-a-boo slips here.
8. The Problem: A Semi-Sheer White Shirtdress
At the end of the day, slightly sheer, or "semi-sheer," pieces are still sheer, which means an underpinning is not a mere suggestion—it's essential. The solution: Pair with a classic black slip or add a feminine touch with a peek of a girly pink piece.
9. The Problem: A Blouse with Minimal Opacity
10. The Problem: A Threadbare-Thin Floral Lace Top
Something as elegant, quiet and delicate as a piece like this Cinq à Sept top needs a layer that's just as refined. The solution: To maintain the elevated aesthetic, gravitate toward neutrals, like this nude cami as a black one would create distracting, unsettling lines.
11. The Problem: A Cropped Guipure Lace Top
The polo collar may count for something in terms of wearability, but its sheer and cropped qualities present a few conundrums. The solution: Cut down on the risque factor and double up on crop tops.
12. The Problem: A Crochet-Knit Cover-Up
At first glance, an unlined crocheted dress would work as a beach cover-up, but barely anything else. The solution: Manually line the dress with an opaque slip dress in a similar shade.