By Marilyn La Jeunesse
Updated Dec 28, 2018 @ 4:15 pm
Credit: Getty Images

Celebrities wearing lingerie as clothing isn’t technically a new thing; we’ll give you that. Cher had a love affair with skin-tight, partially see-through clothing throughout her career. The ‘80s were practically defined by the lace bustiers and taut corsets Madonna and Cyndi Lauper wore as a part of their “bad girl” personas. And, who could forget our lord and savior Britney Spears’s pioneering rhinestone bodysuits and Christina Aguilera’s innovative use of bras as tops in the early aughts?

But then, through the latter aughts and the teens, there was definite lull in lingerie and lingerie-adjacent outfits — pop stars were more likely to wear meat dresses and latex ensembles than bear their own skin. But in 2018, millennial artists brought underwear dressing back to the mainstream.

Take, for example, Dua Lipa. She burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her song “New Rules.” Since then, the British pop star has turned out hit after hit — and became a tentative fashion icon in the process. As for her lingerie-as-clothing game, well, it’s strong. Lipa transformed undies into ready-to-wear performance outfits more than once in 2018, donning a monochrome bustier and suit situation at Billboard’s Women in Music event in December 2018, for example. Let’s not forget Lipa’s avant-garde approach to a casual birthday party look, which included a scintillate pink bodysuit adorned with a leather bra and absolutely nothing else. Outdoing herself and setting the bar for date-night outfits everywhere, Lipa wore a barely-there bra as a top in May 2018, covered only partially by a two-tone denim jacket and paired with leather joggers and sparkly heels. An icon.

There must be something in the water, because Lipa wasn’t the only popular celebrity to rock her unmentionables as full-fledged outfits in 2018. Bella Thorne was spotted in two-piece sets at Coachella, and then in sheer, ribbed corsets which she wore while walking through the unforgiving New York City streets on a hot summer day. Perhaps taking a cue from Lipa, Ariana Grande proved bralettes are the chicest date-night tops while out with ex-fiancé Pete Davidson. Meanwhile, Bella Hadid managed to pair a white bustier with a parka and Kendall Jenner demonstrated that she is more than skilled at working boudoir swimsuits and transparent tees with peek-a-boo bras into her daily routine.

Of course, the multi-talented singer-actress-business mogul Rihanna’s been sporting the lingerie look since the beginning of her career and she kept it going strong in 2018. In fact, she launched her own line of size-inclusive lingerie this year — which sold out almost instantly. Prior to its launch, Rihanna teased the Savage x Fenty drop on Instagram, posing in an all-denim getup with a lace cami and even rocking slit bodysuits and incorporating underwire bras into her #OOTD. If that didn’t bring intimates to the forefront of timelines everywhere, her debuting it at New York Fashion Week in September sure did.

Is there a correlation between Rihanna launching Savage x Fenty this year and the seemingly astronomical increase in celebrities wearing lingerie outfits in public? Not, no. Take Kim Kardashian, for example. Just weeks before Rihanna launched her collection of confidence-boosting undergarments, Kim K announced her own line of intimates in April 2018. There is no release date yet, and the reality TV paragon has yet to reveal any of the inmates from her line, but that hasn’t stopped her from wearing vintage Chanel undergarments on Instagram or rocking Victoria’s Secret runway looks with her sisters for Halloween. Little sis Kendall Jenner was just hanging out in a thong on her Insta story today.

Lingerie has always been a part of the pop star persona, but taking the boudoir pieces from the stage, to red carpets, then to date nights and casual grocery runs proves 2018 truly was the year of celebrities wearing underthings as outfits. Taking cues from the lingerie-as-clothes pioneers before them, millennial celebs have given new power to the lingerie outfit. Who even knows how naked we’ll all be next year.