The pros are weighing in on this trick, celeb-loved trend.
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Sheer Lace Dress
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When news got around that sheer clothing was making a comeback in 2022, I damn near wept. Transparent attire completed the trifecta of the most questionable fashion trends of my childhood, sitting pretty (albeit mockingly) next to low-rise jeans and dramatic cutouts. "Whatever happened to less is more?" I thought as I stared, lovingly, at my comfortable, yet cute athleisure tops and millennial mom jeans. Then, I was introduced to the sheer lace dress, and my conservative way of thinking went out the window. 

To quote the Jonas Brothers, I'm a sucker — for lace. Lace dresses, lace blouses, skirts with lace details, I'm obsessed and have plenty of pieces in my wardrobe to prove it. One of which, in fact, is a hot pink, sheer lace dress. I thrifted it a few years back and have been using it, exclusively, as a swimsuit cover-up. It never occurred to me to wear it as a going-out outfit; I didn't even know what to wear under sheer clothing, let alone how to style them.

But then I saw Vanessa Hudgens' sheer lace dress at the Valentino fall 2022 show during Paris Fashion Week. She wore it over a pair of hot pants, and the subtle sexiness of the look caught my attention. Up until then, dressing in anything see-through — beyond the parameters of a beach town, pool, or music festival fashion —wasn't something I ever imagined myself doing. Now, I want in on the trend. Especially after it popped up at the 2022 Met Gala, too.

That being said, I'm hardly someone bold enough to dress outside my comfort zone without a little guidance. So if you, like me, want to don a sheer lace dress, but don't know how to style the see-through frock, I asked a few stylists to offer their best tips, below.

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Sheer Lace Dress
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Contrast Will Make It Eclectic

Lace is ultra-feminine, so if you're going for an eclectic look, adding unexpected pieces to the ensemble is key. Keep your foundation pieces (aka your undergarments) neutral — think a solid bralette with boyshorts or a high-waisted brief — but play with your accessories. Contrasting colored cowboy boots and an oversized light-to-medium wash denim jacket, for example, will create a casual, western flair perfect for the daytime, head stylist at Tobi, Joanna Angeles tells InStyle. For styling in warmer temperatures, she says to "let the sleeves of the jacket fall to your elbows and finish off the look with a structured, pop-color handbag and chunky silver jewelry," thus creating an outfit that "encapsulates the spring/summer season."

Sheer Lace Dresses
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Channel A Different Decade

Style and fashion expert Andréa Bernholtz, founder of Swiminista, embraces every opportunity she can to channel a throwback aesthetic. "Think bigger," she says on the subject of how to style a sheer lace dress for a party. Her style inspiration? '80s Madonna, complete with a lace tunic over jeans or leggings, along with a denim or leather jacket.

Sheer Lace Dress
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Embrace the Ethereal Vibes

Fashion experts and founders of Franki Ray, Stacey George and Sasha Spivey, associate lace with elements of tranquility and nature's beauty — an aesthetic, they say, that's all its own. Rather than switch things up, George and Spivey tell InStyle they'd rather lean into that earthy power by keeping things simple, wearing natural stone energy bracelets and maybe adding a few vintage items. However, the two recommend skipping anything too large "so everything continues to flow." 

Sheer Lace Dresses
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Combine Aesthetics

Personal style is meant to be explored and experimental. So if you can't make up your mind between a tougher, emo girl vibe or unabashedly boudoir, why choose? Celebrity stylist, Soneca Guadara says a sheer lace dress yields itself to both. 

"A moto jacket and skater sneakers can easily be layered with a lingerie-inspired slip and bodysuit underneath," Guadara tells InStyle via email. The key, she says, to any contrasting aesthetic combo, is to "find that delicate balance between chic and fashion-forward."

Sheer Lace Dress
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Keep Foundation Layers Neutral for Formalwear

If you're looking to style your sheer lace dress for a formal event or make the garment office-appropriate, Guadara recommends a nude-tone or neutral color slip dress that provides the right amount of body coverage.

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Sheer Lace Dress
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But Don't Shy Away From Color Completely

"There's an unwritten rule which stipulates that people should wear the same color as your outfit," Guadara says. However, she adds, that rule is meant to be broken. "Go for a color contrast if you're looking to stand out and make a statement," Guadara tells InStyle. Think neon undergarments or a lacey slip that doesn't match your dress.

Sheer Lace Dress
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Layer Over Swimwear

For whatever reason, swimsuits and sheer lace dresses are natural partners, and The Nines stylist, Lisa Sanchez, is here for it. Not only do they make for cute, fun, and fashionable cover-ups, they also easily slip into your beach bag, since they're difficult to wrinkle and sand can just fall off. Plus, she adds, they dry quickly. Translation: Sheer lace dresses should be your new vacation staple.

Sheer Lace Dress
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Take A Page From Bridgerton's Book

Add a corset. According to stylist and creative producer Kennedy Bingham, founder of Gown Eyed Girl, layering a brightly colored corset on top of a sheer lace dress will break up the lace and add some shape to your ensemble. Just make sure the regencycore staple isn't too restrictive; you want to make sure you're able to move as freely as wearing the dress solo would allow.