Wearing Underwear as Outerwear Is At an All-Time High

This styling choice is nothing new, but it's rising in popularity — especially among celebrities.

FUTURE OF FASHION: Wearing Underwear as Outerwear Is At an All-Time High
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Whether or not you’ve seen London or you’ve seen France, you’re about to see everyone’s underpants. And we should have seen this coming.

Underwear as outerwear, underwear as everyday clothing — however you want to phrase it, lingerie is the look for fall 2022. It’s unclear how or why the trend managed to become even more popular this season than in recent years, but rest assured, celebrities have taken the reins and are all in.

Bella Hadid - Underwear as Outerwear

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Back in September, Bella Hadid perfectly displayed Hollywood’s current affinity for dressing down rather than dressing up when she stepped out in a pair of white micro shorts styled with platform UGG boots. Then, at the Loewe show during Paris Fashion Week, Kylie Jenner hopped on board too, wearing a white tank top and matching underwear (both of which were adorned with the luxury houses’ logo) under a grey trench coat.

Kylie Jenner - Underwear as Outerwear

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A few weeks later, her older sister, Kourtney Kardashian Barker, posted a series of mirror selfies celebrating her husband’s Blink 182 reunion tour. In the photos, the newlywed wore one of the band’s hoodies over a net dress, baring her booty and black underwear. Model Emily Ratajakowski put her own sexy spin on things at W Magazine’s 50th Anniversary party, walking the red carpet in a see-through metallic fishnet gown, nude silk underwear, and a matching triangle bra.

Emily Ratajkowski - Underwear as Outerwear

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Of course, celebrities have been utilizing lingerie to make a bold fashion statement for decades. The look was especially popular from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, sometimes being used as a tactic to garner media attention.

Selena Quintanilla, for example, was always wearing bustier tops and high-rise bottoms for her performances, while Madonna made headlines with her Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra in 1990. Kate Moss turned heads in a sheer maxi slip dress at the Elite Model Agency Look of the Year party, and even Princess Diana wore an iconic navy Dior slip on the Met Gala red carpet in 1996.

Princess Diana - Slip Dress

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It wasn’t long before A-listers like Janet Jacket, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more drew inspiration from these looks and channeled them into their own street styles.

JLO - Underwear as Outerwear

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Plus, those of us who were around in 1999 will never forget Lil' Kim's Lil' Kim's purple pasty look from the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. While today's world wouldn't blink an eye, that was definitely an iconic moment.

Lil Kim

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Cut to 2022, during which a slew of '90s trends have made their way back into our closets (some we’ve welcomed with open arms, others we’ve met with a slight cringe). Lingerie — be it bras, bralettes, underwear, lacey or transparent slips — are being worn as tops, bottoms, and dresses once again. The twist? It’s less of the peek-a-boo tactic and more of a substitution for your typical wardrobe staples.

Whale tails have made an appearance over the past few years thanks to re-emerging low-rise bottoms, but the underwear as outerwear trend of 2022 isn’t about playing coy; this way of dressing leaves little to the imagination. It is the act of wearing underwear as regular, everyday clothing, but it doesn’t have to be as scandalous as it sounds.

Underwear as Outerwear

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 According to Ra'el, co-founder and CCO of lingerie company, ThirdLove, wearing underwear as outerwear has evolved over the last few decades and continues to progress in a way that is laxer and less shock-factor.

“[The look] is getting even baggier and more unfussy with oversized pants that show the band of your underwear, and large shirts are worn open at the front to show your bra,” she tells InStyle.

Lily Collins - Underwear as Outerwear

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To make the look more wearable, Ra’el recommends pairing a silky camisole or longline bra with a sleek blazer, wide-leg pants, and heels or opting for a soft cotton bra with a crisp open button-down, jeans, and sneakers. We're also big fans of skipping a shirt entirely and opting for a bralette under a structured jacket or sweater, or swapping out your average T-shirt for a lacey bodysuit before slipping on jeans.

Whether you’re channeling Christina Aguilera a la “Dirrrty,” with a bra for a top and chaps over pants, or Lily Collins at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Gala in a mesh turtleneck with a black bra underneath, how you sport the look should ultimately come down to what you feel is most comfortable. So, get creative and show off those undergarments.

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