How to wear sheer fabric with dignity

By Sharon Kavhu

WEARING summer outfits is not a gate pass to nudity and this seems to be a very controversial topic for many women.

The major challenge that ladies face in summer is outlining the balance between ‘reveal’ and ‘conceal’ in their outfits.

Ideally, summer outfits must have light material, room for aeration and colours that do not absorb heat. But this does not necessarily mean being semi-nude.

Today, the trendiest clothing material for ladies summer wear in Southern Africa is the sheer fabric.

Sheer fabric is a clothing material, which is made from thin thread or low density of knit that results in a semi-transparent and flimsy cloth.

If you want to wear sheer clothing material without the danger of being mistaken for a lady of the night, The Southern Times has some tips for you.

Bridget Jemwa, a fashion advisor from Harare, says the sheer trend is going strong and it is important for ladies to know how to wear them.

“Knowing how to wear sheer outfits can determine whether your outfit becomes sexy or sophisticated. The outfits from the material are mostly blouses, dresses and through-backs,” says Jemwa.

“To avoid drama and inappropriate appearance, one should prioritise a sheer shirt or blouse in a neutral colour that can be styled to create a range of different looks.

“Since the material can be too revealing, involving some smart layering creates a classy, dignified sexy look. For instance, one can wear a neutral sheer blouse with a colourful slip.”

She says it is also possible to wear a stylish bra or crop top underneath for a daring look.

“If one choses to wear a fashionable bra or crop top underneath a sheer top, it is more appropriate to wear the underneath garment of the same colour. For instance, one can pick a see-through black top and decide to wear a black bra or crop top underneath,” she adds.

“There are some cases where one feels like wearing a sleeveless sheer blouse in a formal environment, this should be done with a light blazer that rests its edge sleeve on the elbow.

“Alternatively, one can do over the top layering.  Let’s say if you are wearing a long sleeved sheer shirt, you can throw over a stylish waist court.”

Zambian fashion designer, Veronica Nsansa, says sheer tops can be worn in casual wear with jeans.

“Sheer tops work well with a pair of jeans, shorts and denim skirts,” says Nsansa.

“The sheer fabric also comes in fancy summer dresses that go well with heels and peep toes.

“Sheer outfits can come with inner layers with glitters which are suitable for night wear.”

She discourages women from wearing colourful bras with sheer tops as it looks, well, ridiculous.