Pull Off A Sheer Top Without Baring It All

Wearing a sheer shirt may sound risqué, but with the right layering pieces, even the most prudish dressers can get the look without feeling daft or drafty. The trick is to cover up without covering it all: That means finding just the right blazer to wear open, opting for a slightly frilly, fuller bra, picking button-ups with cleverly tinted breast pockets, and being strategic about layering one sheer shirt over another. It's sexy, it's daring, and you're sure to hit the sartorial jackpot if you do it just right. Here are four different ways to play peek-a-boo!
1. Slip on a boyfriend blazer—To show a little without going overboard, top off your sheer blouse with a sharp classic jacket. Feeling frisky? Leave it unbuttoned and wait for something interesting to happen.
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Above, clockwise from left: Rag & Bone Pre-Fall 2010, photo via Style.com; K Karl Lagerfeld Mathilde Wool Blazer, $230, available at The Outnet; Forever 21 Fishnet Top, $14.80, available at Forever 21; Rag & Bone Combat Boots, $495, available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Otte; V:ROOM Cropped Sweatpants, $190, available at Ron Herman.
2. Mix and match with sheer on sheer —So you have a ton of awesome see-through tops and can't decide which one to rock? Pile 'em on! Try mixing it up by pairing clashing prints...the unexpected combo might really surprise you (in a good way).
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Above, clockwise from left: Ralph Lauren Fall 2010, photo via Style.com; Topshop Confetti Petal Ruffle Shrug, $80, available at Topshop; See by Chloé Easy Ankle Pant, $195, available at La Garconne; Topshop Rip Beanie, $16, available at Topshop; BKE Boutique Rose Lace Top, $42, available at Buckle.
3. Layer over some hot lingerie—Choose a bustier or bra with fuller cups and more elaborate edging (anything skimpier, and you might get mistaken for an extra in the remake of Risky Business). Layer it with a high-waisted skirt for more coverage.
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Above, clockwise from left: Christian Dior Spring 2010, photo via Style.com; Comme Des Garçons Sheer Shirt Dress, $408, available at FarFetch; Ultimo Black Perfect Line Lace Balcony Bra, $30, available at Debenhams; Free People Cotton Voile Ruffle Miniskirt, $62, available at Bluefly; French Connection Janaiya High Platform Strappy Sandals, $222.22, available at ASOS.
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4. Double up with pockets—For those who are paranoid about strong gusts of wind, you can add a bit more coverage with a button-up with opaque pockets. For extra protection, double-stick-tape the insides so you don't accidentally show more than you want to.
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Above, clockwise from left: Cynthia Rowley Spring 2010 runway look, photo via Style.com; Maje Metro Lace T-shirt, $225, available at Net-a-Porter; Elizabeth and James Artist Dot Silk-Chiffon Shirt, $245, available at Net-a-Porter; Topshop Painted Stripe Skirt, $65, available at Topshop; J. Crew Skinny Patent-Leather Belt, $29.50, available at J. Crew.
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