Quite the opposite of the recent smash “Undressed” exhibit at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, Summer 2016’s hottest street trend sees underpinnings as outerwear with “A”-listers and celebs showing off the most luxurious lingerie in sophisticated style. Now reaching peak popularity, the innerwear as outerwear is led by fashion icons who bare intimate apparel with day or evening wardrobe statement pieces, giving lingerie brands and designers more visibility than ever before.
“Underwear as outerwear” is no new fad, first coined in 1982’ by Brit designer Malcolm McLaren who sent a 1950’s-style bullet brassiere worn over a sweatshirt down his Winter collection runway, provoking designers like Jean Paul Gaultier to create lingerie-inspired works of art that performers—notably Madonna—sported on tour. Since then, bold, beloved —and barely dressed—celebrities like Britney Spears and Rihanna have kept underwear as outerwear in focus.
Today’s designs with deep décolletages and sheer fabrics expose all, prompting lingerie designers to create undergarments meant to be seen. So ignore that slipping bra strap and let the satin and lace be glimpsed.
Summer’s lingerie-inspired looks are effortlessly casual, like a sheer open-to-there shirt with a lacy bralette peeking out. Under gauzy Summer dresses, bodysuits are the answer for sleek and sexy silhouettes. They double as svelte tops when worn with jeans, wide-legged pants or a pencil skirt plus heels.
If you love the innerwear as outwear trend but would rather ease in gradually, opt for a kimono as a silky day or evening alternative to Summer scarves or sweaters (think overly-cool air conditioning). How you share your enthusiasm is up to you. After all, the best thing about style is when you make it a personal expression.
Le conical corset by Jean Paul Gaultier, worn by Madonna during the “Metropolis” sequence of The Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, photographed by Emil Larsson.
Model Kendall Jenner wears a Coachella bralette on Instagram.
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