Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Underwear as Outerwear: How to Rock it the 'Unpublished' Way

Frequent readers of the blog (new readers - hello and welcome!) will know of my constant reference and love affair with this look but I am yet to write a post about my thoughts on underwear-as-outerwear and my own personal spin on this fashion statement.  This post will illustrate when my love affair began and my influences including tips and tricks on how to rock this trend the 'unpublished' way e.g. not-walking-around-in-just-your-underwear!

First and foremost, I use the term 'trend' very loosely and simply to address that it is linked heavily with the fashion industry.  I don't really think of underwear-as-outerwear as a trend now (it possibly was when it first came into the headlines around 2008/09 - when I was far too young to appreciate it) instead I see it as a way to style outfits with a delicate nod to the appreciation of the female form and dare I say it feminism that has stuck around for so long now that the word 'trend' is becoming much more obsolete in relation.  Taking underwear-as-outerwear when read very literally alerts us to the fact that this look certainly has varying levels of 'daring' and simply put could be a disaster if pursued at the top degree of daring for everyday wear.  For me, the look is an opportunity to show a little hint of something through something sheer or to nod to the undertones of lingerie with a lace trimmed slip.  It is not (for me) walking around in your underwear and classing it as a fashion statement.  I actually think the beauty of this look is that it is discreet, it shows a little but still leaves room for some imagination and your dignity also.  I relish in the secretive nature of lingerie (hear me expanding on this in a previous post here) and this look is an opportunity to give a hint of what lies beneath in a very chic and demure fashion.  It is not only about lingerie or nightwear garments being on show but also lingerie inspired clothing.  I am talking the lace-trimmed lingerie slips that graced the rails of Zara for Autumn/Winter 2013 - it is clothing with lingerie connotations.  I really love this quote from Maria Williams, head of lingerie buying at Net-a-Porter which was featured in a FT article about underwear-as-outerwear: "What we're seeing is a breaking down of boundaries between ready-to-wear and intimates.  Ultimately, it's a trend that is about bringing the focus back to the woman's body" (FT.com, 2013).

So how would I break down the boundaries between ready-to-wear and lingerie?  Let me show you through my favourite underwear-as-outerwear images....

Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2007
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Christopher Kane:
Now, for me, this is where my love affair began with underwear-as-outerwear.  It may not have been dubbed to nod towards this look at the time but this catwalk show illustrated clearly how lingerie details could be openly used in ready-to-wear.  The lace trims, the strap detailing, body-con fit of all the dresses in the collection and the focus on the features of the female form all scream to me underwear-as-outerwear. This beautifully crafted dress (and all the dresses from this collection for that matter) from Christopher Kane's Spring/Summer 2007 debut collection will forever be an inspiration for me and a reference point as to the beginning of the underwear-as-outerwear look in the twenty first century.  This collection is important to me as it also marks my interest in high-end fashion and the fading boundaries between ready-to-wear and lingerie.

Layering to achieve underwear-as-outerwear
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Layering:
This is the next way to incorporate underwear-as-outerwear into your look.  Layering your nightwear pieces (not too sheer now) with outerwear pieces is a great way to rock this look as it is discreet and subtle.  What I love about the look above is that it is predominately casual but the hint of silk and lace at the bottom add such a fashionable and alluring detail taking the look from everyday to fashion-forward in a chic and feminine manner.

Zara Lingerie Slip Dress worn by Collage Vintage
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Now it does not need to be actual nightwear, it can be a lace trimmed slip (see image above), shorts or top you have picked up from a clothing store or a silk camisole - it is about taking inspiration from your lingerie pieces and adding them as details to your outerwear attire.

Sheer with Sparkles
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Sheer back - show a little something
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Dare to sheer.
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Sheer fabrics and gorgeous bras:
Now this is a little further up on the daring scale however if done correctly, this can be a fashion-forward statement without the look-at-my-breasts connotations.  First things first, the sheer layer should be chic and demure, preferably loose fitting to create a contrast between the feminine statement beneath and to allow a little imagination of course.  Secondly, the bra.  Now I do love me some lace cup bras but this is probably not the time or place for a bra that is so sheer that your nipples are showing.  Look at the examples above, the top image features a sparkly and a true statement piece but look at how the bra shape selected covers the entire bust as to make the focus about the beauty of the lingerie and not the here-are-my-breasts image that could be created if you select a bra that shows a little too much and no room for the imagination.  The image in the middle shows the back of the bra only, a discreet nod to the look that is subtly sexy - I really am a big fan of less is more especially regarding this fashion look.  The third image is definitely the most daring however note the boxy shape of the t-shirt that adds a masculine edge to the black, lacy soft cup bra that is worn below.  The key with a statement like this is to cover up the other areas so this is definitely not a look to team with a short skirt, it would be more of a pencil skirt, smart trousers or jeans type of look unless you are at a festival or other event which makes it more appropriate to wear a little less clothing than normal (thinks of all the Coachella images that have been filling my social media feeds all weekend).  The great thing about this look, be it daring or not, you get to show off your beautiful and sophisticated taste in lingerie!

Show a little leg....and lace
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Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2013
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Lace trim worn by Collage Vintage
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Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2013
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It's all in the details:
Lastly, it's all in the details.  Be it strapping detail, a bright pop of colour from your bra strap peeking out from under a top or a lace trim - the details make the difference.  I am such a fan of outerwear pieces that have strong connotations of lingerie garments illustrated clearly with my love of the Spring/Summer 2007 Christopher Kane collection.  I feel like it adds a sensuality and strong feminine yet powerful edge to clothing and is also at the same time ultra fashionable.  I love added details in my clothing and always try and add a little twist to my outfits, something that would catch the eye and make you think 'I wish I had thought of wearing it that way'.  And when the details reflect the thing I am so passionate about in this world - lingerie - well, I am just head over heels!

I hope you have enjoyed this fashion inspired post from me today.  Next week is going to be my hit list of places to shop to ace the underwear-as-outerwear trend so stay tuned!

Speak soon,
Claire x

p.s. keep up with my daily antics, posts and inspiration over on Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin and Pinterest!

9 comments:

  1. I am in love with the pink strappy Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2013. In LOVE! So pretty...I might like pink just a lil bit. :D
    peacockbeauty.net

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous!? I love it too! Christopher Kane always gets it spot on - he will forever be my inspiration for this trend! :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I love hearing feedback on my posts!
      Claire x

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  2. I love the Zara Slip Dress and I personally am loving Sheer at the moment !! Such a cute and sexy trend... would be great to see how to work this trend more day to day ... and toning it down !! Great Blog, if you get chance would really appreciate some feedback on my blog as am new to blogging everyonewantstosmile.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Don't you worry, a new post will be up in the coming weeks with me rocking the look myself which will be more everyday than these examples - but still gorgeous of course!

      Just checked out your blog - I love the happy, positive tone your posts emit! :) Keep up the good work!
      Claire x

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  3. love!
    xx
    daniella
    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your comment :) glad you enjoyed reading the post!

      Claire x

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  4. I looove the last Victoria Beckham top! Gorgeous post babe! XO Noor

    http://queenofjetlags.com

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    1. It's gorgeous isn't it?! I love the strapping detail and the colours are so subtle and sophisticated. Thank you very much for commenting on my post - it's great to get some feedback! :) x

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  5. Well this is Trendy and sexy.Love the lace trim.Thanks for publishing this blog.I love all your post really inspiring! Click Here for more info about our site.

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