The Art of Pulling Off Underwear As Outerwear

A few years ago, I was getting ready for a night out and decided that as I’d bought a beautiful new vintage bra, I would wear a top which would show off its lovely patterning and delicate cut from the side. Feeling quite risqué and trendy at the same time, I headed out of my room only to be immediately confronted with the comment, ‘you’re not ACTUALLY going to wear that OUT are you?!’ With all the confidence knocked out of me like a normal person being asked to simply stand next to Cara Delevingne, I retreated back to my room to change. But I really shouldn’t have caved in, as when done properly, underwear as outerwear is a thoroughly stylish look and can win you serious fashion points for confidence and bravery.

Admittedly, it’s a look not understood by many. ‘Do you know your bra is showing?’ is probably the most common question you will get asked. With this look, if you hadn’t noticed that your bra was showing, then you might need to go for a sight test. Of course, there is a lot of negativity connected to this look, mostly caused by glamour models and attention seekers who feel the need to show off as much skin as possible in the hope that it buys them some minutes/seconds of fame. Oooo catty comment alert! Take a look at some of these fails…

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But there is most definitely a way to make underwear as outerwear a sophisticated and sexy look. Just look at the amazing examples from luxurious design houses on the catwalks. And I think I’ve worked out some key steps to making sure you look more Hollywood siren than FHM glamour model.

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Black is best

Every fashionista knows that wearing black is your fast track way to achieving a sleek and sophisticated image. And this applies to underwear as well. Take Nicole Scherzinger, Cheryl Cole and Jessica Lowndes as prime examples. By choosing the right bra and teaming it with sheer black with high necklines, they achieve a classy look with a bit of a sexy edge. The key is to show skin without showing too much skin, as confusing as that sounds! Sheer black is your go-to material with this look. Alternatively, monochrome which we know has been huge this year is also a chic look to go for and a bit more bold. Take Rumer Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker who both cover up with white garments featuring  long sleeves or high necklines, but show off a daring black bra underneath.

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Keep it Subtle

As the celebrities who do it right show, wearing demure cuts (high necklines, flowing sleeves etc) layered over your underwear is the key to pulling off this look. If you are wearing a sheer or lace top to show off your underwear, choose a bottom which evens out the look like a long pencil skirt or some tailored trousers.

Miranda covers up wit blouse but shows her bra!

Miranda covers up wit blouse but shows her bra!








If you don’t want to go all out and show off your entire bra, why not show it from the side with a sleeveless gaping top or a loose fitting maxi. This is where a flash of colour is totally welcome. Why not wear a neon bandeau bra with a neutral garment for a bit of ka-pow! So let’s reverse some roles this summer. Underwear, it’s your turn to step into the spotlight!

Jennifer Lawrence does the look subtely showing her pretty bra from the back

Jennifer Lawrence does the look subtely showing her pretty bra from the back

Madonna in 1984- Vintage underwear as outerwear!

Madonna in 1984- Vintage underwear as outerwear!



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