Oh noes! You’ve caught me in my underthings! Quick, Uglies! AVERT YOUR GAZES!
Okay, so this was quite clearly orchestrated. I’m not actually in my undies proper, but rather just posing (somewhat scandalously) in an underwear-inspired look. Even though VPL (the atrocity, not the label) is pretty much the epitome of bad taste, and even Connie doth protest it as something that never works, I beg to differ.
It’s not that I like baring my ladybits to the public (I have never even been close to pulling a Janet Jackson) nor am I really into sexy dressing (I prudishly blush at the thought!) but somehow, the idea of underwear as outerwear greatly intrigues me. My guess is that it’s because lingerie is so resolutely feminine. Though there are certainly utilitarian undies made of plain cotton, lingerie nearly always seduces with the promise of sheerness, ruffles, pastels, and lace… all of which I am completely digging this summer.
Charles Anastase achieved this look to utter perfection in his S/S 09 collection, with all manner of sheerness, long socks, and bloomers and managed to give off an overall vibe of innocence and even — dare I say — nerdiness despite the blatant sexy connotations of lingerie. I like to think of the collection as something that the Luella girl might be wearing if you forced her to strip. Okay, kind of a creepy way to say it, but violation aside, it’s a very girlish and innocently sexy collection, which I absolutely love.
That’s not to say that you can’t do it in a vampy sexy way. My mind always goes back to this editorial photo whenever I think of underwear as outerwear. Neon undies under sheer but slightly frowsy Victorianesque dresses strikes just the right balance for me. I wouldn’t wear this look as is (you’d definitely get some male attention of the wrong kind), but the idea of bright undies below a layer of sheerness definitely inspired my outfit at right.
Which brings me to the most important part and the reason you’re here: How to pull off this look in the real world. I think with something as daring as this, it’ll take some practice, so start with “Mild” and try working your way up to “Extraspicy” and see how you like it! Just don’t show more than you’re comfortable with.
Wear a slip (or two) as a dress for a subtle hint of lingerie spice. Just make sure that what you’re wearing isn’t too transparent! Who better to demonstrate this to us than the lovely Aranell?
Wear a bustier or corset as a top for a bodycon look that’s not too over-the-top! This would look great with fuller skirts and is subtle enough to not really resemble underwear at all! Slanelle toughens up this look by layering her corset top with black and adding lace-up boots.
Wear a crinoline as a skirt for some sweet girlish flair! All the layers will mean that it’s not too transparent, and will be very fun and feminine. If it’s still too sheer, a pair of tights should ensure that your pantyline remains invisible as it should. You can also try pairing it a la Charles Anastase with some thigh-high stockings and garters for a vintage burlesque look. QueenElizabeth pulls this look off to perfection!
Wear a pair of bloomers or rhumba panties as short shorts! Both are flirty, a little racy, and a lot of fun! Plus, I can vouch for the fact that the AA bloomers are exceedingly comfy. My fellow lover of AA bloomers, TheStylishWanderer wears hers in a more casual but no less awesome way.
Wear a sheer top with nothing but a bra underneath! Yeah, this is definitely bordering on pornography, but I think it can be done well. I think this is best done with simple bras (like the AA one I’m wearing)/tube tops so that it looks less accidental. I couldn’t find anyone in the style gallery to exemplify this (for shame!), so to prevent you from only going off my above example, I present you with the always inspiring Miss Susie Bubble instead! Doesn’t she look so amazing yet casual? I’m definitely envious.
If you’re nervous about this one, try layering a blazer or cardigan on top or a simple tee or tank underneath. DEFINITELY keep your bum covered, unless you want to look like you’re open for business.
Now go and experiment, uglies and make sure to have fun with this one!