As faithful readers of WhoWhatWear.com no doubt know, boudoir-inspired styles are having a major moment right now and it's all about lingerie galore this spring! While your mother might not approve of these bra-baring looks, 'tis the season to reveal your underpinnings¬--in a fashionable way, of course! Of course, showing off one's foundation garments can be a decidedly tricky proposition, which is why it's good to know how directional dressers like Gwen Stefani and Irina Lazareanu execute this runway look in real life.
To contextualize this trend, first familiarize yourself with the season's best designer examples. (We think our picks in Look Forward To: Spring Fashion Trends, specifically the Lingerie Galore section, are a great place to start.) The ensembles at Fendi are some of our personal favorites, as designer Karl Lagerfeld showed gauzy blouses over triangle bras paired with structured shorts and trousers, resulting in the perfect seductive-chic mix.
Of course, it's also intriguing to see how trendsetters are interpreting the trend¬--especially since the subsequent outfits are so fabulous! Much like the looks at Fendi, our favorite celebrity styles are perfectly tempered and offer a combination of diaphanous tops with covered legs. The most popular way to balance a lingerie-showing shirt is to pair it with some jaunty pants, as Irina Lazareanu and Margherita Missoni recently did, albeit in very different ways. Lazareanu turned up at Anna Sui's F/W 10 show wearing a Yves Saint Laurent ensemble (available at the New York boutique, 212.980.2970), comprised of a sheer blouse tucked into wide-leg trousers and topped with a tux blazer, while Missoni attended a Tar Magazine dinner in Milan last week clad in Missoni's Sissy Tank Top ($540, 310.246.3060) and Sofia Cropped Cardigan ($760, 310.246.3060) with a pair of floral Kenzo harem pants.
When slacks aren't on the sartorial menu, our muses still opt for lots of leg coverage to temper the sexiness of their lingerie displays. For example, Gwen Stefani recently selected an Ann Demeulemeester Sleeveless Silk Top ($420) for a night out at the Aria Resort & Casino in Vegas, but even though she wore said sheer shell with a pair of high-waisted hot pants, she toned down her look with semi-opaque tights and L.A.M.B. Gautier Lace-Ups ($495, 949.650.0479). Leigh Lezark also kept the rest of her look modest when she tried today's trend at the Louis Vuitton F/W 10 show in Paris last month. Lezark was snapped wearing the French fashion house's Transparent Bustier Knit Dress ($845.866.VUITTON) in neon pink¬--Look 20 from the S/S 10 show for those in the know¬--with the Asy Collar Jacket ($2247) from last fall's collection and ultra-matte black tights.
If you'd like to add this look to your wardrobe's repertoire, we've got a few suggestions on how to execute the trend flawlessly. First of all, it's important to remember that your foundation pieces need to be up to par. If you like more coverage, be sure to take a peak at Topshop's New Vintage Lace Bralet ($40) or Kimchi Blue's Crossback Lace Bralet ($20). Also worth noting¬--especially if you want to invest a little bit¬--3.1 Phillip Lim's Classic Bralette ($75) in a gorgeous fuchsia silk-blend or T by Alexander Wang's Triangle Bra Top ($88) for a sportier style.
As for the outfits themselves, if you like the filminess of Lazareanu's button-down, do check out Equipment's Sisley Blouse ($178); it has a similar shape but is just a touch more discrete, thanks to pockets at the bust. For a see-through shell √† la Stefani, don't miss the Sheer Draped Tank ($85) from Something Else by Natalie Wood, as it has the same high neckline as the singer's selection. (We also always love a classic tank like Kain's Rib Racerback Tank ($79) and Lanston's A-Line Slit Back Tank ($46); in person, both are just transparent enough.) Prefer a more sweater-like style per Margherita Missoni? Just pair Topshop's Knitted Sheer Shirt ($85), Vince's Shredded Linen-Blend Sweater ($225) or Missoni Sissy Cropped Tank ($455) with your favorite print pants and a triangle bra. Finally, if you're very daring you can always try American Retro's Lang Dress ($150); it's totally sheer, so you can customize the level of coverage you want underneath.