When it comes to dressy events, lately tastemakers like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Michelle Williams, and Pixie Geldof are getting a little flirty and embracing transparency in an unexpected way. Rather than reaching for mesh-insert dresses or peek-a-boo tops, they're wearing a fresh take on the season's boudoir trend: sheer skirts.
This leggy look is decidedly dressy and calls for a certain amount of chutzpah, as you're certain to get stares when you wear anything with a barely-there skirt. But for those daring dames who are ready to venture into tulle territory, know that you have loads of runway shows to consult for inspiration. At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld sent out gauzy pieces galore, like the incredible nude number in today's art, all of which embody Parisian sophistication, albeit in a lingerie sort of way. Or you can channel the Dolce & Gabbana show, where models wore see-through mesh skirts and dresses over retro-cut bodysuits. Even the master of elegance himself¬--Oscar de la Renta¬--offered a version of the trend when he designed a black chantilly lace dress with a bead embroidered skirt as a part of his spring collection.
In addition to these stunningly crafted references, we love the way red-carpet regulars are wearing sheer skirts. Pixie Geldof, for one, showed off an edgier take on the trend when she wore a House of Holland lilac lace dress to the Brit Awards in London last month. The addition of an oversized cross pendant and loads of silver bracelets and rings gives Geldof's overall look a punky effect that's in perfect keeping with her personal taste. On the other side of the style spectrum, we have Michelle Williams, who opted for a refined Chanel dress with merely a hint of sheer skirt for the premiere of Shutter Island at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. Her black-and-white asymmetrical dress is from the French fashion house's spring collection and strikes a stunning balance between timeless and trendy.
Our final star examples come courtesy of Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen who attended the ELLE Awards in London wearing their invariably individualistic takes on the trend. Ashley chose a pale Christian Lacroix couture gown, which she wore backwards and under a cropped furry red jacket. Mary-Kate's choice was more gothic in tone but still just as chic; she wore a long sheer Givenchy skirt paired with a Lanvin Jacket ($2900) from spring's Look #16 and a Proenza Schouler clutch.
While most of our references err on the very dressy side, that doesn't mean you need to have to be uber-fancy too. In fact, we think some of the simpler styles on the market right now are actually much more wearable. On that note, check out Staple's Chiffon Layer Dress ($85), a sleek black bandeau style, and Ports 1961's Slip Dress ($100), which is available in white or black and is marvelously minimalist. If you're looking for a way to customize the trend, we suggest creating your own with the help of the style gurus at Topshop. The British brand is currently stocking a Seamed Mesh Calf Skirt ($55) that would look amazing over a skintight micro mini or you could try their Fishnet Skirt ($44), which could be easily styled in a Dolce & Gabbana way. Finally, you could try something like L.A.M.B.'s Pleated Pencil Skirt ($275), which offers another unique take on the sheer skirt trend.