‘Tis September and it’s warm outside. I look into my closet to see if there’s something I haven’t worn yet this summer. You know how it is; you get into a pattern of wearing the same things over and over and then suddenly it’s the end of the season and you realize, ‘Oh my gosh, I forgot to wear that favorite blouse of mine!’
I assess my closet for any possible regrets and spy this stretchy cotton sheer blouse hanging in the black section of my closet. It’s been part of my summer collection for over ten years. I don’t feel bad that I haven’t worn it because it’s gotten its fair amount of attention over the years. The collar and the plackets are in linen so it’s not really something I wear outside of the season. It does get packed away once fall weather is in full swing.
So that’s it! I’m wearing this blouse today! As I put my outfit together a phrase keeps ringing in my ears: column of color, column of color. When Erin and I are in the dressing room with clients, I’m repeating those three words when a client is trying on something that’s sheer or semi-sheer (if Erin hasn’t beat me to it). “Let’s create a column of color,” I’ll say.
It’s such an automatic practice for me to be sure to have the top meet the bottom in the same color when I’m adding a sheer third piece and here’s why: I don’t like seeing a color break under something that’s sheer. I much prefer using one head-to-toe color underneath the sheer piece so the line doesn’t get broken up and all the sheer parts are in full view with no interruptions.
I want you to see every bit of that pattern made by the sheer blouse and it’s easier for you to do that if I don’t have multiple colors under there.
Try to imagine this outfit like this: white jeans, hot pink T-shirt, black sheer blouse over the top and buttoned right under the bustline like I’ve done in this outfit. If I did that, you’d be seeing a color break right around my hip line. That bright color underneath would bring more attention to my hips when what I really want is all the attention to be on the pattern of the sheer blouse. I mean, that’s my favorite part! That’s why I bought it all those years ago.
I can think of an example of when you want to see a different color under a sheer top. Maybe you have a fuchsia colored silk camisole that you want to wear under a black semi-sheer silk blouson blouse. You like the idea of seeing bold color being diffused by the sheer black overlay. I do too! But I’d be very picky about the edges of the contrasting colors lining up just right so you get the exact effect you want.
I think of myself as lustily breaking rules every chance I get. It’s my mission in life. But this rule? Nope, not so much! Sometimes it’s great to color outside the lines and sometimes it’s just better to stay inside them.
All the pieces of this outfit are the same basic fabric: cotton jeans, cotton T-shirt, mostly cotton blouse. Those fabrics are on the sporty side rather than the dressy side. I emphasize that by wearing my lace up tennis shoes (AGL) with it. The texture in the top screamed for more texture so I wear my raffia vintage black frame bag. Doesn’t it look great with the blouse?
Using black and white as my outfit colors, all I need to add is a pop of color to my lips. I start the day with my Chanel long-lasting Bright Raspberry shade but when that faded a bit due to the consumption of waffle, fruit, butter, and maple syrup (yup, you guessed it, from the Sunflower Caffe!), I topped it off with a favorite creamy shade by Kosas called Electra.
So there’s my recipe for a simple way to put an outfit together AND showcase something sheer. When I look ahead to fall fashion, the sheer pieces are really catching my eye. I’ll probably be showing you some more ways to be wearing sheer fabrics. As a woman over 60, I love that feeling of revealing but not revealing too much. Just the hint of showing skin puts me in a great mood even if I’m not baring much at all!
How are you with sheer fabrics? A fan? How do they make you feel? Do you want to wear more of them? I’m a sponge for your answers!