Kylie Jenner and Meghan The Stallion rocked the sheer trend recently — but you can’t consider catsuits and nudes wearable for your lifestyle.
Thankfully, there is a middle ground for the sexy, but seasoned fashionista. Because we still have fun after 40. Outside of work, sexual appeal is almost always appropriate with moderation—especially for date nights, dinners with friends, nights on the town, cocktail parties, and evening weddings. And for those events, stepping lightly on the sheer trend can be the perfect style choice.
Read on for essential tips to wear sheer trends without feeling bare. I also show eight outfits that can help you pull it off beautifully. Or, if you’re in a hurry, check out the top two budget-friendly sheer pieces and an investment option in the table below.
Top sheer dresses to shop now
Sheer wears are dos and don’ts
Below are some simple guidelines for wearing sheer dresses, tops, skirts and accessories.
Stretch your comfort level – but not too far.
It’s fun to stretch your boundaries with fashion, but it’s counterproductive to go too far outside your wheelhouse. If you feel self-conscious, you won’t enjoy it.
Strive for balance.
Pair your sexy sheer dress with kitten heels or a demure neck scarf. Or a sheer top ensemble with a full coverage, A-line midi skirt. Balance serves you well in fashion.
Do not experiment with mere accessories.
If sheer cutouts seem too much on your body, experiment with sheer accessories. Sheer cardigans and kimonos are on point. Other options include shoes with sheer detailing, sheer scarves and handbags with sheer panels.
Don’t go out without a light test first.
With sheer clothing, lighting can dictate how much skin you’re showing. Test your outfit under different lights to make sure you’re not revealing more than you intended. Stand under fluorescent lights in your garage, dim the lights in your bedroom, etc.
Better yet, have your friend take pictures of you in different lights.
Don’t forget to fasten and tape.
A wrong move in a sheer dress or top can be a wardrobe malfunction. If the sheer panels of your dress are anywhere near your girls, use fashion tape to keep things in place.
Do not pair sheer clothes with sheer undies.
Just in case, choose panties and bras that provide reasonable coverage of your parts. Choose satin panties over lace.
Fun sheer dresses for women 40+
Here are eight stylish sheer pieces to inspire your shopping.
For the joy of marriage and day
Modcloth’s fun white floral shift dress offers a sheer trend with a beautiful overlay. Sweet patterns and shapes are beautifully balanced with wide, opaque sleeves.
for cocktail hour
Marina cocktail dresses turn evening wear into style. The sheer sleeves and neck panel transform this spaghetti strap number into a great choice for a dressy night out. The high-low hemline allows your knees to rise up without leaving your coverage behind.
To show off your shape
I know our models here are nowhere near 40, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear this dress. Lace overlays and sleeves nod to sheer style, with no peekaboo cutouts. There’s no shortage of sex appeal, thanks to the body-hugging fit and above-the-knee hemline.
Keep things classy by accessorizing this outfit with flat and subtle makeup.
For casual days
Not just for evenings and beach days. Try the middle ground with a sheer longline cardigan. You can wear it with jeans on casual days or throw it over a sheath dress for work.
For date night
Here’s a cold-shoulder dress that’s a great choice for date night. Polka dots on sheer panels add some fun to your vibe. Also, the shape of the shift is perfect for dancing the night away. There’s also a hip pocket if you want to go handbag-free.
You can wear this bright sheer top in so many ways! Try it over a dark camisole or bralette, paired with a skirt for a colorful evening look. During the day, opt for a white cami and jeans. Or, use this sheer top over your swimwear as a chic cover-up on beach days.
For special occasions
For special occasions, this Marchesa Notte number delivers a solid dose of class. The sheer panel at the neckline keeps you covered, despite a plunging neckline. And waist-defining side panels hint at the dress’s open back.
Just for fun
These funky booties will add some retro style to your collection. Sheer panels and rhinestones dress them up, while the rubber sole and low block heel are ultra practical. Wear them with trousers, tailored jeans or your favorite midi skirt.
Just for all ages
Sheer trends can obviously be sexy—but so can they elegantly To find that sexy elegance, opt for subtle sheer panels or cutouts, sheer layers, or sheer accessories. That way, when people stare, you’ll know it’s because you look amazing (and not because you’re practically naked).