Sheer Bliss: How to wear sheer, lace and knit tops

Sheer Bliss: How to wear sheer, lace and knit tops

Guest Post by Mariel Fuchs, DIVALICIOUS Featured Member, Independent Style and Trend Writer

Creator of…Miscellaneous Adventures in Chic

I’ll admit – I’m a girl who likes a challenge.  But what happens when I’m challenged by some of my very own closet’s occupants?  Betrayed by the very pieces I “knew would look so cute with…” what exactly?

Sometimes, the fun ends when they go from the store’s hanger to mine.

I was longing to get some great summer looks out of my sheer, lace and knit tops.

No, not everyone should embrace every trend. But come on – flowy tanks with zipper details and sheer paneling? A black lace crop with lace covered buttons up the back? Surely, there was potential!

But time and again, I was stumped.

I found myself pairing every top with a simple white cami and jeans.  Yet I knew that with a little brainstorming, some style elbow-grease, and good old mix & match playtime, I could get the creativity flowing.

So naturally, my first call was to the one-and-only Lauren Cosenza of (yes, the insanely addicting blog you are reading right now) and of beauty, fashion, and media fame.

And right before my eyes, in LDiva’s Nolita style studio, fourteen outfits emerged.

It was wonderful to see so many uses for some of the tops (and skirts and pants) I was ready to abandon. We found ways to create looks with only a few other pieces you are sure to own. And I didn’t have to spend a penny…I did what I always found to be the Holy Grail of fashion challenges: I went shopping in my own closet!

Here are the 10 best for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Look 1 – Just getting warmed up, I make a beeline for my good friend, the distressed skinny jean.  A peach cropped bralette with mesh paneling creates subtle interest. I would wear this out to drinks or a weekend brunch.

Look 2 – A simple black tie-waist mini comes out to play with this fun pastel piece. The bralette is still the layering piece of choice and by tucking in the top a whole new silhouette is created.  I could see myself wearing this out to dinner.

Look 3 – Have I revealed myself yet as a jeans girl? Dark denim balances one of my favorite summer-into-fall trends, the large loop knit.  Where would I not wear this?  A neutral wedge would also work as a shoe here.

Look 4 – My favorite transition of them all….I take off my pants! The putty tank from look three is a body-con stretch dress that I dare not wear alone, but converts perfectly for a laid-back party look.  Done and done!

Look 5 – One of my favorites, this box-cut top proves that black lace never fails.  Instead of going with a color block look as originally planned, I go with a tiered nude skirt that’s ultra comfortable. I pair it with a fleshtone cami to continue the sexy but sweet nude illusion.

Look 6 – Another transition that takes less than a minute to change into. Here, all I change is the skirt plus add a statement necklace for some drool-worthy sparkle. Perfect for dinner with the girls.

Look 7 – Summer whites at ease. This is a great look for strolling around the city or wherever your summer weekend takes you. I love pairing this ethereal cream racer back tank with exposed zipper detail (on back) with my white skinnies. The salmon camisole adds a subtle kick of color, while keeping the neutral feel.  For edge, unexpectedness, and practicality, I’d also pair this with my black high top Converse, folded over to expose the inner neutral canvas.  It’s a petite-girl trick.

Look 8 – As with my Look 4 switch-up, this top goes straight from day to night with the tank dress as a layer. The super stretch of the dress combined with the feather-light asymmetrical hem of the top combine to make one of my favorite outfits of all. I would definitely take this one on a second date.

Look 9 – A casual look for daytime that could easily be taken out to dinner with the right accessories. I had been wanting to breathe new life into these silk cropped cargos. The parchment camisole is a simple choice. Here, the contrast of utilitarian tomboy meets sweet girly girl makes a strong statement that still feels relaxed.

Look 10 – Not one to usually mix trends, I went for it here. A pale-pastel floral stretch jean with parchment cami and loose cap-sleeve lace shirt.  Why not?! It’s a fun take on the printed jean and the color of the top picks up on the tones in the pant.  I would wear this outfit shopping.

For this story, the final count of items used were:

5 tops

5 pants

4 camisoles (including bralette)

3 skirts

1 tank dress

1 pair of (nude) heels

Creating my 10 new pre-fall outfits was as fun, if not more, than shopping for new ones.  I thought for sure my sheer tops were as good as packed up for next summer or on the hand-me-down list for my sister.  I could not be happier with the outcome.

For someone who’s idea of making an outfit new again is changing up the accessories (a mantra I’ll never lose), I learned how to look at my wardrobe in a whole new light.  Layers are not just for fall/winter, and certain pieces that scream, “What were you thinking?” (skin tight taupe spandex dress – case in point), can become crucial foundations for multiple outfits. With Lauren, I realized how to make certain pieces go from has-beens to showstoppers. Style is really about having fun and experimenting.  You can’t go wrong as long as you feel confident.

As I prepared to write this, I showed my boyfriend these pictures and he said, “I’ve never seen you in those outfits”, to which I replied, “neither had I!”

Now, if only I could put all my makeup products to work like this… Blue glitter liquid liner, sheer pink gloss and your sextuplet sisters, teal shadow – you’re up next.