For the ladies – how to wear thin, see-through shirts?
November 29, 2018 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I’ve been cleaning my closet and discovered that I have a bunch of thin, semi see-through shirts that I haven’t worn for a number of years. I must have felt comfortable with them at one time because I did purchase and wear them but I guess now in my more… mature age, I just haven’t been wearing them, leaving them to languish in my closet.

I suspect that some sort of layering might be called for in this situation, but I am honestly terrible at that kind of thing. I’m kind of a one top, no accessories kind of gal. One solution I thought of is wearing a vest with these shirts, as it covers up the chest part, which is what I am most concerned about over-exposing. I live in a pretty temperate climate so no one around here wears heavy scarves, even in winter. Some of these shirts are quite form-fitting, and the tanktops (that I own but never wear) are too thick to go under. How do you all wear thin shirts without showing too much?
posted by madonna of the unloved to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just did some searching in google images for "how to wear sheer tops" and found some great pictures and ideas. Since we don't know your style, that's a good place to start.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 12:50 PM on November 29, 2018

Once for a couple of years it was fashionable to wear the tanktop over the shirt, maybe you could give that a try?
Spencer type dresses can be very flattering, or short sleeved woolly dresses, both are good with a thin shirt.
My gran had tons of thin cotton shirts she used under thin wool sweaters because the sweaters would be scratchy indoors otherwise.
posted by mumimor at 12:51 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a million of these camisoles. They're thin and stretchy. You can also get them cheaper at places like Target, etc. - I have some very thin silky ones from JCPenney that work better for some shirts.
posted by something something at 12:52 PM on November 29, 2018 [13 favorites]

I wear them as a layer under a sweater. I have a few nicer tops that I wear a camisole under, but I will no longer be buying see through tops.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 12:52 PM on November 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

I wear tanks/camis under them.
posted by greermahoney at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yes to thin camis. I have a couple that I bought at Forever 21 for $1.90.
posted by pinochiette at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2018

Try a camisole purchased in the lingerie department to match your skin tone. Fabric should be silky so it skims and and doesn't cling, although some body con camisoles may work if they don't ride up. Something like this. They can be found at all price points.

More options.

A lot of tops these days are made from thinner fabric. They aren't necessarily meant to be sheer but since manufacturers are skimping on quality many sweaters, t-shirts, and blouses are sheerer than I would like. I own nude camisoles from Jockey and wear under sheer tops and sweaters. It makes the tops look less sheer and you can't see the camisole if it matches your skin tone.

If I were wearing a blouse that was intentionally sheer I would wear a matching color camisole. As in this photo.
posted by loveandhappiness at 1:10 PM on November 29, 2018

I have a few nude camis, but they have wider straps. I’ve found that spaghetti straps are actually more noticeable, especially from the back....the thicker ones cover my (nude) bra straps and then you can’t really see anything underneath.
posted by lovableiago at 1:13 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Options include camisoles and thin tank tops; and one-piece bodysuits, leotards, and teddies (very dependent on specific garment). You mention some of the shirts are form-fitting; depending on your particular cleavage situation and personal comfort level, a stretch camisole with built-in bra or a "shaping" bodysuit can offer a smoother line.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I used to either wear thin camis underneath (search for "layering cami") or would double the t-shirts in flattering color cominations.
posted by TwoStride at 1:29 PM on November 29, 2018

I have one of these silk camisoles from Boden. It works pretty well as a nude underlayer for my skin tone; I may also get colors to match tops if I can get a good coupon. It allows a sheer shirt to glide over it and solves the problem of my shirt sticking to a cotton or modal camisole. (It does need to be ironed.)

I've been eyeing this Hanro bra camisole because it comes in actual cup sizes that are compatible with my size. I imagine this would solve the problem of bra+cami = too many straps. It would also preserve the look of two separate breasts; I have the tendency to look like I have a banana bosom when I layer a lot.
posted by Knowyournuts at 1:34 PM on November 29, 2018

Depending on how much support you need, this may be a job for a bralette. I think in this case they could provide coverage without feeling like a second shirt. They are more intended to be seen and so can be overly detailed so you may have to hunt.

Maybe something like this or this? (I searched for "longline bralette)
posted by thatquietgirl at 1:59 PM on November 29, 2018

If you're wearing a cami under a shirt, you can unbutton the shirt as far as you like. This could help with the "form-fitting" problem.
posted by wryly at 2:30 PM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's totally OK to not own shirts like this any more. I've gotten much harsher with clothes that i don't wear for some reason or another. You can do somersaults to style them in a way that works and spend additional money on the undergarments or layers - or just donate them and get some shirts you like and will wear.
posted by Miko at 6:45 PM on November 29, 2018 [14 favorites]

I wear them under sleeveless dresses (or sometimes short-sleeved dresses, depending).
posted by Polychrome at 4:22 AM on November 30, 2018

I generally think that a nude layer underneath a see-through shirt still just looks nude. I would rather wear a black camisole or bra underneath to add some contrast and make it obvious that I am deliberately layering. Either definitely covered up for work or definitely flashing some bra.

Also like Miko, I also have just gotten less tolerant of clothing that to be paired with one particular undergarment (that will inevitably always be in the wash when you need it).
posted by yeahlikethat at 5:46 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't. I refuse to wear clothing that that I have to majorly manipulate to feel comfortable in.
posted by radioamy at 1:25 PM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

I am a fan of bodysuits - in neutral colors like black, navy blue, nude. If like me, you don't need much support up top, you can get away with wearing one instead of underwear and a bra, and it's tight so it provides coverage without being bulky or getting wrinkled up when tucked into your bottoms. It's a win-win situation.

This kind of thing:
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 5:28 PM on December 1, 2018

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