Ask Laia: Can I Wear Underwear As Outerwear?

Kristine can't resist the allure of longline bra, but can she wear it?

Aug 10, 2011 at 12:32pm | Leave a comment

Hi Laia,

Should you wear underwear as outerwear? Is it a good idea? I was looking at the latest collection of one of the few bra brands I fit into and they have a gorgeous basque coming out. Generally, the only people I see wearing lingerie out are celebrities and/or women with small breasts. I wear a 28H, so I am afraid that my breasts are too large. I guess my main question is how do you wear lingerie (a corset, basque, longline bra, whatever) out and look good? Is there an unspoken size limit that I don't know about?

If it helps, this is the basque I fell in love with:

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Thanks,
Kristine

Thanks for writing in Kristine! I too, have been drawn to longline bras for a long time (no pun intended this time, I swear) and though I've toyed with the idea of wearing one, I never actually have. Because no matter how beautiful a piece is, in the end it's still just ... underwear. 

BUT, times are changing and peeps are getting crazier and crazier these days. Should you wear this basque out in the world with some dark-washed jeans and an ankle boot? Prooobably not. But that doesn't mean we can't find a way to make these work on your wardrobe.
 

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Chiffon Puff Sleeve Blouse $46, American Apparel

Take advantage of the current sheer trend. Stores everywhere are bursting with chiffon tops and lace dresses, and no matter how many times they are styled with a bare nipple under it, they actually do recquire undergarments in order to make it out in the real world. I've discussed my obsession with Topshop long bras before, and I like to layer them under my thin cotton T-shirts with super low armholes, as well as the few nice sheer silk pieces that I have. It's an easy way to let the lingerie still be the main focus or the outfit without risking being called out for being indecent. 

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Another thing that you can do, but this one would need careful planning as well as a thorough assesment of environment and human content, is to dress your basque up for a fancier night out with say, a wide leg silk trouser and a blazer or maybe a cool leather jacket. The mix of materials and the hint of a "suit" will be super rad. It's A LOT OF LOOK, for sure, but if you are at a place with cool creative people, you could pull it off. The jacket is essential in this situation, as it will give the outfit a more "dressed-up look" as opposed to you just being out in your underwear with a slip skirt over it. 

I hope this works! Send me pics if you take the plunge. 

Have a fashion conundrum? Let me at it! Send me all your queries and a pic of yourself to laia@janepratt.com.