The Sheer Trend Is Taking Over the Fashion World in 2022

How to make it work for you.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: A guest wears a pale pink / green / blue tie and dye print pattern square neck / long top, a white tulle ruffled skirt, a multicolored print pattern silk handbag, khaki suede cut-out block heels sandals, outside Gabriela Hearst, during New York Fashion Week, on September 13, 2022 in New York City.
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Fashion can be fickle: Trends come and go by the season, leaving us to either buy a few new on-trend pieces each season or stick to keeping our dream outfits pinned on our various Pinterest boards in hopes that the trend cycle brings back our favorite styles from years past. But even at a time when those very cycles seem to be moving at warp speed (hello, microtrends!), there's one style that the fashion set has been transfixed with for nearly a year: fall 2022’s sheer trend.

Wearing thinner clothes as we head into the chilly fall and winter seasons is at least confusing and at most impractical, so why is everyone so into them right now? According to Jessica Richards, a trend forecaster and founder of JMR Trend + Creative, it has to do with the desire to be seen–and our current political climate post Roe. 

“Through 2022, two major trends in the style zeitgeist have had staying power: dressing with presence and dressing with empowerment,” she says. The first of these is brought on by a “post-lockdown and post-restrictions sentiment to be "seen" in the world again,” she says, and is “driven by the return of bright and bold color palettes, volume silhouettes. and platform shoes.” Consider this the reason behind the rise of layered ballerina-inspired midi skirts that go perfectly with your favorite pair of ballet flats.  

A second reason sheer pieces have been trending, Richards says, is “a corollary reaction to this year's political climate; with challenges against women's rights on the forefront, hyper-feminine and body-baring trends defy a climate created by legislation that restricts women's autonomy of their bodies.” 

“These silhouettes, created in sheers that emulate ‘nakedness,’ strip down the volume of their co-trend and instead promote a presence that a woman's body is her own and not to be ignored,” Richards continues over email. “She will make it seen and acknowledged in a fashion-forward response to the socio-political environment of the times. In these silhouettes, net fabrics and chiffons are most present.” 

Seemingly with this idea in mind, a multitude of different sheer pieces cropped up during the Fall/Winter 2022 fashion week season earlier this year. At Maryam Nassir Zadeh, sheer button-downs were shown with work-appropriate brown trousers. At MSGM at Milan Fashion Week, bedazzled mesh turtlenecks were worn underneath equally-bedazzled cut-out dresses. Finally, at Fendi, printed mesh dresses were styled under a bolero with satin pumps. 

: A model walks the runway at the Maryam Nassir Zadeh show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows Fall/Winter 2022 at The Clemente Theatre on February 14, 2022 in New York City

Maryam Nassir Zadeh Fall/Winter 2022

(Image credit: Albert Urso/Getty Images)

model walks the runway at the MSGM fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022/2023 on February 27, 2022 in Milan, Italy.

 MSGM Fall/Winter 2022

(Image credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

A model walks the runway at the Fendi fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022/2023 on February 23, 2022 in Milan, Italy.

Fendi Fall/Winter 2022 

(Image credit: Photo by Pietro D'Aprano/Getty Images)

Sheer pieces were promptly introduced to the market just in time for summer, when just about every influencer and street style maven was wearing something that you could see through. And now, as New York Fashion Week wraps up and we can finally look at the best looks from the week in full, it’s clear that the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

The sheer look was one of the season’s most dominant trends—if not the most dominant—and every designer put their own spin on it. At Tory Burch, for instance, sheer panels were adorned with oversized paillette-style sequins in shades of lemon yellow and pale blue. At Mirror Palais’ debut collection this season, models walked down the aisle at an actual church wearing wispy midi dresses and matching sets in shades of maroon and bright white. Tibi, for its own part, made the daring trend (slightly) more office-appropriate by tucking an oversized white button-down into a light-as-air white chiffon midi skirt.

A model walks the runway during Tory Burch - Spring/Summer 2023 New York Fashion Week on September 13, 2022 in New York City.

Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2023

(Image credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Tory Burch)

A model walks the runway for the Tibi fashion show during September 2022 New York Fashion Week: The Shows on September 10, 2022 in New York City.

Tibi Spring/Summer 2023

(Image credit: Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

A model walks the runway at the Mirror Palais fashion show during September 2022 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Church of the Ascension on September 13, 2022 in New York City. (

Mirror Palais Spring/Summer 2023

(Image credit: Albert Urso/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Ahead, shop the best sheer pieces, broken down by category. I’ve found the best sheer dresses, the best sheer tops, the best sheer skirts, the best sheer pants and a few of the best sheer tights and socks, with inspiration from New York’s trendiest women straight from the streets of New York Fashion Week. Plus, Richards breaks down how to style see-through fabrics for day or night.  

Best Sheer Trend Pieces

Best Sheer Dresses

A guest wears a black ribbed scarf as a headband, a camel shiny leather long coat, gold earrings, sunglasses, a navy blue long transparent dress, a black shiny leather east-west handbag from Jacquemus, black shiny leather block heels / ankle boots , outside Coach, during New York Fashion Week, on September 12, 2022 in New York City.

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Picking your favorite sheer dress is a real choose-your-own-adventure dressing situation. Brands like STAUD offer dresses with sheer paneling, while SKIMS goes all-out with a black sheer mini dress. Fashion insiders also layered their sheer frocks over a pair of jeans for playful approach. 

Best Sheer Tops

A guest wears black sunglasses, a black ribbed wool / long sleeves t-shirt, a black shiny leather and GG monogram print pattern shoulder bag from Gucci, pale khaki long skirt, a black jacket, black shiny leather ankle boots , outside Jason Wu, during New York Fashion Week, on September 10, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Adding a sheer top into your fall and winter rotations is maybe the easiest way to incorporate the look this season. They come in every silhouette (crop tops! Button downs! Turtlenecks! Bodysuits!), proving just how simple they are to style. They work just as well with a pair of jeans as they do with a skirt or layered on top of a slip dress.  

Best Sheer Skirts

A guest wearing top, white see trough skirt, multi colored bag, heels outside Gabriela Hearst on September 13, 2022 in New York City.

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Sheer skirts come in every shape and style this season. From tulle-covered petticoats to light-as-air maxi skirts, the options are endless. Wear your sheer skirt with an oversized T-shirt to cover your underwear, or style them over the top of high-waisted underwear for a more daring take. 

Best Sheer Pants

: Annabel Rosendahl wearing grey oversized striped blazer, laced black pants outside Ulla Johnson on September 11, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

While glittery, party-ready pants might have trended this summer, neutral-hued sheer pants are a major trend for fall and winter. Shop lacy options from insider-beloved brand GANNI, or go all-out with patterned mesh versions from brands like FIND ME NOW. 

Best Sheer Accessories

guest wears neon yellow socks, yellow with red and pink flower painted pattern open toe cap / plastic mules , outside COS, during New York Fashion Week, on September 13, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Chillier weather may be upon us, but sheer socks and tights are still trending. Think: Harry Style's lightweight blue socks in the "Late Night Talking" music video when it comes to finding inspiration. You can (and should!) layer your sheer socks with your favorite heels or sneakers for a fun touch. 

Meet the Expert