It might sound counterintuitive, but 2023’s version of the sheer trend is actually one of Spring/Summer 2023’s most wearable. The trend, which percolated last spring before exploding over the summer and into the early fall, is back for more for this season—but with a far more subtle appeal. And no, it won’t require you to bare your underwear on the subway (if you don’t want to).
If last year’s sheer look was about wearing as little fabric as possible—think: the sheerest-ever fabrics fashioned into the shortest-ever dresses and skirts and little else—this newer iteration factors one sheer piece or sheer layer into an otherwise wearable outfit. We saw sparks of this at brands like Tibi at the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway show in New York last September, where slinky sheer tees were styled under overall-style dresses and delicate sheer tank tops were worn with denim maxi skirts. A similar look showed up on the runway at Tory Burch for the same season, where flowy sheer midi skirts were layered underneath structured mini dresses. Sure, there were sheer elements, but they weren’t overbearing. They were practical and feminine, proving that you don’t need to bear it all to partake in the trend—you just had to incorporate a see-through piece into your already-existing, fully-covered outfit.
“Sheers will always be a bold, take-notice material; but one of the critical updates we see in Spring/Summer ‘23 is the evolution from celebrating straight-on sexiness to that of ultra-femininity,” says trend forecaster and founder of JMR Trend + Creative Jessica Richards about where the sheer trend is headed next. She points to brands like Miu Miu and Valentino, too, for their use of the fabrication, citing how they both layered “lingerie with sheers, decorated in jewels and paillettes,” to lend “seductive siren vibes” to the look, she says.
Florence Pugh, who has worn sheer Valentino pieces on many a red carpet (her sparkly frock from the Cannes premiere of Don’t Worry Darling is a highlight) has been an early adopter of the hyper-feminine take on the sheer trend. More recently, though, Pugh wore a floor-length Valentino skirt with a cropped gray sweatshirt to attend the brand’s Fall/Winter 2023 show in Paris, leaning into the slightly more wearable version of the trend.
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, and the best sheer pants, with inspiration from New York’s trendiest women straight from the streets of New York Fashion Week.
Choosing your favorite sheer dress is like choosing your own adventure. The sheer frocks that are popular for spring 2023 run the gamut from gauzy maxi options to crochet picks that swap skin for texture. Ahead, shop picks from STAUD, Reformation, Rumours, and more.
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 mini skirt. If you don't want to go full-on sheer, brands like Helmut Lang and Marcella NYC offer versions with see-through panelling.
Sheer bottoms are one of my most favorite ways to incorporate the trend into my own rotation. Sheer maxi skirts add drama (think: lots of tulle and lace), while sheer pants can be easily dressed up by way of a longer tunic-style top or overcoat. Ahead, check out options from brands like Mango, Tibi, and Urban Renewal.
How to Style 2023's Sheer Trend
If you’re not sure about how to style sheer for the new season, look no further than your basics collection. “Where the white tank has been a ubiquitous item for seasons —and although it's still a critical core silhouette—as elevated, ‘luxury’ feeling basics continue, switching this out for a sheer tank from time to time will feel like an instant refresh,” Richards tells me. But, basics don’t have to necessarily come in basic colors. Think outside the neutrals box by choosing options that come in spring’s trend colors, like sunshine yellow or bright green. Or, if you don’t want to wear something that’s entirely sheer, look for pieces that have see-through layers to add volume and structure. Ahead, shop sheer dresses, tops, and bottoms for spring 2023 to get you started.
If you do want to go the "show your underwear" route this summer, follow the minimal approach and look for matching sets in neutral colors and seamless silhouettes. Brands like CUUP have long made my personal-favorite minimal-feeling sets, but other brands like Cou Cou Intimates make dainty sets and bodysuits in pointelle fabrications for a sweeter look. Or, turn to cult-favorite brands like Parade for brighter or printed options if you're trying to perfectly match your undergarments to your outfit.
Meet the Expert
Jessica Richards is a trend forecaster, style storyteller, and founder of JMR Trend + Creative, whose synergistic focus inspires what is now and next. With an extensive background in forecasting, concepts, and design for major North American retailers, she brings a forward-thinking yet commercially and brand-right viability to projects across the fashion and wellness