How To Wear Underwear As Outerwear (And Not Make It Look Like A Mistake)

How To Wear Underwear As Outerwear (And Not Make It Look Like A Mistake)

InStyle’s shopping editor Robyn tells us why it’s cool to put your lingerie on show. Plus, read the InStyle team's advice on bra buying...

Underwear as outerwear is a trend that keeps coming round season after season, and this summer you can expect to see more bras and knickers on show than ever. With the sheer trend showing no sign of going anywhere, and with crop tops making way for bras, flashing your smalls has never been more fashionable. Of course, we're not talking greying bra straps peeking under a vest: as with all trends, there are some dos and don'ts involved. So if you want to emphasise your assets, without giving everyone an eyeful, here's how to do it.


A crisp white shirt with just a peek of black lace showing is chic way of making your lingerie part of your look, as Sarah Hyland shows.


Wear a loose tank top a la Gwen Stefani with either a beautiful soft-cup bra or a delicate triangular lace piece for a relaxed feel


For the evening, try a statement bra with an all-black outfit, like a blazer or unbuttoned shirt with high-waisted trousers



With a sheer top, avoid anything lacy or patterned; keep the bra black or of a darker palette. This look also works with a thin white T-shirt if you’ve got bigger boobs

The InStyle team’s top tips...

“Embrace your small boobs! I don’t wear any underwiring or padding, and a triangle shape is best. You can wear delicate fabrics and pretty details that others can’t, too. My favourite brands are Stella McCartney, Eberjey, Calvin Klein, Mimi Holliday and ASOS.” Robyn Kotze, shopping editor

“I'm a DD so if I'm wearing something high-necked and Sixties (i.e. pretty much everything this season) a good minimiser bra is a MUST. Triumph’s shapes but doesn't squash and it's really comfy!” Lucy Pavia, senior features writer

“I have a very odd bra size (32E) which usually means I'm restricted to the granny sections with nude-coloured bras that have four-inch-wide straps: majorly unsexy! So I LOVE Myla – the bras are pretty and delicate with slim straps and beautiful lace even in larger sizes.” Jessica Tibbits, beauty writer

“It’s not pretty, but Marks & Spencer’s Smoothing Back T-shirt Bra is brilliant – no more bra lines showing through your clothes, and no unsightly red marks when you take it off. M&S is the king of no-nonsense underwear that doesn’t show through your clothes.” Bethan Hill, deputy chief sub-editor

“M&S seamless are my go to for everyday. No VPL – even under the clingiest skirt. And three pairs for only a tenner!” Susan Henderson, chief sub-editor

“My dream lingerie would be Strumpet & Pink as they're just sooo pretty, but seeing as I can't afford them, the lacy triangle bras in Urban Outfitters come a close second and are perfect for those of us who are horizontally challenged in the boob department!” Cassie Steer, beauty director

Five ways to keep your undies in tip-top condition

1. Don’t tumble-dry or dry in direct sunlight. Instead, air your bras and knickers in the shade to prevent fading.
2. Fasten your bra before washing. This will stop the clasps from ripping delicate lace details.
3. Don’t wash bras with your jeans and jumpers. They’re too heavy and can do serious damage.
4. Don’t use bleach. The best way to keep your whites white is to wash them only with other whites (it’s not brain surgery, people)
5. Hand wash your bras if possible – it’s what ALL the experts recommend. If not, use a gentle cycle on the washing machine.

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