My attitude towards style generally is “wear what makes you happy.” This goes triple-time for pregnancy, because hey, your body is doing some crazy stuff at the moment, so if wearing a hot-pink tube top feels fantastic and is at least reasonably situation-appropriate, have at it.
Which is why my first response to the January Jones kerfuffle in which she stepped out wearing a sheer blouse while pregnant was, “Good for her!”
My second response, however, was more like, “Hmm.”
I’m a pretty experimental dresser, and there aren’t many things I won’t at least take for a spin, but honestly? I’m not sure how I would feel about sauntering down Fifth Avenue in this little get-up.
The problem, as I see it, is twofold: first, people have a tendency to stare at you when you’re pregnant. And while the staring is only natural, usually non-creepy, and even kinda nice at times (such as when it’s coupled with a smile and an “After you, ma’am”), throw a sheer blouse in the mix – something that’ll elicit stares on a regular old day – and you’re talking about everyone looking at you, everywhere you go, all the time. And when you’re a frequent rider on the New York subway system, All Eyeballs On My Midsection, Please may not be the message you’re hoping to send out.
The second problem is one of underthings. The rule with exposed lingerie is to make sure it doesn’t look like an accident – in other words, bright colors, pretty straps, meant-to-be-seen cut…whatever, so long as it’s more “That’s right – I meant it” and less “Ooh, honey – your bra is showing.” And I don’t know about you, but my bras these days? Are not really meant to be seen. They’re meant to wrangle the pair of problems that have arisen a few inches below my chin.
But hey, I’m all about keeping an open mind, so I rifled through my closet in search of a sheer blouse to see if I could make January’s look work for me. And the answer is…
At least not without a little extra coverage (hey, I take the subway every day).
But like I said: that’s just me.
If sheer is a look you love, there are ways to make it totally wearable, and those ways are: layers. Total exposure isn’t the goal – the point is to show a hint of skin here and there in unexpected ways, so the addition of a light silk or cotton tank can take an otherwise uncomfortably see-through piece into wear-around-town territory.
- Pair a casual, sheer blouse with a grey tank and wide-leg jersey pants for a look that’s comfortably covered-up and glamorous. (Alexander McQueen sheer top, Gap tank, Rachel Pally for A Pea In The Pod wide-leg pants, Opening Ceremony sandals, Charm & Chain pendant.)
- A sheer tunic with a ‘70s vibe is made both wearable and fabulous with the addition of a light, lacy tank and some seriously sexy maternity jeans. (Calypso St. Barth sheer tunic, Kohls tank, 7 For All Mankind maternity jeans, Dolce vita sandals, Dorothy Perkins collar necklace.)