If there’s one cheap lingerie online thing that being a ’90s kid taught me it’s that slips and camisoles make for totally acceptable tops. When I first started thinking about the 2015 lingerie as outerwear trend there was definitely something about it that didn’t feel so new. I’m totally being transported back to the days where I twisted my hair back in butterfly clips and wore a teal cotton camisole with lace trim to middle school.
When I think about it now, I’m surprised I never got a single dress code violation in middle school (though I did get detention for talking too much). Thanks to the Spice Girls, slip dresses and baby doll dresses were all the rage and I didn’t think twice about there really being any sexual suggestiveness behind these pieces. But as I grew up and came into my sexuality, my relationship with lingerie got more complicated.
Since I struggled with the idea of being seen only as a sexual object even in just a fitted T-shirt and leggings, lingerie was out of the question for me — in the bedroom or outside of it. But I hate feeling like I have limitations in fashion. It’s been a journey to learn to love lingerie and I longed for my carefree middle school self who thought she was a younger, fatter Posh Spice. So I decided that I was going to break my own self-imposed restriction and create a new narrative for me and lingerie. What better way to do it then wearing it as outerwear for seven days straight?
Day 1The discomforts I still have with lingerie are pretty evident in this image. I basically put on the most covered up outfit I could find and then put a vintage floral camisole I had gotten from the thrift store on top. It’s a challenge to find plus size lingerie at the thrift store — this was an XL, which didn’t quite fit my 3X bod. There was nothing sexy or comfortable about this look for me and I knew I had over-compensated with covered-up styling in attempts to ease my own discomforts.
I really didn’t see anyone all day while I was wearing this since I work alone from a studio space until my best friend came to help me package some orders. Her first reaction was, “Is it still dress like a grandma week?” Welp. I guess I had achieved the whole not being seen as a sexual object thing, but something about this look made me feel like I was still hiding.
Day 2Discouraged from the day before, I decided to pull out a piece I was sure would be the star. I put a leather moto vest over it and hoped that today would be better. After all, I thought, this slip basically looks like a dress. When I got to brunch my mom said, “I like that dress but it looks like a slip,” while her friend politely remarked, “I love that dress! I had no idea it was a slip” after I explained the experiment. So maybe it wasn’t passing as a dress as well as I had initially thought it would.
If I did wear lingerie in the bedroom, it would probably never be something this long. It was sort of laborious to wear a slip like this all day. I kept getting it caught on things and it was hard to get in and out of my car. When I got to my boyfriend’s place later that evening, the confidence I felt in this slip had mostly turned to annoyance. He quickly commented, “Is that a dress or a nightgown?” I replied “It’s a nightgown technically but I think it really looks like a dress.” His response was pure gold: “OK, Rue McClanahan,” referencing the actress who played Blanche Devereaux on the Shewas devastatingly glamourous and probably wouldn’t have been half as annoyed as I was wearing this dress/nightgown.
Day 3They say red is the color of confidence, so I figured this red lace bralette was my ticket to getting into the swing of this whole lingerie as outerwear thing. Even though I was wearing a tank top underneath the sheer lace bralette, my actual bra was also showing most of the day. I really liked this look.
My boyfriend cheap lingerie online said, “You could go to work in that outfit” which kind of shocked me mostly because I got in trouble at the last 9-5 job I had for wearing jewelry that was “too loud.” I can imagine the lace bralette/actual bra showing combo wouldn’t have gone over well there. When my best friend arrived at my studio later that day, her comment was oddly similar to my boyfriend’s. She said, “It’s like a suit but not.” So maybe the key to dressing like lingerie as outerwear is channelling Romy Michele during the Post-Its scene.