By Chantal Brocca for Eluxe Magazine.

When underwear as outerwear hits the runway for X consecutive seasons, you have to wonder: has the world gone cray cray over lingerie? Is it that we are so bored with wearing underwear inside our pants we gave them their own starring role on the ready-to-wear runway? Or perhaps we’re all broke and so turn to cutting down our cost-per-wear so we don’t have to give up those sweet, short lived moments of retail therapy when our brains get hijacked by waves of designer endorphins?

I mean, I would get it – I’m the first one to ask what’s the point of buying a deliciously voguish $300 embroidered slip dress if a) my boyfriend barely sees it before he rips it off in T-1 seconds, and b) if literally NO ONE is going to notice my new wardrobe killer. 

It’s just basic economics: I’d like a satisfactory return on my lingerie investment, thank you very much. 

Whatever the cause, my lingerie loving bone is literally SCREAMING: never has the world of lingerie encompassed so much. It has now permanently moved beyond our bedrooms, allowing it to take different forms and evolve in a flurry of romantic appliqué embellishments, in flounces and frills that now adorn hemlines and sleeves, and in panels and panels of our new favorite signifier of chic, ‘the sheer.’

This inherently feminine style has certainly moved past its provocative beginnings, when wearing a corset over your jeans offended thy delicate sensibilities, branching out into endless expressions and variations of what lingerie, sensuality and femininity have come to mean. But it definitely took us time to get it classy (mentally blocking out underwear as outerwear’s WTF moment during the early 2000s, as you should too). 

Thankfully, we are way past pulling the sides of our neon pink G-string visibly out from the depths of our jeans.  Mothers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief: we’ve understood that bringing sexy to the forefront requires some semblance of refinement; of style. And brands have responded with gusto, developing creative concepts that begin with lingerie but end with the modern woman in mind, producing something different, beautiful, and most importantly, wearable.

Yet some still ask: how does one wear lingerie out-of-doors? Especially when temperatures are lower than a Saudi Shiekha’s hemline?

My top tips

  • Warm up with a fine Merino knit sweater or thick cotton/bamboo tee worn under a cami top or slip dress
  • Keep legs cozy by adding a pair of knee high boots to a kaftan or slip dress
  • Don’t be afraid to cover up with a velvet blazer or cashmere cardi
  • Wearing a cami or slip dress? Make sure it’s plain, with no transparency or lace, otherwise it’s a bit too ‘ooh la la’ for wearing outside
  • Chunky heeled ankle boots keep feet from freezing and look awesome with a slip dress
  • It’s all about accessories. Transform a slip into a dress by wearing a choker and earrings, carrying a delicate bag, or even a hat.
  • Be careful with your footwear. A pair of satin stilettos is off the menu – save that for the boudior, dear. Instead, wear with chunky heeled boots, platforms or a mannish shoe.

Oh, and BTW, underwear as outerwear has gone green. If you’re having a hard time navigating through the endless array of RTW featuring the trend of the century, here’s five sustainable luxury brands that got it oh-so-right.

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