I Wore Transparent Fashion To See If It's As Good IRL As It Is On The Catwalk & OMG, The Sweat
The catwalk always throws up some weird and wonderful trends. But the past couple of seasons have seen a recurring theme: see-through stuff. I'm not talking your regular black sheer T-shirt. I'm on about clear plastic designs that photograph as if you're wearing nothing at all. In a bid to figure out how this could translate to your everyday wardrobe, I wore transparent fashion for a few (admittedly very long) days.
While there are plenty of high-end and very expensive transparent outfits, I searched the sites of high street brands to find some cheaper alternatives. Surprisingly, there isn't that much on offer just yet. As I quickly came to realise, this may be because plastic clothing doesn't work too well in this hot and humid weather. It could also have something to do with the detrimental effect that plastic waste has on the environment.
One of the most viral see-through items of the past month or so has to be PrettyLittleThing's transparent trousers which of course I snapped up in a heartbeat to try out. There are also festival-ready accessories like plastic chokers and harnesses as well as see-through shoes popularised by none other than Kim Kardashian and clear bags galore.
I'll admit that I wasn't a fan of the trend before starting out on this little experiment and can safely say that my opinion hasn't changed one bit. Here's how I got on.
1. Starting With An Easy One
Transparent plastic bags have been around for a little while now. And I've always wondered what the point of buying a see-through bag is. OK, so they come in a range of sizes suitable for those who just want a teeny tiny accessory to those who love to carry their life around with them. But if everyone can see exactly what you're carrying around, aren't you opening yourself up to the risk of theft and/or sheer embarrassment at the state of the inside of your bag?
This vinyl Zara tote bag is approximately 10 times bigger than any of my usual minuscule shoulder styles so I didn't really have anything to put in it except for my phone, purse, and keys. The essentials, you know. Although it's obviously easy to adopt the transparent trend in this way, I couldn't help but feel like everyone was staring at my lack of stuff and wondering why on earth I'd want to show that off. And I couldn't blame them.
2. Trying Out Those Trousers
I've already mentioned the (somewhat ridiculous) PrettyLittleThing trousers. And honestly, I struggled so much with these. Unlike the model on the website and various girls on Instagram showing these off, I'm not really a fan of flashing my underwear in public. So I was stuck when it came to finding something to pair these with that kept everything well and truly hidden away.
Luckily, I had a super oversized T-shirt to hand. I tried tucking it in for some extra style points but it just looked stupid (but would work with a transparent skirt if one ever exists). So I had to wear it outside, leaving my plastic-covered legs on show.
And guys, if you can't tell from my facial expression, I absolutely hated it. Getting these on while the sun was shining was an absolute nightmare. The material instantly stuck to my legs and almost immediately made me sweat; sweat which you could actually see on the trousers.
My boyfriend recoiled in horror when I stepped outside wearing them and so did everyone in the Post Office aka the only place I was brave enough to wear them to. I don't know whether it was just their super weird appearance or the fact that you could hear me coming from a mile away. Either way, see-through trousers get a big no from me.
3. Kim Kardashian-Approved Shoes
If you're not a follower of the Kardashian clan, you probably wouldn't know about Kim K's love of clear plastic heels. Designed by her husband Kanye West, her Yeezy designs range from simple stilettos to thigh-high boots. I really did want to try out the thigh-high look but couldn't find any purse-friendly options in my size. However, I'm sure Kim would give a thumbs up to these Boohoo heels.
Obviously, the only really bizarre thing about them is that your foot looks like it's magically resting on a heel in pictures. And from a distance in real life too. Aside from that, they were comfortable enough to wear for an hour or so but I have a feeling the plastic would start to rub at some point after that. Oh, and if you don't like feet, this look definitely isn't for you.
4. How To Do Transparency For Festivals
A festival atmosphere requires a little something to make you stand out. And this see-through ASOS harness certainly does that. It's subtle enough to not grab attention from afar but unique enough that people may just ask you questions about it.
When it was first delivered, I'll be honest and say that I didn't know how to put it on. So it might be a good idea to have a willing friend or family member to assist. Once I was all strapped up and ready to go, I forgot I was wearing it and definitely didn't care that it was transparent. Seems like this style might just work for IRL situations.
5. The Optical Illusion Jacket
There are a couple of vinyl trench coats lying around on the high street but who can deal with that in these temperatures? This Forever 21 jacket is an alternative heat-friendly way to work the transparent trend. It's not actually made from plastic but instead designed in a lightweight — but still sheer — fabric.
It works as a great cover-up for any summer scenario. You could throw it over a bikini if sitting late by the pool, or pair it with an everyday casual look like I did. Plus it's got a ginormous hood so you can hide from people when you're feeling antisocial.
6. An Easy Peasy See-Through Method
Some may see this as a bit of a cop out. But unfortunately, the transparent scientist-esque sunglasses I had broke so I went for one of the simplest ways to take transparency from the catwalk into your actual life: jewellery.
Whether it's a choker like this Forever 21 piece I'm wearing, big statement earrings, or something incredibly subtle such as a ring, plastic jewellery is everywhere and so so affordable to buy. The only downside is that people might not notice it as it blends into your skin a bit too well.
So what did I learn from the past few days of transparent life? Well, plastic is hot. And uncomfortable. And really hard to wear if you're not an exhibitionist in any way, shape, or form.
But I did find that there are ways to incorporate an out-there trend into your wardrobe. It's all about knowing what you like and don't like and figuring out what works for you.
And if anyone is brave enough to wear those see-through trousers out all day, I sincerely salute you.