The lingerie dressing trend has officially taken over the fashion world. Bathrobes over silk pajama sets with heels, bras with wide-legged pants, Kim Kardashian in an actual transparent negligee in Manhattan... underwear as outerwear has become a major fashion trend.
But if you're not a Kardashian, just how wearable is it?
I decided to ease into lingerie dressing with an underwearified version of an outfit I'd normally wear.
This is a midi-length nightgown that I bought from Target. It's very form-fitting — and while I love my body, having all of it on display like this — along with the lace of my bra — made me feel EXTREMELY exposed. I paired this nightgown with my actual bathrobe (so I could hide if needed, and I definitely felt like I needed to throughout the day) and my mid-height heeled boots.
Jess, on the other hand, LEAPT in like the champion she is, pushing her fashion boundaries in a major way.
"I was terrified to wear this lace bodysuit ($60, Lane Bryant) with no support for my boobs — I always associate perky boobs with sex appeal," said Jess. "To make myself feel more comfortable in this bodysuit, I paired it with two of my favorite items in my closet: a moto jacket with chiffon and my laced-up pencil skirt. I was proud of myself for even trying this out."
Though our Monday outfits had us both a little nervous, we were ultimately glad that we took the risk — and learned some pretty intense lessons about our hotness.
Honestly, I was pretty terrified of wearing this tight nightdress — but it was only a big deal to me. It made me realize that I'm the harshest judge of my own appearance, and that it's OK to take risks sometimes.
Jess had been on a different emotional journey. "I never thought of my body as sexy, so I never dressed in a sexy way — I always went for 'cute' or 'adorable,'" Jess said. "This outfit had me on my tippie-toes, but when I got used to it, it actually made me feel hot. I'm glad I wore it."
I decided to build my Sporty Spice-meets-Katherine Hepburn outfit around the part of my body I'm most insecure about — and show it the hell OFF.
I have freckles on my tummy, and it's only been the last six months that I've felt OK with people seeing them AT ALL. But this outfit — a longline lace bra ($100, Shopbop) worn with wide-leg pants — made me feel like a Queen Bitch. I was shocked at how powerful it made me feel, even if I did feel more comfortable with my leather jacket overtop in an office setting.
Jess' Tuesday outfit was all about contrast — a severe black and white suit paired with her sexiest underthings.
"I knew this was going to be my favorite outfit," said Jess. "I loved giving this old suit from ASOS a second life by wearing it over this halter bralette ($35, Torrid). I felt like a total boss bitch in this — but wearing this around my co-workers did make me a bit self-conscious, so I kept the blazer buttoned up most of the time."
Tuesday brought challenges. Jess and I both realized that, without knowing it, we'd both been comparing ourselves to the other — I'd been comparing my lack of confidence and fear of taking risks to Jess' bulletproof sense of style, while Jess had been comparing her body to mine.
Inspired by ~Street Style Stars~ I decided to create a louche pajama look — out of my actual pajamas. Originally I wanted to buy one of those silk pajama sets I've seen so many of my peers wearing at Fashion Week, but then I realized those cost $500. Nope.
Instead, I created a slouchy lewk out of the actual clothes I wear to sleep in! The top, loosely tucked in to my pants, is the Giselle sleepshirt from Eberjey ($89, Bloomingdales), and the lace-trimmed pants are from Kohl's. I felt very rebellious, wearing my PJs to work, but one day spent in these outrageously comfy pants basically sold me on it. Sorry, professional world; pajama pants or bust from now on!
Jess' outfit had her referencing a childhood telenovela idol — Thalia Sodi. "She always played a young innocent girl who evolved into being a powerful and sexy woman — just like I want to!"
"Silky slip dresses are really popular right now — so when I saw this chemise from Thalia Soli's lingerie line ($30, Macy's) I knew I had to have it. I wore it with my favorite faux fur coat and thigh-high boots to try to challenge my inner Thalia, but I felt more like "Pretty Woman." The slip was so short, I spent half my time worrying about flashing my coworkers! But I DID feel pretty hot."
Halfway through this challenge, Jess and I asked one another how our perceptions of "SEXY" had changed — and both gave some surprising answers.
I've never viewed myself as sexy. Attractive, sure — but "sexy" seemed like a suit that never quite fit. Exploring what sexiness meant to me through clothing felt freeing in a way I didn't really expect, like I'd let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding.
Jess felt similarly. "I grew up feeling like I'd only be sexy when I lost weight," Jess told me. "Even though I have become WAY more comfortable with who I am, I still struggled with that. As someone who uses fashion as a way to express myself, I didn't realize all the ways I was only ever showing myself as "quirky" or "cute." But I can be sexy every day, just the way I am."
I kicked it back to the '90s in this Calvin Klein slip and t-shirt combo, and immediately felt closer to my ~goth queen~ roots.
I wore pretty much this exact outfit back in the day — except my boots were stompier and the CK logo was bigger. I liked the lace detail of this Calvin Klein slip ($59, Macy's), but the material it was made of was a static clinging mess. I wanted to feel like a babe in this, but ultimately I felt like a shrink-wrapped ham. Sadface.
Meanwhile, Jess served full glamour in this pajama suit and corset combo. "I've seen a lot of people wear these shaping bodies under pantsuits," she said. "So I knew I needed to embrace it."
By now, we had been out and about in the world in our underwear for a week — and not only did we have a whole new idea about what sexy is, we were also feeling a lot more comfortable in our respective skins.
How you dress has a lot to do with how you want to be seen — and how you DON'T want to be seen. It's expression... but it can also be protection.
But this lingerie challenge reminded us both that the walls we build around ourselves are largely bullshit. What other people think of you, your body, or the way you dress don't matter. "I realized I could feel hot in my pajamas," said Jess. "I wasn't just feeling sexy, I was even more comfortable being who I am, looking how I look, wearing what I like."
Yr girl went for a sheer black bodysuit, lace-up black heels, and boyfriend-style jeans — and looked great, despite being EXCRUCIATINGLY uncomfortable.
This was my homage to Khloe Kardashian and BOY, was everything awkward. This is the Carmella bodysuit by L'Agent ($100, L'Agent), which was the freshest possible hell. I had to wriggle the very narrow waist up over my ass like a python swallowing a goat.
No Kardashian would ever have to deal with this. Save me, Khlo-money.
Jess burned down the house with her look. "I had to close out strong," she said. "And for me, that meant freeing the nipple while wearing the sexiest color ever: RED."
"I was a little unsure about wearing this totally sheer bodysuit from Laurie Lace ($43, ASOS), but after this week, I said fuck it," Jess told me. "I was ALL out and about in this lace, but I wore it with my favorite skirt, and I was ready. Sexiness has no size. I felt great in this."
And the end of Our Week of Living La Vida Lingerie, Jess and I learned some really important stuff — about style, about life, and about each other.
We learned that sexy is in your head, not in a bra — and that you can feel as beautiful in your pajamas as in expensive lingerie if your mind is right.
We learned that comparing yourself to anyone else, even a friend, is poisonous — especially to your self-confidence.
We learned that taking fashion risks, though really scary, is rewarding as hell — pushing your boundaries is uncomfortable, but ultimately that's what makes you grow.
We learned that hotness has NO body type. You are a babe exactly as you are, and you're allowed to feel — and dress — as sexy as you want!