The Sheer Truth Of It
There is not one material that evokes worse memories and makes me more fidgety than flimsy sheer rayon or chiffon, and I doubt I will ever make peace with it. The fact that it is too revealing, too clingy, too body-focused and too sexual for my very prim and proper taste would be the easy explanation for my aversion, but actually that’s not the whole truth.
Tracing the origin to my discomfort isn’t much of a challenge. I remember my 6th or 7th grade field trip as if it was yesterday and that trip is always and forever engrained in my memory as the moment I started hating sheer.
Picture borrowed from Celebrityring
Watching too much Beverly Hills and Melrose Place had us small town girls day-dreaming of being like the carefree bohemian LA-girls with their delicate sheer shirts worn over camisoles, their cycle shorts and large scruffy boots. For our school-trip my best friend, decided a black see-through baby-doll dress was her summer must-have but forgot that it is in fact sheer, and turned up in a bra and panties with a very thin and thus very see-through dress. Too much information for most of the class, but none of us had the heart to tell her and resulted in much laughter and finger-pointing on our destination.
To this day I still cannot understand why I didn’t tell her anything. Was it a tiny malicious part of me that wanted revenge because her mother had gone out and bought the expensive and highly impractical dress or was I just too wussy to be a good friend?
That field-trip truly became a defining moment for me. I’d always taken pride in standing up to bullies, always telling the truth and that moment made me realize I wasn’t as holy and genuine as I’d thought. It was the first time that I was truly disappointed in myself. Why couldn’t I just tell her to borrow a cardigan to cover up?
Picture borrowed from Fashionindie
I actually don’t see sheer as immodest or immoral in any way and I can honestly see the lure. I was fascinated by the Man Reppellers take on wearing sheer last summer and it seems sheer can be incorporated even in the preppiest of the preppy wardobes.
These days sheer seems to be the equivalent of what scruffy Chucks or my tattoos are for me. It’s my little sartorial provocation, my little way of saying “I don’t give a damn about what you think. I like it and that’s all that matters”. Whenever I feel angry I always wear my Chucks, and maybe that is exactly what sheer means to the American Apparel clad hipsters. Maybe it’s their way of protesting?
Last year on my Barcelona holiday I even tried a sheer mint maxi-skirt from American Apparel on, but as I was standing there in the dressing-room I instantly felt like the insecure and awkward teenager again, even though I wore a knee-length skirt underneath. I’ve realized sheer is just simply not for me, it transports me straight back to THAT school-trip and makes me nervous, fidgety and reminds me too much of my personality flaws.