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Feb 2, 2016

Sheer Fabrics for Men - YEA or NAY?



Readers, I think of myself of as open-minded and I know you are too.

But it is my opinion that sheer fabrics, lace included -- as in that Versace number up top -- don't do most men any favors.  Do you agree?







KTZ, Spring 2015

Naturally, it's easy to find over-the-top photos of fashions that clearly aren't designed for everyday wear (or are styled specifically for the runway).  Some sheer garments aren't quite so outrageous.  In fact, some are kind of cool (literally).  Maybe it's all in how you wear it.  One thing's for sure: sheer tops work better than sheer bottoms. 



I would wear this but I'm not sure I should.







Givency, 2009

Perhaps my contemporary eyes are simply trained to associate sheer and lacy fabrics with womenswear.  Perhaps the flirty, peek-a-boo, now-you-see-it/now-you-don't appeal of sheers is just not something most men are used to.  Clearly, changes are afoot.

Readers, your thoughts.

Would you like to see the man in your life through a layer of Chantilly lace?

If you're a man, would you feel comfortable providing a glimpse of nipple -- or more -- to anonymous passersby?

Is revealing a lot of skin a sign of power, or lack thereof?

Sheer fabrics for men -- YEA or NAY?

Rocco Barocco

57 comments:

  1. Wear what makes you happy, just don't insist that I do the same. Because showing my bra behind a sheer cotton top is not something I want to do. No, I'm not ashamed of my body, but it is MINE, and I don't feel like sharing with all and sundry. Non-cotton? No way. Too many lovely looking fabrics are polyester. To me they feel like sandpaper and plastic shower curtains.

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  2. I think that I am looking at these through the same social conditioning that associates sheer and lace with women. Showing parts of my anatomy to strangers doesn't bother me per se. But I am of the opinion that I probably shouldn't, because it's not all that flattering any more. Then again, I have the same hesitation with women wearing revealing garments; it's nice and appetite inducing when some wear it, but not everyone. And never my mother.

    So, for me, nay. But I would love it if you would experiment with it and came up with a personal interpretation.

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  3. Nay, but really... I don't think I'd want to see an all-lace or all-sheer outfit on a woman either.

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  4. Nah. Although there is a certain appeal in some of the pictures in an arty kind of way, they are totally unpractical. I mean, unless preceded by a full body wax most men would be sprouting plenty of hair out the holes of that fabric, like those upright strawberry planters with the pockets. Being who you are in NYC, it is possible YOU could rock it though...

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  5. Aloha from Josie

    I do wear sheer blouses, or almost sheer. Not so I can show my body to the world. It's call living in the tropics. Hot weather, high humidity, and, the perennial sun. I do not care if I look good or bad.

    That's my story

    Mahalo.

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  6. Mr. Tall Dark AND Handsome in the black v neck can wear sheers all he wants. If he would like to model that outfit in my living room I wouldn't complain. However, I am of the opinion that something is best left to the imagination. Maybe that's is why I like his outfit the best. Semi sheer and not totally see through and his pants are "normal" so it looks wearable and less like an abstract art piece. I think that semi sheer for men follows different specific rules but the same general idea. Don't do the entire outfit. Don't look like you are advertising your wears. Do have a bit that makes someone think "ooooh".

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  7. Lace need not be flowers, birds, and other Victoriana/Baroquerie. A strong geometric pattern might lessen the all-too-obvious juxtaposition.

    Full-body lace (or nearly so) that reveals just about everything looks stupid on anyone, frankly. Sheer box pleats on an otherwise solid pair of lounge pants or a lace collar, placket, and cuffs on a solid shirt would be revealing enough. But I suppose those wouldn't be as editorial and 'interesting.'

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    1. Regarding full body lace, I have always liked Ms. Manners advice on revealing clothes: be Victorian about it ( I think it was Victorian, or was it Edwardian? a woman might have bare shoulders on a gown or a long skirt with a high slit, but never both. That way admirers could focus on one thing).
      And I kind of like what the first guy is wearing. It wouldn't matter if the second guy was wearing khakies- he looks miserable and he's carrying a pot holder to a fashion show.

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    2. To my eyes, the first guy looks like a porn star on his day off. Way too much: shiny black leather(?) sport coat with hiked sleeves, shiny calf boots with buckles, metallic belt, lace shorts and shirt, solid black jewel bag... By themselves, each of these items would be interesting (and more challenging) if worn in the context of more everyday clothing, especially the lace.

      The skater look on the 9th guy is handsome, I think.

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  8. Sheer is a bit problematic for anyone. The difference for men is that if we really want to show off skin we have a lot more possibilities for wearing less clothing since we don't have to wear a top at all. Women can use it for "seduction" purposes - the hint of the reveal is the draw. Having a perfect body is not really the issue. Doesn't really work for guys so much unless there is one helluva body lurking beneath, and if it's that good, why the need for clothing at all? I can't wear sheer in good conscience so it doesn't really make it on to my radar as a possibility.

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  9. I have got to go with nay. Men or women, it's just not something I find appealing. And if you must, a little sheer goes a long way. Although the sporty, semi sheer v-neck didn't look too bad.

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  10. Ummm, no. But I also don't find this appealing on women either. And, just saying.... only men whose bodies look as incredible as those men have a prayer of getting away with that look.

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  11. I agree with Bob on Dreamy McBlack. I have always liked linen when it's worn and almost see thru. Or a light gauzey type of fabric that hints at body form underneath. Sheer, will remain to me the exception and not the norm, otherwise Peggy Mffitt and Paloma Picasso would be in everyone's wardrobe.
    These guys have great bodies and it still looks awkward (except for Black Panther man above. On normies, it might not be attractive. Think 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. I do like diaphanous sleeves on dresses and blouses where it's attractive to my eye. Imagination is is still the best aphrodisiac

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  12. In trying to picture going out to dinner with my husband with him in a lace shirt just makes me giggle. We wouldn't make it too far!

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  13. I say Nay. I don't like seeing women baring it under lace or sheers anymore than I would a man. It's just distasteful to me.

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  14. I say "why not?" Although it looks a little crazy when styled for a runway, I think it could be a really interesting look. Female models wear sheer shirts in ways that most women never would ie. Without a slip/camisole, so what if a normal guy wore a lace shirt with an undershirt? I personally think that could look awesome. Even lace or sheer details on a sleeve would be a less in-your-face way to experiment with the trend.

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  15. I'm not too big a fan. But then I don't think most women look great in sheer fabrics either, unless it's done with a LOT of restraint.

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  16. The runway examples except for Mr. Last don't do a thing for me. For some kinds of events, maybe a lace shirt with an underlining would look OK, but the lace idea flies in the face of modern masculine clothing. I'm not sure whether it's the long association with lace and lace making being female, or whether we just can't get our eyes around "effeminated" men... even the powerful trendsetters of the 16th & 17th centuries whose portraits we can see used lace mainly for fancy collars and cuffs. With brocade vests and velvet pants and long hair! Seeing skin just doesn't work for men the same way as for women. Kris

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  17. I think lace fabric for menswear only looks good on guys that are in good shape. I think you could pull it off, Peter! :)

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  18. That sheer sports jacket is cool! I wouldn't mind wearing that.

    Lace for men... I guess it depends how it is done. If it's ridiculously over the top at a day-time event it may get some giggles. If it's at a gallery openibg or at a lounge during a night...much better time to wear it :)

    I think everyone is allowed to wear whatever they want.

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  19. Remember in the 80s, all those see through eyelet tank tops and cap sleeved tops, often with bonus runs and rips? They looked great on guys. A nice headband through the boofy hair, some high waisted, pleat waisted jeans and combat boots. SEXY!!!

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  20. Definately Nay! It doesn't look good on the super young, perfectly chiseled models. What are the chances it will look good on mere mortals?
    The same goes for women, in my opinion, concerning revealing clothing. Just because it was done on a runway, it dooesn't mean you should do it too. Who of us looks like Gigi Hadid?

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  21. Personally I think it's an individual choice, I have a few sheer things but haven't worn them since I was ain my 20s, age definitely helps when you want to wear those things...! The black shirt you liked looks great and I think you could wear it. Generally if you want to show your body, do so, but do it for yourself and not others. Personally I would be very happy seeing Channing Tatum (or some other toned hunk) in a sheer shirt, but I'm not sure a beer belly looks good regardless of what it's draped in. However that is my opinion, so if you want to wear it for yourself or someone you love, then go for it, no body shaming here. Also, I have no problem with men wearing lace, flowers, pink or any other 'traditionally female' items, at the end of the day all these things started as masculine (along with high heels!) and have transitioned. Your masculinity/femininity/self awareness should come from inside, not what you drape yourself in, and should be what makes you happy, not trying to living up to some societal standard that changes regularly.

    Perhaps more importantly, to me, sheer is about alluring, it's about teasing with a suggestion of what is underneath, so it has to be only-just-slightly see through, or partial e.g. lace over sleeves and decolletage then an opaque bodice, suggesting that there is more, but not making it obvious. No reason why a man can't do this, it's just that 'traditionally' women have been the ones to tempt men, which is fairly ingrained, but also ridiculous and pretty archaic! We are all humans with desires and imaginations, so why shouldn't men tempt women (or other men!) However, a full lace/see through outfit leaves nothing to the imagination and to me is boring in an anatomical way regardless of who is wearing it.

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  22. Like all runway outfits I find a lot of them pretty funny. And some just pretty. But I do get distracted by the expressions (or lack of) on their faces. What do you reckon the guy in the second photo is thinking? He looks like he really hates his job. However I like some of the sheer shirts and I think that men should wear what makes them feel good. Just like women should.

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  23. I say yea, simply because most women who aren't super shapely don't look good in sheers either. SO go and clad yourself in organza and lace, all you adonises out there. I won't mind.

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  24. I don't mind the semi sheer sweater, the sports jacket and the white lace shirt. Not for pants... If it appeals to you why not.

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  25. Overall, I would say "nay". However, that black pullover that you mentioned you would wear, I love and don't see any reason why a man could not wear it. I would purchase it for my hubby! So I guess I'm saying, "yea". If it looks good on you, and you feel good wearing it, why not?

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  26. Sheer tops work IF the body underneath is killer. Not sure women want to see a man's underpants through see-thru shorts or pants though. Thinking this look is for the very young!

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  27. The closest I've come is a very light, loose linen shirt, in somewhere tropical, worn over a tee in a coordinating color with linen pants. People who aren't models on runways or Club Kids on their way out for the evneing should generally avoid any look that seems to be trying too hard, and lace shirts (or pants!) fall pretty squarely on that side of the equation.

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  28. Hot weather sheer - given it is natural fibers - Yay! Beautiful cotton lace for evening under a dinner jacket - Yay!
    Sheer bottoms on the beach - Yay!
    Otherwise - hit the gym... ;-(
    Thanks for bringing this up.

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  29. Guayaberas come to mind...you know, those shirts with the tucks down the front and back. Read all about them on Wikipedia. Made in handkerchief linen, well, pretty sheer. A power garment if beautifully hand made and pressed. Not so much wrinkled and made in stinky poly blends.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm. The guayaberas my abuelo and his friends wore were not sheer. They were very light cotton, but they were not sheer. They always wore it with a wife beater underneath.

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  30. I really like the look of a lace tailored shirt with a matching tank top underneath. I think it's an interesting combo that does allow guys to turn the lace is feminine thing on it's head.

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  31. Bearing in mind that most women most of the time don't wear sheer clothes, I think that special occasion/trend-following sheer clothes for men are quite reasonable.

    I used to go out dancing wearing sheer clothes in layers - either multiple sheer pieces together or a sheer piece over a similar opaque one (loose sheer tee over tighter, smaller opaque tee, for instance)and I'd be interested to see some of these looks worn similarly. A sheer black mesh tee over a regular black tee might be both appropriate for a range of comfort levels and flattering to many body types.

    I think society needs to make space for men who want to wear feminine things occasionally or to have an overall femme gender presentation. I, a woman, wear actual, literal men's clothes all the time - I much prefer men's knits and men's shoes, and wear men's button-fronts when I find ones that fit well. And I don't choose only anomalous, feminine-looking ones either - I like a slightly preppy, very androgynous look. And yet no one thinks I'm oddly dressed and I get a lot of compliments. (And it's not like I'm young and exquisitely beautiful and would look good in anything, either.) Why shouldn't men have the same right?

    Things change - in the 1950s I would have been subject to arrest for dressing as I do today.

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  32. Why do I want to give them all puka shell necklaces?

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  33. I don't like those examples particularly, but wouldn't say never to the idea of sheers on men, only Why do they keep putting those hideous pocket bags in sheer shorts?

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  34. Uh. no. I found myself hoping - really, seriously hoping - that they paid these guys a LOT of money to appear in public wearing that.

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  35. Nope!! Not for men or women. Leave SOMETHING to the imagination, please. The fabrics are beautiful, but a pretty underlining would do them well.

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  36. I like it when it's done in a masculine way, so the floral lace is usually out for me, but yes. I think there's some great possibilities for contemporary fashion with it.

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  37. Oh nay nay nay nay nay! I do however like the semi sheet black polo. But I don't even like sheer bottoms on women, unless it's a costume. Saw a woman stepping up to an automatic teller the other day wearing blue short shorts with a sheer lace skirt over. Not her best look. But on a man......yikes!

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  38. A couple of years ago my 12-year-old son and I were going into the Target on LaBrea in L.A., when a 50-something guy (not Mr. Buff either) rode by on a bike in a babydoll negligee, thong and turquoise eyeshadow. My son looked at me and deadpanned, "some things can't be unseen," but whatever floats your boat, I guess. Anyway, when I was in grade school we used to wear lace shorts like the ones in picture #1 under our dresses, and called them "pettipants." We couldn't wear pants to school, and they were more comfortable than crinolines.

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    Replies
    1. California dreamin', on such a winter's day.

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  39. I love the look of both the black collared v-neck and the white lace shirt and neck-tie, but sheer or not, the other styles just weren't great. I guess I can't say yea or nay without looking at each sheer design individually.

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  40. I agree with the people who say, " it depends on who and how". I think that last picture is pretty hot and agree that black v-neck is very appealing. I was happy to see Mark Jacobs in a lace top at the Costume Institut Ball a couple of years ago. So maybe I'm really a yes! I agree that many of the examples here are extreme and some of the models look worried and uncomfortable. But I've been thinking about this myself when sorting through my stash and recognizing that many of my fabrics have a "gender" and that was a weird thought for me. I started thinking about how they could be used for clothes for my husband and son. I haven't followed through because I suspect it would be wasted effort. LOL. But it does bother me to think certain fabrics are generally verboten for men. I mean even something like wool crepe . . . It is a kind of sexism.

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  41. Utter and complete Nay. Black is too raunchy on women as well.

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  42. Nay! Why would any guy want to look like someone's living room window's sheers? I mean really!

    Hus

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  43. On the right young guy (buff) with the right attitude (playful) and the right place (resort) then I can see it. I wore a beautiful Donna Karan dress with a sheer top with matching bra underneath when I was 30 but now that I'm twice that age, I think I'd scare people!

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  44. since sheer fabric on men is a developing idea, so it is still a bad replika of women's wear. I think that is why we dont find it appealing

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  45. Sheer fabric on men make them over gentle. It's ok for fashion show or fashion museum, but not for everyday life.

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  46. Bollywood films often feature a hero in a fantasy dance sequence wearing sheer shirts, Shahrukh Khan especially. We're usually a bit grossed out. I vote no.

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  47. I confess I never thought about this. I don't really like it, but I think people should wear what they want.

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  48. Holy moly, that last pic with the long time made me drool. Hello yes on that one!

    Antone

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