Special Fashion Interruption: Sheer Blouse No-No’s

Posted August 30, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Career Girl programming for a special announcement.

There are women around the city of Chicago (and I can assume other cities as well) who are making an incredibly inappropriate fashion mistake. The first time I saw this look on the street, I thought “Poor thing. She just doesn’t know what’s up.” Then, I saw it again. And today, I saw it twice – first on a woman in a casual environment, and then on a woman wearing a suit! THIS…is what I keep seeing:

Listen to me, ladies. Listen good. Listen hard. This is a hard and fast rule.


You may be saying, “Wait a minute, Marcy, women are actually doing this?” Yes. They are. They’re everywhere. And apparently no one educated these women that bras are to be worn, and never seen (by anyone other than you and the person you share your home with). Especially in the office setting. It is never, never, never appropriate to show your bra.

In case you’re still cloudy about this, I’m going to illustrate in a series of photos:

DON’T – Just because the runway shows it doesn’t mean you can wear it.

DO – Thank you for this modest, flattering, and great color story look!

DON’T – Just because celebrities wear it, doesn’t mean you can.

DO – Cameron Diaz shows how to wear a lighter cami that looks great with the sheer top.

DON’T – Nope, a bandeau bra doesn’t count. you still have to wear a cami.

DO – Wear a great blouse with a contrasting cami.

Everyone understand? Good. And now, back to your regularly scheduled Career Girl programming.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."



    Thank you for this article. As a business woman and an image professional I share your concern for the lapse in judgement that many women make when choosing this kind of attire for the workplace. I agree it is entirely inappropriate. Although it may be trendy and comfortable, it sends the wrong message. Image is all about the ABCs -Appearance, Behavior, Communication and it is important to make sure that these are in sync so we do not communicate mixed messages. The media has done a lot to help blur the lines between fashion and image. Women have to be better informed so they can make the right choices. There is a lot of confusion out there. Some women just don’t know or belive that if they see on TV it is OK. And of course there are those who just don’t care. The net result is that we could end up compromising our self image, identity and integrity. It is possible to look, chic, stylish, trendy and professional without doing that.


    Yes. This is very sensible and context appropriate advice. Absolutely. The whole look will be misinterpreted by men and women in the office, etc etc etc
    I have to say that as a 53 year old ex-exec wh worked in both Investment Banking and Global Oil & Gas, I must also sort of applaud the young gutsy women that are 21st century enough to say hey, I’ve got a nice bra on, I have a shirt on, its the latest fashion so deal with it.
    After all, back in the early parts of the 20th century wearing pants to the office was slightly edgy for a while, or wearing pink, or wearing high heels while in the C-suite, or being pregnant and a CEO. So I guess I can see the other side of the pushing the envelope argument as well.

    Perhaps the key piece of advice is, if you do it, know that you are consciously pushing the envelope on what is considered appropriate feminine propriety And then decide to go Lady Gaga about it or not.


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