Skip To Content
  • Cute badge

I Wore Sheer Clothes As A Plus-Size Woman And You Should Too


by ,

Hi, I'm Kristin. I'm a plus-size lady, and to be honest, the only sheer things I usually like are sunscreen and windshields.

It is 100% because I am not perfectly hourglass-shaped, and when I look fondly at photos from festival season, I tend to see a lot of people exposing body parts I feel stupidly obligated to keep covered.

Christian Vierig / GC Images
Katie Stratton / Getty Images
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

See all those body parts exposed on these ladies above? I have those same parts but like, a lot more of them. But also, if there is one thing I have in spades besides is FOMO.

So I decided to wear sheer clothes β€” with increasing amounts of sheerness β€” for a whole week, because trends are for everybody, and last I checked...everybody should include me.

View this video on YouTube

First of all, buying and styling sheer clothes has a few, uh, logistical concerns I had not previously thought of:


Also, it was a little harder than I thought it'd be to find sheer clothes for plus-size women β€” I wanted to vary where I bought the stuff but ended up buying clothes from a lot of the same stores, since (at the time when I was shopping) it was actually somewhat difficult to find cute stuff that fit the bill.

Day 1: I start out easy with a sheer black bodysuit with flowers from Forever 21. I am Victorian widow who is doing a bad job at being sad that her husband is dead.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

My (actual, alive) husband suggested I style this with just nipple pasties and denim shorts, but he is basically the CEO of The Bad and Slightly Horny Ideas Corp., so I went in the opposite direction. For the first and only time, I am very in love with wearing a strapless bra.

I know I say this in every article I write, but I really REALLY did think this was going to be racier in photos than it actually is. Even after all this time, it's really hard for me to leap headfirst into a scary trend. I feel like a lil' newborn deer stumbling out of the fashion safety womb with delicate little wet legs, in that I get why people think I'm cute, but I still feel a little gross.

And because we at BuzzFeed love to RAISE THE STAKES: Day 1 was also the day of our Ladylike fan meet 'n' greet, and many beautiful people had very sweet things to say.


Y'all, compliments are REALLY hard to accept, especially when you're wearing what feels like the outfit equivalent of a bunch of raw footage for a movie.

They should really teach a college class on how to gracefully accept a A Nice Thought About Yourself without going into a death spiral over whether or not you're a big stupid jackass for believing it. I think it's because really believing someone requires a lot of trust in that person, and who among us would trust a relative stranger with their sandwich, let alone their feelings?

Day 2: I went with a pink dress with sheer panels from Charlotte Russe, and hello, I am now James and the Giant Peaches.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed
Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

I feel like a Disney princess, if you define "Disney princess" as somebody who launches into an adventure mostly in response to garbage from nearby Men in Authority.

One regret I have: When I was buying this dress for this project, I sort of erred on the side of getting this in the Giant Pillowcase Size. Most people thought this dress was nice, but too big, and didn't even really notice the bountiful sheerness of the arms, back, sides, and thighs. I honestly didn't take into account that when something doesn't fit properly, it doesn't do me any favors, either. I think I was just so worried about making sure nobody could see my body β€” far be it from me to commit ~*~*~two fashion sins at once~*~*~.

Day 3: I put on a sheer dress from Forever 21 and a bodysuit, which β€” before I put it on β€” was my least favorite outfit.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

Side note: Does somebody know where they are keeping all the bodysuits for women with bellies? Is a witch forcing them to remain locked in a castle until they can learn to love again? Maybe this is an issue to explore in a different post, but high-cut legs on a bodysuit + lower belly = spillage. I had to find a matching pair of underwear to wear under the bodysuit to make this work, which was already making me feel ehhhhh.

Anyway, when I first took these photos, I was trying my best to hide my feelings that I looked like a mermaid who just got legs and doesn't know how clothes are supposed to work but is just going with it.

Ok, I make a lot of Disney references, I'M SORRRRRRY.

But this immediately became everyone's favorite outfit (????), as indicated by the incredible amount of deep, important work we ended up doing in this meeting:


Like, seriously: I was very baffled that this was the favorite. I'm basically just going as sexy grandma's curtains for Halloween.

I took this photo post-gratuitous-coworker-compliments, and even I can tell that it looks better now because I don't feel like I'm just doing wacky stuff for fashion science.

Day 4: I try a lace bodysuit from Boohoo and my boobs are suddenly one hearty laugh away from launching themselves into the nearest authority figure.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed
Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

As someone who mostly wears skirts, I was at a bit of a loss as to how I was supposed to style all these bodysuits. My husband suggested wearing nothing with these, and he was promptly fired from the styling committee.

I actually thought this bodysuit was going to make me look like Play-Doh rolled into a doily, but if anything, it just drew attention to the fact that my favorite pair of shorts (pictured here) are actually a baggier, worse fit than I thought they were, which made me wonder why the shit I keep buying clothes that are slightly too big for me.

The major problem with a deep V neckline + sheer fabric over your boobs is that you are heavily reliant on your hair to keep yourself covered.


It was SUPER hot outside, and I really wanted to put my hair up, which means I had a very hard decision to make: Do I stay cool, or do I keep people from seeing my boob sweat accumulate in real time? This was probably the first day where I wondered if maybe this outfit didn't need to make it back into the regular work wardrobe rotation.

I then post this outfit to my Instagram while I'm in Palm Springs, and to my very real and significant surprise, it becomes one of my most liked photos ever.

Day 5: In which I try a black jumpsuit from Forever 21 with a sheer top, and everyone who had previously picked a favorite outfit changed their minds and picked this one.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

Which was BAFFLING to me. Truly! Personally, this outfit felt like just a nightmare for me when I was putting it on. I was somehow very exposed and very covered up all at the same time, which what is the point of showing people the goods if you aren't gonna stay cool?

It takes a lot of upstairs brain work to get to the point where you are OK with showing people what you look like in this outfit from ALL your angles, not just your good ones.

Even more intense was that this bodysuit actually looks better with my hair up, which, yikes: To me, my hair is like my beloved invisibility cloak.


I love my hair like I would love a child were I to have one β€” on days when I am feeling blah, I know my hair will be here to kill the game on my behalf. But once I put my hair up, I actually felt better. It's almost like when you wear something like this you have to fully commit to it in order to feel sexy. And since I had spent the week committing to all sorts of outfits I wouldn't normally wear, it was like, well, NO TURNIN' BACK NOW.

As a bonus, I did a Day 6: My boss gave me a challenge β€” restyle the first bodysuit, but take more risks this time β€” and, well, here we are.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed

So, some thoughts on this one:

1. I do work in a very boob-friendly office, but for my body, some treasures you gotta keep buried until Indiana Jones can come find them.

2. My back looks excellent, and I would not have discovered that if I hadn't really committed to showing as much skin as possible.

3. Nobody disliked this, but nobody was rushing to encourage me to wear it again β€” probably because it was easy to see how uncomfortable I was.

All in all, WOW, did we have a week full o' surprises and learnings:

1. Outfits I hated putting on were revered more than the clothes I actually wear, which I think said a lot about how I am actually playing it safer than I realized, and that I need to stop. that. shit. So do you!

2. I know I showed a lot of boob, but I can't help but notice that I would feel totally comfortable showing this much boob if they were hoisted up and crafted into the perfect cleavage, but showing them without support and flopping in the wind like a couple of old potatoes feels...sloppy. Which doesn't seem fair.

3. More plus-size stores need to offer more sheer options. COME ON, Y'ALL. Let's stop pretending that we're starting to think about buying summer clothes in the middle of August. WE ALL KNOW it's gonna be hot until October!