Underwear is the New Outerwear: Styling Lingerie Outside of the Bedroom

*Written by Kelly Niederreither*

The infamous items of clothing that were once only seen behind closed doors are making an appearance in everyday streetwear and nightlife fashion. 

When styled, you could wear lingerie just about anywhere — out at work or to a fancy dinner. By wearing lingerie in public, it can transform from clothing that alludes fantasy, to a garment that alludes power and expression. 

What is deemed as provocative and not appropriate in fashion is continuously evolving, opening gateways to embracing the natural beauty that these delicate pieces enhance. 

College is the perfect time to reinvent and magnify your wardrobe and embracing lingerie as a staple part of your closet is a fun, liberating start. 

Underwear is becoming the new outerwear — here are some of my favorite ways to style this trend. 

Corsets & Bustiers 

Some of the most versatile lingerie items to style are corsets and bustiers. My top places to shop for corsets are Prettylittlething, For Love & Lemons, ASOS and Victoria’s Secret. These pieces are also easy to find on Depop and Poshmark.

Corsets and bustiers are styleable over a T-shirt, on their own or with staple jackets (leather or denim). They pair well with high-waisted jeans, leather pants or a silk midi skirt.                    

Credit: Pinterest

The key with these pieces is to pair them with more neutral colors and fine jewelry to emphasize the unique textures and dimensions of the top.

When trying a lace corset or bustier, try balancing the more sexy aspect of the outfit with business casual counterparts if you are going for a daytime or office look. Some great options for this are blazers and wide-leg trousers. 

Credit: Pinterest

Chunky boots also compliment corsets and bustiers nicely, as Dr. Martens or Steve Maddens are a bold contrast to these delicate, feminine tops. 

Slip Dresses 

For fancy nights out, slip dresses are a go-to. They can be worn on their own, or styled with black stockings, a long sleeve or with a sweater. 

For longer midi dresses, try throwing on a vintage sweatshirt or T-shirt to create a comfortable 90s-style look. 

Because of their daintiness, slip dresses also look chic over loose button-downs. I have found some of my most treasured slip dresses on Princess Polly, ASOS, and Aritzia.

I styled my deep green slip dress from Princess Polly with black sheer stockings, a leather jacket, heeled leather booties, and a staple necklace. 

Credit: Kelly Niederreither

Lace Bodysuits 

Lace bodysuits are perfect for nights out or a fun day outfit. 

Try shopping for lace bodysuits from Prettylittlething, Missguided, and Forever21.

If your bodysuit is not cupped, it will most often not cover the breast area completely. If this is the case, and you prefer more coverage, try nipple covers or a sticky bra. 

Credit: Pinterest

These lace bodysuits pair great with a light jacket or fitted blazer. My favorite clothing accessories to pair with these are high-waisted pants and tall boots. The three items together sculpt the body, providing a sleek and edgy look. 

Sheer Tops 

With sheer tops, the key is to have a statement bra or plain cami underneath. These tops are perfect excuses to show off those cool undergarments you would not otherwise wear out. 

For more formal settings, a plain top under a sheer blouse provides great coverage and a more comfortable approach to a bolder piece like this. If you prefer hiding your belly button, try high-waisted pants or a skirt. For more coverage, layer your top with a plain blazer or oversized jacket. 

Credit: Kelly Niederreither

Sheer tops can have patterns and prints. I find floral prints on sheer tops very enhancing, as well as stripes of color outlining the rims. 

One of my favorite tops is a Superdown black sheer long sleeve with a red outline that I pair with a Prettylittlething black bralette.


Camisoles are versatile, simple items of lingerie you can style in a classy manner. 

They are easily layered, and can be worn on their own, or with a leather/jean jacket, cardigan, or blazer. Camisoles are flattering with leather skirts, jean shorts or pants, or with a midi skirt. Because of the top’s simple elegance, try accessorizing camis with scarves, bold prints, or chunky jewelry to play around.

These bedroom and boudoir clothing items are not solely for the daring. Don’t shy away from the word lingerie! It is flexible and all-around wearable for any occasion when styled right.

Credit: Pinterest

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