Once the hallmark of Ibiza clubbers, street corner prostitutes and Madonna circa 1984, thanks to the S/S 09 catwalks, underwear on show is making a class act comeback. After giving a glimpse of high society undies under long layers of lace in their A/W 08 collections, this spring, Prada is letting go of any prudish premises, and letting underwear take centre stage. As seen in indulgent shades of champagne, rich raspberry, dramatic black and virginal white, Prada is teaming beautiful bow and button detail, balcony bras with pencil skirts, shrugs, bare skin and elegant chignons for a look that is as classic and sexy as a Bond girl, only with a touch more glamour in the form of chandelier earrings.
Having graced the catwalks at Nini Ricci and Louise Goldin's shows, it's clear that sheer is back too, bringing unashamed bra flashing with it. Not in the manner of Madonna's 'Get into the Groove' street style, more in the style of a sexy secretary seducing her boss, as demonstrated at Yves Saint Laurent; a very sexy evening look if perhaps a little too much for a daytime trip to the shops.
But in reality, how easy is it to undress to impress? Apart from the obvious fact that disgusting English weather, (looking out of my window as I type, all I can see is snow), is not conducive to sultry near -nudity; the threat of looking like you can use your nipples to tune into Radio One looming with every gust of wind will never be considered a good look. But sometimes, like bright orange body -con dresses and denim jumpsuits, what seems like a bad piece on the peg can turn out to be a fashion revelation in reality, as long as you give it a chance.
The key to wearing underwear as outerwear is keeping it classy and classic, if belched denim hotpants are your thing, then wearing them out with a bra probably isn't for you. But if the words 'wide leg trousers', 'pencil skirts' and 'floaty dresses' conjure up images of your wardrobe, then this is a trend for you to embrace. My advice? Try unbuttoning a blouse or wearing a sheer version of your favourite cut to show off a beautiful bra, (think pin up, not practical), wear with natural make up and bold lipstick for a sexy daytime look. For night it's safe to be a touch braver, if you're wearing a fitted jacket or blazer, ditch the t-shirt you're wearing underneath it and do up the buttons to give more than just a hint of bra, without getting the whole butcher's shop out. If you're going to a club or a party, why not choose a bustier or corset to wear as I top? Replace the stockings with skinnies and this Ann Summer's bustier from their new 'Destiny' range gives you VIP access to one of spring's hottest trends.
Or if your prefer to keep your high street sex shops finds under your clothes, why not invest in a glamorous 1950's style corset, from 'What Katy Did'? A London boutique that ships world wide, 'What Katy Did' is home to some of most playful, sexy and fashionable corsets I have ever seen, all of which are vintage inspired but brand new, for those that don't like the idea of wearing someone else's tools of seduction.