Can underwear be part of your outerwear?


Yesterday, as we were stepping out for lunch, my husband freaked out at my attire. “What’s that you’re wearing? Why is your bra showing?” I wasn’t about to change my outfit but because of his adverse reaction, I had to change my yellow bra to one that is of skin color. I was wearing a white lacy camisole as part of my outfit and the top of the yellow bra was showing through.

Actually, I was surprised at his reaction because it was not the first time I wore that.   Moreover, I thought it’s pretty acceptable.  Afterall, I often see women, even in professional settings, showing their bras with see-through blouses. Other times, the color of their bras is deliberately darker than their blouses.  More common are visible bra straps.

Part of outerwear if it’s worn tastefully?
While I think it is inappropriate for professional situations, showing some underwear in a tasteful manner is fine in my opinion. Sometimes the underwear actually makes a fashion statement especially since many now are designed with lace and ruffles.   For example, it is not uncommon to see pretty camisoles worn under a jacket and lacy petticoats no longer need to stay hidden under skirts or dresses. 

However, I would draw a line as to what to show. For example, sightings of panties or thongs from girls clad in hipsters or low-rider jeans are a turnoff for me.   

What do you think?  Do you consider showing underwear to be indecent or acceptable?

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  1. says

    lol. this is a good Q. well, i personally feel like showing part of underwear is not considered indecent.

    the common separator would be: if u look good in it, no one is gonna say anything. for example, a girl with fabulous body shows off in camisole or low cut jeans vs a bigger-size girl wearing the same thing. (im not biased in body sizes). but our first impression will usually tell us which looks good, which is not. right?

    • sesame says

      I get what you mean. It really depends on how it is worn and how it looks on the wearer. Most important I think is that it shouldn’t come across as cheap looking.

    • sesame says

      Funny I was like that till I gave birth. I’m a bit less inhibited now…but of course doesn’t mean I like to reveal my cleavage or wear low cut.

  2. says

    Depends on the texture of the camisole. If it’s sheer, then it’s definitely innerwear. I do have a dark purple velvet camisole which I bought from Japan. Over there, it’s meant to be underwear, but back in M’sia, I wore it on its own. Looked great, and not overly revealing.

    I draw the line at showing the tops of the thong as well. That’s just tasteless.

    • sesame says

      You’re right! The material is important. Those that look too silky are a bit strange to be worn as outerwear.

  3. pf1123 says

    I have a problem. I like light colour clothings but nowadays they are made too thin. I don’t feel safe even when I wear skin colour bra. So, I often wear a white camisole underneath.

    However, I recently bought a top which is really nice but its too fitting to wear a camisole underneath.

    Actually its not flirty kind of revealing. Not low cut. Its just that its thin and fitting and when I wear it with skin colour bra, the outline is very visible.

    Would it be inappropriate to wear like that?

    • sesame says

      It would be less appropriate for a corporate environment but I think it’s okay for a social situation. But it really depends on yourself; you need to feel comfortable with what you wear.

  4. eliza says

    for me it depends on the situation as to where you are and who are the people you are going out with.

    some people can’t take it as it looks “cheap” and disrespectful – like my parents @@ unless i wear it with a coat or sweater to make it more, as per said “tasteful”.

    at college is not appropriate but many (not some) students wears them and it really shows off the “body”.

    No offense but i think its disrespectful to the lecturer and make you look like you go to school to attract and not to study =p

  5. says

    I don’t think its indecent but I prefer to wear white or skin color bras under light see-throughs and make sure that my straps don’t pop out in public.

    • sesame says

      Luckily, I don’t get to see much of these now. At one point, it was such an eye sore. Worst are the visible butt cracks!

    • sesame says

      What about wearing a jacket over or scarf over if you’re not comfortable of the visibility?

  6. Raelynn says

    it really depends on the setting. professional settings like formal office wear though i would feel that it’s a little inappropriate to deliberately wear a darker bra. if wearing a skin colour bra still shows, well then at least you tried. outside the office, if the lacy bras and camisoles etc are used tastefully by layering clothing, i feel that that’s fine too.

    • sesame says

      I find visible bra, even those of skin color, quite inappropriate where I work. But I’ve seen some wearing such and I feel rather uncomfortable with the idea. Actually, sometimes I find body hugging materials rather inappropriate for corporate settings too because of the attention to the body.

  7. Grace says

    Actually right now, wearing longline bras as outerwear is very popular in the UK, and catching on in the US >.<

    • sesame says

      Yes, I read about it too. I think celebrities have a big part to play in popularizing the wear too.

  8. pf1123 says

    I bought that piece for friday casual wear to work or smart casual events. But yes, maybe a scarf would do the trick.

    For a jacket, I probably would need a cropped one. Its empire waist actually. The design is princessy but unfortunately, the top is too fitting.

  9. says

    It all depends on how it looks. I personally don’t like my bra strap showing at all. Especially since I’m around a lot of guys (my boyfriend’s family is mainly guys), so dressing like that makes me uncomfortable. A really thin bra strap that doesn’t make it obvious is a bra, can be ok, but I still wouldn’t go out like that. I absolutely hate it when girls wear low riders and their thongs/underwears and butt cracks are popping out. Its just not attractive at all.

    • sesame says

      I know what you mean…I don’t like bra straps showing through either cos one can always wear strapless bra. Well, the idea of bra showing shouldn’t be obvious that pple will stare. Even if I wear my camisole for example, it’s layered and can’t be seen that obviously.

  10. pf1123 says

    I think bra straps are ok if its pretty and matches the outfit.

    But not if its old and discoloured.

    • sesame says

      I guess it also depends on how it’s worn. I find it weird to see some girls wearing tube and having their bra straps showing.

  11. Raelynn says

    oh yes. tube and bra straps are definately a nono. but i think spag strap top and if the bra strap is not too jarring on the eyes eg some bras have two thin straps instead of one thick one, it’s fine if the strap shows.

    • sesame says

      Straps with spag tops can look quite nice like what you said. It’s all about the combo. Which reminds me that some years ago, I saw some women wearing tank tops with big arm holes and they didn’t seem to mind that their bras were clearly visible.

  12. eli says

    I show my bra straps all the time! They are thin and I think it’s fine. Beside, Carrie Bradshaw makes it ok, this tv character at the top of the fashion chain as far as fictional characters go! I do’nt like strapless as my bra always slides down..especially for a night out when dancing.

    I think as long as it’s not trashy, it’s fine. But underwear should never been seen peeking out of low-slung jeans/shorts/skirts! That one will never be classy.

    • sesame says

      Strapless bras can be a hazard sometimes. I remember I had one that snapped loose when I laughed too hard! I remember they had this transparent straps which some wore with their tubes or spag tops. Those look okay to me but I couldn’t wear them cos my skin reacted badly to the plastic.

  13. Ms Lips says

    I think what the rest are saying about thin material for light coloured blouses is so true. That is why I almost never wear a white top. Maybe I’m conservative but I feel it’s too revealing and if I perspire too much, the clothes will stick and it’ll look unsightly.

    • sesame says

      I don’t think you’re being conservative; I see it as a matter of comfort level. And that bit about perspiration is true! I think more unsightly are wet armpits! 😛

  14. alixana says

    I think it’s a matter of personal taste, and the setting you are in. Personally, I am very particular about underwear remaining as -under-wear. Visible bra straps and lacy details that are visible through the blouse just do not appeal to me – it just looks cheap most of the time, instead of classy. Of course, there are exceptions, but I’ve not seen many normal women in Singaporea who can carry off that kind of look without giving off the wrong impression.

    Lesson learnt from my mother, and from etiquette class: wear skin-coloured undergarments if you are in a professional/formal setting, or even if you are socialising. Keep the black for your black / dark-coloured outfits, and other colours for home. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s a fail-safe policy :)

    • sesame says

      Now that you said it, I remember the wife of an ex-colleague coming to the D&D in a white top with a black bra and we weren’t very impressed.

  15. cowsandlemonade says

    underwear is meant to be under something LOL! Honestly, I am too old fashioned, with the age of what women are pursuing in their ‘freedom’ they might as well walk around naked. Doesn’t give much to the imagination for men the way women are dressing, I am so glad I don’t see any male plumbers walking around with their thong showing LOL!

  16. Ula Oh says

    I don’t know about the rest of the world but in Medieval Europe (and later) under wear was part of your outer wear. At least for women. They wore a gown-like garment under a thicker, heavier vest-like garment.

    These days, well, most of what I see is completely distasteful. I suppose it could be done correctly, but I haven’t seen it yet. Then again, I don’t see many tastefully dressed individuals where I live any way so…

  17. uhmm says

    ….well…if you take a moment to think for your husband…you should probably cover up a little more, you know, to not make him insanely jealous as he sees other guys staring at your bra?
    be a little more thoughtful..

  18. Amfortas says

    Save showing your underwear for work and then when you get unwanted sexual advances or ‘looks’ you can sue the company for millions and feel really empowered.

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