We get it. The words ‘see-through dress’ don’t elicit images of elegance, but these celebrity looks might just change your mind.
Remember when we lost our minds over Angelina Jolie’s extreme dress slit at the 2012 Oscars? By the second and third celebrity to follow suit on the red carpet, we were immune to the dangerously-high seam. Well, the latest red carpet trend is to reveal all in a see-through dress. But you know what, the celebs are baring it all in a chic - not cheap - fashion, and we are so in to it.
These are the best celebrity see-through dresses we love (from the safest to the most revealing), and the style secrets to getting this transparent trend right.
What to wear under a see-through dress
If you’re wondering how to wear a see-through dress without revealing *everything* then follow these style tips:
Tip 1. Invest in really great underwear. Something minimal that has a flattering cut but also keeps everything in is best. Bodysuits are great for those who don’t want to bare too much skin and are after a toning effect, too.
Tip 2. Think about the dress code. Is it appropriate to show up in a naked dress? Pick and choose your occasion - there’s a time and a place.
Tip 3. Pick a nude lining that matches your skin tone. If you want to create the illusion of a see-through dress without actually showing anything, sew a nude lining into your dress. But make sure it’s the same shade as your skin tone for an undetectable look.
Tip 4. Think about the lighting. While standing in front of your mirror at home, you may be happy with what is and isn’t on show - but under different lighting (especially a camera flash), you may find that you’re sharing more of yourself with everyone than you originally bargained for. Test your outfit in a couple of different lighting situations.
Tip 5. Wear it with confidence. If you feel good then you’ll look good. It’s that easy!
The best celebrity see-through dresses
11. Charlize Theron
If you want to just test the see-through waters, take your cue from Charlize Theron. While there’s the illusion of a lot more on show than there actually is, it’s only really her legs that are bare. Elegant and sexy sums up this black see-through dress (and Charlize in general) perfectly.
When: 14 May, 2012
Where: Snow White And The Huntsman London Premiere
If there’s one red carpet event that you can count on for spotting a see-through dress, it’s the Met Gala. The dress code is always daring and the celebs go all in every year. Ciara’s side boob is so distracting you almost don’t realise that there’s actually a skin tone-matched nude lining covering up the rest of her assets. The metal chain detailing adds to the transparent vibe.
When: 02 May, 2016
Where: "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Met Costume Institute Gala
9. Diane Kruger
There may be strategically-placed beaded embellishments, but those sneak peeks of skin paired with the burlesque-style details like boning and tassels make this see-through formal dress super sultry.
When: 28 February, 2016
Where: 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
8. Kaley Cuoco
Now, a see-through wedding dress may not be in good taste, but after the formalities are done and it’s time to party, well, why not?! When Kaley Cuoco married equestrian Karl Cook in June 2018, she made a costume change from ceremony to reception with this lace Tadashi Shoji pantsuit. There was a plunging neckline and see-through lace, and yet the bridal get-up was cool and classy.
When: 30 June, 2018
Where: Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook’s wedding reception
7. Kim Kardashian
While not technically revealing anything, this transparent dress highlights every inch of Kim’s body. If you want to accentuate your hourglass curves, horizontal stripes and a nude nylon bodycon dress nails the brief.
When: 11 November, 2018
Where: 2018 E! People's Choice Awards
6. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie’s body was made for see-through dresses. Spotted wearing this same Atelier Versace see-through maxi dress on two separate back-to-back occasions, the sheer black/printed chiffon with peekaboo panels and cutouts is see-through, revealing, but still on the modest side.
When: 05 July, 2015 / 06 July, 2015
Where: Versace show at Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015/2016 / amfar dinner at Paris Fashion Week
5. Bella Hadid
Bella’s white see-through dress may have been revealing, but the delicate details and intricate beading made her look like a million dollars. This is proof that less is more!
When: 25 May, 2017
Where: amfAR Gala Cannes 2017
Queen Bey loves a see-through number with embroidery in all the right places. At the 2012 Met Gala she showed off a see-through gown with a nude lining to conceal her breasts-to-butt. At the 2015 Met Gala, however, she stepped up the see-through factor with this Givenchy gown where she seems to be completely naked underneath.
When: 04 May, 2015
Where: "China: Through The Looking Glass" Met Costume Institute Benefit Gala
3. Rita Ora
Is this a dress or simply a sheer overlay? Rita’s entire body was on show at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, except for her black underwear, and you know what, she looked incredible.
When: 21 August, 2018
Where: 2018 MTV Video Music Awards
Rihanna is not opposed to a see-through dress - from the one she wore to the 2011 Grammys to this nowhere-to-hide Adam Selman see-through mesh metallic gown she wore when she won the CFDA's 2014 Fashion Icon Award.
When: 02 June, 2014
Where: 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards
1. Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner has been seen on the red carpet wearing so many see-through dresses we decided she deserved her own gallery. Despite being the more shy and conservative one of all the Kardashian-Jenner sisters (not even Kylie Jenner has worn naked dresses on this level), Kendall seems completely at ease baring it all, nipples included. While models regularly go braless on the runway, it’s a whole other kettle of fish to find the confidence to do the same at a social gathering. From the chic see-through lace dress to the nothing-left-unseen black and gold mini dress, no matter what Kendall wears (or doesn’t wear!), she always looks 10/10.
When: 01 May, 2017
Where: "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" 2017 Met Costume Institute Gala
When: 03 May, 2018
Where: Tiffany & Co. Paper Flowers Event And Believe In Dreams Campaign Launch
When: 11 May, 2018
Where: Chopard Party - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
When: 12 May, 2018
Where: "Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)" Red Carpet - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
When: 10 December, 2018
Where: The Fashion Awards 2018
Shop see-through dresses
Keen to brave the naked dress trend? Here are five see-through dresses to shop now.