Lingerie as ready-to-wear is a trend that has been with us for a few seasons now, and frankly, we couldn’t be more excited. It can sometimes feel like a tragedy to own the world’s most glamorous lingerie and not be socially allowed to show it off. As much fun as it can be to incorporate beautiful underpinnings into an outfit, though, there are certain rules to keeping the look from moving into vulgar territory.
Chief among them is the Law of 3’s. The law dictates that, in order to maintain a balance of sex appeal and sophistication, an ensemble can only incorporate up to 2 of the 3 most common feminine wiles: a revealing top, a micro mini hemline, or towering heels.
“To display the chest, one must cover the lower parts of her body,” says British designer Giles Deacon in the June issue of Harper’s Bazaar. “A girl has to pick top or bottom. The key is to be seductive and voluptuous, so we’re not looking at hooker hemlines and bustlines. It still has to have a taste level.”
The Law of 3’s can be observed in action on the style elite:
Here, supermodel Angela Lindvall’s sheer, open-neckline/long-sleeve dress is complimented by opaque hosiery and a modestly short hemline. The skirt length tempers the bareness of the dress and makes sky-high platforms a chic pairing rather than a sartorial misstep.
Ever the style rebel, Rhianna knows to abide by the rule of 3’s– she’s on trend with her sheer, lacy bustier top but knows to tone down the provocation factor with a sharp shouldered tux jacket and draped pants. And she wouldn’t be Rhianna without a killer pair of 6-inch heels.
And so, the lesson: there is a suitable way for everyone to wear innerwear-as-outerwear. The key to the stripped-down look is knowing what to cover up.