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Women’s Travel Clothing – Sheer Clothing Trend

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

For lightweight packing, you can’t beat sheer, gauzy clothing and featherweight, see-through tops. But, don’t freak out on me, dollface. I’m not saying you should go around half-nekkid with your bazooms hanging out… What I mean is that you should have a couple of sheer tops to layer over your basic travel “anchor” pieces.

read travel tips

Versatile Plus Size Blouse

Layering in this manner produces a sexy look that doesn't require showing too much wrinkled skin. And, if you do it right, you'll look better than the locals.

Well...I don't want to over-promise, but I can most definitely guarantee you'll look better than the other old biddies on the tour bus... excuse me... I meant to say "luxury coach".

Private joke. I hate tours. Those crazy people get up way too early and think it's normal to go to bed when the sun goes down.

Why bother traveling at all? Just watch a few episodes of Rick Steves from your luxury La-Z-Boy instead.

Travel Wear for Packing Light

We all know a million reasons why you should pack light:

  • You have to pay extra to fly if your bags are too heavy.
  • You probably don’t have a Sherpa to lug all your crap up those big stone steps in Rome.
  • You want clothes that don’t take up any room, so you can fit your “shopping spree” into your suitcase on the way home. Hey, even if you’re just driving to the next state to see your sister or to visit your A-hole boyfriend who you should have dumped last year, you don’t want to hurt your back lifting your suitcase into your car. Right? And, sheer tops are so lightweight you won’t even know they’re in your bags.

Sheer Clothing Layered Over Basics

For the easiest travel wardrobe, you should start with a few jersey or knit anchor pieces. And, you’ll definitely want something with stretch.

Most women end up with a plain black dress or a black shell with pants. I’m not that into black. My neutrals are weird colors, like purple and peach, but I have black and navy, too, in case I ever have a layover in the Midwest. Anyway, you can find black travel basics at Travel Smith and Boston Proper and other sites.

Hey... no one wants to chat about the weather with a bag-lady tourist wandering around Paris. Well, gypsies might... but not the kind you would want to give your email address to.


I like to call my plain jersey travel basics “under wear” because I usually wear my travel dresses (or my travel tops and pants) under something more interesting, like sheer tops or featherweight cardigans.

Not only do I like the look of my gauzy layering pieces, but those layers keep people like you from seeing all of my bumps and bulges and my fat arms.

read travel wear tips

Cheer, Chiffon or Lacy Tops for Travel

Okay. You can still see my little flaws, but they’re not as “in your face.” And, I’m not going to ruin my vacation by wearing excessively constrictive body armor. I’ll wear Spanx' undies for special occasions, but I like to be able to breathe when I’m walking around enjoying the scenery.

Layering Tips for Plus Size Gauze Tops

Gauzy tops can be worn over any color camisole, tank top, or sleeveless dress, but sheer or lacy tops are especially flattering when worn over dark colors. Well, actually… it depends. Try different combinations.

read about travel tips & clothing

Sheer White Blouse 3 Ways


Layering Tips for Plus Size Gauze Tops

  • Light Over Dark: Most of the time, it’s easiest to wear something light (like white, beige, peach, lavender, turquoise) over something dark. However, that “something dark” can be a bright color like fuchsia, cobalt, or emerald. So, think outside the box. (Note: The plus-size runway model on the left is wearing a sheer white blouse over a dark print. And, the model on the right is not wearing a sheer blouse. You'll have to imagine her wearing a sheer shirt over a cami.)
  • Light Over Light: Some light-colored, gauzy tunics look fabulous over white anchoring pieces… even if you’re not skinny.
  • Dark Over Light: See a great example of dark over light in the main photo of this article about trends for spring and summer.
  • Sheer White Tunic: A sheer white tunic or dress is sexy, but not revealing, when worn over a black camisole and leggings… as long as the tunic is not too sheer or too tight. This look is perfect for a cruise. If you’re really heavy, ditch the leggings and wear wide slacks or a column dress under your tunic. (Note: All apple shapes need to wear long camis.)
  • Sheer Prints: Older women who are trying to camouflage bulges or saggy arms should consider getting a few tunics in sheer prints. Florals are great for summer. Leopard is fabulous for winter. Well… leopard is always fabulous on women over 50 or 60... all year long.
  • Black Over Black: My go-to outfit, when nothing else looks right, is a lightweight black (TravelSmith Voyager) dress, worn with a long sheer stretch-lace shrug/shirt/thing over it... that I tie in front with long ties that hang way down and sort of cover my big stomach. It's one of the best looks I've found in this middle price range. (And, I hardly ever hype products. I definitely don't tell you about brands I don't wear myself.)
read what to take when you travel

Sheer Travel Layering Tops

Shrugs and Cardigans for Travel

The only way to know for sure what works for your specific body type is to try on different styles, but here are some general ideas.

If you’re body is a pear or hourglass shape, you can wear a short shrug that ties in front, leaving your small waist exposed. You should also try a sheer, open-front cardigan over a belted camisole.

Crochet and Lace Tops

how to pack light for vacationIf your body is apple shaped… you’re basically screwed… No. Just kidding.

Try something like an open-weave crocheted tunic or a sheer, lacy shrug with a front tie (and long ends) that hang down to cover your tummy. And, when it comes to something that ties in front… the sheerer, the better. If you can find a crocheted shrug made of lightweight yarn (with good drape), buy it. Hey, buy two. But, always MAKE SURE that the knot doesn’t sit right on the fattest part of your stomach. Try tying it higher. Try tying it lower.

Sheer is Sexy

Sheer, see-through tops and crocheted cardigans are always fabulous over sleeveless tops and dresses. This is one of the best ways for Baby Boomer women over 40, 50, or 60 to look sexy without looking like they’re trying too hard.

But, there are other great reasons to travel with sheer tops. Whisper-weight items will make any outfit look different in 5 seconds. And, a gauzy top or a crocheted cardigan won’t add any bulk to your outfit. Woo hoo!

The right pieces will work like magic. You’ll love wearing your gauzy tops when you’re at home, but you’ll freak out if you don’t throw one or two sheer tops or cardigans into your carry-on when you’re traveling. Without your cover-ups, you won't be able to disguise your body after you've been eating Apfelstrudel and Bratwurst for two weeks straight.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women Who Travel:

Knit Jersey Dresses: Travel Wear for Women Over 40 or 50

Comfy Women's Travel Shoes

Parisian Women Over 50: Details Set Their Style Apart

Best Crossbody Bags for Travel: Women Over 40, 50, 60

Photo Credits: Prshots.com.

      • Main Photo: LaRedoute.com 2012.
      • Versatile Plus Size Blouse: JD Williams. It's from fall 2014 and it should be on Simply Be or Marisota, but I can't find it. If you can find the other purple top, I'll send you a dollar.
      • Sheer, Chiffon, or Lacy Tops for Travel: The colorful top will be here someday: Simply Be (spring/summer 2015). Sheer blue blouse is from 2012, but there is a newer version on Marisota. The turquoise blouse is absolutely perfect, but it's from 2012.
      • Sheer White Blouse 3 Ways: First two photos are from Evans s/s 2015 fashion show. Other photo is Debenham.
      • Sheer Travel Layering Tops: Joanna Hope Kimono at Marisota to size US 28. Long sheer kimono is s/s 2015 and should be at Simply Be.
      • Crochet Shrug Sweater: Prshots.com 2010/2011.
      • Travel Wear Shrug: Prshots.com 2012.

I have a small section of my closet filled with sheer wraps and shrugs, crocheted hippie jackets (don't know what else to call them), and giant gauzy scarves that I wear like shawls. These are things I can stuff into my carry-on bag or my handbag at the last minute when I'm running out the door to catch a plane. And, these lightweight thingies have saved my tush (esthetically) on many occasions. However, I also wear sheer tops and shrugs when I'm on the run in my hometown. (I'm always late. These wraps really help me pull everything together.) So, don't think travel wear is only for travel.

tips for travel wear

Travel Wear Shrug

I always try on sheer and crocheted shrugs when I see them on sale in stores. And, whenever I'm on a fashion site and I have the time, I check for sales and closeouts on featherweight wraps and oversized scarves, because I know I WILL use them eventually. Stretchy wraps, huge scarves, giant gauzy overblouses, and sheer chiffon-like ponchos are some of the only items I will even consider buying on "final sale" (non-returnable) because all of these items are so easy to fit.

What do you think of this article? Just stop in and say hi at the bottom of the page. It's much more fun for me to write when I know someone is reading.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. Barbara Sale

    Really enjoyed reading your very informative site. I felt you were talking just to me because our shapes and ages are so similar. Thanks, Barbara.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Oh, you poor dear... you have a body like mine. haha.

      Actually, we should love our bodies, whatever they are. They belong to us. I love my body but I'm not sure that clothing designers do. Or... maybe they don't understand that some of us don't fit into 'average' styles of clothing.

      Oh well, people like us have to be a little more creative than the average chickadee. And, in some ways that's a good thing.

      And, you are about my age. We are lucky to have grown up in a phenomenally (sp?) good time. I'm sure we've seen more changes happening all around us than any other generation EVER.

      I love being a boomer. There are so many of us that no matter what age we are, it's the 'in' age. We rock!

      I'm glad you had a little fun reading my blog. Sorry it took me so long to see your comment... I was out of town for two weeks and I had no way to log into my blog. And, to me, that is a strange sort of torment.

      Tina Boomerina

  2. Julie

    Where do I find that two piece where the model has a hat & sunglasses on. The suit is blue & white.

  3. Suzanne

    I love what you have to offer and would love to see more fashions. I am interested in purchasing some items. Want to know how to go about purchasing and shopping for more items.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I will add you to my newsletter where I have links to the clothing I show on my site and on Pinterest.

      Let me know if there is something specific you are looking for.


  4. Marilyn

    looking where I can buy the 2 pc bikini that has a black band around top and waist of bottoms...looks like snakeskin print(?)for the rest..thanks!!


    Looking for two piece bathing suite that is shown on sight....girl has on hat! I would love to know where to find it!

  6. Tina-Boomerina

    ok I figured it out. I have a pinterest pin going to the wrong article. I'll email both of you.