Sometimes while shopping, the line between lingerie and actual clothing becomes unclear — especially these days, when dresses often look like slips and bustiers are sometimes worn as an outer layer. This week, we are saying NO to lingerie as clothing, though there are certain ways to make it work with other garments. Read on. ____________ AA: Well, let’s begin with the art of wearing a camisole. This article of clothing is delicate and feminine, which is part of the reason we see them worn as everyday wear — it is tempting to show skin while wearing such a dainty little thing. However, resist the temptation to wear a cami alone. There are exceptions to this rule but usually, a cami should be worn underneath a cardigan or blazer or what have you. If it is worn alone, you will look like you are going to bed, and/or got locked out of your room in your underwear. KW: I agree. While a little lacy thing displayed tastefully under your cardigan can be really sexy, a camisole on its own looks like you just forgot to put on your shirt. Slip dresses are a whole other, perhaps more terrible, issue. With a cami, you put something on over it and the problem is more or less solved. Dresses do not work like that. The most offensive ones I have seen are vaguely reminiscent of Madonna’s touring clothes during her cone-bra/Material Girl phase, and they just are not good. Not only are they way too revealing for polite society, they also look really uncomfortable and, ironically, unsupportive. Please avoid them, as well as the other dresses of this genre — just to be safe. AA: I remember seeing a photo of Iman one time, wearing a slip as a top over jeans, and guess what? Even a supermodel like her can’t pull it off! So don’t you go trying to either. I want to know what people’s opinions are on lacy bras peeking out behind dresses. Anne Hathaway recently wore a purple strapless dress with a lacy black bra blatantly exposed. I thought it was okay until I realized it wasn’t all one dress — it was a dress and a bra. I feel like it’s similar to letting your bra show when wearing a backless dress. there’s just something about it that isn’t right. EP: I am totally against the notion of a lacy bra peeking out of anything, however tempting it is, because about 99 percent of the time it does not look classy — even on the classiest of ladies. I saw that picture of Anne Hathaway compared with another woman who wore that same dress without a lacy bra, and the latter dress-wearer was voted as having worn it best. That is basically scientific proof that lingerie as clothes does not work. EG: I’m not sure how I feel about the lacy bras and dresses. I think it could be pulled off in a classy way, maybe if the bra somehow went along with the dress (same color/same fabric), but otherwise … try to hide your undergarments. I’ve also seen people wear backless shirts with their bras showing as well, and while at first I thought this was a new trend, I’m now convinced it’s just wrong. However, I do think that camis can be worn alone, as long as (once again) the look is pulled off in a classy way. EP: This issue brings up how vital it is to invest in bras — strapless, low-back, convertible, black, nude. The right brassiere goes a long way in ensuring the success of a great look. As a side note, bras with clear straps should be avoided at all costs – they can look pretty nasty and we can all see them anyway! AA: Well, I agree with all of these comments. Undergarments and lingerie are not meant for the public eye unless you are a Victoria’s Secret model, which thankfully most of us are not. This all goes back to a column we wrote a while ago that had something to do with cultivating a little mystery. If your undies are out in the open, nobody gets to wonder what they look like. I know that sounds ridiculous, but there is a lot to be said for that air of mystery. KW: One more thing, just to be clear: We are not advocating covering up totally, or dressing in an Amish fashion as I tend to — just cover your underwear. It seems to be the catchphrase of this column: Keep it classy. Put on some clothes. ____________ You know that old adage, “Secrets, secrets are no fun — secrets are for everyone”? Well, that doesn’t apply to your undergarments. Lingerie is a secret that should be kept and used only when necessary. It’s more fun that way anyway.