The Mesh Top & Dress Trend Is More Versatile Than It Looks

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If there were an Oscar for the most Ubiquitous Evening Wear Style right now — the Everything Everywhere All At Once of the 2023 Academy Awards after-party attire — it would go to mesh dresses. Emma Chamberlain, Alessandra Ambrosio, Danielle Brooks and Daisy Edgar-Jones were just some of the many style stars who stepped into the spotlight on Sunday in this year’s take on the naked dress trend, letting see-through materials of all kinds take centre stage.

Those of us who were following the spring/summer 2023 runways last year will have seen mesh tops and dresses coming thanks to designers like Tory Burch, Versace and Prada. Though perhaps not to the extent that the barely there fabric is being adopted everywhere from the streets of Fashion Month to the scenes inside some very fancy affairs.

If you’re not entirely sure what we mean by mesh, the look refers to strands of textiles like nylon, spandex, knits or even metallics, which are connected to form a microscopic web of fabric. Whatever the material, these evenly spaced openings create a breathable, stretchy and often sheer effect that is not exclusively made for the red carpet. While Kylie Jenner rocked a black mesh turtleneck ensemble by Acne for a friend’s birthday party, designers like Peter Do are making the case for similarly see-through button-downs that can go from workwear to weekend wear with the addition (or subtraction) of a base layer.

With so many big names attached to the trend at the moment, shoppers appear emboldened to test it out, with internet searches for terms like ‘mesh top’ and ‘mesh dress’ on the rise. Below, we’ve rounded up a few inspired pieces for those of us looking to scoop up something sheer.

The mesh top

With daring designs from Tory Burch, Monse and Self-Portrait, there’s ample SS23 inspiration for a mesh top, blouse, tank or long-sleeve shirt that boldly bares all. We’re partial to the added glamour of rhinestone embellishments or embroidery, which makes a simple sheer look instantly festive.

The mesh dress

Why stop at the waist when you can have a head-turning mesh piece that reaches your knees or even your toes? Style a mesh dress over trousers or a skirt for a casual look à la Miu Miu, or go all-out Ganni with a floor-grazing number that’s fit for carpets of all colours — Oscars-champagne or otherwise.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by us. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, we may earn a commission.

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