How to show your undies in public without looking tacky

Oct 14, 2014 at 8:03 a.m. ET
Image: Joe/WENN.com

It's the fashion trend that has most of us buttoning up our cardis. Here's how to work the undies-on-display look, without it appearing to be a wardrobe malfunction.

We all felt for Loose Women's Kay Adams when she inadvertently exposed her underwear on the red carpet at the Pride of Britain Awards. It's every woman's biggest nightmare, right? The grown-up equivalent of going to school with your skirt tucked into your knickers. Kay's navy dress was elegant and flattering but no match for the harsh lights of the cameras and her white undies stole the show. (At least they matched.) 

Kay took the wardrobe blunder in her stride and laughed it off, tweeting the morning after the ceremony: "Advance apologies to anyone who wakes up to my #epicunderwearfail. I hope it doesn't put you off your cornflakes #totalplonker."

Of course, Kay could have pretended she meant to show her bra and pants. It's a trend that many celebrity ladies have embraced. If you're brave enough to give it a go yourself, here's how to work it — and what not to do.

Reveal bra or pants — but not both

Back in 2013, A-lister Jennifer Lawrence was working this look at the L.A. premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Her covered midriff and the heaviness at the bottom of her Christian Dior gown kept her firmly on the right side of stylish. If you don't have a taut tum, go for a slimming bodysuit underneath a long sheer dress, which will pull you in and push you out in all the right places. Add a wide belt like JLaw to create a gorgeous feminine silhouette.

If you do have abs like The Saturdays' Frankie Bridge, get flashing that bra. She teamed her black net top with a flippy skirt for a cute look. Stick to a plain black bra with clean lines to make this look work.

We all agree that Rihanna looked fabulous in her barely-there dress at this year's CFDAs in New York. But this look isn't to be attempted on a girls' night out — unless you want to end up on the front page of your local newspaper.

Jennifer Lawrence Frankie Bridge and Rihanna showing their underwear

Images: Apega/WENN.com; Derek Jarvis/WENN.com; Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Jennifer Lawrence bagged Glamour's top style spot this year

Invest in some granny pants

Knickers Bridget Jones would have been proud of have stormed the red carpet this year. Take inspiration from Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora and protect your butt cheeks' modesty with some granny pants. Kim's plunging latex bodice is optional; Rita's crisp white shirt is a much better way to balance out a flesh-flashing bottom half.

Cara Delevingne showing her underwear

Images: Lia Toby/WENN.com; Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho / WireImage / Getty Images

The sheer trend was big on the catwalk at London Fashion Week

Kim Kardashian Rita Ora showing their underwear

Images: Joe/WENN.com; Will Alexander/WENN.com

Show your sporty side

Yes, even Miley Cyrus can provide style inspiration — if you take it down a couple of hundred notches or so. Wear your jeans slung low on your hips to show off the band of your favourite sporty briefs. But please pop a top on. A low buttoned shirt can expose a flash of your funky bra, without making you look like… well, Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus out on the town in her underwear

Image: WENN.com

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