Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen several underwear-related fads come and go: whale tails breaching over low-rise jeans last summer; Miu Miu’s recent popularization of undies-over-tights a la Edie Sedgwick; and earlier this year people were simply giving a little crack via the ultra low-back dress. Now, it’s time to turn the other cheek—or rather, give the cheek its turn.

Showing cheek is the trend closing out this summer as the kind of deceptively demure and spontaneous baby sister of the underwear bunch. Demure in that, technically, there’s more fabric coverage. Deceptive in the X-ray vision that coverage offers. It’s spontaneous because it looks like an unplanned outfit—undies and a sheer dress or bottom. It embodies an attitude similar to what Diane von Furstenberg said about the original wrap dress, “It gave [people] the freedom to dress (and undress) with ease.” When you’re showing cheek, you’re ready for anything—including, especially, doing nothing.

I love it.

FRANCE – AUGUST 28: Premiere : “Slogan” by Pierre Grimblat in Paris, France on August 28, 1969-(16555) Serge Gainsourg, Jane Birkin and Pierre Grimblat. (Photo by Yves LE ROUX/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

When I first showed cheek earlier this summer, my ass felt like a veiled bride. One who took a detour on her way to the altar and went directly towards the honeymoon suite (or, appropriately and in my case, Cake Zine’s Humble Pie party at Brooklyn’s Public Records). Since then, I’ve seen cheeks everywhere. Long gone are the days of accepting mere crumbs like side boob and under boob; we’re officially having our cake and showing it too.

At the start of the summer, I saw a now-disappeared TikTok about the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. For context, Weezer and TLC took home the most awards (4 each), Dennis Rodman and Christopher Walken jointly presented the award for Best Alternative Video, and TLC accepted Video of the Year and Viewer’s Choice for “Waterfalls” in strappy white outfits not too different than the ones spotted on downtown denizens today. The casual, sexy, and summery vibe of this particular ceremony made it stand out among other more buttoned-up awards shows. People wore designer, sure—Madonna sported head-to-toe corporate sleaze courtesy of Tom Ford for Gucci—but no one wore intricate floor-length dresses or suits, really.

Not like they do today. There were no outfit changes. A lot of celebrities didn’t even have stylists. Most of the looks, frankly, could’ve been worn earlier in the day to fetch groceries or walk the dog, with noncommittal plans to show face at Radio City Music Hall later that evening. Enter Sofia Coppola, 24 at the time, bare-faced and in a sheer purple slip dress that’s slightly too big, revealing a plain white tank top and black undies underneath. The epitome of I-just-threw-this-on, unbothered, it-girl ease. Something about this outfit captured the laidback spirit of ‘90s red carpet looks in such a unique way. If we were to remove the sheer purple slip dress, what remains is realistic loungewear.

Sofia Coppola during 1995 MTV Video Music Awards Show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

As if, right before the show, Coppola was in some SoHo loft, reading Kafka in her tank top and underwear and eating something really manic-pixie-dream-girl like dry Fruit Loops or lukewarm clam chowder. When I saw that photo earlier this summer, I saw a fantasy—a girl with the most glamorous life at her fingertips who chose to rot in bed instead of accessing the best and most sought-after glam squad in the city—and I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to adopt that narrative for a bit.

As trailblazing as she is, Coppola was not the first to pull this look. Only two years earlier, Kate Moss wore a shimmering diaphanous slip to Elite Model Agency’s Look of the Year party in London. Flip flops, makeup-free, braless, and with a high side pony. Years later, Moss would say she didn’t even know the material would be see-through until she saw the photos in the paper the next day—which only furthers the case for “It” girls and their innate nonchalance. There was also Jane Birkin’s knit-iteration (kniteration?) of this look, which she wore to the 1969 movie premiere of Slogan, Serge Gainsbourg on her arm. Sophia Loren donned this combination in the movie Marriage Italian Style, though in a much more va-va-voom boudoir manner.

Italian actress, Sophia Loren, on the set of Marriage Italian Style in the role of a prostitute while talking on the phone in a public place in a transparent petticoat that reveals her underwear. 1964 (Photo by Reporters Associati & Archivi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

In the 21st century, Zoe Kravitz walked the 2021 Met Gala beige carpet in a Saint Laurent chain mesh gown and Dua Lipa wore a similar number from Bottega Veneta to the LA premiere of Barbie. Most press coverage focused on the bra (or lack thereof), but bra-centered trends are a little passé: been there and done that. Falling a little flat these days, so to speak. The real tea is in the derrière—which is why I favor Coppola’s boyish execution.

Granted, all these examples are limited to movie premieres and highbrow happenings, but showing cheek absolutely is not. Keep it as lowkey as possible. As this scorching summer is reaching its still-kind-of-scorching end, the best way to go about this trend is by not making it a whole to-do. If you’re home alone, eating dried mango, reading Naomi Fry’s latest culture piece, it’s likely that whatever you’re wearing will work just fine underneath a sheer dress—though it’s important to underscore the benefit of wearing a small heel in place of, like, a white sneaker—and the best part is, once you come home from doing whatever it is you were doing, all you have to do is slip out of your translucent turnout and resume your bed rot.

Want to shop this trend? Check out V’s guide to sheer, from shoes to classic slip skirts and dresses.

THE ROW Chiveny Dress in Cotton – $1,950

Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Tulle Off-Shoulder Ruched Midi Dress – $2,595

DRAE Navy Glitch Print Minidress – $175

Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Bikini – $22.00

Skims Fits Everybody Cheeky Brief – $20

Los Angeles Apparel Contrast Baby Rib Thong 7-Pack – $58

Prada Black Lace Midi-Skirt – $2,050

Des Phemmes Tulle Splash Embroidered Midi Skirt – $380

Miu Miu Black Georgette Skirt – $1,650

Justine Clenquet Black Andie Mules – $335

Tory Burch Pierced Slingback Heels – $398

Prada Brushed Leather Slingback Pumps with Floral Appliques – $1,290

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