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May 28, 2017

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Hot spring trends use more cut-outs, see-through fabric

FRANKFURT -- The secret of style is knowing how to draw attention to your assets without exposing them. Some of the best designers have taken that to heart and integrated transparent materials and cut-outs into their spring and summer collections.

A strategically placed cut-out over the belly button on a dress, for example, looks great. Everyone will look, but they won't see much.

There are plenty of other places to use a cut-out.

Fornarina has been focusing on the decollete, while Liu Jo has cut flower patterns into the hemlines of its collection of skirts.

"If you are going to follow this trend then you need to pay attention to where the cut-outs are," says style advisor Andreas Rose. "Only young, very slim women should wear clothing with a cut-out on the stomach."

Even then you still need to be careful: a belly cut-out might look great standing in front of a mirror, but it could be a disaster when you sit down and folds of fat are exposed to the staring onlooker.

On the other hand, a knee-length dress with cut-out elements in the hem or sleeves can be worn by almost any woman.

The easiest way to wear this style is with a cut-out above the shoulders. That can make a rather formal top look more stylish. Sisley has a top in its collection with cut-outs so large they make the remaining material look like small shoulder straps.

Slightly more problematic are cut-outs on the back. They prevent you wearing a brassiere, which would be visible through the gap.

The secret to cut-outs, like so many things in fashion, is being careful not to overdo it.

"You should only ever wear one item of clothing with cut-outs at a time," says style advisor Ines Meyrose. You also need to avoid bright colors. Colors like beige, black, light blue or dark blue work well. Always avoid patterns.

"You should also wear flat-heeled shoes or a classic pair of pumps to make the outfit look cool and relaxed and not overdressed," says stylist Maria Hans. Andreas Rose also points out that any skin exposed by a cut-out needs to have a healthy tone.

Transparent materials are experiencing a comeback this summer. Many collections have very light translucent blouses in all kinds of variations. H&M has one in white with gold ornaments and Lui Jo has a beautiful blouse with a floral pattern.

"But if you go for the transparent look, you must be careful that it doesn't turn into a skin show," says Rose. "Too much can be too much."

Designers have responded to this danger and tailored their creations to make them wearable, even in the day time. Rena Lange has a dress that only has transparent sleeves, for example. Hugo has opted to allow just the shoulder blades to be exposed on one of its dresses.

Completely transparent items of clothing do have a place in day wear. Fashion adviser Maria Hans recommends wearing a non-transparent top beneath a see-through blouse. That looks very classy, especially when the transparent item is shorter than the clothing it covers.

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