Yeha Leung’s Guide to Rocking Underwear as Outerwear

Everything looks so easy on Instagram, whether it’s doing a yoga headstand or eating a giant slice of pizza while still looking cute.

Another thing that looks easy on Instagram? Wearing avant-garde trends.

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Wearing your bra sans shirt isn’t necessarily avant-garde, but it still takes some boldness. If not because you’re worried you don’t look cool, then at least because you’re worried you’re going to get cat-called more than usual that day.

We talked to Yeha Leung, designer behind insane lingerie line CreepyYeha — worn by Rihanna and FKA Twigs – about how to rock underwear as outerwear effortlessly. Check out her tips for investing in quality lingerie, how to wear trends without feeling basic, and make sure to lust after this photoshoot featuring her designs styled in an ode to ancient Chinese princesses.

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Underwear is becoming more and more mainstream for outerwear, but you’ve been wearing it this way for a while. Have you noticed a shift in reactions to your outfits as it’s become “trendier” to wear?

I always get mixed reactions and although it is more mainstream now, it varies depending on the people I pass by on a daily basis. There is still a slight discomfort when it comes to the male gaze, but I think those who follow trends are more understanding and view it as a fashion aesthetic rather than misconstruing it for something sexual.

Another thing you’ve been wearing before it became trendy was chokers. Do you ever worry that people think chokers are now “basic”?

Chokers have always been around and will always have a recycled hype. I believe that anything can be labeled as “basic” when it is in trend and thankfully, trends are short lived. There will always be a market for those who wear chokers without the pressure of blending in with society or trends. There are limitless designs of chokers. Although there are a few types that I would consider to be “basic,” there are plenty that still surprise me!

What’s the secret to wearing a bra as a shirt without looking like you just got half-dressed that morning?

Confidence plays a huge role. Some days you wake up feeling confident and you gravitate to more out-of-norm looks and other moments you might not be feeling totally confident, but the look itself brings you the confidence. It also really comes down to the bra itself. Quality, textures, colors and shapes are very important. There is so much work put into novelty bras, they truly are gems.

How can you determine what type of underwear is cute as outerwear and what isn’t?

Everyone’s preference of what they consider cute is different. For me, I like novelty bras. Something that you most likely won’t find just anywhere. In terms of picking one, I try to visualize what to style it with, to complete a look. I would say it’s a mix of intuition and accumulated knowledge. I also respect heavily the amount of work, craftsmanship and detail that goes into making a good bra. Anyone that does any type of sewing can confirm that lingerie is very hard to make and I appreciate all the work that goes into it.

Which pieces are always worth investing in, in your opinion?

Pieces that resemble art, in both ends, the way they look and how they are made. Fabric matters a lot, it needs to be something that truly feels comfortable against your skin, something you can see yourself wearing for years and eventually passing on. A friend once told me that you should view your closet as a sort of micro gallery. It doesn’t matter the size of your gallery, rather the quality of the art being displayed in it.

Also good are independent designers such as Hopeless Lingerie, Dollymilk, Ashley Rose Couture, Agnieszka Osipa, Ludique Lingerie and more. There are some amazing things being shared online. They have great foresight and some will become classics in the future. Some of my favorite designers that I plan to collect more are: vintage Jean Paul Gautier, vintage Mugler, Comme Des Garçons, Iris Van Herpen, Christopher Kane, vintage Versace, vintage D&G. All modern classics.

What’s a trend that you’re sick of seeing?

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a trend that really bothered me. The last trend that I’ve never been fond of was wearing pants super low.

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Designs: @Creepyyeha

Photography: @rebekahseok

Model: @me.2

Makeup: @sage.white

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