What could be better than a dress that allows you to show some skin without risking a wardrobe malfunction? A good illusion dress keeps you covered, while allowing you to experiment with silhouettes that without a clever sheer panel, wouldn’t be possible–even if you had industrial strength double-sided tape. This is probably why celebrities love them. They can wear something sexy without it resulting in a “nip slip” headline. Rihanna seems to be the only one who doesn’t mind boob-exposing publicity.
Check out 20 celebrities who pulled off illusion dresses without the help of any magicians:
Beyoncé wins the prize for the most creative illusion dress detail. Bey’s Grammy dress was the only time I have ever seen this faux back skirt split.
Jennifer Morrison‘s mint illusion gown is fit for a fairytale princess. I wonder if she borrowed it from the Once Upon A Time costume department?
3. Katy Perry
Katy Perry loves sheer, illusion dresses on the red carpet and on stage. That cleavage is no magic trick, though. Wow.
4. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez’s beaded dress appears to be a lot racier than it actually is–at least I think that is lining.
5. Elizabeth Olsen
The beaded neckline on Elizabeth Olsen’s Frozen-inspired short dress would never have stayed up if it wasn’t for a nude yoke, or some Elsa-like magical powers.
Kendall Jenner‘s double slit dress definitely is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen, while Kylie Jenner‘s mini dress only appears that way.
7. Jennifer Lopez
Even if the nude parts of Jennifer Lopez‘s dress were actually skin, she would still be more covered up than she was in that green deep-V Grammy dress from 2000.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Rihanna didn’t just wrap white feather boas around herself and forget about fashioning them into a dress. It’s not like she’s shy about nudity.
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow‘s shocking pink illusion dress is one of the more simple ones. I like the effect, but still don’t get why she wore it to the 2013 punk-themed Met Gala.
Click the next page to see more illusion dresses from celebrities including Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, and more.
10. Rita Ora
Rita Ora‘s crimson gown is so well done that it looks like there are flowers sprouting from her pores. In reality, that probably wouldn’t look as pretty.
Taylor Swift shows her sexy side in this sequined mini, but keeps it out of slutty territory by choosing a sheer panel in the front, rather than a boob-exposing cutout.
12. Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams experimented with this pretty red lace illusion dress. Love the sleeve detail.
If that sheer side panel was an actual cutout, Jennifer would have to walk very carefully.
Charlize Theron wore an entirely different version of an illusion dress to the 2014 Oscars. You might think that the bodice is actually being held up by copious amounts of double-sided tape and invisible hands, but it actually has clear straps.
Blake Lively‘s intricate gown looks like she has been wrapped in black tape–in the most figure-flattering way, of course.
Based on the super sexy looks that Kim Kardashian has been wearing lately, I am surprised that her top is actually lined in a nude fabric.
Anne Hathaway went for an edgy black sequin gown to match her Malfoy-like hairstyle.
19. Lea Michele
Lea Michele worked illusion sleeves without looking like a competitor on Dancing With The Stars. Bravo.
20. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is a huge fan of illusion dresses. This one is a favorite of mine, especially since she paired it with her signature sneakers.
(Photos: Getty Images, Pacific Coast News WENN, Instagram)