The new look, no swags or cascades of ruffles... Windows are wearing sheer, billowy layers Decorators say sheer drapes softly layered over shades can create a look similar to what some women achieve with a wispy blouse worn over a camisole. With sheer drapes closed and the shade half up, the drapes filter light. If windows are open the drapes "billow like a flowing dress that always makes a woman look amazing," says one New York homeowner. Translucent, softly layered window treatments are showing up in urban and suburban homes as alternatives to old-fashioned drapes and binds. These neutral-toned window treatments have clean lines and no frills, according to decorators quoted in The Wall Street Journal. With the sheers, a second layer of sun protection is available through solar shades, which filter light and create an effect "like putting sunglasses on a window," says one interior designer. The layered look with see-through curtains, is about bringing the outside in. It can be done with sheers. For total light control, a blackout window shade can be used. Catalog retailer Smith & Noble has more than doubled its shade offerings, adding more textures, colors and styles. They are available in soft, fashionable fabrics for the residential market.