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How To Dress Sexy Without Looking Slutty

Recently I was chatting with a young friend about dressing sexy. She was lamenting how, when her youthful cohorts tried to dress sexily, they so often ended up looking, well, the opposite.

The problem, she said, is that girlfriends often tell each other they look great, even when they really really don’t. It’s their way of being supportive. The only people who speak up about the abject horror of an outfit are parents, and their disapproval only guarantees that the outfit will go promptly into high wardrobe rotation.

So how does one dress sexy without crossing the border into slutsville?

Here are some tips I’ve learned the hard along the way.

1. Show Cleavage Or Leg, But Not Both At Once

A sure sign that an outfit has strayed into tarty territory is if it creates the I don’t know where to look effect.

If you’re wearing a mini, then get leggy with it and keep the rest of your outfit simple and sophisticated. The shorter your skirt, the more elegant the balance of your look should be.

If your neckline plunges, then let your décolletage steal the limelight, and opt for more modesty elsewhere.

You will look far sexier if you have one focal point, and you show skin selectively.

2. Choose What’s Flattering On YOU

Take a good look at your body and try on different styles, so you can learn what flatters you. Not a generic female body, but yours.

This is not an invitation to list what you hate about yourself. On the contrary, it’s a opportunity to identify what you like, what works, what makes you look and feel good. Appraise what shapes and styles play up your assets and draw attention away from your not-so-good bits.

Don’t worry about what might be considered conventionally sexy. If super fitted styles do you no favors, then avoid them. If backless numbers look amazing on others but not on you, then don’t wear them. If pencil skirts make you reach for an eraser, then drop them from your list of options.

Assess how clothes look on you, on your body, with your personality, based on your coloring.

You will look better and feel more relaxed and confident in clothes that are you-sexy.

3. Beware The Tragic Triad: Shiny, Tiny, Tight.

If you’re a Victoria’s Secret model then you can rock this look. Well, let’s face it, any look.

But for the rest of us, a minuscule, glittery, sausage skin of a dress smacks of trying way too hard. And trying too hard is the antithesis of sexy.

What happens to wearers of the tragic triad?

Yes, people notice. But they notice the outfit, not the wearer.

Yes, they attract attention. But not admiring attention.

If you have a dress in your closet that is shiny, tiny, and tight, then ask yourself how you really look, how you really feel, when you wear it. If you truly love it, then keep it. If not, consider this blog an intervention.

Sexy Is Not Standard

When you’re heading for sexy but find yourself unintentionally entering slutsville, then chances are it’s because you’re relying on what you think others will find sexy. Or on a conventional, clichéd picture of sexiness.

But true sexiness is individual. There’s no one-sexy-fits-all.

Rather, sexy is about letting your personality shine, having fun with your clothes, feeling cool and relaxed.

All of these are difficult to achieve if you’re constantly yanking up your top, pulling down your skirt, adjusting your bare midriff, or fending off unwanted attention.

All of them come more easily when you’re dressed in a way that flatters you, based on your body, personality, style, and taste.

And when you feel the confidence that follows, your sexiness shows through.

One Response to How To Dress Sexy Without Looking Slutty

  1. Helena Jourdan 2023.28.01 at 8:31 pm #

    this is all so true!
    i tried on a Reiss party dress the other day in the sale but left it behind to think about it.. Now I’ve realised it was shiny, tiny, tight!
    It was one shouldered, short, figure-hugging and covered in big shiny sequins. Almost bought it but thought the kind of event that warrants wearing it only comes round once in a blue moon!

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