I love your blog and often come to it when I am looking for style answers. I am in an early-mid-life crisis! I just turned 25, and I am the oldest female in my family including relatives. My cousins, sisters, and many of my friends are still in college, single, and their schedules allow them to stay out late. I, on the other hand, work from 6am to 4pm (I’m an elementary teacher), go to bed at 9, and in a happy long relationship. My sense of “style” has become very reserved, casual, and homely. It’s basically non-existent.
My cousin is having a big birthday party soon where we will be out enjoying the bars and downtown areas. Being the young and stylish one, her outfit is definitely sexy and trendy, as well as all of our friends. I don’t usually attend these events anymore but she has begged me to come and urged me to bring out the young and sexy side I used to have in college too.
And to be honest, I don’t really remember how to be stylish and sexy anymore. So far, I feel too overly exposed in the crop tops and other things that have been suggested as in style nowadays.
What can I wear that is sexy, comfortable, and trendy downtown to the clubs and bars without looking slutty or overly dressed?
Amanda, 25/Texas, USA
Darling Amanda, let me first tell you that this is anything but a crisis. You’re happy with the way your life is going, right? At 25, you’ve achieved a good measure of success, something most adults are still trying so hard to make happen. That’s a major accomplishment right there!
So you have a night of fun scheduled with your friends and your cousin, and you’re afraid that your sense of style is non-existent. You didn’t lose it, darling; you just opted for a more comfortable one. That said, I do wish you had told me what you look like so I had something more specific to work with. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll like my suggestions!
Create the illusion of sexiness
If you don’t feel comfortable showing some skin, you can cheat by wearing outfits that have sheer or mesh insets, or those that mimic a shapelier figure. Illusion dresses show off skin under a transparent panel of fabric, which can be made of mesh, tulle or even lace. These panels are usually set at the shoulders and neckline (so you can still show some cleavage if you like), or at the waist and hips, which can emphasize an hourglass shape. Another option is to wear a dress that simulates the look of a slimmer figure by way of clever tailoring and color blocking. Voilà, sexay!
Dare to bare … a little
If you are willing to show some skin, Amanda, you also need to ask yourself just how much you’re willing to display. I’m sure you don’t want to be tugging your dress up or down the entire night for fear of an unwitting show of body parts. This is where knowing your best feature comes into play. Got great legs? Show them off in a mini dress or top-and-mini skirt combo. Spent months working out at the gym? Go for a bodycon dress that hugs your curves in all the right places. Want to show off a swanlike neck, décolletage or draw attention to your beautiful face? Go for a strapless sweetheart neckline dress that puts the spotlight on all of those.
Should you go for trendy or timeless?
I’m a big believer in being appropriately dressed for the occasion. I also believe that trendy is quite subjective. I’m sure your cousin only had good intentions in mind when she suggested wearing crop tops. If showing your midriff isn’t your thing, that doesn’t make you a party pooper. You can pull off “trendy” through other means such as accessories, shoes and makeup, or through color and pattern (my preferred route). Lucky for you, mesh is one of the big trends this year for spring and summer so those illusion outfits are definitely ripe for the picking! In terms of color, iridescent hues are also hot right now but if you’re averse to looking like a disco version of a Lisa Frank unicorn, you can opt for more muted but no less elegant tones of gray, gold or bronze, blue, red or classic black. Incorporate any of these trendy elements into classic silhouettes like a sheath dress with cutouts or a sleek midi pencil skirt, and you’ve got sass and class in one.
Finally, remember to have fun! Don’t think about how you might not be sexy enough compared to your cousin because, darling Amanda, confidence is the best kind of sexy!
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