Just as what is considered sexy differs from person to person, we also have different ideas about age-appropriate. For example, my crazy friend Dawn (with her half-shaved head, bright, shiny baby-doll dress, fuchsia, and zebra-print pumps) finds skinny jeans inappropriate after forty. And my thoughtful and conservative friend (cardigan, pearls, and khakis), Lori, thinks maxi dresses are age-inappropriate. I’m afraid I have to disagree with either. We’ve seen repeatedly that what looks appropriate to one person may look ridiculous to another. Although fashion is unique to the individual, there are some universal truths about what is sexy or inappropriate:
Don’t try too hard.
If you’re trying to be sexy, you may not be. Making a duck face with your overly glossy lips while staring at a stranger, then seductively licking sugar from your martini glass, is shameful, not sexy. Sexy should be easy. And sexy should only be meant for one person. Not you, sir.None of those self-serving “life-goals-are-all-that-matters-whatever-makes-you-feel-good” statements are true. (After all, why should you be sexy just for yourself? That’s weird.) Feeling beautiful for yourself is important, but dressing sexy should be for your partner.
Simple is sexy.
I’ve heard men say they find modesty in the sexiest women at every stage in my life. Not with big hair and makeup piled up.
Hunky My Hubby says he thinks I’m the sexiest in the morning, crazy hair and all when I walk around with my wife’s battering tank and PJ’s ass.
Now, if I walk around the grocery store like that, it’s not sexy.
Confidence is sexy.
A truly confident woman doesn’t have to try too hard. They know that the best parts of them are the ones that take time to discover.
Choose your body part.
If you’re wearing skinny jeans, wear a loose top. Try pairing it with slouchy pants or a knee-length skirt if you’re wearing a fitted top. Don’t make your body parts compete with one another—low cuts, revealing tops, super miniskirts, platform pumps, in other words, Gosh! Maybe you have great cleavage and amazing legs. Awesome! But that doesn’t mean it’s sexy to show it all at once. You may look amazing in it, but you will look amazing and desperate. And it will just give you the wrong kind of attention. The guy you want won’t like you because he’ll never see you. Unless, of course, it’s you, then he’ll see you and want to be as far away from you as possible. And if you’re over forty, single, and still dressed like that, you might want to ask yourself how it worked for you.
Other women don’t hate you because you are beautiful; they don’t respect you because you don’t respect yourself.
Avoid the following:
The hooch factor
A real man doesn’t want his wife or girlfriend to show everyone his stuff. If a man does ask for it, and if the woman agrees, it’s a sign of deep insecurity on both sides of him. Use your body to show everyone that you are a man, and women use their bodies to show everyone that this is the best thing about me. And, frankly, that’s rarely true. If that’s true for you, sorry… that sucks. You spend hours in the gym. Why not focus on developing other parts of your body, like your brain? It will outlast your hot little feet.
We have shabby at the other end of the spectrum: Ladies, you can dress modestly and not ragdoll. You can be well above your ideal weight and not be shabby. Frumpy may be comfortable, but it looks messy… and cold. Trust me—your partner doesn’t appreciate the look.
School Marm Factor
Dress older than you are. (AKA the “mom school look”) It isn’t sexy. Why settle for boxy shorts when they have so many feminine cut options and are available at affordable prices? And no more cotton box turtlenecks. Cotton turtlenecks can look stuffy and out of date unless you need to cover your hickey (which isn’t suitable for all ages). Turtlenecks in a soft material like cashmere, however, are always good. The cowl-neck is also a much lighter-looking option, which I happen to like. Oooh, scarves too!
For the record, I wore skinny jeans and a maxi dress. I wore a little black and pearl dress, camo pants, and a tank top. I wear a turtleneck (for skiing). I shop at Saks and Forever 21. I might be breaking Rachel Zoe’s fashion rules, but I don’t care—I’m not breaking mine. And Hubby likes my style.
He often told me that he liked the way I dressed. He wants that I don’t show off my body. He likes me to wear underwear just for him, not for a night out on the town. He likes me to wear heels, and he wants me to wear makeup. And he likes it when I don’t feel like I have to.
Homework for the day:
Ask your guy what he thinks is the sexiest about you. Then put it on for him. Ask him what he finds unsexy and then get rid of it. If you already know, please share it with all of us.