Sexy…some of us struggle with it. We put our toes in the water and flirt with one extreme, then retreat back into what’s familiar and comfortable. What I know for sure: cute is not sexy, but neither is slutty (at least not in public). What looks attractive on someone who is 30, has a tendency to look ridiculous on a 60-year-old. (fashion designer, Betsey Johnson, left) The British have an expression that I’ve always loved, used to describe a woman who dresses too young for her age , “Mutton…dressed as lamb.”
I recently read a story where the author spoke of walking behind a woman in a short, floaty miniskirt. Shapely legs,sky-high heels, nice jacket and pretty hair, but when the woman turned around, she could barely hide her surprise at the woman’s age and how inappropriate the whole outfit suddenly seemed in contrast to her lined, and overly-made-up, face! Her suggestions to be age-appropriate and still very sexy: a slightly lower heel. Sheer, dark hosiery. A pencil-skirt. A more neutral make-up with a striking lip color. Okay, I can do that!
But…I don’t think this is a “fake it until you make it” scenario. If you aren’t in touch with your “inner goddess,” you can’t really project it. You’ll be uncomfortable in your clothes, and feel exposed, awkward. I had a dress I used to love, but never wore. I so wanted to be the type of woman who would wear this dress. I finally did wear it out one night, and felt uncomfortable with how tight it was, and how it called so much attention to myself. A lot of it, unwanted male attention! I put it back on it’s hangar and eventually stuffed it in a Goodwill bag.
I did an informal poll among my male friends about what they found sexy about women. Their opinion: sexy is NOT the clothes, it’s the woman wearing the clothes. It comes from inside the woman, and is projected out. A woman is either sexy, or she’s not.
Some women seem born with an innate knowledge of how to present themselves in a way that expresses their confidence in their sexiness! Others, myself included, finally get in touch with our authentic sexiness as we become older and more confident…and want to learn to express it. What does ‘sexy’ look like? We all know it when we see it: In Sophia Loren. In Tina Turner. In Susan Sarandon. In Raquel Welch. In Judy Dench. In Angelica Huston. In Helen Mirren (right). She’s always chic, daring, and stylish!
Ever since I was young, I have watched old movies and admired the movie stars of the 1940’s through the 1960’s. I believe that Liz, Gina, Sophia, and Catherine (Deneuve, not Hepburn) all had looks that embraced their sexuality, were elegant AND chic, and have withstood the test of time! On them, ‘sexy’ had a simplicity that was balanced with a bit of an edge. Their stunning style was something women dreamed of, almost unobtainable. They were modern goddesses! I think these fashions defined ‘sexy’ from that point forward, and are a great reference for today’s women in their 50’s, 60’s and up.
I chose this photo of Sophia Loren for it’s outright sexiness! That red dress is perfectly appropriate on any woman of any age, and still stylish. Yes, it absolutely “struts your stuff,” but why not? Do you think you’re not ready to go that far yet? Know that it might be a little hit-or-miss as you become more aware and begin to refine YOUR style. As you awaken to your ‘inner goddess.” As you take charge of your life, stop holding yourself back, and take affirmative action.
- You lose the 5-10 pounds you’ve been complaining about forever.
- You’ve been meaning to walk every-other-day. You’re out the door, faithfully.
- You get your hair-color touched up sooner, so you need never feel bad and always look great when you look in the mirror.
- You get rid of any “granny-panties” and practical bras, and buy beautiful underwear so you look and feel great from the inside–out.
- Treat yourself to some sexy lingerie for date-night or special events.
- Rest when you’re tired. When we put ourselves first, loving and caring for ourselves, we start to blossom. No, it’s not selfish! Take care of yourself first…so you can take care of others.
Rest assured, sexy knows no type, no hair-style, no skin-color, no nationality. It’s ageless! It’s fearless! It’s vibrantly alive!
Go for it. Stretch yourself. And never, ever, ever, ever give up!
XO Donna O’Klock