When Taylor Swift first made it big, I remember falling head-over-heels in love with her style before falling in love with her music.
Yes, eventually I did fall in love with her SWIFT tunes, but there was just something about the Taylor Swift style that really stood out. It was prim. It was "proper." It was so simple, and yet it spoke volumes.
At the time, she was one of the only pop stars not marketed as half-naked. Kesha was sexy in all her bad-girl glory. So was Queen Gaga. But I thought Taylor was sexy, too, which surprised me, because she was always sporting knee-length dresses. You'd never find that girl in booty shorts and a leather top.
And I have to say it was a breath of fresh air, because anyone hardly thinks "sexy" when thinking of frilly skirts and tutus. Yes, half-naked is hot, but it isn't the only way to be hot.
I grew up with Taylor and began taking style cues from her. These days, I hardly wear bodycon. My closet is filled with girly dresses and Keds sneakers and denim onesies.
Now, I'm not saying bodycon isn't sexy; what it really comes down to is how confident the girl wearing the outfit is. A confident girl could be wearing a paper bag and still be sexy. But there are different kinds of sexy. There's a time and place for a bodycon dress, and that time and place is definitely not 2 pm on a Saturday during a casual stroll through the park. So most of the time, you're gonna want to find ways to be cute-sexy, aka low-key hot, aka suggesting a lot without showing too much. Just like my muse Ms. Swift.
So let me walk you through what it means to dress "cute-sexy."
Rule number one, according to Miz Swift: make a beeline for A-line. If it isn't super girly, short and flouncy, it isn't worth buying. A short A-Line is sexy because it's stylish and shows some leg, but it still leaves a ton to the imagination.
Since you're showing off a lot of a leg, you want to be conservative on top to even it all out, so wear a shirt that isn't too cleavage-baring, like this Topshop V-neck. For a nighttime look, just switch out the black on top for white. Complete your princess look with ballerina flats and a simple gold choker, because that's the perfect amount of regal.
The trick to pulling off overalls in a sexy, non-farmer way is to make sure they're fitted correctly. DO NOT buy a pair of overalls if they're not skin-tight; if you do, you WILL look like a redneck. The right overalls will hug you in all the right places (read: your ass and hips). Cut-outs on the sides are an added bonus, because unexpected skin is subtly sexy AF, so wear a crop top underneath those 'ralls. Finish off your farmer-girl chic look with a pair of wedges.
Crop Tops With Long Bottoms
Daytime: You never want to flaunt your midriff too much; remember, it's all about being LOW-KEY.
If there's one thing I've learned from T. Swift, it's that showing your belly button is considered "too much." Crop tops are ideal, and tie-tops are good, too, because they tie just above top of the waistline, tucking away that belly button slyly. Tight pencil skirts with slits are sexy without showing too much leg.
Polish the look off with a -- yep, you guessed it -- low-key but ~suggestive~ nude lip. This matte lippy from Smashbox should do.
Nighttime: I've got three words for you: Peter Pan collars. They're so in right now (and I hope they never go 'out.') They give off a youthful vibe, and young is always sexy. Luckily, the Peter Pan collar doesn't discriminate, so you can rock it at any age.
Don't forget that the devil is in the details: You can never have too many bows and frills. Bows reflect a fun, quirky personality. They're just super cute, OK? Anyone who sees you wearing bows will automatically be intrigued and want to get to know you more. Mystery is sexy.
The other day, I was wearing my favorite plaid checkered pencil skirt with a white crop top, when my bang buddy told me he wanted to pounce on me because I reminded him of a sexy schoolteacher. Yes, men are that predictable.
Sexy schoolteacher is such a classic, and it works every time (wink, wink). The key is to find a skirt that doesn't age you up, but rather ages you down. Plaid is the way to go here -- you can either go A-Line or pencil skirt.
I like a good cropped blazer on top to complete the look, and I also like to wear my hair in a pulled-back low bun with this outfit. Oh, and make sure to throw on a cute headband.
Short Dresses With Sneakers
Out of all the ways to dress cute sexy, this one is probably my favorite. I pretty much live in skater dresses and sneakers. I have this exact pair of low-top Converse, and it carries me all the way from spring into summer.
Again, this look makes you look like you're fun and young AF (are you starting to see a trend yet?). Young is sexy, because it makes every girl want to be your friend and every guy want to take you home to his mama. Not to mention bringing out your inner child makes you feel great about yourself.
Make sure to go for a super girly dress to even out the sportiness the sneakers bring. I like pretty pastels, like lavender and teal. When in doubt, pink always works. Sling a cross-body bag over you to complete the guys'-girl-who-is-still-girly look.