Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | February 14, 2008

For All: What Makes a Woman Fabulously Sexy?

Today is the country’s most celebrated romantic holiday.  Bringing on various levels of romantic stress, an onslaught of online Valentine’s Day cards, boxes of bad (sometimes good, mostly bad) chocolate (I by the way have been inspired by a new Chocolatier, more on that later), many rushed, pre-set dinners and probably the highest selling day for carnations and roses (that’s just a guess, but does anyone receive carnations during the rest of the year?). 

I’m not precisely sure how the holiday became a symbol for romantic love, but I hear this occurred sometime in the medieval ages when romantic love was being popularized in the royal courts of Europe.  But for those of you who don’t know, February 14th is the Saints Day for St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni – Two martyred Christians.  

I digress from my original theme – What makes a Woman Fabulously Sexy?  How do you like that segue, from saints to sexy?  In honor of this fabulous holiday of love and friendship, I recently spoke at a privately-hosted Vivendi Fashionista Style Salon on the topic of “What Makes a Woman Fabulously Sexy?”  The following is quick recap of the evening’s presentation and as usual I’m opting for my favorite format of quick tips.  So here we go!

My top five picks for what makes a woman sexy:
1. Hands down – CONFIDENCE.  You know when you’ve got it going on and it exudes from your pores.
2. Knowing what looks good on you.  This can take years to learn and often times it also means asking for some outside/un-biased assistance to develop this skill.
3. Always highlighting your best features.  Ever notice that there are specific features that people compliment you on?  Flaunt them…in a sophisticated fashion please.
4. Being brave and experimenting a little.  Again, this is best done while under the supervision of – me preferably – or someone who you trust and who will be kind in their honest assessment of how your fashion exploration compliments you – Or not.
5. Dressing your age.  I can’t stress this enough.  It is not sexy when a 40-year old woman wears her teenage daughter’s clothing and it’s not appropriate for a 20 year-old woman to dress like she’s 60.

Whenever a woman wants a little kick start to feeling, ergo looking sexy, I suggest a few things:
1. Choose your fabrics carefully.  Reach for the “touchable” fabrics – Silk, velvet, fur (or imitation if the real version makes you feel anything BUT sexy).  Think of anything that begs to be touched.
2. Sounds too easy but a well-cut classic white t-shirt (think James Perse, and Three Dot), fabulously fitted jeans (no, NOT the stained, torn ones that don’t fit your behind perfectly) and a baseball cap can be wonderfully sexy.
3. The “I can’t believe I’m wearing this amazingly unpractical, unbearably sexy” lacy type of lingerie.  Wearing that under a sophisticated, conservative suit can give you a “sexy boost” that can be dangerous…if that’s the effect you’re looking for.
4. The surprise outfit.  I love this because it’s such fun to watch the reaction.  Dresses or shirts that are low-cut in the back and concealed by a long jacket to be revealed just before dinner, make a stunning effect.  The same goes for the skirt with a high-cut slit or for a mini-dress.   Hide them under a fabulous jacket and then, “surprise”!
5. Delicate necklace that rests just at the collarbone, specifically resting on or around the notch where the clavicles meet the sternum.  Remember the scene in the English Patient where Ralph Fiennes is talking about his lover’s throat?  That area known as the suprasternal notch is super sexy and highlighting it with a delicate necklace draws attention to the area.
6. Your man’s shirt, spike heels and nothing much else.  Need I say more?
7. Pencil skirts.  I’ll never stop insisting that every woman should own one.  So what if you don’t have Charlize Theron’s stems – That’s what sexy boots are for darling.
8. Drapey clothing that looks likes it about to slide off but doesn’t show too much skin.  Sexy is often times not about what you see but you don’t and the mind can do the rest…
9. Sexy Shoes.  Let’s face it ladies, these are very effective.  From fabulous long boots, to impossibly tiny-almost-not-there strappy heels.  I especially adore the red flash of Christian Louboutin soles.
10. Post-workout/post-whatever flush.  Ever wonder why you get hit on after you’ve been on a run or after working out at the gym?  It could be the spandex black workout out pants too.  I won’t lie, those seem to be very effective in the “how to make you sexy” category.  But since that’s 11 points and I refuse to go over 10, it’s getting lumped in here.

Things to avoid for the sexy quotient:
1. Visible white bra under white shirt.  Not hot.  Please opt for a nude bra.
2. Visible thongs.  Really?  Why do people insist on continuing this?  Purchase thongs designed for this specific need, or don’t wear them at all.
3. Panty lines.  Hmmm…ever since women staritng wearing pants this has been an issue.  Rule #1 in Viviana’s book of dressing – Never leave your home without looking at your backside in the mirror.  If you see panty lines, change to a thong that won’t do this!
4. Feeling uncomfortable in what you’re wearing.  Goes back to the CONFIDENCE comment from earlier in the Blog.  It’s apparent when you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes and for that mattter, comfortable in your skin.
5. Commando malfunction.  Hi…Britney?  Need I say more?
6. Dressing in your 15-year old daughter’s clothing.  Again with the age-appropriateness.
7. Muffin-topping.  Oh-la-la.  This means your pants don’t fit or the style isn’t a complimentary one for your body.  Reassess wearing these pants.
8. Dressing in old sweats (stained, torn, bad fit).  It’s just not flattering.
9. Dressing in clothes that don’t fit, either too big or too tight.  Again, this does nothing for your image, physique or self-confidence.
10. Not taking care of yourself.  Et voila.  Your body is your temple.  Take care of it.

And that’s a wrap for now.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish you a stress-free, enjoyable and wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Ladies, use your sexy tips with care.

Tip of the Week
Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Joan Freeman, the founder of Smile Chocolatiers, speak on a StepUp Women’s Network Entrepreneurial panel.  Ms. Freeman is a classically trained gourmet French pastry chef  and has created a line of sublime chocolate.  Smile Chocolatiers blend rich Belgian chocolate with the subtle and unexpected touch of green tea.  They are well worth the indulgence.  To see where you can can purchase this fabulous chocolate, see their website, Smile Chocolatiers.

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