How to be sexy without beeing tacky?

Depending of our mood, we dress to feel confident, to feel pretty, to feel good, to feel powerful, etc.

And sometimes, we dress to feel sexy, to seduce other men or women.

What is being sexy?

To answer that I’ll begin with what is NOT being sexy. At least to my eyes.

– to disguise your face and hide it under tons of makeup is not sexy.

– to disguise your breasts, using padded bras is not sexy

– to display your assets in a provocative way and let nothing left to imagination is not sexy

For me all the above enter the tacky category.

Being sexy is all about suggestion of your body.

It can be an oversize sweater that slides revealing a round shoulder, a delicate ankle between the pants and the shoes, a smooth walk on high heel, an hair jewel that makes you look at the back of a neck, perfect red lips on a bare face,

It is about being yourself and loving your body.

It is about the perception of others.

Some think that pixie make women look fabulous when other stand only for super long hair.

Some like sophisticated women wearing heels and red nails when others prefer innocent looking girls with wild hair and jeans.

So dress the way you feel is my best advice to be sexy. And don’t overcontrol.

Here are the things that I feel are sexy

1. Delicate fabrics

ann rhoney, silk dress coming 1982

Ann Rhoney silk dress coming

Silk, cashmere, leather all are very sensual fabrics  to me.

The silk glides on your skin and moves like fluid water around you when you walk.

The cashmere caress your skin making your outfit be as soft as you own skin.

The leather worn as a pants becomes your second skin. Removing super thin leather gloves can be mesmerizing.



2. Raw fabrics

The contrast between a rough material and a soft skin can also be very sexy.

Like with jeans, thick leather and used fabrics.


3. Dressing like a boy

Dressing like a boy is something that is often considered as very erotic in occidental culture.

Think Marlene Dietrich’s style, Saint Laurent’s smoking, and (smokin’ hot) Charlotte Rampling undressed in the Night porter, or men just loving when their girlfriends borrow their clothes (think of Sexfriends poster – yes the reference is not as classy as the previous ones ^^).

Marlene Dietrich

You can go for the total boyish style just like that, feminize it with accessories and make-up, or borrow only some pieces like derbies, men’s shirts, etc.

4. Dressing like a “femme fatale”

(As we just saw, a “femme fatale” can dress like a man…)

Her characteristic would be to act and dress in a way what is considered by our culture to be extremely womanly. Not girly, but grown-up strong woman who knows  what she wants and is sure about her seduction power. In french, “fatale” means “deadly”.

She is very sophisticated and wear red lipstick and red nails. The little black dress and stilettos would be her favorites.

Femme fatale

In France, actress Fanny Ardant is the ultimate “femme fatale”, in the US, I’d say Angelina Jolie.

You can use only some of the “femme fatale” features in an outfit to make it more sexy.

Contrast is very interesting like raw jeans and a men’s shirt worn with Louboutin heels and a red pout.

5. Enlighten unexpected body parts

The ear: wear an earcuff or an earring on one side only. Put your hair on the side like Lauren Bacall… Or Rihanna

The clavicle: unbutton your shirt, wear a delicate gold chain.

The back of your neck: cut your hair, tie them but let some wild hair escape. In french we have a dedicated word for that body part “la nuque”.

The back: wear a reverse decolletage.

The shoulder: wear a V-neck cashmere, maybe it’ll slide. And it’s ok if we see your bra’s suspender as long as it is thin

Some skin somewhere: dare some cut open dresses that show some skin under the breasts

The wrist: roll up your top, decorate them with either super thin jewels or big ones. One only or plenty of them.


Similar gold bracelets

The top of the tights: it is considered to be one of the most erotic part of the body. Japanese even have a word for that: the “absolute zone” or Zettai Ryoiki. And the higher you cover your leg from the foot (either with socks or with over the knee boots), the sexiest this zone will appear. To bare it without going on the tacky side, prefer wearing very decent clothes on top. A chunky sweater with over the knee boots is perfect for instance.

You can also try “suspender look alike” tights with a very discreet outfit.


The ankle: much thinner (and less hairy) than those of men, ankle are very feminine features.  Set the focus on them with 7/8 pants. In winter you can add super thin socks.

Notice that the more you cover around, the more the body part stands out… and the more sexy it is.

If you wear a super mini super (too) tight dress, no one will notice your ankle, or your Zettai Ryoiki.

Doesn’t mean that tight black dress is a no. But that beeing sexy is all about balance. If you got the body, you can pull out the skin tight black dress, but forget about heavy make-up and stilettos.

It is also about the way you move, the way you talk and the way you act.

It is about you.

And you? Do you sometime dress to feel sexy? What are the things that you consider being sexy?


12 Responses to “How to be sexy without beeing tacky?”
  1. Piali Dasgupta says:

    Is it generally considered tacky go wear prints such as floral prints, abstract prints and quirky prints? Do the French think wearing prints is tacky?

  2. Cynthia says:

    I love these tips especially because they are not the most common. I Love the frenchness of the this style, e.g the one sided earing and the reversed decolatage idea, its something I practice my self and I noticed I get a great many compliments when I get that look going, so its definitely a way to go, and I think a great part of embodying the sexy style has a lot to do with attitude. I truly believe that the most basic looks can be leveled up with a smintch of the right attitude and ora

  3. Nnelg says:

    Hi Alois,

    I really like the whole “sexy but not tacky” style. I mean…every girl would definitely want to look beautiful, confident, and sexy..but nobody wants to look tacky. I was wondering if you could help me. We’ll be having a “Night life” office party. and I have this bodycon black dress that I definitely want to try wearing. its a halter like dress with a bare back cut. and it ends around mid thighs. I have no idea of what shoes to wear or buy. pumps? will those make it tracky? sandals? heels? What accessories? or is the dress tacky, itself? I just want to look…uhmm…sophisticated kinda sexy? I dont want to look tacky. and by the way…I’m 5’1” and petite…like cup A boobs. does that make me less tacky?

    I really enjoy reading your blog. learning a lot of tips.. Thanks sooooo much for the Alois.


  4. Vanessa says:

    Hi Alois,

    I will travel to the French riviera and Paris for 3 weeks this September and I just stumbled upon your blog. I love it! I am from Canada and am considered a ‘fashionista’ here; my style is vey European (I lived in Milan and worked in the fashion industry for 5 years, with my stint ending in 2007 when I returned home to Vancouver, BC). I have a somewhat ‘recent’ love for Herve Leger dresses and I own quite a few. I am wondering if I should bring a couple to Paris and wear to elegant Michelin star restaurants. I would not want to be considered ‘overdressed’ or ‘tacky’. The dresses I was thinking of bringing are white or neutral in colour, pretty short but with an extreme decoltage. I usually pair them with neutral colour Louboutins, Valentinos or Saint Laurent sandals. Do you think I should bring a couple of my Herve dresses to Paris? Thanks very much for reading my comment, I am very happy to have found your blog!
    My very best, V.

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello, It depends of your body, your make-up and of what you wear it with.
      Bodycon dress + sandals sounds indeed super sexy and probably more than what the other ladies in the Michelin starred restaurants will be wearing. So you’ll probably be noticed. You could try boots to dress your dress down. And a boyish blazer, and a trench (for outside). It is never very warm in a Michelin restaurant.
      If you would like more precise advice send me a mail and I could make a virtual styling consultation for you (I’d need to see the dress on you to answer properly:)),
      Bien à vous,

  5. Caro says:

    It seems easy to be sexy without being tacky if you’re thin. When your boobs are a size 34G it’s hard to find the happy middle between frumpy (loose clothing that looks great on thin women looks baggy and dumpy on everyone else) and way too sexy (anything very tight).

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Dear Caroline,
      It is true that it is not as easy… but it is possible. I recently had a client who was 34 GG. We made her look sexy but not tacky by choosing loose (I mean fluid) tops with decolletage that did not show cleavage. And you probably have other assets (I don’t know your body), like pretty ankles for instance.
      Look at this curvy woman wearing a loose fluid shirt over 7/8 trousers and looking subtly sexy.

  6. Sarah says:

    Great tips – thank you! I also think the way you move, walk sit etc makes a huge diference. Clothes are secondary to fit body that moves well.

Check out what others are saying...

Leave A Comment

Get a signed copy of my book

A signed copy of my new book