Ready to kick up your high heels for the whirlwind that is holiday party season? Bring on the champagne and maybe even a little mistletoe. Now is the time to show off your sexy side—but without looking like Santa’s slutty elf.
“The trick is to focus on one part of the body alone,” says YouBeauty Style Expert Jacqui Stafford author of "The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget." “If you have fabulous legs, you can wear a short skirt, great hosiery or a sexy pair of heels, but you don’t want to show a lot of cleavage at the same time. If you want to show off cleavage, you want to keep your lower half more muted.”
Too much of everything, is just, well, too much.
“You don’t want to do the big hair, plus red lips, plus false eyelashes, plus a mini, plus high, high heels,” Stafford advises, pointing to Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum as celebrities who deliver the sexy vibe tastefully, while calling Christina Aguilera a great example of what not to do. “Jennifer and Heidi understand their bodies and they don’t go over the top,” says Stafford. “They play with trends, but they focus on one part of the body, rather than all of them.”
To give you some inspiration, we rounded up five sexy stars—all with different body shapes, naturally—who know how to make the most of their bodies without crossing over into streetwalker territory.
“Think about using clothes as an optical illusion to create the body you want,” Stafford says. J.Lo, watch out.
The celebrity: Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler looked sexy rocker cool at a fundraiser earlier this year in black leggings, a loose-fitting black shirt and a drapey white tuxedo jacket. The leggings and black stilettos show off her thin lower limbs, while the roomier upper half disguises a wider waist.
Get the look: Grab your favorite black leggings, jeggings or skinny jeans, a black T-shirt and add this crisp white blazer for a look like Liv’s.
Get the look: For a twist on Liv Tyler’s style, take that black blazer in your closet and add some sassy leopard-print skinny jeans that make your thin legs the starring attraction. Purrr-fect for parties, don’t you think?
The celebrity: Jennifer Lopez
Stafford says Lopez rocks the sexy look because she doesn’t show off all of her assets at once. “If you’re going to wear a cleavage-baring top, you might temper it a bit with a great jacket,” she says, as J.Lo did during Paris Fashion Week in October.
Get the look: Love the idea of showing off legs like Lopez? Take Stafford’s advice and cover up on top with a cool moto-style jacket and T-shirt worn with a flirty mini.
Get the look: We love the black and white look favored by J.Lo, but if you prefer a darker color—or a cool print—that works, too. And while the singer/actress dares to flaunt her bare legs, we also like the idea of a black opaque tight. Forgiving and warm? Sounds like a double-threat to us.
The celebrity: Jennifer Garner
Show off your great shoulders and narrow waist and hips with a form-fitting sleeveless dress, as Jennifer Garner did in this stunning Valentino at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Argo.” The knee-length on this LBD balances out the sheer illusion on top—the ultimate in subtle sexy.
Get the look: No need to invest in a whole new cocktail dress if you already have a perfect black pencil skirt in your closet. Just add a gorgeous lace sleeveless blouse and get ready for your close-up.
Lela Rose for the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection Lace Blouse, $69.99 Neiman Marcus and Target stores (available December 1st)
Get the look: Sheer is sexy and not slutty when it’s a subtle illusion. This polka-dotted mesh over nude dress is sleek, highlighting an Inverted Triangle’s athletic build. It’s totally flirty and definitely classy. Jennifer Garner would approve.
The celebrity: Jennifer Hudson
When you’re already blessed with sexy curves, you don’t have to go overboard to strut your stuff. Hudson chose an animal-print dress in a figure-flattering wrap style from Michael Kors to wow the crowd at Fashions Night Out in Tokyo earlier this month. Two words: Sex. Kitten.
Get the look: Tone this sexy wrap-dress down for day with flat knee-high boots and a denim jacket, or add sexy pumps at night when you’re ready to prowl around town.
Get the look: Compliment those curves with a criss-cross dress that doesn’t have to show off your cleavage to still look totally hot.
The celebrity: Blake Lively
Your looking sexy mantra: Less is more. “The little glimpse is sexier than seeing everything,” Stafford says. “A shirt unbuttoned low is much sexier than if it’s slashed open to your navel.” Lively nailed that idea perfectly with this bright blue Elie Saab suit—worn sans shirt—to a holiday event in New York last year.
Get the look: Rulers, go ahead and wear something shiny. You’ll ooze sex appeal in an unexpected way, sparkling in this beautiful suit. Add a cami and strappy heels and it’s anything but business as usual.
Get the look: Nothing says holiday party like velvet, but it looks especially trendy in blue. Add a slightly sheer tank, or go bare like Blake for a look that’s as sexy as it is soft. Just don’t be surprised if several admirers croon the Bobby Vinton version of the song as you pass by.
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