Q: I am a 40-something single mom. How can I look leaner and get my "sexy" back?
A: Over 40 isn't over the hill! Sexiness is more about attitude than clothing, so wipe your mind of any age bias and think young. By "young" I don't mean wearing clothes that are bare and tight—I mean subtly sensuous styles that also elongate your figure. Deep vee or scoopneck tops and dresses extend the torso and draw the eye upward; dropped waists and untucked tops visually extend the waist downward. Bare arms also create an illusion of length (short sleeves interrupt the flow), as do vertical details (front plackets, stripes, seaming).
Keeping it Casual
I think blush colors are extraordinarily seductive; a mix of related shades gives the sleekest, most flattering line. Hide a high waist with a vertically ruffled tank (J.Crew, $80) over slim jeans (Victoria's Secret Catalogue, $60). Sparkly flats (Charles David) look as alluring as heels.
Bangle, The Worth Collection. Clutch, Tory Burch.
The Late Show
I'm all for sleeveless—if you're comfortable with your arms, it's a refined way to show skin (think our First Lady). This dress (Shoshanna, $440), with its scooped-out armholes and lower waist, is ideal for short torsos. And a fluid fabric like silk is more inviting than something stiff.