Feminine Mystique: 7 Sexy-Yet-Demure Looks for Spring
Revealing just a touch of skin can be so much sexier than full exposure. Modeling the season's latest looks, actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell shows how seductive a little restraint can be.
Taking the Hint: The Exposed Shoulder
A deliciously soft sweater and slim white jeans are understated yet thoroughly sensual. "I love being sexy in an elegant way," says Jurnee, 26. "This is the kind of outfit I'd wear to curl up on the couch with a big cup of tea and watch Downton Abbey.
Sweater, Magaschoni, $258, magaschoni.com. Bra, Cosabella, $83, cosabella.com. Jeans, Paige, $179, paigeusa.com. Earrings, Mizuki, $600, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300. Cuff, Kara Ross, $315, kararossny.com. Shoes, Jean-Michel Cazabat, $295, 646-669-8508.
Tempting Offer: The Slit Skirt
A cascade of ruffles parts to reveal a bit of leg for a look that's alluring and relaxed. "This dress made me want to dance!" says Jurnee, who will be joining the cast of HBO's True Blood
in the upcoming season. "The ruffles and delicate material move beautifully."
Dress, Sachin + Babi, $650, Saks Fifth Avenue, 877-612-7257. Belt, Kara Ross, $565, kararossny.com. Chain necklace, Lana, $810, lanajewelry.com. Icicle flower necklace, Mizuki, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300. Shoes, Aquazzura, $745, Saks Fifth Avenue, 877-612-7257.
Walking the Line: The Stiletto
Towering pink and purple snakeskin heels make it impossible not to strut, while perforations in the dress add peeking interest. "My mother raised us to have inner strength and to be bold," says the actress, one of six children.
Dress, Maje, $340, maje.com for stores. Bracelet, Loren Stewart, $320, barneys.com. Shoes, Jean-Michel Cazabat, $295, 646-669-8508.
Under Cover: Long Sleeves
Bare shoulders are tempered by long sleeves, while a front twist detail emphasizes the waist. "I feel sophisticated in this dress," Jurnee says. "I think choosing one thing to highlight, like your neckline, is enticing—and men love red!"
Dress, Alice by Temperley, $490, netaporter.com. Earrings, Robert Lee Morris, $250, 212-431-9405. Cuff, Jordan Alexander, fragments.com. Ring, Ponponella, $120, maxandchloe.com. Shoes, Gianvito Rossi, $640, barneys.com.
Touch Chic: Colored Leather
What could be more confidence-boosting than a perfect leather dress (in cobalt blue, no less)? The love of a good man, according to Jurnee. "My husband [musician Josiah Bell] makes me feel like I can do anything in the world."
Dress, French Connection, $498, Bloomingdale's, 800-555-7467. Sunglasses, Michael Stars, $58, michaelstars.com. Necklace, Zoe Chicco, $242, zoechicco.com. Ring, Miriam Salat, $295, miriasalat.com.
Power of Suggestion: The Asymmetrical Neckline
"The world can tell you you're not pretty enough, but I don't let it affect me," says Jurnee. "I've always loved my lips," highlighted here in a subtle rosy pink. "They're one of my favorite features."
Dress, Kamali Kulture, $99, kamalikulture.com. Ring, Jordan Alexander, fragments.com.
Flirt Alert: The Exposed Back
From the front, this dress is high-necked, but peekaboo cutouts in the back guarantee second looks. "When a woman wears something that she knows looks good, it demands attention," says Jurnee. "Her confidence is beautiful and sexy."
Dress, Robert Rodriguez Collection, $595, neimanmarcus.com. Bracelet, By Boe, $50, byboe.com. Shoes, Sergio Rossi, $590, sergiorossi.com.
Next: Tyler Perry and Jurnee Smollett-Bell talk about confidence