What Does Sex Appeal in Fashion Actually Mean in 2021?

It’s the summer of love, so they say, and the tenaciously evolving question of “What should I wear?”After a year of pause, you are sure to have more weight than ever. Finally, we’re slowly welcoming back our in-person social calendars, and with that comes an assortment of looks to match our going-out energy. It’s exciting to be able to reunite with old friends and have fun at the bar, but it can also be overwhelming to consider the possibility of dating again. So, to answer the age-old question, it seems as though we’re responding with “something sexy.”


Crop tops, corsets, and more!90sMany of us have decided that we want to show a little skin, after years spent in waist-up Zoom view. The way our collective experiences over the past year have led us all in a similar style direction is fascinating. We will investigate the following: fashion2021: What does sex appeal entail?

What’s driving fashion sex appeal in 2021

Although practicality and comfort still drive our daytime looks, most of us now appreciate the convenience of working from home. outfits), there’s an emotional fuel driving our choices when it comes to showing up in social settings after a long stretch of isolation. Dr. Dawnn Karen explains why. “due to the lack of human interaction during the pandemic, the draconian measures that were inflicted upon us—such as when to leave our home, who to hang around, the number of people to hang around with, to wear or to not wear a mask—have led to a lack of control that can manifest in different aspects of our lives.” 

Meet the Expert

Dr. Dawnn Karen is a fashionPsychologist and author of Dress Your Best Life, which provides tips on how to use clothes to improve your outlook and your life.
Fashion Snoops’ women’s and intimates director is Patricia Maeda.
Roseanne Morrison has been a fashionNew York City-based design and creative specialist.

The result? Perhaps we are grasping at the idea that control is possible through our bodies. “If [the world hasn’t been able to have as much social interaction and masks remain necessary at times], perhaps they can show other body parts. So it’s a notion of gaining,” Karen says.

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Fashion and Pop Culture Sex Appeal

Looking back at the digital-centric year past, we can see that TikTok’s rise was a result of its ability to showcase dance, revealingly. fashion, and other bolder parts of our personalities when it was more difficult to do so in person. Plus, moments on trending Netflix shows and red carpets have caused a frenzy as of late, and it’s easy to note fashionWith sex appeal being the overarching theme.

While “regencycore”Brock Collection, Simone Rocha, Erdem and Erdem have seen the trend rise on the runways for several years. The hype around Bridgerton certainly made the trend mainstream. The show’s sensual and form-accentuating style aesthetic led to a rise of trends such as corsets, dramatic sleeves and hourglass silhouettes. 

This idea of reclaiming sex appeal is becoming more popular among celebrities. fashionMegan Fox wore a Mugler dress at Billboard Music Awards. This was also notable. The all-black look was elegant and fitted with intricate cutouts. It also featured sheer draping that left little for imagination. It was a stunning aesthetic that got everyone talking. 

Cristina Cianci – Getty Images/Design

All in all, regencycore and all-out sex appeal are two contradicting yet equally popular aesthetics, leaving us with the thought that what’s most alluring may not be a simple answer, but it’s still certainly one at the center of conversations.

“What’s interesting about the current obsession with all things sexy is that there is no specific aesthetic driving the trend,” notes Patricia Maeda of Fashion Snoops. “In addition, sexy dressing has been a key theme from high-end to high street. The common thread here is that revealing skin is in.” And while this is certainly a trend, there’s a need for innovation. “We’re seeing brands and designers play with unexpected cutout placements in an exploration of new erogenous zones, which is key for this trend to remain relevant and feel fresh,”She says. 

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Roseanne Morrison, fashion design specialist and creative specialist, agrees. “many of these cutouts are modest, while some are highly revealing.”  We’re seeing this range from classically sexy designs at Mugler and Balmain to more understated clavicle or torso cutouts at Victoria Beckham, Bevza, and Jacquemus, furthering the idea that sex appeal in fashionIt’s almost impossible to define and doesn’t just align with one trend.

“Being sexy is ultimately about owning your look and not letting the clothes wear you,” Maeda advises. While we’re not all walking the red carpet or shopping straight off the runway, we’re still seeing fashionWith sex appeal being a major influence on our daily lives, from what we wear underneath to our favorite summer dress, to our favorite summer dress, The one thing that defines it all? Empowerment. 

Fashion Sex Appeal in Everyday Life

The idea of empowerment is very visible in our everyday wardrobes. This summer’s frock is Cult Gaia’s Serita dress. Even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve likely seen it on your Instagram feed at least one time, if not 10. The dress is flattering on the curves of everyone who wears it. It also has a form-fitting silhouette that is enhanced by cut-outs that are just right. 

“The Serita is designed to make any woman who wears it feel at her absolute best, highlight her best physical features, and make her feel her most sexy and powerful self,” explains Cult Gaia’s founder and designer, Jasmin Larian Hekmat. “The knitted fabric and skin-baring yet tasteful cutouts help to honor the beauty of the female silhouette.”  Basically, it’s a no-brainer that this style became the “it”Dress for a liberating Summer Hekmat agrees. “I feel sexiest when I feel empowered in my femininity. I think that’s why the Serita resonates so well with so many women—because it does just that.”


Other than occasion-dressing and sexy clothes, being sexy is now reflected in what we wear to work out or relax at home. Think Doverist, an athleisure brand loved and adored by Jessica Alba and Devon Windsor. Their most popular sets include cutouts with corset-like details. “Designed with this [idea of empowerment] in mind, we’ve taken inspiration from Henri Matisse and his ability to portray the natural beauty of women’s bodies in his artwork,“ says founder Claudette Lam. The result is a unique yet harmonious formula for athleisure.

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Subtle Sex Appeal

Even more subdued: what we wear underneath all of it may just be the ultimate expression of confidence from the inside out. Especially at such a heavy and serious time, it’s important we remember to take time for ourselves to feel special. 

“We saw an uptick in sales of our more provocative lingerie styles during quarantine,” says Fleur du Mal founder Jennifer Zuccarini. “It was great to hear anecdotes from our customers that Fleur helped them get back in touch with pleasure and a more sensual feeling they’d been missing.” Whether you’re stocking up for the bedroom or not, reveling in the pleasure of your own self-confidence has major personal sex appeal. “We have customers that wear our sexiest lingerie under their suits because of how it makes them feel,”She says. “We all know the feeling of having more confidence when we look and feel great, even if no one sees it.”

Here’s the takeaway: Sex appeal isn’t for the eye of the beholder—it’s for you, whether that means boldly baring it all like Megan Fox in Mugler, tossing on a dress with subtle cutouts, or reveling in the mystery of sporting your go-to turtleneck while wearing something special underneath. Although the cutouts and corsets from this summer will eventually fade, confidence and self-love can endure forever. That is the sexiest of all.

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