As a mom, what is the line between dressing sexy and dressing inappropriately? In the world we live in – pretty conservative, a little judging, but otherwise good folks – it can be pretty grey.
My wife and I were going to start the morning at our local coffee shop. She doesn’t work on Fridays, so she was dressed casually. She put on a a pretty sexy top – it fits tightly to her body, is a bit low cut and has ‘cutouts’ at each shoulder. By the standard of what many young people wear these days it is downright conservative, but for a 40 year old mom, it is certainly a bit risqué – especially in comparison with what her friends normally wear.
That led to an interesting discussion. How do you dress so that you feel and look sexy, but within the bounds of what your ‘cohort’ considers acceptable.
A bit about our situation…. We live in (and largely hang out with people in) a neighbourhood that would be best characterized as upper class, politically liberal but in many ways socially conservative. People place a lot of emphasis on things like responsibility, parenting, professional attainment. Fun is certainly of secondary importance. My wife and I are pretty tight with the community, but at the same time are slight outliers… deliberately so. We place way more emphasis on fun (as a family and a couple) and on sexuality (as a couple) We think this is one of the reasons people tend to find us interesting and intriguing and why they like being around us… but within limits. We’re not hosting orgies or sunbathing nude on the front lawn. We try to bring a little spice to the neighbourhood parties, but we’re still ‘fine, upstanding citizens’.
So… back to the problem at hand. My wife often wonders, how does she dress when she wants to look sexy and and fun, but doesn’t want to create a stir? A few options:
– Fuck ’em – dress exactly how you want. I respect this perspective, but it’s really not hers (or our) style. Sure it bugs us at times that our neighbours seem so sexually repressed, but we really don;t want to shock or offend them. They’re good people – they’re our friends – and we honestly don’t to offend them or incur their judgement.
– conform – the easiest thing would be to just dress the way the all dress – cautious, frumpy, borings… But this isn’t my wife’s style either. She’s proud of her body and her sexuality and, while she doesn’t want to offend, she also likes to push people a bit.
– nudge the envelop – This is and expression I just invented, but it is this is the approach my wife has decided on.
Over the past few years, my wife has accumulated a wardrobe for work and casual (she is a senior executive in a pretty conservative profession) that is on the edge of funky and sexy. Certainly acceptable, but drawing of attention. She likes the sense of mystery and intrigue this creates. She likes that it makes people suspect that she may be a little wilder, sexier or more interesting than she appears from her profession or her normal social roles.
On behalf of 40 year old women everywhere, she is nudging the envelope toward a sexier life.