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  • “The SEXIEST person in a room, the source of FASHION ENVY , is the person who appears to have tried NOT A JOT”

    Need evidence? Witness the conspicuous lack of a corseted waist or a bound-body silhouette on the SS13 runways; replaced by an abundance of simple silk slips, easy tanks and billowing onesies that are supposed to caress rather than bear hug the body. Look at the way the queen of body-con, Victoria Beckham, is now on a roll with low-slung midis and slouchy boyfriend shirts, and at Christopher Kane’s demure sheer organza shifts. As for teetering platforms? Not a stack in sight! In their place: single-soled pumps. Single-soled pumps? Are you kidding? I haven’t worn anything with less than a two-inch platform in a decade at least.

    This is the "no-sex sexy" movement. If it strikes terror into your heart, let me assure you, sisters, we've been there before. All those women in the '20s, whom Coco Chanel implored to throw away their restrictive corsets and embrace a freer form – I bet they felt scared, too. Might we need to re-embrace the look for ourselves? Is "corrective-wear" really all that

    empowering? Is it sexy to have to take almost everything you are wearing off in order to pee, as I had to the other night, bandaged as I was into my outfit?

    For the epitome of modern-day no-sex sexy look no further than supermodel Christy Turlington, the paean of pared-back elegance. Here is someone who does not have to prove herself via sausage-skin clothes and dominatrix shoes. Wouldn't we all like to harness the subtlety, rather than overtness, with which she conveys her femininity? Don't forget that the sexiest person in a room, the source of fashion envy, is never the person who is dressed up to the nines – it's the person who at least appears to have tried not a jot.

    But perhaps it doesn't need to be such a humungous leap. Perhaps it just involves looking at seasonal looks a little more carefully. Aren't tight jeans rather uncomfortable in summer, and isn't it true that a hint of something is much sexier than the thing itself? So to that single-soled pump I vowed never to wear. Look at Kate Moss. Have we ever seen her in a platform? And if you line up a pair of pumps alongside your arsenal of platforms, don't the latter, by comparison, seem a little... orthopaedic?

    I can just picture my fantasy summer look now: no makeup but a fabulous pedicure; tanned wrists against slouchy faded jeans; a box-fresh but slightly rumpled white shirt, sleeves rolled up, a few buttons undone to show off my non-plunge bra. That's the thing about not being trussed up to within an inch of your life: you can afford to show a bit of well-maintained, sun-burnished cleavage. You can afford to wear sheer; you can probably even afford to behave less well, too. Quid pro quo, and all that.

    THE WHITE SHIRT

    Stark white and crease-free, with sleeves casually rolled to the elbow.

    THE BOYFRIEND JEANS Low-rise and slouchy is key; buy a size bigger for the best relaxed fit.

    THE SINGLE-SOLE PUMPS Tanned feet, pointed toes and a slender heel – perfect elegance.

    THE SLIP DRESS

    It should caress, not cling; let it hit below the knee for a modern finish.

    THE JUMPSUIT An all-in-one essential piece – belt the waist and be sure to add high heels.

    how to do

    THE NO-SEX SEXY

    LAID-BACK AND LOOSE, THESE

    ARE YOUR KEY BUYS

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