7 Ways to Dress More Flirtatiously

The owner of FLIRT (one of my favorite stores here in Brooklyn) shares her insights on how to dress with a little attention-getting flair.


(I will give you the update on the weekend later--but for now, suffice it to say I spent most of my time engaged in negative thinking, despite your wonderful advice. However, let's start the week off on a positive note ... with this!)

Not long ago, I was biking through Park Slope when I spotted an attractive storefront across the street from me. There was an inviting red bench outside; bright colors and kitschy prints were visible through the window display, as were some appealingly frilly dresses. Even better was the name painted on the glass: FLIRT! I went in and found the store was just as purty inside as out. It seemed no two things were alike in the store; every dress, shirt, and pair of shoes was unique in some way. I fell in love with a pair of dangly gold earrings that had maroon birds hanging from them ... but ended up splurging on a wrap dress (made by a designer named Karina) (which I wore the night I met Tweed Jeans).

Anyway, I was so enamored of the store that I decided to ask Flirt's co-owner, Seryn, to give me some tips on how to dress flirtatiously.

Here's what she had to say:

1. Try wearing a conversation-starting piece of jewelry. It doesn't have to be expensive. An old key on a ribbon can get a guy talking--and depending on how close to your cleavage it falls, it may also get him thinking.

2. My grandmother always said that a little bit of lipstick can make a difference to your day. As a teenager, this old-fashioned thinking used to irritate me. But now--though I hate to admit it--I think she was right. It goes a long way in making me feel a bit fresher and more confident. Even a little touch of gloss can go a long, long way towards making you feel more outgoing. And since you never know where you are going to meet someone, taking a minute to get some color on those lips is always a good idea--even if you're merely stumbling down the block for a cup of coffee.

3. Show a little more skin around the neck and chest. I'm not saying you should show major cleavage. But opt for a scoop neck or boatneck instead of a crew; or wear a cami under your blouse and leave a button or two more undone than you normally would. Showing a little of your body in this way can make you seem more approachable to men. And while many of us can agree it's always sexier to leave something to the imagination, remember that men are lazy. So you can't make them work too hard.

4. Don a hat. There are so many different kinds, and everyone can wear one--regardless of your age, size or shape. Plus, the hat you choose can really say something about you. A fedora can make you seem hip and bold. A big floppy sunhat with a silk scarf around the brim can seem girlishly sexy. Rule of thumb: Rarely do you want to wear a hat straight on top of your head (unless it is 20 degrees out and you have it pulled down over your ears). Push it off to the side just a tad or cock it forward a smidge over your brow--not too much. But just enough to show you've got the confidence to wear it right.

5. Great boots can really make you stand out in a crowd. If they're especially high, colorful, or just unusual in some way, fabulous boots can be a real head-turner. They're an easy way to make a bold statement while keeping the rest of your outfit simple. Look for a pair that can go with all sorts of clothes, from jeans to skirts.

6. Rock a single boyish element. A studded belt or a punk-rock t-shirt, when mixed in with other more girly elements, can help accentuate your femininity.

7. Extravagant boots can help kick you into flirtatious high-gear. Wear a pair that are unusual in some way--whether they're an unexpected color, super-slouchy, or radically high. They will help you feel more confident, and help make a guy wonder what kind of fashion icon lurks inside those killer kicks. (Some of Seryn's favorite boot brands include Jeffrey Campbell, Frye and Camper. And she suggests getting a pair that can be worn with both jeans and skirts.)



dear commenters:

-Paris: I sent I bet you'll meet someone as soon as you stop thinking about it, which is to say, probably never to my friend Harry Berkeley.

-OwlWoman: If I ever hear from Mr. TJ again, I'll ask him if ever dated someone named OwlWoman5.

-Jenny, Sage, Jenna, Sincerely: Ha! I love your deconstruction of the email. Also, d-bag is my new favorite contraction.

-Maureen: I feel like my life is one long dry spell punctuated by occasional moments of activity. Seriously.

-Babs: I just sent the card to my friend as a joke, so no real response beyond "ha ha ha!"

-Amber: I think I'll let this one slide, but thank you for the encouragement.

-And Edwinna, sugar pie, thank you, too!