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Fashionated: Bombshell Style

Updated on January 10, 2017

One of the Most Famous Bombshells

The Classic Bombshell: Marilyn Monroe
The Classic Bombshell: Marilyn Monroe | Source

Bombshells Bring the Glamour

For those who want to embrace their curves and feminine power, get ready to meet the Bombshell!

Where the ingénue is restrained and almost shy, the Bombshell does not back down from any challenge.

The Bombshell look is for the woman who feels confident in her skin, but doesn't have to wear something skin tight to feel sexy. Bombshell style will accentuate the curves without hiding the personality, bringing elegance and sophistication to every event. You don't have to be an hourglass to be a Bombshell- this style works on every figure, turning even the plainest Janes into a glamorous being.

Upping the sex appeal of one's wardrobe can be fun, but modern updates are needed to keep the look from appearing trashy or gauche. This is not a guide for creating a Jessica Rabbit Halloween costume, nor is it a manifesto for overtly sexy or revealing clothing. Instead, let's embrace our curves and a bit of flashy glamour, but still be suitable for everyday lives.

Classic Bombshells

Elizabeth Taylor celebrating all the curves in casual wear.
Elizabeth Taylor celebrating all the curves in casual wear. | Source
Sophia Loren rocking a sleek shift and statement necklace.
Sophia Loren rocking a sleek shift and statement necklace. | Source

The Bombshell Day

Marilyn in a pencil skirt, sweater, and button-down blouse.  The day-time bombshell look done right!
Marilyn in a pencil skirt, sweater, and button-down blouse. The day-time bombshell look done right! | Source
Elizabeth Taylor looking lovely and casual.
Elizabeth Taylor looking lovely and casual. | Source
Marilyn rocking a trench coat with her button-down.
Marilyn rocking a trench coat with her button-down. | Source

Bombshell by Day

Pencil skirts are classic bombshell office attire, paired with a very fitted cardigan, fake jewels, and tall heels. Sexy, covered, flattering, this look can really grab someone's attention...

However, this can be a little much if you have a more button-downed job. Trade the cardigan for a slightly over-sized men’s style shirt. Layered over a nude tank, it gives the illusion of being sexily carefree while being completely covered up. A flattering dress in a vintage style can also be a great investment piece. A full skirt from ModCloth, or a tailored shift from Ann Taylor, both bring sophisticated elegance in easy wear styles.

For a more casual look, any of the above tops can be paired with a pair of dark-wash jeans in a slim cut (skinny, straight, or boyfriend can all be appropriate), or an easy pair of leggings or slim black trousers. I love a slightly shrunken cardigan over a longer top with black leggings and a pair of classic flats.

Paired with a classic pencil in black, brown, or gray, a larger, more flamboyant necklace is completely okay. Ransack antique stores and flea markets to find unique costume jewelry, but wear only one piece at a time, whether it is a cocktail ring, a necklace, or earrings.

If you pick a patterned skirt or top, tone down or forgo the necklace, and focus on earrings, and rings or bracelets. A lovely cocktail or right-hand ring can bring instant class to an outfit, and I advise sticking to a "realistic" shape and size. While that 24 carat hot-pink tourmaline might look great in Vogue, it is much easier to rock a 3 carat version in real life.

A classic watch can really pull the sophistication together in a look like this, as well. I'm a fan of Kate Spade designs, as they have a funky yet classic look to them.

Pick a pattern or texture for the shoes, like leopard, polka dots, flowers, but limit rhinestones to jewelry for day. Overly flashy shoes just seem inappropriate for day wear, unless you work in a creative or fashion-oriented environment.

Also, you may want avoid wearing heels that are too high in the office. I like a good skinny heel, but staying within the 2.5 inch range will be easier to manage, and typically appear less dressy overall. Anything much higher can appear cheap or overdone, which is the opposite effect you want this look to have. Remember, we are incorporating Bombshell style into our current look, not dressing for a costume party.

Lastly, do not forget perfume! Smell is one of our strongest senses, and the Bombshell uses it to her advantage. A light spritz of a signature fragrance for day is usually enough, as you can always add more for evening.

A Wardrobe Peek

A sample wardrobe for the Bombshell, featuring casual and evening looks!
A sample wardrobe for the Bombshell, featuring casual and evening looks!
Marilyn, looking lovely in a calf-length dress and matching coat.
Marilyn, looking lovely in a calf-length dress and matching coat. | Source
Elizabeth Taylor, showing off rich jewel tones in her dress and coat.
Elizabeth Taylor, showing off rich jewel tones in her dress and coat. | Source
Sophia Loren bringing the glamour in jewel-toned velvet.
Sophia Loren bringing the glamour in jewel-toned velvet. | Source

Bombshells at Night

Evening for the Bombshell is easy: Glamour is never ending. The bombshell never shies from a chance to knock socks off, but keeping it modern and updated can be tricky.

Curve hugging dresses in tailored fabrics (NOT STRETCH) never go out of style. While stretfch dresses can be great, you just need to be very very aware of fit.

The closer fitting the dress, the longer the hem needs to be, although not to exceed more than 4 inches below the knee. (Anything longer can make one’s legs appear stumpy.) Also, the more fitted it is, the darker it should be. A tight black midi dress can be ravishing, but a tight red sequin dress that barely covers the thighs is not necessarily the classiest call.

Black is a classic and favorite, but jewel tones can be an unexpected delight. A deep red, dark fuchsia, saturated blue or deep emerald can all be fabulous, as can a dark or gunmetal gray. White can also be a great choice, but make sure the fabric is thick or lined, as visible undergarments ruin all attempts at sophistication. And, once again, the tighter the fit, the darker the garment.

A well-tailored satin or cashmere can be great in most seasons, as can a crepe or rayon blend, although keep in mind strapless will work best only in spring/summer. Chiffon and silk are fun, but their unstructured qualities don't always play as well to the curvier figures.

For fall/winter, a wide strap that swoops into a V of your liking, can be just as alluring, if not more so. And never underestimate the divine appeal of covered cleavage and long sleeves. Sometimes, what we hide becomes even sexier...

mashahan Satin Shiny Shawl Wraps For Women's Wedding Formal Party Black
mashahan Satin Shiny Shawl Wraps For Women's Wedding Formal Party Black

There is just something about a weighty satin wrap that just exudes glamour and elegance. More formal than a pashmina, less structured than a coat or sweater, a well-made wrap can last for years.

 

Accessories for Evening

Accessories are simple: shoes get to be the star.

Take those heels as high as you are comfortable and choose the decoration of your choice.

Patterns, textures, jewels, sequins, whatever you choose. Have fun, be bold.

Throw some over-sized studs into your ears (either real or zircon, whatever you have), and a cocktail ring, but only wear a necklace if you are in strapless or very thin straps, otherwise the neckline can appear too chunky. A dramatic chandelier earring can be a great alternative, just make sure to keep other jewelry subtle or sparse.

Cooler nights can take an over-sized satin wrap, but never a woven pashmina. It can appear to commonplace, too casual...the opposite of the Evening Bombshell. Structure benefits the Bombshell more than draping.

Fake fur can work in a dark tone without much sheen, and coats are best if they are swingy and lined in something unexpected. I do not advocate real fur, unless we are talking vintage. If vintage, rock that fur, classy lady.


Bombshell Style Reminders

Day

  • Pencil skirts are classic
  • A blousy button-down keeps it casual
  • Nude camisoles keep the mystery
  • Rhinestones for day are acceptable; just keep it simple
  • Pattern or textured shoes, less than 2.5 inch heel

Evening

  • Glamour!
  • Tailored, curve skimming fabrics
  • Rich, dark tones
  • More dramatic jewelry
  • Higher heels
  • Coordinate your coat or wrap to your look


All the Time:

  • Vintage adds a unique, individual twist to every look
  • Fur is an option, but stick to fake or vintage
  • Too tight is no good


Sofia Vergara is a great example of a sexy, confident modern Bombshell
Sofia Vergara is a great example of a sexy, confident modern Bombshell | Source
Christina Hendricks embraces the Bombshell style on and off screen.
Christina Hendricks embraces the Bombshell style on and off screen. | Source

Keeping Sexy Classy

The Bombshell is a classic version of sexy, empowered but still fairly covered. How much you choose to show is up to you, and you should always feel confident in your skin. Today, Bombshells exist in all sizes, all forms, and all ways of life. Beyond sexiness, it is about confidence and a feel for vintage design.

A bombshell is still a lady, still classy and classic, she is just irresistible to both sexes.

Be Irresistible.

Words of Wisdom

Coco Chanel dressed many bombshells, even if only in perfume.  Her words of wisdom are some of the greatest for all women, but I find the words ring even more true for Bombshells.
Coco Chanel dressed many bombshells, even if only in perfume. Her words of wisdom are some of the greatest for all women, but I find the words ring even more true for Bombshells. | Source

Whose style do you prefer?

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