A History Of What's Considered "Sexy" In Fashion

Illustrated by Minni Havas.
Ostensibly, clothing exists to cover up nudity. But really, it's way more complicated than that.

Throughout history, we've use clothes to alter our bodies: to enhance parts we love, minimize the ones we don't, or even alter the way we move to fit a more feminine ideal. And, of course, fashion has a way of changing what we find sexy through the parts it hides or bares.

From the miniskirt mania of the '60s, to today's off-shoulder obsession, this is a history of erogenous zones — and the fashions we use to reveal and conceal them.

More from Trends

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.