To one degree or another, all women want to turn heads and make men's jaws hit the floor; and they know that "cute" doesn't elicit this kind of reaction. But growing up, most girls are not given the freedom to dress or act in a provocative manner, so they don't get to "practice" looking sexy. This is compounded by the fact that most parents have somewhat outdated ideas of modesty, in the midst of a trend towards sexually explicit fashions. Because girls grow up dressing cute, they become comfortable in the types of clothes, hairstyles and makeup that create a cute look. Ultimately this means that your average girl is only just learning how to pull off "sexy" when her desire to do so is strongest (i.e. in her twenties). This lack of experience, coupled with her desire to look hot, can lead to a crippling unwillingness to take the risks that are so necessary to mastering sexiness (or any new look, for that matter).
However, both looks can be achieved by any woman. Just because you are short or have dimples does not mean you cannot be sexy, in the same way that height or sharply shaped eyebrows don't preclude the possibility of looking cute. The main difference is that it takes more risk, confidence and experience to pull off a sexy look. Risk is a matter of your own will, and confidence follows from risk - as does experience.
Let's consider the characteristics of both looks. I've made a list of associations that I have for the two styles:
Confident, serious, poised, seductive, postured, tight (clothes), mature, aloof, gorgeous, sexual, selective, sharp, directed, closed, pretentious, shrewd, desirous, hungry, dark, cat, fox
Innocent, light-hearted, wide-eyed, adorable, affectionate, eager, naive, young, youthful, joyful, pretty, animated, open, trusting, candid, colorful, kitten
The "cute" associations are predictably child-like. The "sexy" associations are almost predatory, and certainly they point towards a very confident sexuality. Notice how in both pairs of pictures I've posted, the sexy woman's gaze is piercing - calm, confident and provocative. As I've said before, your style is projected much more by your personality and demeanor than by your clothes. You can probably imagine a sexy woman dressed in cute clothes, or vice-versa (imagine the cute Megan Fox on the right holding herself like and making the same expression as the sexy Megan Fox on the left - it would still be sexy, even without the tight dress and wild hair). In order to achieve that look, you must adopt the associated personality characteristics. Once the mindset exists, the clothes follow naturally, or at least easily.
As in most cases, feigning the mindset can help you to obtain it. You need to "fake it 'til you make it." By wearing sexy clothes even when you don't think you can pull them off (taking risks), you will realize that, actually, you can and do pull them off. This is because, in most instances, your insecurities about what you are incapable of wearing are unfounded. Once you try them and see that they work, your confidence will spike, and you can then repeat the process.
I routinely see very concrete things that sexy girls are doing or wearing, but cute girls are not. The cute girls are the same ones who want to look sexy but don't, the same ones that are dismayed by my "cute" compliments. There isn't some kind of natural inability holding them back; it is their state of mind, and then also (following from their mindset) their presentation:
- They aren't showing off their body by wearing tight clothes; they wear flowing clothes that mask their feminine form
- They aren't wearing fashionable clothes (though this isn't always what will make you look best, you also shouldn't usually be trying to emulate your mother's dress sense)
- They aren't wearing high heels regularly
- They aren't standing up straight
- They don't use makeup enough (of course there is such a thing as "too much," but there is also such a thing as "not enough")
- They don't wear matching underwear or lingerie
Of course, you will only realize that you can pull off heels, or a tight dress, or a certain hairstyle if you do pull it off. So you need to put thought into what you are attempting. If you are overweight, a tiny cocktail dress probably isn't for you - though I'd actually be liberal about making this decision (tighter = hotter even for girls that are slightly overweight). So don't start buying hooker outfits arbitrarily, assuming that they will make you sexy; make sure it works with your natural look (notice I did not say personality).
If you are honest enough with yourself to admit that you aren't comfortable wearing heels or tight dresses, or certain types of makeup, then you are already ahead of the game (most girls simply make excuses about attracting the wrong kind of attention). You just need to take a step outside yourself for a moment, and acknowledge that there is no real impediment to you pulling off "sexy" any more than there is for the thousands of girls who regularly do so. While you might have a mental block against the idea of you being "sexy," I challenge you to list concrete things that make you different from the women that dress and act that way - and I am not only talking about celebrities like Megan Fox and Taylor Swift. I am talking about normal girls that you see out in nightclubs or bars, at work or in the mall. Chances are you have seen women who are less attractive than you (or fatter or older) doing it successfully. If they can do it, so can you.
One final note: there are very few women that are purely sexy or purely cute. Most are some mix of the two. Megan Fox almost always looks sexy and Taylor Swift almost always looks cute (which is why I used them as examples here). What is powerful about these two women is that they both clearly have the ability to pull off both looks if they want to; what is unfortunate is that neither of them do so very often (at least in the public eye). While being a mix of sexy and cute is better than being only one or the other, the ideal is having the ability to be completely one or the other at will. Since cute is easier to achieve, most women need to focus on building their confidence to look sexy.