What would be the opposite of "sexy clothes", as in "clothes that hide sexual bits" ? Like for a woman, a top that would hide and make her breasts much less pronounced?
Thanks in advance.
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(of a woman) dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention.
‘the modest women wear long-sleeved dresses and all but cover their faces’
I think modest clothing conveys the meaning you're looking for.
A female with lack of concern for appearance. Often characterized by sweatpants, frizzy hair, gramma panties and a paisty complexion.
Demure defined by the OED as
(of a woman or her behaviour) reserved, modest, and shy.
(of clothing) lending a modest appearance.
is a suitable antonym for "sexy".
Interestingly, however, the Collins online dictionary includes the suggestion that demure clothing and actions can be adopted to increase attractiveness in this entry:
If you describe someone, usually a young woman, as demure, you mean they are quiet and rather shy, usually in a way that you like and find appealing,
She's very demure and sweet. The luscious Miss Wharton gave me a demure but knowing smile.
Wholesome 2. Conducive to or promoting social or moral well-being, especially in reflecting conventional moral values: wholesome entertainment; a politician with a wholesome public image.
If you are conservative in your appearance, you usually do not like fashionable or modern clothes or hairstyles: He's a very conservative dresser - he always looks like he's wearing his father's clothes!
To add another possibility although not precisely an answer(because it is more absence of sexual accentuation than opposite of):
If one was looking for a relatively positive word that meant "not-overtly-sexy-without-suggesting-innocence-or-drabness" you might try:
1 Careful and prudent in one's speech or actions, especially in order to keep something confidential or to avoid embarrassment.
‘we made some discreet inquiries’
1.1 Intentionally unobtrusive.
‘a discreet cough’
1 In a careful and prudent manner, especially in order to keep something confidential or to avoid embarrassment.
‘he discreetly inquired whether the position was still available’
1.1 In an intentionally unobtrusive manner.
‘she coughed discreetly’
Discreet might also mean not flashy or not attention-grabbing as much as not sexy ( perhaps a weakness to this suggestion if you ONLY wanted not-sexy).
"Discreet" is still a bit of a euphemism(whether we want it to be or not there are biases) suggesting "less sexy" to those preoccupied with such, yet it spares the connotations of "innocent" as well as sparing criticism of "unfashionable" or "plain" (in plain's worse senses ... absence of flashiness could still be 'understated' while still high quality)
Of course there might be other words that just sidestep other ways "pleasant", "professional", "athletic", "sharp" etc yet none of those directly mean "absence of", or "done to avoid". discreet will suggest:
"not purposefully sexy (as well as not flashy and not attention grabbing) Without suggesting 'innocence' and generally not 'plain' or 'old fashioned' . More 'tasteful' than merely conservative.
"discreet" can be more gender neutral - so suggest fewer 'woman should be' stereotypes. (generally men's suits are discreet, but Elvis dressing discreetly would lose his white suit and/or Al Capone would lose his accentuated pin-stripes).
"discreet" can go well alongside positive adjectives. i.e. "Meryl Streep showed up in a discreet yet fashionable pantsuit for her intellectual property trial"
'Modest', 'sensible', (kinda dated) 'demure', and (in some circles) 'conservative' are the nice ways to say this. 'Frumpy', 'dowdy', 'shapeless', and (in other circles) 'conservative' are disparaging terms. All are mostly focused on women's sartorial choices.
Two unisex terms that come to mind are
A. adj. ... 3. Designed to be suitable for either sex; not peculiar to one sex. ...
People can be sexy in unisex clothing (wifebeaters) but it's usually rather difficult (Mao suits) and certainly not what they're designed for.
A. adj. 1. Puffed or bulging out, hanging in loose folds. ...
Again, not necessarily unsexy, but the labels you'd see or search for when looking for clothes that are intended to be worn for utility or comfort rather than accentuating sexual attractiveness.
The best word for exactly what your example described, though, is
1. [adj.] a. ... keep[ing] from the knowledge of others ...
2. [adj.] a. ... put[ting] or keep[ing] out of sight or notice... prevent[ing] from being visible. ...
The other terms all describe the character of the person (usu. woman) as revealed by their clothing choices or the style of the clothes themselves. 'Concealing' is the adjective describing the action of covering and hiding away all those fun bits from the eyes of those who shouldn't be noticing them.
There are two different ways to go with this:
The excellent answer already given of modest, which very neatly encapsulates the request for covering and hiding body parts, though several people have pointed out that clothing does not necessarily need to be revealing to be sexy.
The "sorting the underwear drawer" answer of utilitarian which stresses the choice of form versus function.
utilitarian: designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive. synonyms:practical, functional, pragmatic, serviceable, useful, sensible, efficient, utility, workaday, no-frills;
Some but not all of the listed synonyms would work as well:. practical, functional, and sometimes sensible (most often seen in this context as "sensible shoes".)
This is not the whole story, of course. The nicer shirts that I wear to the office are neither plain/functional/utilitarian, nor sexy/immodest, they are just pretty shirts, a touch on the feminine side (and thus unlikely to be practical or durable), but not drifting over the line into "sexy".
(I know all the OP wanted was a word but there is a lot of cultural connotation and baggage around this area of language and social conduct.)
appropriate or appropriately
[adjective] suitable or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion, etc. an appropriate example; an appropriate dress.
In addition to all the other good answers (both "modest" and "demure" came to my mind), you may depending on context wish to consider
I would suggest austere : severely simple; without ornament
Dowdy might also be appropriate in some contexts.
Oxford English Dictionary: (of a person or their clothes) unfashionable and unstylish in appearance (typically used of a woman)
‘she could achieve the kind of casual chic which made every other woman around her look dowdy’