I mean, without specifying which part of their outfit is skimpy?

In English, when we use a qualificative such as "revealing" or "scantily clad", the person may, for all we know, be wearing a scandalously short skirt, or a see-through negligee, or a tight-fitting dress that shows their back, or practically just about any skimpy outfit. But we’ll never know for sure (by the word alone) which part of their body they are actually revealing.

I assume that « échancré » and « décolleté » are part-specific terms that don’t quite cut it. I wonder if there is a nice and short French equivalent of "revealing" or "scantily clad" – something general, all-inclusive. At the same time, the more concise, the better.

I'm not looking for an explanatory phrase that drags on, such as « une tenue qui met en valeur ses atouts sexuels » or « une fille habillée de manière sexy ».

2 Answers 2


"Osé", as Frank suggested, is very good. Other possibilities would be "affriolant" or "aguichant":

Elle porte toujours des vêtements affriolants.

Elle porte toujours des vêtements aguichants.

Both of these words that are almost excusively used for describing such clothing:

  • "Affriolant" leaves a more positive impression (describes clothing used to seduce, without the vulgar connotation). It is also used more often for underwear clothing.
  • "Aguichant" clearly has a more vulgar connotation, and could be applied for any clothing.

There are also some very common expressions that carry the meaning you want, although they don't use a specific word:

Elle portait une tenue qui montrait tout. (more colloquial)

Elle portait une tenue très déshabillée. (more used for nicer clothings, like evening dresses)

  • Merci. What's your take on the word "aguichant"? Jan 11, 2017 at 9:42
  • I didn't think about it, but it is probably the most appropriate suggestion done yet, actually. It is also used mainly to describe these type of clothings (like "affriolant"), but doesn't have the positive connotation. So it is probably closer to what you requested. You might want to write an answer to your own question, then.
    – dim
    Jan 11, 2017 at 9:46
  • En fait, je n'y connais pas grand-chose là-dedans, si ce n'est que "aguichant" en est synonyme. ^^; C'est donc à vous qu'il revient d'y apporter la touche finale ! Jan 11, 2017 at 10:17
  • 1
    J'ai mis à jour.
    – dim
    Jan 11, 2017 at 10:29
  • For me "affriolant" does not sound too good, because I hear echoes of "friture" which I classify as "vulgar" :-) (maybe don't listen to me)
    – Frank
    Jan 11, 2017 at 16:15

Maybe "osé" or "risqué". These 2 words are not too specific, but they do mean that something risqué is going on. "Osé" would be more common nowadays, and it is quite concise. "risqué" has been stolen by the English language.


Tu as vu ce qu'elle porte? C'est vraiment osé!

Now that I think about, maybe "risqué" is no longer in use in French with the sense of "osé". Interesting chassé-croisé between French and English.


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