Oh dear - another Valentine's Day article. Hear me out, if you're barely holding it together and symbolically burning tacky Hallmark cards just to feel something, this isn't just another "how to dress for the love of your life" editorial piece. You can still knock them dead regardless if you have a classic awkward dinner res with that guy on Hinge you've been talking to for half the pandemic, or an inaugural Zoom date with your one-that-got-away crush from high school. You can still dress the part if plans include group dates with besties or hosting a casual wine night with sisters-in-single-solidarity.
Whatever you're doing this year, this is your essential style inspiration to slay this international day of romance:
1. Girl's Date Night
In the words of Leslie Knope on Gal-entine's Day, “You shut your mouth, you have all the strengths.” If February 14th is just another day or god help us, a cursed one filled with traumatic flash backs, plan a first of many 'girl's night'! The key on girl's night is to look sexy as all hell for no one but yourself. If you're in need of a serious confidence boost - roll up to the first recurring dinner (or brunch) date in a matching trouser-blazer set with a sparkling bralette underneath. It's daring, beautiful, confident - just like you.
Is business romantic a thing? Anyway, whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, that shouldn't dictate who gets to rock the boldest color known to us. The classic red lip? Yes. How about a matching pant suit? Even better. If you're going out for the first time this winter (no judgment, because, same) style it like the inspiration for Girl's Night. If you're heading to a late meeting or going out with work friends, throw a high-collared shirt underneath for a more professional fit.
If you still want to dress this look up a bit, focus on decking out your ears and wrists. Ear parties are perfect ways to not only elevate any look but make even the most basic outfits pop - perfect for a night out when you just want to throw together an outfit quickly.
You didn't think I'd leave out brunch-style, did you? My suggestion is if you have never done so before, take yourself out on a brunch date. You deserve it and you don't need anyone on your arm in order to drink champagne at 10:00 AM with a side of one-of-everything.
The reason I'm so hyped up on brunch this year is because people are finally accepting that casual brunch is a thing! In downtown Toronto and probably every other city on earth, women are showing up to Sunday brunch in cocktail dresses and heels. All the power to you if your ankles can handle Jimmy Choo's before noon, but in the spirit of the lingering working-from-home vibes, style your hash browns with ath-leisure. That's right, no need to change out of your sweatpants, ladies.
4. Night In/Night Out
Say you have a date with that cheeky merlot on your counter and watching Notting Hill for the thirtieth time, and you get the Bat signal from one of your friends: come out. No need to panic. What you need is an action plan. If you're already in you silk pajama set - why bother changing? It's time to accessorize. Add strappy heels, layered chunky jewelry, and a clutch or bag that matches your 'sleepwear' suit. Because sleepwear is also street-wear if you style it correctly. Plus, sillk will always look sleek.
5. Actual Date
If you find yourself asked on a legitimate first date this year - take it as an opportunity to go full throttle in the style department. I'm talking hair, makeup, dress, heels, and accessories. Seriously, when is the last time you put thought into your ear party? Use this as an excuse to try new things like huggies, threaders, pearls, and chains to layer your necklaces and bracelets and dress your ears to impress.
If you're not in a climate which allows comfort when wearing a slip dress and open-toed heels, or you're having a casual drink with a soon-to-be non-casual, look dashing by candelight in a brownstone-inspired casual outift (pictured below).
Pictured: Veronica Beard, Oria Glen Plaid Dickey Jacket
Put the outfit together with a sheer white-buttoned blouse and a tweed or plaid jacket over-top. You can either match the jacket with trousers or if you're in a warmer climate, high-waisted pleated shorts and heels. Complete the look with stacked bracelets or a dainty chain necklace overtop of your buttoned-up blouse collar.
6. Red-Themed Party
Are you so deprived of social interaction that your friend group will use literally any 'holiday' to host a themed event? If so, you're in need of color-coordinated outfits that fit the day. Valentine's Day is all pinks, reds, and whites; but try patterns this year. This is an easy way to stand out in a sea of heart-colored lovers with red skirts and pink tops.
If you just can't bring yourself to wear the bold shades, use small statement pieces of red and pink and lean into colors that will make them stand out - like a white dress with your favorite red lip (ours right now is Chanel's Rouge Allure Shade 99 because it's super bright and bold) or a black dress with a pink bag.
For a really chic and subtle fit, try a red tartan or plaid skirt (trending this season) with bold accessories against a white background like what Valeria's wearing below. A white shirt allows those chunky gold chains, black boots and most importantly the red skirt truly pop. All you need is a brick backdrop and you've engineered your own V-Day photo campaign.
If you're really into the color of the season - matching your boots or heels to your outfit for a fully blushing red look will fit the bill. Same colors in accessories might be a bit much when you're working with bold colors like deep reds - so pair this look with a more subtle black, white, or beige bag.
Pictured: Fendi (something similar) Peekaboo Isseu Small bag