Whether you hate it, love it or find yourself just walking down the middle of the road, it gives us all an excuse to dress nicely and go out with our special someone.
Now, I will buck tradition and say don’t go out exactly on February 14th or that weekend for said matter. The uptick in pricing is disgusting. I suggest going out the weekend after. Surely celebrate Valentine’s Day with a night in and a home cooked meal or take out. But if you do go out then or later, here are two special outfit ideas to make your Valentine’s Day a little something special.
If you are a pants gal, don’t think you have to skip wearing a skirt or a dress just because you don’t like bare legs, tights or hose. Look to your jeggings, skinny jeans and leggings to be your bottom most layer and put your dress or skirt on over them. Sure, it adds a tad bit of bulk if you are sporting button closed denim pieces, but it does lend itself to a casual chic vibe. The other day, I wanted to wear a black shift dress, but I am not feeling tights this winter. So I wore my knee length dress with a pair of black leggings that have a zipper on the ankle. It was perfect. So I highly suggest looking through your closet and seeing what dresses or skirts can pull season duality for Valentine’s Day. What would be a chic look is a red knee length dress; black leggings and a lace wrap or shrug. Remember, Valentine’s Day is a day for romance. Look the part. Break out your lace, your crochet, things that add an extra feminine touch or detail. With your shoes, play up sweet ballet flats or go all out with platform pumps. Keep your bag minimal to a clutch or micro cross body. If you have a metallic bag or pair of shoes, this would be a great time to let those pieces shine.
If you want to go all out and wear a dress sans pants, go for it. My favorite type of dress is the wrap style and this would be a true romantic item for dressing. Why you ask? It is simple. A wrap dress follows all the curves of the body. Need I say more? It is the most feminine frock shape out there and I don’t care whether you are a two or 24 dress size. You will wear it beautifully. I will suggest a pair of control top tights or hose also regardless of size to just have a smooth finish to the fit. You can’t hide your shape (And I don’t want you to), but you can smooth it. With a wrap dress, you have a more plunging neckline which would allow you to play up the clavicle and show off some jewelry if you like. If you have any bronzing powder or shimmer makeup items, feel free to dust on your décolletage and allow the natural beauty of your skin to show through. If you go with some jewelry, follow your natural style. If you like big and bold, do it. If you’re into demure and understated, play that up as well. My same suggestions go for bags and shoes here as well. Understated and simple is better. An envelope clutch would go famously with a wrap dress, complementing the shape of the dress.
One of the final touches of the outing is your makeup. Play up those eyes and go sultry with a smoky eye. I personally wear a smoky eye daily, but I know it isn’t for everyone. Valentine’s Day heralds it. Whether you color your lids with grays, browns or purples, don’t be afraid to go glamorous. Invoke your inner pin up girl and have fun. What I have been doing lately is taking black eyeliner and winging my smoky eye out. This has received a lot of compliments and it may be my look for a while. As always with a strong eye, keep the rest of your face minimal with blush and lip color. A nude lip and pale pink blush are sure bet options.
For your hair, whether you do it up or down, don’t go the structural route. If it looks like you will get stuck it in or break it, you might want to rethink you style. If you can, wear it loose and tousled. I’m a huge fan of half up and half down as it gives you the best of both worlds and if you take it down later, you don’t have your hair molded into an odd shape. I know you know what I am talking about. We have all been there. Not a good look for this event. If you have curls or waves, embrace them. If you have straight hair, think of curling it. Nothing too dramatic with hot tools (unless you want to) but something to invoke the feeling of romance.
So, have I inspired you? Will you be wearing a special outfit for this Valentine’s Day? Don’t feel you have to go out either to dress up. Dressing up while staying in is always a good idea. It’s the best of both worlds. Whatever you decide to do, have fun and enjoy being with the one you love.
Denise Bennett is out fashion and lifestyle columnist.