Ah, Valentine’s Day. When you wake up to heart-shaped pancakes and spend all day stuffing cartoon valentines with candy into doily-encrusted shoeboxes, just praying a secret admirer slips an extra-special note into yours… and then 8th grade rolls around. After that, it’s really Valentine’s night that is exciting—what you’re doing, with whom, and, most importantly, what you’re wearing. On a night when everyone is out and about, you want to look your best and dress for the holiday, but the last thing you want is to run around campus looking like a love-obsessed Lavender Brown. Whether you’re having a drink with your girlfriends or going on that much-anticipated date, here are some affordable looks to keep you fashionably festive come the big night.
Clockwise from top left: Moto Knee Panel Pants, $17.80, Forever 21. Dig Deep Cardigan, $39.99, modcloth.com. Tonal Heart Socks, $9.50, Gap. Julisa Boots, $248, Donald J. Pliner.
More often than not, people choosing not to go all-out for Valentine’s are doing so because they don’t want the Day of Love thrust in their faces. If you have a low-key Valentine’s Night planned, say a small party or hanging out with friends, opt for understated festivity. Wear burgundies or corals instead of true pinks and reds, and find a clever, cute way to incorporate typical Valentine’s symbols like the black and silver heart socks above, or bow-and-arrow jewelry.
Clockwise from top left: Swiss Dot Blouse, $59, Kimchi Blue. Tiny Heart Tights, $24, joyofsocks.com. Candence Boots, $99.95, Steve Madden. Pumpkin Spice Mini Skirt, $29, Many Belles Down.
On an oh-so-romantic Valentine’s date, as with any date, you want to strike a balance between pretty and sexy. A short red skirt like the Pumpkin Spice Mini above is a great way to show your Valentine’s spirit and, when paired with a gorgeous girly blouse like the Kimchi Blue top above, is the perfect outfit to keep you looking sweetly irresistible. For a casual dinner, try wearing cute, apropos tights like Joy of Socks’ Tiny Heart Tights and trusty tall boots, or opt for black tights with wedges or booties for a more dressed-up look.
Groove is in the Heart
Clockwise from top left: Satin Black and White Print Dress, $34, Lulus.com. Rouge Pur Couture in Le Rouge, $30, Yves Saint Laurent. Velvet Stiletto Heels, $28, Qupid.
If you’re counting on the DJ to make you fall in love (or forget your woes) on Valentine’s, try super-sexy red heels like these velvet stilettos by the aptly named Qupid and bright red lipstick. Nothing says “I’m here to have fun” like bold colors and sky-high heels!
Clockwise from top left: Contrast Hearts Cardigan, $24.80, Forever 21. Architectural Dress, $69.00, Silence & Noise. Peep Toe Ridge Wedges, $33, Lulus.com.
Plan on catching a movie or seeing a local band on the 14th? Funk up a wonderfully cheesy Valentine’s staple like the Forever 21 Hearts Cardigan above with a patterned dress, vintage-inspired shoes and long, layered necklaces.
The Look of Love
Clockwise from top left: Bon Bon Bra, $53, Cosabella Amore. Brilliant Shimmer All-Over Powder, $14, Victoria’s Secret. Bon Bon Hotpants, $28, Cosabella Amore. Votivo Color Candle in Island Grape, $14.99, Urban Outfitters.
Sometimes the only thing more fun than going out is staying in. If you plan on wearing very little on Valentine’s night, try sexy intimates with sweet details, like Cosabella Amore’s “Bon Bon” bra and boy short set above. The only accessories you’ll need are mood lighting (try pretty pink Urban Outfitters votives, above) and irresistible skin (Brilliant Shimmer All-Over powder, Victoria’s Secret).
For the Longest Time
Clockwise from top left: Lace Zarita Dress, $325, Diane von Furstenberg. Fast Blaze Coat, $257, French Connection, Abstract Net Tights, $16, Givenchy Hosiery. T-Strap Platform Pump, $68, Kimchi Blue.
For a date with your long-time Valentine, choose an outfit that’s just as romantic as he is. Try a sophisticated lace dress like the Diane von Furstenberg Zarita dress above with sexy patterned tights, simple black heels and a look-at-me coat like this French Connection Fast Blaze coat for a festive pop of color.
Honestly, who doesn’t love a day when at least one professor is bound to wear a sweetly awkward Valentine’s-themed tie and a night when everyone is rocking bright red? Admirer or no, we hope you all keep your outfits bright and your spirits light this Valentine’s—we certainly plan to!