Hot date for Valentine’s day but don’t know what to wear? You don’t have to pain yourself with a trip to the mall — your perfect Valentine’s Day outfit could be right in your closet…or your best friend’s!
As with all dates, we never know exactly where the night will end. You all could start at a semi-fancy dinner and end up at a dive-bar drinking cheap beer. Lord only knows. Here are a few steps to stay in control and make sure your “look” is always appropriate without completely damaging your budget.
1) Pick your staple garment.
As you are thinking about your night, which includes: the weather, your comfort levels, the atmosphere, etc., you should first choose the one piece of clothing, or the one accessory that you have been dying to wear. Whether it is that big chunky costume necklace, or those new jeans that make your butt look great, or even that dress you’ve only worn once. The foundation of your outfit, where you begin your fashion journey, should always start with the one thing you really want to wear. This may be difficult for many of us indecisive people, however, you must narrow it down to what you will feel most comfortably beautiful in.
2) Determine the atmosphere of your first destination.
Do a little research and determine whether your first destination is more casual or more fancy. If it is a surprise, ask your date what what they are wearing and try to match the type of atmosphere that outfit would be appropriate for. My advice would be to go for the fancier look in this scenario…Valentine’s day only comes around once a year and the worst that could happen is that you are slightly overdressed.
3) How to dress up your outfit:
If you are most comfy in your jeans but need to dress them up choose a nice flattering blouse and throw on some heels. Typically a pair of dark washed jeans look a lot “dressier” than a pair of light washed and they are much more appropriate for evening occasions. Refrain from wearing anything with rips, or signs of “distress” — leave all of that for your casual daytime adventures.
I usually try to stay aware from dressing up outfits for private affairs with a stuffy blazer, but if you have a nice cropped winter white blazer, or even the cliché red, you can definitely make it work. If you do decide to go with the blazer, please make sure it is fitted and cropped — it will add a feminine feel to your look.
Accessories: Please, do not overdo the accessories. Less is more in this situation. *Rule of thumb: Bold necklace + stud earrings + one bracelet/ watch; Bold earrings + bracelet/watch, no necklace; Bold bracelet/watch or clutch + thin necklace (single gold chain) + stud earrings.
If your outfit is naturally loud with fringe and sequins, etc., please steer clear of any accessories. Remember, less is more!
4) How to make your outfit more casual:
If you are dying to wear your favorite dress but know it will be a little much for your date, tone it down with a sweater and a pair of flat boots. There is nothing wrong with going more casual. You could even pull the Chuck’s out of the closet for an even more comfy look. Whatever you do, please be advised that satin homecoming dresses will never be casual. Make sure the fabric is synthetic or cotton before you go trying to “dumb it down” and just look… dumb.
You can always go casual in your favorite jeans by pairing it with a v-neck tee and tucking it in for a relaxed look. Pair it with some nice pumps and you are good to go!
Accessories: Even with more casual outfits you should not be pushing your limit with the accessories. One piece of costume jewelry is enough. *Rule of thumb: Bold necklace + stud earrings + one bracelet/ watch; Bold earrings + bracelet/watch, no necklace; Bold bracelet/watch or clutch + thin necklace (single gold chain) + stud earrings.
5) Shoes: be smart.
If you know where you are going on your date, be smart about your shoe decision. If it is something where you will be sitting down and don’t have to walk very far, being “cute” at the cost of the nerve endings in your feet is justified. However, if you have plans to be at a concert, bar, or anything of the standing-up nature, please refrain from looking silly 45-minutes into the date when you can’t stop your ankles from shaking. Nobody wants to hear you complain about how badly your feet hurt, so be smart about what shoes you wear. If the date is a complete surprise — the same rules apply: make sure you can stand in your shoes for long periods of time or learn to shut up and accept the pain.
6) Hair: Simple is better.
You want to be able to enjoy your time on your date without having to constantly check your hair to make sure that one piece is still in the right place. Keep it simple and easy when deciding on the hairstyle for the evening.
7) Makeup: Again, simple is better.
Similar to your hair, you don’t want to have to worry about retouching your makeup all night long. Find a great long lasting lipstick, some waterproof mascara and eyeliner, some oil-control powder, and call it a day. Arriving to your date with caked-on makeup is just superficial and will leave you broken out and uncomfortable.
Suggestion: the red-lip on Valentine’s day is kind of played out, and I’m sorry but red is not for everyone. Try something different like a nude or darker hue (not black please – that isn’t for everyone either).
My ideal outfit for any occasion: