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Anya Meyerowitz

Guest Luxury Lifestyle & Travel Writer



Valentine's Day Style Lessons to Consider Year-Round

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and there’s no denying that pausing to celebrate love, in all its forms, is always worthwhile, whether marking the occasion on February 14th or another day of choosing. Across the world, people have begun booking intimate restaurant alcoves for a candlelit dinner á deux, securing tickets to themed evening events at cocktail bars to attend with platonic soulmates, or planning the perfect evening amongst friends.

And for the sartorially-minded, the dates, romantic or otherwise, that ensue across this day of love are an opportunity to slink into something sultry, perhaps embracing the subtler side of all that comes with passion, rather than an outfit emblazoned with saccharine hearts or flowers. Whether it’s a casual date night look or an all-out extravaganza, Valentine’s Day embraces many style lessons that the voguish elite can employ all year-round.

Here, discover five pieces of vestiary wisdom, plucked from this most famous celebration of love, that embrace that sweet spot between femininity, fashion and fuelling desire. Joyeuse saint Valentin, now and forever.

You don't need to show skin to create a sultry outfit

Perhaps popular culture has ingrained a sense that seductive equates to showing skin, but the sartorially-savvy will be well-versed by now that this in fact isn’t the case. A mini dress or a skirt with a high slit is always a favourite, however there’s no need to be dragged down into the misconception that in order to create a sultry outfit, there’s a need to wear revealing pieces.

There are various ways to create an alluring outfit, from wearing fabrics like lace, light-reflecting materials like satin or the soft touch of velvet, all which invoke a sultry, sensual look and feel. Opt for sheer fabric to tease at the idea of skin on show. Additionally, create the illusion of elongated legs by opting for a monochromatic look. Using a single colour from top to bottom forms a seamless vertical line that lengthens and streamlines the silhouette.

Look beyond the clichés

The cliché of splashing out on sexy lingerie for Valentine’s Day is a long-enduring one. For many, pulling on a lacy bralette or even a garter is a simple, straightforward way to feel immediately seductive. For others though, it takes a little more.

Instead, adding structured pleats to create volume and highlight curves can serve to accentuate the figure. So too can picking pieces with ruffle details on the shoulder or bust areas, or adding figure-skimming leather trousers or a sequin skirt to accentuate the curve of the back.

You don't need to go tight to flatter your shape

Another stereotype surrounding sultry dressing, is that in order to flatter the body, an outfit that entirely hugs it is needed. Opting for structured, tailored pieces is a timelessly chic option for those wanting to tread the fine sartorial line between figure-hugging and overly-floaty.

A well-structured suit or blazer can immediately uplevel an outfit, giving it a more polished feel, while also serving to accentuate parts of the figure. Pairing more loosely-fitting pieces - perhaps a softer shirt with a button or two undone at the top - with tailored garments - is a sophisticated way of creating an glamorous smart-casual look, which can then easily be dressed up with heels or turned into a more off-duty look with trainers or flats.

What’s more, opting for structured pieces provides immediate poise to any look.

Upgrade casual attire with statement accessories

Valentine’s Day or not, the one style rule that can be carried through first dates, new jobs, evenings out with friends and impromptu late-night dinners, is that a casual outfit can easily be upgraded with some choice statement accessories.

In just the same way that adding a more dressier piece to an outfit gives you an immediately more sophisticated look, mixing statement accessories with casual attire makes a similar impression. The addition of a silk scarf helps not only to give an outfit more of a smart feel, it also draws attention to this more slender, endlessly alluring part of the figure, and can help create movement in an outfit.

Statement gold earrings or a necklace can serve to add light and reflection to the neck and décolletage, in fact, rather than allowing earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings to be an afterthought, instead consider positioning them as the heroes of a look - making it easy to rewear a favourite ensemble again-and-again while giving it a myriad of different finishes.

Finally, a striking belt adds immediate glamour and serves to draw the eye down your body and can elongate a look, while a trophy bag can be slung over an arm or shoulder to add a pop of colour or extra charm.

If in doubt, keep it simple

Dressing for a first date, or indeed any date, can feel like an arduous task. In short, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an important job interview or an exclusive party invite, many can often end up overcomplicating a look.

Everyone will have their own version of what that entails but many can go far wrong for a low-key affair with a white shirt and a crisp blazer or well-cut trench. Alternatively, a simple colour-block dress or sultry monochrome skirt doesn’t ever really need many additional extras - the quality speaks for itself. Invest well, and allow these key pieces to make an impact.

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