…and so begins our quest for the perfect Valentine’s day – or V-day, for short (not the WWII version, of course… more like V-Day, US edition!)
Right off the bat, you think of red and pink, right? Right. But you certainly don’t need to do, say, an all-over-heart-print jumpsuit and dye your hair red.
That would just be weird.
Instead, opt for mixing pieces of red and/or (personal preference if you like them together; personally, I don’t mind) with light neutrals such as white, silver (scarves & shoes & jewellry, I’m referring to. Don’t take that as an excuse to wear silver pants. Please.), grey, & denim. If you go denim, I’d go darker – light denim with red & pinks can look a bit off. So basically, don’t go overboard – for you, for me, and for the sakes of all those around you!
So this post will cover the basics (mostly dresses), and the next few will get into the more detailed stuff. Ha ha, this is Intro to Valentine’s Dressing 101. So welcome to class.
Anyway… I’ll start with dresses!
If you live somewhere like I do (read: cold), dresses can prove to be a bit tricky in February. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT WEAR WHITE TIGHTS UNDER A RED/PINK DRESS! You have been warned. Unless you’re intentionally going for a “look-I’m-6-and-cute-and-playing-dress-up!” look, white tights + red dress = *cringe*worthy.
Good dresses: comfortable for you (pick by what you like & how you feel in it, don’t necessarily go by the book/follow trends exactly. That’s so uncreative.). Also, be sure to watch cleavage… while a little something special is good for V-Day, you don’t want people dropping dollar bills down the front of your dress (I hope…) As for colour/print, splashes of colour or a solid are optimal; florals add a nice spring-y touch to an otherwise very, very, VERY wintery holiday. Brrr. (Our heat wave is ending, it was only 35 today when I ran. Grumble grumble grumble…) If you do an all-white dress – which can be very romantic and Valentine’s-y – be sure to accentuate with plenty of red (don’t forget red lips!). Romantic is, of course, the key word. Flirty too.
OK, rather than keeping talking, I’m just going to show you… starting off with a few runway looks, then taking it to the [realistic] consumer level. Starting with those amazing Fendi flowered frocks from Spring… love!
Both, Fendi // Spring 2009. Notice: red shoes (and red belt in the background, paired with a girly pale pink frock). The hair & makeup on these is very dramatic – if you want to combat/balance out a very girly dress, you can do a dramatic smoky eye and a more sexy hairdo. (Girly dress + curls = very very… cute. Not necessarily sexy, which is what we aim for. Sexy is what we aim for. )
Monique Lhuillier // Pre-Fall 2009. My jaw literally dropped when I saw this for the first time just now; I don’t know if it was the colour, the shoulder strap, the bustley skirt… but I am in love. Who needs boys when you have dresses like this?
If you’re not in a hot pink mood, there’s always the alternative pale pink, which tends to have a much softer feel to it (especially if it’s a delicate fabric).
Christian Dior // Spring 2009. I highly doubt any of you can get your hands on this… but hey, it’s pale pink and pretty, so why not?
But here’s another pale pink option…
Marchesa // Spring 2009. Love the wrapping and the… bulges? Bunches? Bouquets? on the hips.
…or a plummy pinkish hue:
Donna Karan // Pre-Fall 2009. Definitely a plum/rose colour… I have to find some fabric this colour soon! Great if you want to stand out in a crowd.
You’ve noticed that most of these are more loose & flowy & floaty than bandage… simply because unless you’re a stick, it can be tricky to pull off a bright red bandage dress… That and the fact that they’re more hot/sexy than romantic/sexy… Hmm, maybe it’s just my opinion. You?
Anyway, moving on… sort of… to white & red dresses. What can I say? Lady in red = stunning. Woman in white = gorgeous. You pick.
Monique Lhuillier // Pre-Fall 2009. OK, Monique Lhuillier is officially on my favourites list. Gorgeous gowns galore! As for this dress, again with the one-shouldered look and a full-ish skirt… Classic & elegant & gorgeous. What more can I say?
J. Mendel // Pre-Fall 2009. One shouldered is a huge trend for PF/Fall. Yesss, finally! This dress has a sleeker silhouette and is just as gorgeously radiantly stunningly beautifully goddesslike. Interesting buckle detail at the waist that gathers the fabric in…
Christian Dior // Spring 2009. Want dramatic? Go Dior.
Anne Valerie Hash // Spring 2009. Love the beading detail and the slightly flapper-esque feel this gown has… Another thing: floor-length is gorgeous, but may not be the most convenient/appropriate cut; shorter (but not too short: too short can quickly go Skankaholic on you) is easier to deal with, especially when traipsing around Paris for a romantic evening. (Because I would totally know.)
Red dress time!
Oscar de la Renta // Pre-Fall 2009. Colourblocked floor-length crumpled silk with a huge flower at the waist? YES.
Reem Acra // Pre-Fall 2009. A simpler look, not as shiny or HELLO WORLD!, but still very classic & elegant. Love the neckline on this one.
Reem Acra // Pre-Fall 2009. Another RA gown; this one has that sheen, but is in a deeper colour than the OdlR. Really lovely and – importantly! – sexy, yet sort of soft. But not too soft.
Christian Dior // Spring 2009 Couture. Again with the drama – I mean, I love the dress to death, but realistically, can you see yourself wearing this out to eat? Nope. But look at the colour – sort of a classic red, maybe a little deeper. One of my favourite V-Day colours.
Armani Prive // Spring 2009. Almost a sporty look in this slim, shimmery (a bit) Armani gown. A more coral-y pinkish red… most women can wear this sort of colour pretty well. (NOTE: everyone can wear coral!)
OK, moving on to the shopping portion (yay!). Dresses for all ranges & ages.
Badgley Mischka // Bluefly.com, $595
Carmen Marc Valvo // Bluefly.com, $555
Macy’s, $158. Like the neckline on this one.
If you’re on a really tight budget, this $15 F21 dress will do the trick… pair it with some lace tights, heels, and killer jewelery and you’re set.
JS Boutique // Nordstrom, $178. Jersey for a more casual look; has the one-shouldered look.
Sort of fun and flirty, this Robert Rodriguez ($539, Shopbop.com) dress is great for a casual V-Day get-together.
A white dress! Nordstrom, $184
OK… if I find more dresses, I’ll let you know. Trust me.
Next: shoes! (I think. Might change. Stay in tune. Don’t touch that remote!…)
Look du jour:
Peter Som // Pre-Fall 2009. I like this coat, it seems to have a sort of Russian air to it. And you know by now how much I love that… for some reason…
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