By Gretta Monahan
Love it or hate it—and I know plenty of people who do both—Valentine’s Day has turned up in all of our lives again. That’s right—before we all know it, we’ll be doing that familiar dance of either romantic bliss, romantic angst, or anti-romance annoyance. And depending on which of those places you’re at, you’ll be wearing something completely different.
So here’s a somewhat different take on Valentine’s day dressing; a guide to what to wear on VDAy night, all according to where you’re at in your romantic life.
Full-on in love: Let’s get started with the most unapologetic space anyone can be in: You’re head over heels in love. Whether it’s a year-in relationship or you’re deep into a 30-year marriage, in either case (and all the ones inbetween) you’re ready to shout your commitment from the rooftops. This calls for no-holds-barred, rose-between-the-teeth dressing. You need to a red dress that shows your commitment (to the dress and to him). Something serious, along the lines of Haute Hippie’s Soul Seeker deep crimson cocktail dress ($625 at bergdorfgoodman.com), with its drapey silhouette and alluring fringe. If you don’t feel like dropping that kind of cash, go for the equally red, equally statement-making long sleeve Curve Satin Wrap Dress ($51 at missguidedus.com). It’s plunging neckline and waist-accentuating tie are a home run for all kinds of body types.
Full-on Lust: OK, so maybe you’re hitting the town with someone who’s more Mr. Right Now than Mr. Right. Why bother pretending the night’s going to turn into a forever love? Instead go for a wallet-friendly, all-out sexy number like the Crochet Trim Bodycon Dress ($25 on charlottesse.com).
Full-on Friendship: Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love; it’s also a moment to toast the love of friends and family. So for a night with pals, throw on a skirt that’s pretty and chic, and still nods to the holiday in a saturated red, but doesn’t take the whole holiday seriously—like the Marlow textured skirt ($128 on anthropologie.com). The below-the-knee length and slight flounce give it a retro attitude that’s more about fun and celebration than impressing anyone with your hotness. (Which actually makes it that much more attractive, for many people.)
Full-on anti-love: Who needs this kind of pressure from this holiday? Instead of playing along, just say ‘No, thanks’ to the whole shebang and stay home with a girlfriend or two who are in the same annoyed state of mind. Pop some popcorn, dance to “Love Stinks,” watch Frankie & Grace, and wear some of the world’s coziest PJs. And if you haven’t already got some, get some (like, immediately—even if not for VDay) such as the Dreamy Cotton Pajama set ($78 at jcrew.com). The very best part? They don’t even need to be red.