Scientists have yet to discover exactly what it is about Valentine’s Day that makes even the most sensible person suddenly feel they have to swathe themselves in hearts, red satin and really scratchy lace. It’s probably the same thing that makes sensible people think the love of their life might want a 3ft teddy bear, or an overpriced set menu at Cafe Rouge surrounded by other barely-speaking couples.
But hey – when you think about the amount we all spend on Christmas jumpers, buying a dedicated Valentine’s Day outfit doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous. And February’s a bleak month, why the hell not liven it up with a cheery nod to cupid? The key is to pick something blantantly romantic OR covered in hearts and kisses, not both, if you’re ever going to wear it more than once a year. Take a look at these high street and online options…
Alice Takes a Trip oversized sweatshirt
Kind of revolting but kind of amazing, this Sesame-Street-does-romance laughs in the face of Valentine’s convention. Only very lucky people will get to feel the fluffy bit.
£35 from ASOS[/nextpage]
Ribbed curved hem bodycon dress
Oxblood is a much easier way to wear red than going fully crimson, and it also whispers ‘Valentine’s Day’ rather than screaming it. With this season’s favourite turtle neck and curved hem, you’ll get mileage out of this for long after your flowers have died.
£15 from Boohoo[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Love Moschino embellished vest
Valentine’s Day should be about showing yourself some love too, and what says ‘I love you, me’ better than snagging a bargain bit of Moschino? This embellished pop art vest is the kind of modern classic you’ll rock on endless occasions – and not a cutesy heart in sight.
£65 from ASOS[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Cooperative heart print funnel neck top
It’s covered in hearts, yes, but it’s also shaped vaguely like a sci-fi costume or a windsurfing top – so no danger of looking like you’ve escaped from a Disneyland parade.
£18 from Urban Outfitters[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Metallic heart jacquard prom dress
If you can’t manage to avoid looking ridiculous, embrace it. This sugary metallic confection is very ‘it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’ – ideal for bowling, dancing or kissing at a funfair.
£18 from ASOS[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Waterfall pencil dress
This Joan Holloway-esque wiggle dress is unashamedly Valentiney, but it can also be recycled for spring weddings, autumn weddings, Christmas and any time your friends have a 50s-themed cocktail party. That’s enough justification, right?
£45 from ASOS[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Pink Hannah shirt
Subtly see-through, subtly animal print, subtly pink and subtly romantic, this classy shirt from Atterley Road is perfect Valentine’s wear for people who prefer sharp tailoring to frills and ruffles. Plus it’s £17!
£17 from Atterley Road[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Love Heart Clutch Bag
This big, roomy clutch is far more practical than a silly teeny handbag in the shape of a lipstick or whatever, but it’s got enough kitsch value to hold your own against all the red lace frocks in the restaurant.
£17.50 from ASOS[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Abstract heart print blouse
There are hearts on this blouse, if you look really closely – a good way to sneak a little romance into your day while still outwardly pretending it’s all commercial nonsense.
£15 from Forever 21[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Oasis jacquard lips mini skirt
If you must wear a Valentine’s print, lips are definitely a cooler option than hearts – and this skirt will work just as well with a jumper down the pub as it will when you’re being serenaded under the moonlight. Provided you can cope with any ‘talking out of your arse’ jokes.
£12.50 from ASOS[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Asymmetrical skirt jacquard dress
In-your-face pillar box red, structured and textured, this may be a red dress but it’s definitely not that kind of red dress. Ideal for a loud and proud anti-Valentine’s protest.
£29.99 from Zara[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next”]
Dollis red bodycon dress
Yes alright, maybe you won’t wear this one again. But it’s FOURTEEN POUNDS, and will make you feel like Jerry Hall going to Studio 54.
£15 from Atterley Road.[/nextpage]