What to wear on Valentine's Day

Full disclosure: I don't have any plans on Valentine's Day yet. I'm assuming I'll be spending them with Sean, seeing as how we live together, but as I mentioned in my gift guide post, we don't like to go out to eat on Valentine's Day, so we usually end up cooking something decadent at home. Of course, if you are going out, don't let me stop you from getting all dressed up in your date-night best. The age-old question is, are you dressing up for yourself or for your partner? I truly believe that sexiness comes from feeling comfortable in your own skin. You could have the perfect body and be wearing a Hervé Leger bandage dress that leaves very little to the imagination, but if you don't feel good in it, you won't look good in it. Conversely, you could be wearing a muumuu and both look and feel like a straight-up goddess (which is actually how I feel when I'm wearing one). Which brings me to the conundrum of what to wear on date night.

The first guideline is that you come first. In other words, you need to feel good in what you're wearing. The second guideline is that if you want to look good for your partner, you need to wear something that both of you like. If your partner is a male, there is a very good chance that he likes the color red (I'm not making this up—it's a biological thing). So if you like the color red, as I do, then Valentine's Day is a great time to wear it. This dress is a lot of look, but it was a Zara sale score and I just couldn't pass it up. I feel good in it, though, because as I mentioned in my most recent outfit post, I'm team midi skirt, and I think the shape is overall very flattering on me. The funny thing about it, though, is that I rarely wear dresses with a defined waist—I am ridiculously short-waisted, so they tend to bunch up in weird places—but this one, magically, fits me. It's sadly long gone from Zara, but I've linked a very similar style below.

I normally wear a longer, thicker coat this time of year, but since I was going for a feel-good, look-good vibe here, I decided to wear my leather jacket (last seen...with another leopard-print dress—apologies for my lack of originality). I thought the shorter cut worked better with the silhouette of the dress—to emphasize my waist—but as I've mentioned multiple times before, I love how buttery soft this jacket is. It just feels good to wear it, whether it's with a dress or with jeans and a sweater.

In terms of accessories, I added a belt to this dress to cover up the ugly elastic waistband, but a black belt like this has the added emphasis of defining your waist, which men also like—everyone wins! I also grabbed this sequined clutch (last seen here), which is sold out in gray but still available in gold. Call me old-school, but I'm a firm believer in carrying a more delicate bag for date night—in other words, not the huge tote that you carry your laptop around in every day. It's all about making a little effort.

w, ladies, I know you may be tempted to break out the sexiest sky-high stilettos you own, but if that's something that your partner is really into, I suggest reserving them for after you get home from dinner (if you catch my drift). Hobbling around in uncomfortable shoes is not sexy. Again, if you don't feel good, you're not going to look good. Shoes that are both sexy and comfy are out there, but they're not exactly easy to find. These are several years old and, with the lace-up front and fur pompoms, almost cartoonishly sexy, however they have a nice low, sturdy heel, and I can walk around in them for hours. Again, everyone wins.

It's been raining a lot in San Francisco, so we've been squeezing in these photo shoots whenever we can. Ideally, we should have gone to some hip urban setting downtown for a "date night" look and feel, but we actually shot these at the neighborhood library where we take Zuni for a walk. It's the Presidio Heights hotspot...for dogs!

OUTFIT DETAILS: Zara dress (similar here) | Banana Republic jacket | Stella & Dot necklace and Margeaux clutch (similar here) | Gucci belt | ASOS shoes (similar here)


Laura B said...

That dress is perfect for a Valentine's Day date night! I love the shoes too!

Jodie's Touch of Style said...

You speak such truth Cheryl!! I love everything about this, and being practical is always in style. Whether that's in your shoes or even just wearing tights. I've seen bare legs when it's snowing, and I just can't imagine!!

Straight A Style said...

Good tips! SO true about needing to like/be comfortable in what you wear. Love your choice!

Amy Ann
Straight A Style

Sincerely, Jennie said...

I'm loving the cheetah trend! Cute.

Shelly @ The Queen in Between said...

Such a fun print and perfect for Valentines day! Thanks for linking up with Ageless Style.

Shelly | The Queen in Between


This is a lovely dress

Mica said...

What a beautiful dress! I really like the leather jacket with it and the clutch is so fun too! it would be great for a date night :)

Thank you so much for joining the #weekdayWearLinkUp :)

Hope that you are having a great week so far :) We have had a break with the heat and humidity and had some rain which has been a wonderful relief!

Away From The Blue Blog

Julie | This Main Line Life said...

So true... it's all about how you feel in what your wearing that matters. Great dress, it's an interesting spin on the leopard print.

Brooke said...

We never do much for Valentines Day, but if we were going out, I would wear something like this! Sexy, beautiful, and still warm!

Pumps and Push-Ups

Elise Von E said...

Well, I hope you end up doing something on Valentine's Day, because this look is fabulous!! LOVE your dress!

xx, Elise

Ruth said...

We don't really celebrate valentines day either. My daughters love it so we get them little baskets of treats. Otherwise we just have dinner in!


Claire Justine said...

Love your dress Cheryl. Red is my favourite colour too :)

Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at The Wednesday Link Up. Have a great weekend and we hope to see you soon.

Jessica Jannenga said...

Those pom pom shoes are adorable! I love lace up shoes too! The red leopard is fabulous as I love red too! We dont go out for Vday, everything is overpriced, but I love to give my hubby a card and gift, and enjoy a dinner with a great bottle of wine at home. Enjoy yours!
thanks for linking!
jess xx