I promise, this won't be all Valentine's Day all the time from now until the 14th, but I can't help letting the holiday inspire me to dress more romantically. Here's a Polyvore set I made tonight:
Valentine's Day - by Julia York on Polyvore.com
I started with the dress-- a red or pink dress, while classic, is a bit too obvious. I decided to go with a ruffley black dress (it looks like sort of washed-out slate, but the website swears it's black) from Azaleas NYC: The Aryn K Ruffled Halter Dress, $88. The back is even hotter than the front-- good luck making it to your dinner reservations on time once your guy sees the rear view. I like how it's a fairly sophisticated dress, but with a very flirty vibe.
I've become obsessed with the idea of giving Hanky Panky thongs as gifts. I don't own a pair, because I'm cheap, but they're legendary for being comfortable and sexy. And one size fits all, which is great for men shopping for their girlfriends. They're expensive, though: the pictured 3-pack gift set is $50, and they're regularly $18 each. But I just found an even better option on Bare Necessities-- dozen or half dozen Long Stem Lovin' Hanky Panky Thong bouquets! They ain't cheap ($250 for 12 or $130 for 6), but the presentation couldn't be cuter. I would so much rather get 12 sexy, brightly colored thongs than a dozen roses that'll wilt in three days.
Wearing a dress with so much going on up top (both the ruffles and the boobage), I tend to forego the necklace and wear some fun earrings. I like these simple Zad Gold Square Beaded Hoops from Lulu's, $6.
Another plus to the black dress is that it allows everything else to be really bold, like this Nanette Lepore coat. The Supreme Coat, $234, has some trench-ish styling and a very eye-catching crimson color. It's sateen, so probably not a good idea if your date is taking place in New York, or anywhere else with tortuously cold weather.
The real shoes I wanted to include with this outfit were these extraordinarily perfect Petal Sandals, $995, by Christian Louboutin. I could die from the loveliness. Innocent pink crepe petals cascading down your foot are perfectly offset by the Fuck Me Red soles. These are the sort of shoes that demand to be kissed in.
Unfortunately, I couldn't clip the photo to Polyvore because Neiman Marcus has that special Zoom thing. Annoying. I mean, helpful if I'm actually shopping, but annoying when I want to blog. Anthropologie has the same problem, so I'm always taking screen shots of their webpages.
I do like the two shoes I did end up including, though. The white and red heel is the Naughty Monkey Candyland Pump, $49.99, is a fabulous mix of red floral and red patent leather. I think it could be a nice way to mix your outfit up if the rest of your accessories are solid red. I love the little cut-outs at the toe and sides-- sort of a sexy alternative to peep-toe. The other shoes, a classic crimson pump, are $94.99 at ModCloth (but almost sold out!).
I certainly hope that none of you readers think you're too good for the Sex and the City movie, but if you are, I'll explain how this book relates. In the beginning, Carrie is reading a library book titled "Love Letters of Great Men," which was a prop until some marketing exec thought, "If the show could convince women to buy $400 shoes, surely the movie will convince them to buy a $20 book!" So you can buy the movie-related version on Amazon, or you can be ridiculously classy and get this $235 leather-bound copy (I have no idea how the actual contents of the two books match up, and if there's no "Ever mine, ever thine, ever ours," she'll be pissed) from Smythson. If you really want to show that you love her, you can even get it gold-stamped with her name. But you know what I think most girls would like best? Find a fairly nice blank notebook, then write your own love letters. Or if you're not good with words, fill it with the love letters of others, copied by hand. It would take forever, which, to some people, is way better than anything costing $235.
Back to the outfit: finish it off with a small fringe clutch, $24.99 at Urban Outfitters. I'm not sure if the fringe is too much with the ruffles on the dress, but I'd be willing to risk it. And if you bring one thing with you on Valentine's Day, make it Smith's Rosebud Salve, $8.