Red isn’t for everyone but when Valentine’s Day comes around, the colour seems to be everywhere – especially when it comes to outfits for the occasion. So, we took it upon ourselves to find some alternative romantic outfits that reject the red – but are equally as sassy
Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year largely associated with the colour red. And understandably so – it represents love, passion, joy, confidence, desire… pretty much all the emotions that cause us to celebrate Valentine’s in the first place. It’s the colour of the roses most people receive on February 14 and the colour many people display in their chosen outfit for whatever they’re doing to mark the occasion.
But what if a ruby tint doesn’t quite suit your skin-tone or you simply don’t like it? Just because scarlets and cherries and garnets and crimsons are worn by many, doesn’t mean you have to. And thankfully, the high street has a plethora of options for those who want to leave the red at home and wow their partner – or besties, Valentine’s can be about platonic love too – with a cool shade of blue or crisp white instead – including H&M.
READ MORE: I tried date night outfits at M&S, River Island and more to find the ultimate Valentine’s look
And with V-day just days away, traipsing into your nearest city and exploring the aisles and rails of your local store doesn’t sound like the most relaxing of activities on a busy Saturday – thankfully, I visited my nearest branch so you don’t have to to show you my favourite two-pieces, tops and dresses that will have you feeling the love on February 14 and, most importantly, aren’t red.
Without further ado…
Black draped jersey dress
Not quite the conventional looking LBD (little black dress) but this gorgeous asymmetric garment is great for those who don’t feel too comfortable in something fitted – bodycon style – but still want that waist cinching effect without a belt. I fell in love with this little dress as soon as I put my head through its slanted high neckline because it felt comfortable and a little sassy. The heavy jersey material is supportive enough to feel held in but doesn’t show all your problem areas and the pleated neck adds a detail that’d simply be overshadowed by jewellery, meaning you only need some earrings and nice shoes to make this dress something special.
With a ruched side detailing, I was surprised by how flattering the dress was on me. Its mini A-line skirt feels as though you’re wearing a skater dress (very fun) but it’s the top half that transforms it into a gorgeous elegant wardrobe staple Coco Chanel herself would be proud of and one that’s perfect for your swanky – or casual – Valentine’s Day meal.
Costing £27.99, it comes in sizes XS to XXL and would be perfectly complimented by a pair of pointed stilletos or boots and some statement earrings.
Bouclé-knit bodycon dress
For all you brides-to-be, I feel like this gorgeous, soft, comfortable and oyster coloured bouclé knit is a lovely dress to really get the most out of your pre-wedding era – especially if it’s your last Valentine’s as a Miss. Plus, with a partial see-through texture, it’s bang on trend with textured white dress playing a major part in the SS24 catwalks.
The wide – or boat – neckline on this dress gives it an Old Hollywood feel with the fluted sleeves offering a more modern and bohemian feel. The midi length makes it perfect for the time of year (keeping your legs toasty in the winter weather – although it’s best to wear skin-colour tights under it too).
What’s great about this £34.99 dress is that it’s comfy enough to lounge in for a cosy night in but can easily be dressed up with a bold heel, some lipstick and a bagette.
Coming in sizes XXS to XL, the ‘bodycon’ dress fitted my usual 8 on the larger size – which I was pleased with, because it meant I could easily move – should the Valentine’s date call for an activity – and I wouldn’t be conscious of the inevitable food baby after a three-course dinner at The Ivy.
Denim bandeau co-ord – top and trousers
This outfit is just cool. It’s got all the components of a glamorous ensemble fit for The Shard – a fitted bandeau top that, should you want it, can expose your midriff and a pair of wide leg trousers – but the denim material it’s made from gives this co-ord set a stylish edge. The bandeau top is structured the typical jean-style seams and is fixed with buttons while the jeans, in contrast, are baggy in a rigid cotton denim with a straight leg. It’s an iconic look and “a denim statement that goes the distance”. And don’t let the outfit’s material makeup fool you into thinking it’s a casual-only outfit. Pop a pair of pointed stilettos on, your favourite jewellery and a jacket and you’ve got yourself a chic look that will take you from a festival to a five star restaurant in no time.
Gathered blue tie-dye bodycon dress
It’s been said that blue is the colour for spring – so why not get ahead of the wave and wear it on your Valentine’s dress? With hues that mimic a typical blue British sky (when it’s not raining), the dress was more flattering on me than I expected. I’m not one for tight fitting dresses but I decided to give it a go because I thought the ruched, gathered material in the beige and blue tie-dye pattern would hide my less than favourable bits and the decorative piping would accentuate my figure. And I was right.
While it was a bit of a struggle to get on – the slip underneath the ruched, mesh overdress is attached by the strap and my arm got lost several times and I felt like I was in some sort of fashion straightjacket… though that’s my bad and not a design flaw – once I found the sleeve entrance and wiggled into the dress, it was sophisticated, glamorous and ethereal. I would happily wear it with some peep toe mules and delicate gold jewellery.
If this shade isn’t to your fancy, however, the dress – which comes in sizes XXS to XL – is also available in black.
Light Pink Suit – jacket and trousers
I love wearing a suit. There’s something so empowering about donning a blazer and flattering tailored trousers – and this Valentine’s Day, why shouldn’t you feel fabulously powerful? Especially if it’s pink. And on sale. This oversized double-breasted blazer is £27 but looks “more expensive that it is”. Its quality to soft and satin-like and the baby pink shade its in is subtle, elegant and oh so romantic.
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While I personally enjoyed the oversized fit, many shoppers who have snapped the set up have recommended sizing down for a more fitted finish. As for the trousers, £20, which are in equal measure comfortable, they have a ‘I mean business’ feel and look to them thanks to the crease running down the centre of the legs at the front and back.
It’s a suit that can easily be taken from business meeting to night out by switching out your choice of shirt and shoes – trainers or flats for heels and a tie-neck blouse for a band tee – Easy.
Asymmetric-front suit waistcoat
This waistcoat had me hook, line and sinkered when I spotted it at my local H&M. The diagonal fastening and the slightly oversized fit in conjunction with the ‘griege’ tone… It was the perfect transitional piece that could add another dimension to a relatively boring outfit and gave me the idea for a gorgeous, more casual Valentine’s date vibe – think Hollywood bowl.
The twill material is super soft and its V-neckline is high enough to be able to wear on its own without a shirt underneath – which is such a powerful, stylish look that has been modelled time and again by A-listers like Zendaya, Frankie Bridge and Victoria Beckham.
I paired the waistcoat with the baggy low jeans previously mentioned and I became obsessed. To keep it casual, I paired it with some white and beige sneakers, £27.99, but it could easily be dressed up with a pair of snakeskin heeled boots like these £37.99 ones. For my ladies who love a neutral colour theme, this outfit is for you.
However, if you’re after something specific, see H&M’s entire range here. Alternatively, fashion lovers have been frantically shopping on the likes of PrettyLittleThing for their occasion outfits – especially after Molly-Mae Hague launched her new collection which includes stunning items like this Mocha Soft Knit Open Back Long Sleeve Maxi Dress (£29). Alternatively, River Island fans have been snapping up this £15 bandeau jumpsuit and this striped satin slip dress (£60) just in time for Valentine’s Day.
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