Valentine’s Day Fashion: Make it a date night

Wear red by Preen. 
Jessica Chastain  in Sydney, promoting her new movie "Molly's Game." (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Wear red by Preen. Jessica Chastain in Sydney, promoting her new movie "Molly's Game." (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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Full-on or the subtle approach? Stephanie Smith has advice on what to wear (and buy) for Valentine’s Day. Plus win a shopping gift card.

If it’s February, it must be Valentine’s Day, and that means romance. If you’re partnered up, it’s probably either a date night out or a cosy night in on the sofa with a posh microwave dinner and a heart-stirring film (Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally, Titanic, Love Actually, Fifty Shades, take your pick).

Red off-the-shoulder top, �35, coming to River Island later this month.

Red off-the-shoulder top, �35, coming to River Island later this month.

If you’re single, it’s an annual reminder to get a move on and find yourself someone to do those date night and sofa things with. Online dating, blind dating, speed dating, single-mingle nights... all are out there and waiting for you. We’re in the 21st century now and completely inter-connected, so there’s no excuse. Unless you want to be single, of course, in which case, there’s no reason why you can’t take yourself out to dinner or go celebrate your freedom with friends.

Taking Valentine’s Day even slightly seriously involves making an effort and dressing the part. For cosy nights in, invest in a beautiful new set of nightwear. The Nine by Savannah Miller ones featured here are in the sale at Debenhams, and they are simply perfect – loose and silky, but tie-waisted to keep a chic and flattering shape. There are quite a few lovely PJ and slip night-dress styles still around in the sales, especially if you check online, and there are more kimono-style silky printed jackets coming in for spring so, if you’re canny, you might be able to find something you can wear both in and out of bed (ideal for seeing a film at an Everyman Cinema, with its lounge-in-style two-seater sofas).

To make a Valentine’s Day romantic statement, a red dress is always the way to go. Not subtle, perhaps, but striking, confident and seductive? Definitely. Look for off-the-shoulder or cowl-neck styles, especially if you will be spending most of the evening sitting down and dining (not splashy spaghetti, please). For a more delicate approach, try a quietly beautiful floral print dress. There are some subtly frilled print styles coming for spring on the High Street, especially wrap dresses (see Wallis and Jigsaw).

If you are looking for ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, consider a gauzy, fine-knit pashmina, in soft pink or grey, very welcome to most women, not least because it can double up as a neat sofa throw (we’re all about multi-purpose these days). Or, this season, a soft pink or violet handbag or an unusual piece of jewellery may well work wonders.

Kevan Jon Sian pencil dress, �249.99, from Accent Clothing in Leeds.

Kevan Jon Sian pencil dress, �249.99, from Accent Clothing in Leeds.

WIN A £50 GIFT CARD TO SPEND AT TRINITY LEEDS

Trinity Leeds, which celebrates its fifth birthday in March, is offering readers the chance to win a £50 gift card, which can be used to shop, maybe for fashion or technology or jewellery, or for entertaining, perhaps a romantic visit to the Everyman Cinema, or dining at one of the restaurants or at Trinity Kitchen.

The prize is redeemable at almost all retailers, bars and restaurants at Trinity Leeds (see the centre’s website for details).

To be in with a chance to win, simply answer the following question: Which birthday does Trinity Leeds celebrate next month?

Swan necklace, �99, Swarovski at Trinity Leeds.

Swan necklace, �99, Swarovski at Trinity Leeds.

Send your answer by email to stephanie.smith@jpress.co.uk. Call your email ‘Trinity Leeds Competition’, and also give your name, address and contactable telephone number. Or you can send your answer on a postcard to: Stephanie Smith, Features Department, The Yorkshire Post, No1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds LS12 1BE.

Whichever method you choose, entries must arrive by noon on the closing date of Monday, February 12, and the winner will be the first correct answer drawn at random from all the correct entries. Usual Johnston Press and Trinity Leeds terms and conditions apply. Go to our website for more details.

Black floral dress, �32, at Dorothy Perkins.

Black floral dress, �32, at Dorothy Perkins.

Nine by Savannah Miller stripe print loungewear set, was �38, now �32, at Debenhams.

Nine by Savannah Miller stripe print loungewear set, was �38, now �32, at Debenhams.

Stripe cyclamen wrap dress, �199, Jigsaw.

Stripe cyclamen wrap dress, �199, Jigsaw.

Beauty: Lip-top condition for Valentine’s Day

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