Dressing for a holiday usually comes with a stack of unspoken assumptions — and that’s never more true than when it comes to Valentine’s Day. But, this year, we’re not going to fall into that trap. We refuse to end up with an overtly sexy or super-girly new item in our closet that we most certainly won’t want to wear for, say, the next 364 days.
How does one dress for an evening of romance without ending up looking like Valentine’s Day Barbie? To solve this conundrum, we decided to turn to the pros. Ahead, nine of L.A.’s top stylists share their ultimate picks this season for a non-cliché —but, still totally stunning — badass V-Day dress.
Stylist: Sissy Sainte-Marie
Clients Include: Felicity Jones, Kylie Jenner, The Dreslyn
“Before you book your Valentine’s weekend in Palm Springs, lock down this number from Maiyet.”
“I’m always waiting and hoping for some special occasion to wear a dress as gorgeous as this one from ACNE,” Sainte-Marie says. “Valentine’s Day is a great excuse.”
Stylist: Kris Zero
Clients Include: Kate Bosworth, Shailene Woodley
“I love this dress! Super-comfy, affordable, L.A.-made — and, I love the duo behind it!”
“I’m obsessed with this,” Zero says. “I love the sleeve and the ultra-feminine ruffle!”
Stylist: Shirley Kurata
Clients Include: Peter Jensen, Miranda July, Oliver Peoples
“A pink dress that has a great sleeve detail and a peekaboo back. And, for those that aren’t into pink, this Honor dress also comes in black!”
“For those of you that just can’t do pink, you can’t go wrong with a chic LBD on Valentine’s Day,” Kurata says. “But, for those who love color like me, this Roksanda dress adds a nice sliver of color.”
Stylist: Anita Patrickson
Clients Include: Chanel Iman, Michelle Rodriguez, Emma Watson
“Take a page out of Kate Moss’ book with a simple silk slip. Keep your hair slightly messy, and add a black simple shoe to complete the look.”
“Sophisticated and stylish, this dress has a red carpet ‘wow’ factor without showing it all off,” Patrickson explains. “Sometimes, it’s good to play a little hard-to-get and leave a few things to the imagination!”
Stylist: Ashley Furnival
Clients Include: Rodarte, Elle Fanning, Kate Mara
“I love the flirtiness of this dress — it’s sweet while still being cool. The neckline is also very flattering. Sometimes, you don’t have to be obviously sexy to still be sexy!”
Kenzo Torn Flowers Dress, $985, available at Opening Ceremony.
“This dress is just cool and sexy. A super-easy dress. All you have to do is tie your hair up and wear a great pair of earrings, and you are done!”
Stylist: Jenny Ricker
Clients Include: Winona Ryder, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rachel McAdams
“I love the playful, sweet, floral fabric and the effortless romance of this look.”
“I love the elegance of this dress — chic, but with the dramatic keyhole neck,” Ricker says. “It’s sexy and reminds me of something Anjelica Huston would have worn in the ’70s.”
Stylist: Lwany Smith
Clients Include: Morgan Dixon, Fashion Gone Rogue, Cream Magazine
“This timeless, A-line silhouette is just as flattering as it is versatile. There’s something so effortlessly sexy about a mock neck and long sleeves, contrasted by a shorter hemline.”
“This is perhaps the coolest take on the sweetheart neckline,” Smith says. “There’s nothing cheap or cliché about this lace-and-loose-silhouette combo.”
Stylist: Marissa Peden
Clients Include: Bella Thorne, Shailene Woodley, Jena Malone
“This simple, classic piece is so young and innocent, but flirty enough thanks to the flouncy, short hem. It would be great with a black heel and red lip.”
“This dress is a perfect Valentine’s Day option because of its lovely pink shade,” Peden says. “It’s a subtle nod toward conventional Valentine wear, without the cheesiness.”
Stylist: Tara Williams
Clients Include: Olivia Wilde, Tia Mowry, Lauren Conrad, Jaime King
“It may be just me, but there’s something incredibly superhero-esque about a short leather dress. I love the idea of doing a classic leather dress on a first date. Timeless, edgy, and completely unforgettable.”
“For Valentine’s Day, this needs nothing but a killer pair of heels,” Williams says.
Lipsy Michelle Keegan Loves Lipsy Belted Mesh Detail Pencil Dress, $133.03, available at ASOS.
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