Saturday, 2 February 2013

Valentine Date-Dress Dilemmas Solved by Coast

As February dawns, thoughts begin to turn towards that most dreaded/eagerly anticipated day of the year (delete as applicable). Deciding on the perfect gift, outfit, destination (preferably incorporating a buffer zone of at least 3cm of "personal space" between you and the 987 other couples there)... leaving the booking of said destination to your other half and ending up on his hygienically-challenged mate's sofa wearing sequins whilst "enjoying" some hardcore rap (true story) - Valentine's Day is a minefield which I'll happily eschew for a night living vicariously through the Kardashians this year. If you are throwing yourself unto the breach, however, maybe I can offer a few words of consolation, or at least point you in the direction of the perfect peplum.

As part of their Dating Dress Diary competition, Coast have asked bloggers to reveal their past dating style disasters, but allowed them to redeem themselves by putting together the dream Valentine's outfit from their current collection, for the chance to win £100 worth of beautifully appropriate clothes.

I'm happily resigned to being pretty much permanently overdressed by most people's standards, but, on the odd occasion, it's been ever-so-slightly excruciating... Particularly on the teenage first date when "going out for a drink" turned out to refer to a night in the pub with 6 other people (all clad in scruffy combats, jeans and Converse), overlooked by some rather interested old men having their regular evening pint - I was wearing my brand new sheer mesh top (with underwear underneath, yes, thank-you-very-much, but no other modesty preserving layers to speak of). I kept my (faux fur) coat on as long as I could without frying alive, and it didn't do much to endear me to the female contingent, but, hey ho, I think the guy(s) liked it!

Moral of the story: Stay true to yourself and your personal style, yes, but know your destination and your audience, and, if in doubt, keep your underwear firmly under (opaque) wraps. These days, I'd go for a slightly more, um, classic look (at least for the first date!).

My Dream Date Outfit

Arabella Lace Top, £80; Tressi Full Skirt, £115; Rachella Fur Cover Up, £75 £45; Paloma Pearl Clutch, £60; Dottie Shoe, £85 £25; Tatum Earrings, £20; Freya Band, £25 (All Coast - click on item names to view details or buy)

Classic definitely doesn't need to be synonymous with "boring" though - this is what I'd wear if Chace Crawford got hold of my number and begged me to clear a space in my diary for champagne cocktails on the 14th... It would also be perfect for the champagne afternoon tea at the Savoy with the girls that I actually have planned!

Although I do love a little red dress for Valentine's, this time I decided to play around with monochrome separates for a timelessly chic and very OTM look. Striking a balance between sexy (courtesy of the top's bodycon fit and sheer lace panel), sophisticated (you can't beat a just-below-the-knee cut for a shot of '50s elegance) and fun (come on - a tutu and faux fur), all wrapped up in a princessy package painted in shades of Grace Kelly.

I'd accessorise my trademark beehive with the super cute diamante hair band, showing off those gorgeous earrings to full effect. In terms of make-up, I'd either go for smoky eyes and neutral lips, or a matte red lip teamed with a simple feline eyeliner flick.

My "Ready for Anything" Outfit

Beau Knit Dress, £150 £95; Livia Cape Coat, £195; Billie Bow Belt, £12 £7; Bow Clutch, £60 £35; Tess Shoe, £85

But for anyone who's still haunted by memories of fashion-related romantic wipeouts past, or taunted by the possibility of a future faux-pas, I also wanted to put together a failsafe go-anywhere ensemble - as long as you don't end up doing some romantic rock-climbing or something, this outfit should be date-proof - perfectly practical and practically perfect, whether you end up at Claridge's or Wagamama. You could even wear it straight from the office!

The bodycon knitted peplum dress is sexy-but-demure, and the cut-out sides give the classic courts a subtly sexy twist. I've retained an elegant monochrome colour palette, aside from the pink belt, which injects some sweetness and sass. The cape tops the look off beautifully - keeping you stylishly sophisticated and warm (if your chauffeur happens to have the night off) - its volume balances out the bodycon skirt section, whilst the belt ensures your curves look their best outside as well as in.

Beauty-wise, I'd complete this look with my even-more-trademark loose waves or a messy top knot to soften the graphic outline, a flirty-eyed flick, and a bright pink lip to match the belt if I was feeling cheeky.

What are your Valentine's Day plans? Have you planned your outfit yet? Any past debacles you're determined not to repeat?

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  1. love the second look!!!


  2. Love the pink bow belt. I don't think I've seen anything so cute!


  3. I'm in love with the tressi full skirt!

    1. It is amazing isn't it? I think that's what I'd choose if I won...

  4. Lovely outfits.


  5. I am in love with the structure of that Livia Cape coat! :)

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  6. Love;y outfits - you have great taste!

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    Looking forward to your future posts :)



  7. Hi, Sam! How have you been? Beautiful post! Valentine's day and/or simmilar romantic calendar date (depending on country and culture) can be a quite unsettling moment surely... But when a special woman reveals some of her personal traits through - for instance - these lovely outfits and other sweet characteristics, this is a sign that one is facing a lady (and it has to be highly valued!) :) It is a great pity that, contrary to what many think, is almost (if not) rare to find true "ladies" and "gentlemen" nowadays...
    Thanks for share your taste once again!

    1. Hi Flávio! I've been well thank you, how are you? Thank you for your lovely comment - I'm glad you liked the post and completely agree re: wishing there were still more true ladies and gentlemen around... and more people wearing lovely outfits of course ;) xx

    2. You're welcome Sam! I'm fine too, thank you! And thanks for always appreciate my comments :) I also admire your thoughts and beautiful points of view! xx