Nothing says love on Valentine’s Day like a rose—especially when it’s gold, heart-shaped and delicately worn on your finger (just saying). But when it comes to planning your date night outfit on arguably the most romantic day of the year, there’s a tasteful way to accessorize smartly and still profess your—well, love—for all things
pink and red and cinnamon hearts.

We asked Lindsay Macmillan, owner of
Elle Hardware in Toronto, to share her expert tips for date dressing on V-Day, without coming across as eagerly sentimental as a greeting card.

Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #1: Choose your outfit

First things first: create the base of your look with your tried and trusted
closet staples. “You don’t always have to buy something new,” says Macmillan. Think about it: that exciting new sheer dress can turn on you once you step into new and unforgiving fluorescent light. Play it safe by sticking with pieces that you know and will play up your silhouette. “Your outfit should entice your date so that they see the best part of you,” she says.

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Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #2: It’s still February—layers are OK

If you want to wear that
romantic, flowing dress, simply make it winter appropriate by wearing it with opaque tights, a moto jacket and stackable rings.

If it’s cold or you don’t know where you’re going, it’s always a good idea to bring a scarf. “And if you’re going to be active, don’t pull out your four-inch heels,” she says.

Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #3: Wear sentimental jewellery

If your S.O. gave you a necklace that you just love, now’s the time to show it off. “If this person has been in your life for a while, it will be a compliment to his taste,” says Macmillan. Pay attention to what he notices on you. “If there’s a piece that you know he loves, incorporate that into your look.”

FASHION TIPS: 10 rules of date dressing

More tips on selecting the perfect date night accessories on the next page…
Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #4: Add a conversation piece

Most statement pieces are natural icebreakers—like a cool pendant or gorgeous bracelet. “It will draw attention to something on your body, but it’s not uncomfortable to talk about.”

Of course, if it’s a first date or early on in the relationship, then simply don’t wear a piece of jewellery that was given to you by an ex. “It will be an awkward moment if he asks about it!”

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Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #5: Choose something complementary to you

Go for metals and stones that are naturally flattering to your skin tone or enhance your eye colour. (For hazel eyes, opt for a plum stone, or for brown, something blue or emerald.) “
Rose gold jewellery is a romantic way to warm up the skin,” says Macmillan. And anything with crimson detail—a red earring or
nail polish shade—will instinctively draw the eye toward it.

12 best stackable rings

Valentine’s Day date night dressing tip #6: Hearts are OK (sometimes)

“If you’re diehard about being festive, then go for!” Macmillan encourages. Of course, there are interesting ways of doing it so that adornment with heart-shaped paraphernalia isn’t so obvious. With fine jewellery, try layering a delicate necklace with smaller chains. “Anything intensely literal comes off as juvenile,” she warns.

But if that bright red statement bracelet has always been your signature piece, now’s the perfect night to quite literally wear your heart on your sleeve.

Read more:
Valentine’s Day gift guide under $100
10 rules of date dressing
15 super pretty date dresses
10 fashion pieces every woman needs in her closet