How to style Valentine's day with Next*

I don't know if I've ever given my 'perfect Valentines' date much thought but it would definitely resemble something like a scene from La La land! The flouncy dresses, the wonderful balmy evenings spent in lingering warmth from the sun, not to mention the music and all the romantic vibes from a golden hour that seems neverending.

No, I've clearly not thought about it one bit! :p

Unfortunately, at least for us Brits, the evening of the 14th February is normally a cold and dark one with the all- too likely probability of rain thrown in for good measure. It's not exactly akin to the setting of a great Hollywood romance but we've definitely learnt how to make the most of our climate and it's always good to know that style doesn't have to take a backseat over the forecast!

I think I'm definitely a bit of a 'less is more' kinda gal and this is something that I apply to my style much of the time too. I avoid cliche's such as wearing head-to-toe red on Valentine's day- I know I would look more King's jester than elegant if I tried and, I suppose luckily for me, I am well aware of my limits!

Next kindly offered me the oppertunity to put together a look for Valentine's day and this was an assignment that I had SO much fun working on. I must say, it's surprisingly hard to find the balance between smart/casual whilst still incorporating the all-important style tactic of layering to keep the chill at bay.

I began my mission looking at the colour palette I wanted to adopt which, for me, was an easy choice. With spring right around the corner, I wanted to use lots of light pastels and completely avoid black altogether. I  also decided I would go for smart trousers (entirely because of their warmth over a skirt) and I found this skinny pair which I thought would be a really great starting point to piece a look around.
Being navy, these are the darkest item of the whole look and so I wanted to build lots of light and gentle colour around them. And if ever there was a colour to make me think of spring more, it has to be baby pink. When I spotted this beautiful cashmere ballet wrap top I thought this would be just perfect! It's so feminine and chic AND provides much-needed warmth in the cashmere fabric blend. Ideal for chillier evenings and in colour, just perfect for a Valentine's celebration!

I always think baby pink and navy look lovely together so I didn't want to deviate too far from this combination which is why I opted for this gorgeous cream cheque tweed jacket to throw on over the ballet wrap top. This is just stunning and I love the way its design really nods to the classic Chanel suit pieces that I've found myself swooning over for years. It's quite a thin piece, so great for layering over blouses or light jumpers and creating a statement look.

Now, we all know the secret to a great outfit is even greater shoes and accessories! I had so much fun mixing and matching to finish this look off. I definitely wanted it to be smarter but not too corporate- looking or formal. Using pops of colour can be a great way to infuse formal attire with a more fun, easy-going vibe. And when I saw these mustard yellow heels, it was definitely love at first sight! These are such fun and a perfect transitional shoe for spring/summer. Also, being that they are not very high, they are exceptionally comfortable if you plan to dance the night away in style!

I LOVE a statement earring, in fact I wear them most days so it was pretty much a given that they would feature in a Valentine's look by me too. I found these bold and beautiful tortoiseshell effect ones which are just gorgeous. Plus, in my opinion tortoishell goes with everythingggg! :)

The final piece in this look was the bag. To tell the truth, I probably spent the most time deliberating over this piece than any other! In the end, I chose a beautiful apricot suede clutch as I thought it would complement the suede heels and tie the look together with another pop of cheerful colour from the same palette.

For me, the look is perfect for a date night, or day for that matter! I really like that it's not too serious or gimiky, yet it still plays on seasonal colours with the all-important blush pink and gentle apricots, yellows and creams all signally towards the happy truth that warmer months are to come. Spring is almost here!

What will you be wearing this Valentine's day?

*Post written in collaboration with Next


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