Love it or (more likely) hate it, Valentine's Day will soon be upon us in all its red-festooned glory. But instead of focusing on the latter - fattening gifts, commercialization, over-enthusiastic emphasis on relationships - why not use it as an excuse for indulgence...not of chocolate but clothing! If your closet is a sea of black, gray, and white, then there is no better time to inject some passion into your look. Whether you try a few bright red accessories, or really go for it in an entire outfit, here are our six picks for sexing up the humdrum everyday with some fiery fashion fabulousness:
"LOVE-LY" CLUTCH With a satin red exterior, rhinestone-topped clasp, hidden chain strap, and black satin lining, this Lulu Guiness-style minaudiere is equal parts fun and fab. Measuring 3.5" x 3.5", it's a mini dash of charm paired with dark skinny jeans and white tee, or black blazer over a frilly frock or city shorts. Rock it on February 14th and you're in love with Love, use it any other day and you have a cheeky sense of humor. La Regale red satin minaudiere heart $50 at Endless.com.
ROMANTIC EARRINGS For earrings with a tiny bit more love that the rest, go for these handmade "flowers" crafted from mother-of-pearl, magenta stones adorned with twisting gold vines, glass leaves, and seed beed accents. Picture them with your fave charcoal blazer on casual Friday, a similarly-printed breezy flower dress on a weekend date, or ooh-la-la Parisian chic with a striped boatneck tee and long skinny scarf. Adorn Berry Handmade Earrings, $35 at ShopRuche.com
CHIC STEALS TIP: Save 10% on your entire purchase at ShopRuche by entering the code CHICSTEALS at checkout; good until March 2009.
FAB FROCK The draped tulip skirt and large pockets of this year's mini dresses have really helped invigorate the tried (but tired) go to "little dress". Pleating in front and a vibrant hue make this bustier frock rock with a cropped cardi (a la Lauren Conrad) and pretty flats during the day, or after hours belted and with heels - the higher the better. Sweetheart Bustier Dress $65 at FredFlare.com.
RED, RED SHOES Pump up a denim pencil skirt, crisp dark trousers, or other preppy looks with penny loafer heels in red patent! But nothing could be better than the price tag - a classic almond toe, covered cone heel with platform, lightly padded insole, and penny loafer detail, all for $30 - for such an essential work (or play!) staple. Penny Loafer Pumps $29.99 at CharlotteRusse.com.
CHIC STEALS TIP: For the ultimate collegiate-inspired ensemble, add a colored polo and grab a duffle bag.
RACY LACY THONG Nothing feels more sexy than a pair of sweet little panties that only you know you have on. This low-rise thong from celeb-fave Hanky Pankys has a low-rise cut that banishes muffin-tops, and a sweet double-heart rhinestone applique to set hearts afire. Hanky Panky Low Rise Thong at $28 ShopIntuition.com.
Steal of the Week: ICE, ICE BABY V-Day - and every day - a girl needs diamonds in her life. Unlike typical diamond pendants, this stylized heart studded with 5 clear diamonds (.1 carat each) is asymmetrically offbeat, and would look lovely glittering at the neckline of a deep-V cardi, or draped over a fluttery chiffon gathered blouse. White gold heart pendant $195 at ICE.com.
CHIC STEALS TIP: Don't forget to take advantage of discount diamond jewelry e-tailer ICE.com's free shipping with all orders.
If there are any high-priced pieces you'd like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at carlyjcais AT fashiontribes DOT com.
- Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor
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