Must be love

Three looks and three ideas for February 14th

Words: Anike Balogun | Photographs: Bevan Davis | Styling: Gabrielle Kannemeyer & Charl Edwards

If Valentine’s Day is really about love, why is it a source of such collective dread? It’s because people let other people tell them what celebrating love should look like. If you’re not a horse-carriage-ride-through-the-park kinda girl, you shouldn’t have to pretend to be every time February the 14th rolls around. Conversely, if you truly love a grand romantic gesture, why are you playing that down in an effort to appear more ‘down to earth'? In case you missed the self-actualised feminist memo, no one’s going to prioritise you better than you. So here’s to planning the celebration you actually want – and a few outfit suggestions to help.

With your someone

Love is prioritising some real one-on-one time to appreciate what you add to each others’ lives. If dinner’s going to be some place with more than one course and an actual dress code, embrace the opportunity – modern life has become so casual that no-one really dresses up anymore. Break out your fanciest clothes, or if you’re like me and have somehow neglected to get any, score a brand new dress in the season’s hottest palette: soft nude tones with dusty rose hues.

With your crew

Love is a movie and a long, slow dinner filled with stories and laughter, best enjoyed in your favourite top, a cute skirt, and your new loafers. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a great girls' night out, no? So does an all-night club hop in something short and shiny, tbh. However you and your crew define bonding time, make the most of it. Between your side hustle, her family business, and the other one’s crazy boss, how often do you even see each other anymore?

With yourself

Love is an evening of self-care involving sheet masks, aromatherapy and coffee scrubs, joined only by Sister Solange and Miss Warsan Shire. It’s taking a half-day to don your favourite dungarees and take yourself to lunch, or do that craft project you’ve been putting off forever. It’s saying no to the group thing you’re being pushed into so you can crack open that new book instead. It’s dressing up for no one but you and taking the phone off the hook instead of waiting for it to ring.