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Staying in or going out? These Valentine’s Day outfits are perfect for either

You're bound to fall in love with these looks.
Four women in valentine's day outfits laughing and enjoying each other's company.

In case you've missed the memo, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or your favorite Galentine this year, you’ll want to look and feel your very best. Unsure what to wear?

To help spark inspiration and stay on-trend during this romantic holiday, we’ve rounded up some of the most flirty and fun dresses and outfit ideas to make this V-Day one for the memory books. From affordable silhouette styles to a few super splurge options, these festive frocks will surely knock your socks off.

We've also consulted with Nuuly's head of product, Sky Pollard, fashion stylist Lucia Gulbransen and hairstylist Jasmine Burnside to help you master your look, no matter what your plans are.

How to dress for Valentine's Day / How to style your hair for Valentine's Day / Meet the experts

How to dress for Valentine's Day

According to Pollard, “sheer and lace are such strong trends this season and would work well for a romantic date. Try a sheer bodysuit with a faux leather skirt or a lace mini dress!”

“We also saw sparkle, sequins and metallics on the SS23 runways styled for more casual events rather than for more traditional formal events,” said Pollard. Meanwhile “friend get-togethers call for pulling out all the fashion stops. Try a printed velvet suit for a Mick Jagger moment.”

Gulbransen also recommends leaning into the spirit of the day — so think plenty of reds and pinks. "That always makes it more fun to get dressed, to embrace the colors associated with the holiday," she said.

The next thing you have to consider is your venue. If you're going out to a nice dinner, a dress is a great choice. "Dresses are an easy way to show that you care about the holiday and you’re making a little more of an effort," Gulbransen said.

Short-sleeved and sleeveless Valentine's Day dresses

Azazie Off The Shoulder Midi Dress

Size range: XS-L | Colorways: Three | Material: Polyester | Fit: True to size; brand recommends those with larger busts to size up

This blush-colored midi dress is perfect for that fancy dinner for two. "It’s flowy, comfortable and affordable," says associate editor Allie Wise. "I love to twirl and spin in it!"

The brand notes that the material does have some stretch to it, meaning you won't feel restricted or uncomfortable throughout the night.

ZESICA Puff Sleeve Mini Dress

Size range: XS-2XL | Colorways: 21 | Material: Rayon | Fit: True to size

If you live in a warm weather state, this puff sleeve mini dress can serve as the perfect 'fit for your Valentine's Day plans. Whether you're going to a Galentine's Day party, or need a sweet sun dress for date night, this option is "light, airy and super affordable," according to Wise.

Free People Got Glam Mesh Slip

Size range: XS-XL | Colorways: 10 | Material: Nylon | Fit: Relaxed fit; "designed to fit comfortably with a stretched fabrication."

Associate editor, Lauren Witonsky adores the ribbon straps and sweetheart neckline on this dress, adding that they're a "super romantic" touch to a basic slip.

While there are ten different colors available, the raspberry gelato, fig jam and cherry shades provide the perfect Valentine's Day attire. Adjust this mesh slip according to your preferences, thanks to the tie straps.

Lulus Feeling Like Forever Rose Jacquard Organza Lace-Up Midi Dress

Size range: XS-XL | Colorways: Two | Material: Shell is 50 percent polyester, 50 percent cotton; lining is 95 percent polyester, 5 percent spandex | Fit: Shoppers note to size up if you have a larger bust

Stop and smell the rosé! Have your sweetie purchase the most expensive bottle of vino as you’ll be looking like a million bucks in this midi dress. Made of a lightweight chiffon, this frock has a beautiful floral motif print and includes an open back with crisscrossed thin straps. One customer called it the “perfect fit” as “dress came quickly and fit perfectly! Felt beautiful for my event.”

Birdy Grey Lisa Midi Dress

Size range: XS-3X | Colorways: 17 | Material: 100 percent polyester satin | Fit: Runs a bit small, otherwise true to size.

Get ready to steal the show this Valentine’s Day in this midi dress from Birdy Grey. We recommend the desert rose color, but if you prefer to go rogue, this dress is also available in sage, terracotta, gold, emerald and more. Shimmer in style in this fully lined midi dress, complete with adjustable straps, invisible side zipper and lightly draped cowl neck. One five star-reviewer who purchased the terracotta raved, “the dress fits perfect to size and is quite comfortable!” Style and comfort — our favorite combination!

Hill House The Ellie Nap Dress

Size range: XXXS-2XL | Colorways: 21 | Material: BCI cotton | Fit: True to size

For a subtle Valentine's Day dress that is comfortable enough to wear year-round, opt for this "nap dress" from Hill House.

"The bright red says Valentine’s day without a heart print all over it," says social media video producer Anita Chomenko. "Wear it during the day and then head to dinner plans!"

The brand even notes that this dress is bump-friendly, due to the elastic smock top, and can even be worn while breastfeeding, due to the elastic neckline.

Free People Ruffle It Up Midi

Size range: XS-XL | Colorways: 6 | Material: 100 percent cotton | Fit: True to size

No doubt you’ll be ruffling feathers all night long in this gorgeous midi dress from Free People. This ruffled frock features an A-line silhouette with slim fit bodice for an ultra-feminine look. One customer who rated the dress five stars wrote that it is a “thick cotton dress. It’s gorgeous. Probably my favorite dress ever. Hits my waist perfectly.” High praise for sure!

Long-sleeved Valentine's Day dresses

Uguest Long-Sleeve V-Neck Dress

Size range: 4-22 in regular sizes | Colorways: 27 | Material: 95 percent polyester, 5 percent spandex | Fit: True to size, though several readers commented on its lack of stretch

Get ready to be turning heads all evening long in this long-sleeved V-neck dress. This fabulous frock is designed to accentuate your curves and help hide your tummy. Available in over 20 fun and flirty color combinations, one satisfied customer referred to this dress as “just about perfect.”

Fixmatti Women's Elegant V-Neck Wrap Knit Dress

Size range: S-XL | Colorways: 19 | Material: 70 percent viscose, 30 percent nylon | Fit: True to size, though some readers noted its lack of stretch around the waist

This top-rated dress with 2,400+ verified five-star ratings feels like a romantic and stylish choice thanks to the deep V-neck design and side slits. Reviewers say that it's "flattering" and "comfortable" and warm, so it's great for a chilly February night.

Chang Yun Women’s Long Maxi Sweater Dress

Size range: S-XL | Colorways: 19 | Material: 45 percent nylon, 40 percent viscose, 15 percent polyester | Fit: True to size; several shoppers call out how “form-fitting” it is

You’ll be sure to win “most festive” this Valentine’s Day in this long maxi sweater dress. This bodycon dress includes a heart print, a sultry open back and belted waist to surely capture anyone’s attention. One five-star reviewer raved “this is a great affordable sweater dress that’s flattering on curvy shapes and offers a fitted silhouette without being too form fitting. It can be worn in the office or dressed up even more for a dinner date. I love the quality, weight and feel of this dress!”

Skims Soft Lounge Long Sleeve Dress

Size range: XXS-4X | Colorways: Eight | Material: 91 percent modal, 9 percent spandex | Fit: True to size; brand labels it as “body-hugging”

Live like Hollywood royalty this Valentine’s Day with this soft lounge long-sleeved dress from Skims. This sleek LBD is super slimming without compromising your curves. Available to fit most shapes and sizes, complete the look with a bodysuit or sculpting bralette.

Tuckernuck Hot Pink Ikat Kenzo Dress

Size range: XXS-3XL | Colorways: Two | Material: 75 percent rayon, 25 percent nylon | Fit: True to size

This flattering frock features feminine flutter smocked cuffs, a V-neckline and a loose empire waist. One customer called it a “super comfortable dress! I got lots of compliments from strangers! Love the easy wear fabric that you can dress up or down, I wore with cute tennis shoes!” Who doesn’t love a dress that you can wear with comfy sneakers and still look good?

Outfits for a casual Valentine's Day date night

If you're going out but want to keep things more low-key, Gulbransen suggests pairing your favorite pants or jeans with a Valentine's Day-inspired blouse or sweater. Or, you can up the ante and try a fun pair of red trousers.

Lillusory Batwing Sleeve Tunic Pullover

Size range: XS-XL | Colorways: 39 | Material: 50 percent viscose, 30 percent polyamide, 20 percent polyester | Fit: Runs large

Whether you wear this bestselling brightly-colored sweater with faux leather leggings or tucked into wide-leg trousers, you're bound to rack up the compliments all night long.

Spanx On-the-Go Kick Flare Pant

Size range: XS-3X in regular, tall and petite sizes | Colorways: Three | Material: 53 percent cotton, 41 percent rayon, 6 percent elastane | Fit: Runs large

These customer-favorite pants from Spanx will look great when paired with your favorite white blouse or sweater. The pull-on slacks feature a built-in smoothing tummy panel to have you looking extra snatched, along with four-way stretch for ample comfort.

Outfits for a Valentine's Day date night at home

A Valentine's Day celebration at home with your loved one can be just as exciting as a night out on the town. If you're having a movie night or are cooking a dinner for two, it's the perfect time to embrace a cozy aesthetic. "If you’re staying home or if you’re really playing it low-key, I love the idea of wearing a graphic tee shirt that has a heart on it paired with your favorite sweatpants," Gulbransen said.

Beopjesk Women's Valentine's Day Graphic Tee

Size range: S-XXL | Colorways: 28 | Material: 65 percent cotton | Fit: Runs small

Gulbransen suggests trying this graphic tee from Amazon. The design is so cute, we bet you'll be wearing it long after the holiday is over.

Fabletics Yitty Zip-Up Hoodie

Size range: XS-6X | Colorways: 7 | Material: Doesn’t specify aside from “soft and cozy fabric.” | Fit: True to size.

Staying in? Don’t ditch the hearts just because you’re opting for a cozy night. “This new hoodie with its all-over heart print and super soft, aptly named “pet me” fabric was made for a Valentine’s Day night in,” says production associate Audrey Ekman. “It’s so fuzzy and cozy, genuinely never want to take it off.”

Valentine's Day accessories

If bold colors aren't really your thing, Gulbransen said that incorporating accessories with heart motifs into your look can be an inexpensive way to capture the spirit of the day. If you're wearing an open neckline, like a V-neck dress or a scoop-neck blouse, try adding a heart-shaped necklace to your look. If you have something with a higher neckline, like a crew neck sweater, bold earrings are a great option.

Target Wild Fable Puff Heart Crossbody Bag

An affordable, satin version of the purse below, this heart-shaped tote also converts to a crossbody bag for easier carrying. Available in three different colors, it includes one main compartment with a zipper enclosure for carrying essentials.

Kate Spade Love Shack Heart Purse

TikTok has gone crazy for Kate Spade's heart-shaped accessories, and Gulbransen likes this cute purse from the brand. It can be worn either as a handbag or as a crossbody bag.

Cealxheny Beaded Drop Earrings

These beaded accessories are one of the top-selling women's drop and dangle earrings on Amazon — and they're the perfect choice for V-Day. According to the brand, they're both lightweight and nickel-free.

How to style your hair for Valentine's Day

Once you have your outfit nailed down, it's time to think about your 'do. What you're wearing has a big influence on how you should approach your hair, Burnside said, because "it gives you the opportunity to figure out if it’s going to look better up and off your neck or if it will read better down."

How to style a sleek ponytail

"If you have a busier outfit or if you have something that’s a little bit more intricate, especially around the neckline or the shoulders where you want to showcase that, I definitely think wearing your hair up would be a better option," she said. If you're going for a sleek look, a ponytail is a great way to complement that.

Whether you want to try a low ponytail with a center part or a high ponytail, the process is the same. Burnside recommends starting with a heat protectant, like an oil or a spray (she likes the NatureLab Tokyo's Smoothing Hair Oil).

NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Smooth Hair Oil

“It’s lightweight and workable so it really absorbs into the hair and it doesn’t look or feel greasy, it just gives enough shine,” Burnside said.

Remington 1-Inch Anti-Static Flat Iron

Then, she suggests using a flatiron to smooth and straighten hair — we suggest Remington’s top-rated flat iron, which is a Shop TODAY favorite.

Wet Brush Custom Care Smoothing Brush

After you finish straightening your strands, use a smoothing brush to gather your hair where you want it on your head. “And then, one of my favorite tools to keep the ponytail really tight is a hair bungee,” Burnside said.

Kitsch Black Bungees

Unlike a typical hair tie, the bungee has two hooks on each end. To use it, you hook one side into your hair and then wrap it around to hold it in place. “That way, you can really feel and create enough tension instead of relying on the size of the ponytail holder itself,” she said. “You’re able to get it as tight as you need it based on your hair texture and density.”

PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Edge Tool

To finish the look, take an edging brush or toothbrush with soft bristles like this one from Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross and tame any flyaways or shape your baby hairs and then lock it in with hairspray like R+Co's Outerspace Flexible Hairspray.

R+Co Outerspace Flexible Hairspray

How to style romantic curls

If you're after more of a romantic look to complement a flowy dress or a floral blouse, Burnside said that a rich, luxurious curl is a good way to go. "A really user-friendly and fun way to create really rich and bouncy-looking curls or waves would be to utilize hot rollers," she said. It's an easy way to get the look without straining your arms while trying to use a wand.

To start, apply a hair oil and then add a medium-hold hairspray, which will give your hair some staying power and hold, Burnside said. We love Moroccanoil's Luminous Hairspray for this step.

Moroccanoil Luminous Hair Spray Medium

Then, put in your hot rollers and allow them to cool completely before taking them out. "That’s really going to set the style and the curl," Burnside said. While you wait for them to cool, she suggests doing your makeup or getting dressed. "Once you take them out, you can use a wide-tooth comb — or if you want a really rich ‘70s retro-glam look, you could use a smoothing brush to mold the shape of the hair — and just brush the curls out more for a more relaxed look," she said. Once you get it in the shape you want, add more hair spray to lock in the style and tame any flyaways.

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Roller Hairsetter

Burnside recommends this set, which comes with a dozen titanium ceramic jumbo rollers designed to heat evenly and give hair shine.

Conair Jumbo and Super Jumbo Ceramic Hot Rollers

This popular set from Conair is more affordable and is a TikTok-favorite. It comes with 12 jumbo rollers in two sizes, and heats up in under two minutes, according to the brand.

Meet the experts

Sky Pollard is the head of product at Nuuly, a clothing rental and resale platform.

Lucia Gulbransen is a fashion stylist and image consultant based in New York City.

Jasmine Burnside is a hair stylist based in New York City. She previously talked to Shop TODAY about hair diffusing and how to manage aging hair.