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23 outfit ideas to elevate your Valentine's Day date night

You're bound to fall in love with these looks.
Two friends sitting on a couch and a woman staring at the camera
Kara Birnbaum/ TODAY

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

Old Navy Satin Smocked Midi Slip Dress

It’ll be nights in pink satin this Valentine’s Day when you slip on this stunning smocked midi slip dress. Available in regular, tall, petite and plus sizes, this satin dress has adjustable shoulder straps, a midi-length skirt with a side split and a darted bust. Ooh la la! Nearly 200 Old Navy shoppers rated this dress five stars and speak to its comfiness and ability to fit a variety of body types.

Size range: XS-4X in regular sizes; XS-XXL in tall and petite sizes

Colorways: Three

Material: 100 percent viscose rayon

Fit: True to size

H&M Sequin Dress

Embrace your inner pop star with this sparkling red sequin dress from H&M. This stunning wardrobe staple includes narrow shoulder straps to tie at back, an asymmetric neckline and an open back. Goodness gracious!

Size range: XXS-XL

Colorways: One

Material: 100 percent polyester

Fit: True to size

Women’s Clipdot Cotton Smocked-Bodice Dress

Show your sweetie you love them berry much by heading to dinner in this cotton smocked-bodice dress in raspberry red. The smocked top, ruffled hem and short puff sleeves will leave you looking more adorable than a new puppy at Christmas! Well, it’s a tight race.

Size range: XS-2XL

Colorways: Two

Material: 100 percent cotton

Fit: Flowy

Express Bateau Neck Ruched Waist Fit and Flair Dress

Shine like the gem that you are in this ruby bateau neck ruched waist dress from Express. This is the ideal outfit to go from day to night as this fit and flare dress is appropriate for work, as well. You’ll save time as you won’t need to get ready again before dinner. You’re welcome!

Size range: XXS-XL

Colorways: Three

Material: Polyester, spandex

Fit: True to size

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

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.”

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

Birdy Grey Lisa Midi Dress

Hey there, gorgeous. 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!

Size range: XS-3X

Colorways: 17

Material: 100 percent polyester satin

Free People Ruffle It Up Midi

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!

Size range: XS-XL

Colorways: 6

Material: 100 percent cotton

Fit: True to size

Long-sleeved Valentine's Day dresses

Uguest Long-Sleeve V-Neck Dress

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.”

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

Fixmatti Women's Elegant V-Neck Wrap Knit Dress

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.

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

LC Lauren Conrad Ruffle Shirt Dress

Feel like a California girl in February with this ruffle shirt dress from the LC Lauren Conrad collection at Kohl’s. (We recommend the Pink Sheraton or Jersey Pink shades as they both scream festive.) One five star-reviewer said it’s a “super cute dress. I’ve worn it in warm weather with heels, and in colder weather with leggings and boots.” Strap on your favorite pair of stilettos or block-heeled boots and get ready to strut your stuff down the runway…or the aisle at the movie theatre.

Size range: XS-XXL

Colorways: Five

Material: Polyester

Fit: True to size

Chang Yun Women’s Long Maxi Sweater Dress

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!”

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

Women’s Draper James RSVP Cinched-Waist Tiered-Hem Dress

RSVP yes to this adorable dress for Valentine’s Day from the Draper James collection at Kohl’s. This chiffon smocked waist design will have you looking like the star of the show. Plus, one satisfied customer referred to this dress as “very feminine and flowy.”

Size range: XS-XXL

Colorways: One

Material: Polyester, metallic

Fit: Flowy

Skims Soft Lounge Long Sleeve Dress

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.

Size range: XXS-4X

Colorways: Eight

Material: 91 percent modal, 9 percent spandex

Fit: True to size; brand labels it as "body-hugging"

Loft Heart Tie Neck Flounce Dress

You’ll surely make your significant other’s heart beat in this tie neck flounce dress from Loft. This bohemian swing dress is available in regular, petite and tall sizes with a loose fit that hits above the knee. One satisfied customer said, “I love it. It fits just like the model. It does not have a true waist, but it is not overly boxy.” No waistline means more room for chocolate mousse during dessert, right?

Size range: XXS-XL in regular, petite and tall

Colorways: One

Material: Fluid woven

Fit: True to size; brand labels it as "loose and swingy"

Tuckernuck Hot Pink Ikat Kenzo Dress

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?

Size range: XXS-3XL

Colorways: Two

Material: 75 percent rayon, 25 percent nylon

Fit: True to size

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

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.

Size range: XS-XL

Colorways: 39

Material: 50 percent viscose, 30 percent polyamide, 20 percent polyester

Fit: Runs large

Gap Cable-Knit Crew Neck Sweater

You'll feel comfortable and look cute in this popular Gap sweater, which features chic cable knit details and is made from a stretchy cotton material.

Size range: XXS-XXL in regular, tall and petite sizes

Colorways: Seven

Material: 100 percent cotton

Fit: Runs large

Spanx On-the-Go Kick Flare Pant

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.

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

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

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.

Size range: S-XXL

Colorways: 28

Material: 65 percent cotton

Fit: Runs small

Unique Vintage Pink & Red Hearts Open Long Cardigan

Cozy up in this cardigan, which also came recommended by Gulbransen. "There’s a reason why this cardigan keeps selling out," one reviewer wrote. "It is so cute and so soft! Perfect for Valentine’s Day ... or any day!"

Size range: One size

Colorways: One

Material: 50 percent viscose, 30 percent polyester, 20 percent nylon

Fit: Runs large

Old Navy Cozy Gripper Socks 3-Pack For Women

Add a subtle touch of romance to any stay-at-home outfit with these Old Navy grippy socks. You'll get three in a pack, so you can keep them all for yourself or share a pair with your valentine or galentine.

Size range: One size

Colorways: Two

Material: 60 percent recycled polyester, 38 percent polyester, 2 percent spandex

Fit: True to size

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.

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). "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," she said. 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.

NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Smooth Hair Oil

Remington 1-Inch Anti-Static Flat Iron

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.

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."

Wet Brush Custom Care Smoothing Brush

Kitsch Black Bungees

To finish the look, take an edging brush or toothbrush with soft bristles and tame any flyaways or shape your baby hairs and then lock it in with hairspray.

PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Edge Tool

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.

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