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PLAINLY INTERESTING Valentines Day Fashion

50 Shades Of Grey CollectionTraditionally Valentines Day fashion focuses on slinky styling. But if modern books and films are anything to go by, frumpy just might be the new sexy.

We tell ourselves V-Day is an over-commercialised holiday, but at some point everyone gives in to the hype. Probably because at it’s core Valentines Day is about (some form of) human connection. Once you’ve been drawn in, the next step is usually deciding at the very last minute you have absolutely no idea what to wear.

Whether enjoying dinner with your lover, heading out on a first date–way to up the pressure–or hitting the singles scene, marketing focused on this day is especially good at is getting inside a girl’s head and convincing her she needs to sex up the fashion. But is this really the best way to go? One could argue modern fiction and film say otherwise.

With Fifty Shades Of Grey set to haunt us all this Valentines Day (fingers crossed the author’s husband chooses a thesaurus over roses), associated merchandise has already hit shelves, including movie-themed cosmetics. But really, wasn’t the dubious hero slash control-freak-who-would-be-creepy-if-he-wasn’t-a-billionaire first attracted to the lead in her dowdy state?

Come to think of it, Twilight‘s undead ultimate-age-gap romance held a lot of the world in thrall, and young Bella wasn’t known for vampy fashion either (That pun was irresistible.). Probably not surprising Fifty Shades‘ Anastasia dressed plainly; the story had its beginnings in Twilight fan fiction.

Then there’s the underwear: pushing parts up, sucking bits in, lace, satin, and more affordable fabrics in-between. Many of us head for Dita Von Teese lingerie come Valentines Day, visions of pulling off a pin-up pose playing in our head–complete with a giant cocktail glass that miraculously appears from nowhere–but maybe we’re doing it wrong? After all, Bridget Jones sealed the deal onscreen with the dashingly saucy Daniel Cleaver courtesy of a high-waisted pair of stomach flattening undies. (As Daniel put it, “Hello mummy”.)

Contrary to almost all marketing, maybe women with seduction in mind should be thinking more along the lines of plain than vamp. Fashion’s been rife with ill-fitting versions of grandma’s old frocks for a while now, so there’s no shortage of less-than-flattering dresses out there. Trade heels for sensible footwear, tie those strands tightly back, and see what happens. The look seems to work for fictional gals; casually covering up might prove a winning choice this February 14th.

For those not convinced a hint of frump is hot date material, keep in mind there are myriad interpretations of the look. If you want to go for understated, sub kind of fashion that’s still alluring, consider the 2002 film Secretary for styling tips. Maggie Gyllenhaal knows how to work the classic blouse and pencil skirt combo-even with a carrot in her mouth (don’t ask).

Whatever you don (that said don by the way, not dom), remember to have fun. Valentines Day should be about enjoying yourself, whatever your preferences, fashion or otherwise.

GILLIAN O’MEAGHER

 

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