Ann Taylor's metal bow sheath dress is a alternative to the standard sweet pink and red Valentine's fashions we've come to expect.

Fashion: Sparkle and shine

Emma Yardley shares her picks for the perfect Valentine's Day outfit

You don’t have to be the CEO of Hallmark to understand the value of Valentine’s Day.

Sure, this traditional Christian feast day has transformed into something more secular over the centuries, and while you may want avoid the Snoopy-adorned valentines and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, no one can argue that having one day devoted to showing your sweetheart how special they are isn’t, well, nice.

No matter what our religious or corporate leanings, when a socially sanctioned excuse to carve out a little you-and-me time comes along, we should grab it. Make reservations at The Black Olive, pick up something sweet for your sweetie, and pull together an outfit that expresses who you are – because that’s who they fell in love with in the first place. But if you’re looking for a little fashion inspiration, these three pieces – when put together – make one pretty (and pretty perfect) Valentine’s Day date outfit.

Red and pink bows, ribbons and rosettes are the most popular motifs of modern-day Valentine’s dressing but this navy-blue dress from Ann Taylor (Metal Bow Sheath Dress, $149, anntayor.com) has its own ideas. The designers have taken the bucolic bow and turned it into a subtle, modern embellishment – the simplicity of this sheath lets the wearer shine on through.

Since street bricks and sleet are commonplace in Victoria, having a sturdy heel is only sensible (Pofadder, $160, Aldo Shoes, aldoshoes.com). The black stacked heel provides walking support but this sleek boot keeps its curb appeal with an au courant exposed zipper and pointy toe.

Now that there’s a spring in your step, it’s time to put a little sparkle in your ears with a pair of solitaire diamond earrings

(Tiffany Diamond Solitaire Platinum Earrings, $1,250, Tiffany & Co., tiffany.ca) – a special occasion calls for a special stone, right? Classic, clean and cut to perfection, these are heirlooms in the making.

With its flattering silhouettes and simple, classic accessories, this outfit is a fit for any Valentine’s Day feast – just add dessert.

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