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Frugal Fashionista: Be Mine, Valentine

Some hail Valentine’s Day as the most romantic day of the year, while others relegate it to a “Hallmark holiday.” Whether you’re headed out on the town with your sweetie or simply making it a movie night with the girls, there’s no excuse not to look styli

We asked Barrett Evans, a fashionable Arlington resident and former intern for designer Robert Cavalli, to come up with a trendy yet not too trite Valentine’s outfit. Pink is great, but head-to-toe hearts and sparkles conjure images of Legally Blonde, not a Washingtonian out on the town.

Evans was given $100 to come up with an outfit worthy of a chic date or hitting the town, with the condition that it had to have a Valentine’s-worthy theme.

As for rules, we assumed Evans was searching for something that she or one of her friends would be comfortable wearing. In a new twist, we admitted that the ultimate secret of a bargain shopper is one who can mix luxe with less in the same outfit. So we’re allowing Evans the luxury of wearing both her Theory leather jacket (one of the season’s “it” accessories) and a favorite handbag or pair of simple shoes. After all, a girl has to make use of what’s in her closet—nobody can afford to buy an entirely new outfit for every occasion.

What she picked:
Shoes, Forever 21, $28.80.
Liquid leggings, Forever 21, $17.80.
Flower headband, Urban Outfitters, $24.
Top, Urban Outfitters, $24.99.
Tropical Fiesta pink nail polish, CVS, $3.79.

Total: $99.38

She says: Evans says her typical weekend wear involves leggings and high heels, but here she’s spiced up the look by adding a shimmering pair of liquid leggings with strappy sandals—sure to be a favorite of men and women alike. “I’d describe my style as city chic,” she says. “I wanted to choose an outfit that I could wear out in DC but pick pieces I could mix and match for more casual occasions as well.”

The billowy top flatters a variety of body styles, she says, and the ruffles are a feminine yet stylish touch. Because it’s still cold out and most activities will likely take place indoors, she chose to add her favorite accessory, a leather jacket, over the shirt. It adds a rock-and-roll touch and tones down the otherwise girly ensemble. Evans admits that she can’t live without her weekly indulgence of manicures and pedicures, and the pink nail polish is one that she regularly has in her rotation—matching nails and toes are a must, she says. “The color looks romantic without going over the top, and it breaks up the black-and-white of the rest of the outfit.”

She plans to luxe up the look with her leather jacket and Tory Burch Reva clutch.

We say: This isn’t your traditional Valentine’s Day outfit, but it fits Evans’s city-girl personality. She’s stayed true to her New York style, pairing this season’s trendy shoes with flattering leggings and a feminine yet flirty shirt. We’re huge fans of the headband trend, and because the version she chose is flat to the head, it passes for trendy without looking too Blair Waldorf à la Gossip Girl.

The leggings would work well on many body types, and the high heel flatters the leg. Women are often afraid of leggings because they show off shape, but in truth they camouflage a variety of flaws, and the longer top hides volume around the hips and thighs.

Because the outfit itself has so much going on, we’re happy that she didn’t overdo it with too many accessories. The pink nail polish is just the right pop of Valentine’s Day flair, and with open-toe sandals, it’s particularly important not to forgo pretty feet. Plus, if the holiday turns out to be extra special, her hands will already be in perfect shape to accept new bling!

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