February 14th is on its way again. What used to be a scribbled piece of A4 stuck to your crush's pencil case with a chewed up piece of Hubba Bubba has morphed in your imagination into something monstrous and destructive. Once we've all fallen into a once-a-month pube trimming routine and settled on a consistent bra size, girls begin thinking of Valentine's Day as an assault course. You navigate your way through the day carefully, trying not to snap at friends when they show you longing texts from their exes and convincing yourself that you actually prefer sitting in the corner of the club head-dancing to Rihanna at 1AM, while every single couple in the world has white wine sex before feeding each other strawberries in the morning.
White wine sex is the best. Strawberries are great. Don't you feel jealous?
Whatever stage of the love cycle you currently find yourself at – whether you're closer to tying the knot or the noose – we're here to help you fight the anxiety you can feel eating you slowly from the inside out. Here's how to dress to mask your own feelings and manipulate the feelings of others this Valentine's Day.
SO YOU'VE GOT A DATE
Clockwise from top left: Rag and Bone jeans, House of Holland dress, Ashish jacket, Gogo Phillips earrings, Topshop top, Nike trainers, WKD Blue, MCS Scrunchie.
Just because you have a date, doesn't mean you're gonna enjoy it. Personally, I look at all you first daters and I weep – I weep at what's ahead for you. Because one day, your start of something will be the end of something. One day the cheap nights in with silent movies will turn into expensive nights out at silent meals. Presents will turn into resentment. Your boyfriend's morning boner will turn into something cruelly ironic, like a joke you can't believe you ever found funny.
If you find yourself in the situation of trying to re-enchant a disinterested boyfriend this Valentine's, you're going to need to make him remember you're not something he puts up with because he couldn't afford to pay rent living on his own. You need to remind your boyfriend how much of a goddess you are by dressing like you're single.
I'm not talking lipstick and eyeshadow, but "fashion" stuff which falls just the right side of off-duty Rihanna. Dig out the clothes you wore before you traded the hot pinks of reckless singlehood for the frumpy leavers hoodies of comfortable monogamy. Trick him into thinking you need him by wearing flat shoes and wear at least one piece of jewellery that can be kept on in bed.
It's not that hard – remember how easy life was when you were single? Wear colourful stuff, bounce around a bit doing your drunk voice and wear jeans that make your ass look amazing. Done.
SO YOU'VE GOT A BROKEN HEART
Clockwise from top left: Urban Outfitters rollerskates, LED Scout torch, American Apparel socks, ASOS clogs, American Apparel socks, Topshop Jacquard slip, Topshop hairband, Pink grapefruit body butter from Body Shop
So you spent some time swapping lies and bodily fluids with another human who you think you might have loved, but then that ended. These days you only see each other because you share a few friends, but you never anticipate it so you always look like shit. But tonight is the aggressive singles party you've both been invited to. You're staring into space and smiling to yourself on the bus home, aren't you? You're staring into space and smiling to yourself on the bus home because you're a serial killer.
No wait, you're not. You're just planning the perfect revenge outfit that will make your ex regret everything they've ever done with their lives. The key to this is understanding that everything you're thinking of wearing will make you look like an idiot. Dark, smoky makeup, boob tubes and pencil skirts won't make you feel independent or empowered, they will make you look desperate. People who don't care what other people think of them don't dress like Xena hunting dick.
When it comes to exes, you've got to dress to depress. Visualise yourself as a virgin goddess, wear something pastel that flows. Nail the ethereal look, if it's possible to nail something ethereal, by making sure your face looks pretty (sheer lipgloss, pink cheeks, you know the drill) and your hair looks insane. Wear skates instead of shoes, so you literally glide past him. Pay a friend to follow you around with a torch to create the illusion there's light emanating from within you. If you must encumber yourself with a coat, wear something grandiose, like a wolf's skin.
Enjoy growing old with no one and nothing to comfort you but your dignity.
SO YOU'RE IN PREDATOR MODE
Clockwise from top left: American Apparel fishnet tights, Kiehls ultra facial moisturiser, Topshop skirt, vintage Levi's shorts, ipod, Cos cashmere hooded jumper, MAC lipstick in cyber, Extra strawberry gum (cos it smells perfect), New Balance trainers, Fudge Textures hair powder
Everybody knows that February 14th is prime club-trawling time for singles, too. This year V-Day also happens to fall on a Thursday, which means it’s entirely acceptable to get wavy on WKD Blue with your best friends and attack equally lonely and depressed bartenders with your mouth and genitals.
When you're in predator mode, you basically need to flip all the other advice here on its head. Dress as desperately as possible, you've got a limited window of opportunity here – six hours, maybe seven or eight, if you lack the requisite shame to feel embarrassed crawling into work at midday wearing the same things you were yesterday, but with added lovebites.
Still, it shouldn't be too difficult. You're trying to get a taste of the inside of somebody else’s mouth, not find a mate for life. Fishnet tights make lazy outfits sexy and lift “shorts and a T-shirt” to “perfect dream girl” quicker than any relationship you form tonight will fizzle out and die.
I know – you yawn, you sigh, you tell me again that this 90s revival is over and nobody dresses “trust grunge” any more. Do I care what you think? No. I’m too busy swatting guys off like flies because they all want to fuck me and my fishnet tights. Depending on your mood/plans, pair them with a black skirt and trainers, or denim shorts and a big sweater (no annoying colours or smelly, chunky knits, you're not trying to fuck your uncle).
SO YOU'RE HAPPY JUST TO BE SINGLE
Left to right: Topshop Jeans, Uniqlo shirt, Anthropologie jeans, biker boots from ASOS , Fuji Kimono kimono, NARS lipstick, Topshop coat, leather cap from ASOS
If there's anything more repulsive than a woman bickering about evil men and forgotten orgasms in the corner of a party, it's a woman doing just that at a "Fuck Valentine's, Let's Party!" party. So, unless your object of affection recently morphed into a moron (in which case, see option two), or you're too desperate to care (see above), you might want to consider investing in a life this Valentine's Day.
If you're at a stage where caring about someone other than yourself feels like a drag, then it probably means your patience for the entire human race is running out pretty quickly. Feeling like that would normally mean that staying at home and wiping snot into your onesie sounds like the best possible night you could have, but misanthropes have a masochistic tendency to socialise as much as possible (they couldn't hate the world enough otherwise). So, this Thursday, you too are going "out out".
Differentiate yourself from the other lonely people circling the bar by wearing a shitty checked shirt and a stupid hat. Nothing kills boners as fast as public slobbery. Keep close to all your couple friends and away from any single girl friend who's on the prowl, or you'll inevitably spend the night talking about penises. Smoke constantly and dance like a crazy person so people are embarassed to be near you. Heavy, amorphous coats and boyfriend jeans make staying single easier, and red matte lipstick tricks drunk people into thinking your mouth is an inflamed sphincter – both of which are fantastic techniques to keep people the fuck away from you.
Happy Thursday night!
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