The Art of Layering

By Chanel Dror

classic layering outfit
I’ll never forget my first Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend: we had only been dating a few months, and as rather unenlightened wee things we got dolled up and trekked to the “nicest” restaurant in town. There, we joined seemingly every other couple in Austin to find our white tablecloth covered table adorned with a tight bunch of red roses, two chocolate covered strawberries, and a special “Valentine’s Day” menu. It was cheesy, but it was cute.

*photography by Kate Zimmerman

casual lunch date outfit
Five years later, our V-day plans look a little different. Not unlike our personal styles and approach-to-going-out in general, this Saturday will likely be a whole lot more laid back and casual. Since Eric and I both love to cook — and during the week, typically take turns preparing dinner — we’ll spend the 14th collaborating on an at-home menu that’s just a bit more special than our average go-to meal. I’m in charge of dessert, and since my New Year health kick is still going strong (anyone else?!), I’m looking forward to making this raw vegan carrot cakeMy, how far we’ve come from those chocolate covered strawberries. 

casual lunch date outfit
multi strand necklace
As for what I’ll be wearing, chances are that in lieu of a cocktail dress and heels, I’ll be kicking back in an outfit that I feel more comfortable in, like this one from chico’s. And since layering is my favorite way to add a bit of interest to any casual ‘fit, I’ll be reaching for my regular wardrobe staples, but combining them in a way that’s new and different. My current can’t-live-without pieces: black coated jeans, this super soft tank in a dark khaki, and this tie front denim shirt, of which I definitely had a child’s version in the 90’s (paired with biker shorts and Jelly sandals), but now can’t seem to get enough of. And since silver jewelry is back, I need little more than this multi-strand necklace to accessorize any ensemble.

tie front denim shirt
casual lunch date outfit
To be perfectly honest, I’ll probably be barefoot and jacket-free while prepping our meal. But since we have plans to go out and meet up with friends after dinner, I’ll keep adding layers by throwing on a jacket — like this amazing boyfriend duster in white — and slipping on some classic loafers. These denim ones with white piping are the perfect way to tie together a stark white blazer, and though they’re flat, they’re fun and interesting enough to wear out to a nearby bar or restaurant.

denim loafers

I’d love to know: what are you all planning for Valentine’s Day? Do you have any traditions that you come back to year after year, or better yet, a surprise in store? We’ve still got three days to prepare, so if you have any favorite recipes, crafts, or outfit ideas, do share them in the comments section!

*photography by Kate Zimmerman