Shopping Guide

Eight Smoking-Hot, Date-Night Pieces for Her

Proof that there's sexiness beyond the Spanx

I once Spanx’d my entire body for a dude. 

Yes, like Kim Kardashian and her plethora of kin, I once wore a “body-con” dress for the sole purpose of impressing the Internet a date.

I can’t even blame this sartorial misfire on the MTV-bred celebrity effect, or my spirit animal Kelly Kapowski's floral variations from the early 1990s, or even my mother. (She favors the maxi dress, thankyouverymuch). The fault is mine, and it's simple: I wanted this male’s attention.

It worked, I think (according to a New York State marriage license). And it’s not like I mind playing the part of a seductress for my man, now and again, by putting on a dress made of layers of stretchy, hip-clinging fabrics that look like they were applied with a gluestick. But that's the thing: It's playing a part. For everyday encounters, such as dinner and a movie, I much prefer to showcase my feminine bits in a style that is more subtle, and importantly, more me.

For proof that there's sexiness beyond the spandex, I compiled this list of eight date-night pieces worthy of you—just in time for Valentine's Day on Saturday but timeless enough to wear beyond.

The Fitted Blazer

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Source: Topshop via Bloomberg

Leave the oversize "boyfriend-fit" option to, well, your boyfriend, and go for something cropped and fitted like this blush pink jacket by Topshop—which accentuates your waistline and peeping décolletage. ($95, topshop.com

The Little Black Jumpsuit

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Source: Net-A-Porter via Bloomberg

A plunging neckline, like this halter-top version by Givenchy, adds a flirty, playful edge to an otherwise casual look. ($2,575, net-a-porter.com) 

The (Subtly) Thematic Red Shoe

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Source: Barneys via Bloomberg

Look closer: That's not actually animal print, although it definitely feels on-trend. A classic silhouette keeps these Saint Laurent pumps decidedly ladylike as the cluttered heart motif coyly toes the line of Valentine's kitsch. ($795, barneys.com) 

The Floor-Length Skirt

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Source: Net-a-Porter via Bloomberg

This long, asymmetrical chiffon skirt by Jonathan Saunders is equal parts romantic and seductive (sheer!). Styling tip: Try it with a tucked-in cashmere sweater for a girly, laid-back vibe or with a bodysuit and short leather jacket for something more flirty. ($1,355, net-a-porter.com)

The Statement Clutch

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Source: Bloomingdale's via Bloomberg

A bright, fun bag such as this foldover envelope clutch by Diane von Furstenberg can effortlessly pull together a look by adding a touch of personality. ($288, bloomingdales.com)

The Dainty Embellishment

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Source: Shopbop via Bloomberg

These delicate gold ear crawlers by Elizabeth and James are proof that jewelry doesn't have to be bulky or loud or actually qualify as "statement jewelry" to make one. ($175, shopbop.com

The Leather Leggings

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Source: My Theresa via Bloomberg

Make your lower half the center of your outfit (and your date's attention) with a pair of sheen leather leggings, like this jewel-toned pair by Victoria Beckham Denim($1,700, mytheresa.com)

The Underpinnings

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Source: Matches Fashion via Bloomberg

Let's be honest: All he really wants to unwrap on Valentine's Day is you. So be prepared (underneath it all) with something that is classy—yet appropriately racy—like this pink satin bra and underwear set by Fleur du Mal(Bra $160, matchesfashion.com; underwear $55, matchesfashion.com)

Nic Screws is the style director at Bloomberg. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter

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