Valentine’s Day is almost here, and while we’re not opposed to being showered with affection by anyone, we’re also definite fans of the ‘love yourself’ mindset. So instead of dressing to be noticed by someone else, why not romance and give yourself the gift of Valentine’s Day-fueled self-indulgence? And since fashion is an outward manifestation of how we feel about ourselves, there’s so much self-love and freedom to be found in it as a means of self-expression. It becomes empowering when you pick the pieces that you love over what you think someone else will. So whether it’s a statement jewel or a red dress, read on to discover the best pieces in which to commit to loving yourself and tap into the potency of bold power dressing.
Since red is the color of love, why not go bold in a statement-making scarlet frock? Coming in hot are Andrea Iyamah’s Tibara Kaftan and Red Neema Robe, both serving as high-octane power pieces that are perfect for taking yourself out for a night on the town, or treating yourself to a dinner for one. But if pink is your pick, the dusty shade of Iyamah’s Safia Mini Dress projects a quiet power, its designer’s signature ruffles lending it a bit of flirty fun. Pair this with a barely-there stiletto sandal, then add shoulder-sweeping earrings to complete a high-impact evening style. Let’s not leave out the prints, though, because there is something so joyful and exuberant about a powerfully patterned dress—and isn’t that just what you want when you’re celebrating yourself? Lisa Folawiyo’s array of playful pieces come in a variety of styles and colors, each one emblematic of her unique mixing and matching of shades and embellishments. From the ultra-sexy Geo Maxi Dress fully covered with shimmering beads to the Vintage Lace Mini Dress that features delicate lace and meticulous embroidery, Folawiyo’s statement pieces will certainly turn heads, but more importantly, they’ll make you feel confident and in control.
You might not be Cinderella, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t still have your own metaphorical glass slipper. Let yourself fall head over heels with Maliko’s offering of artisanal footwear styles. The brand’s Ayo Sandals are a sweet treat, the juxtaposition of their strawberry-toned, smooth painted leather and deep brown, wooden sole creating a charming visual effect. Meanwhile, Maliko’s Gil Boots are the perfect treat-yourself investment piece. Their timeless chocolate brown hue and classic silhouette will have you saying ‘yes’ to forever without hesitation. For something that delivers that real wow factor though, turn to Pepper Row’s Hazel and Chacha Mules. With their whimsical and expressive face motif and an unconventional multicolored raffia trim, these almond toe slip-ons are a real look-at-me choice, one that’ll ensure you’re inundated with queries of “where did you get those?” If you’re looking for the perfect everyday heel, however, Shekudo’s Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule is a fringed winner. Locally handcrafted using traditional fabrics like aso-oke cloth, the slip-on style is a showcase of the brand’s standards of craftsmanship and serves as a fine accompaniment to some vintage blue jeans and crisp, white button-downs.
Ask any romantic: nothing says “I love you” quite like jewelry. But don’t wait for someone to shower you with precious trinkets—instead, give yourself a gleaming gift that you’ll love forever. One that will remind you of the commitment you’ve made to yourself. Ready to put a ring on it? Hand-crafted from sterling silver and featuring classic pearls, Patrick Mavros’ Sea Urchin Starfish Ring is an understated choice that’s striking when worn alone or stacked with other Mavros rings. For the daring dresser, Adele Dejak’s Tumi Spice Ring is an irregular, eye-catching design; its oversized form, luminous gold-tone finish, and commanding nature suitably delivering on both sophistication and drama. Looking for an element of whimsy? Margaux Wong’s Daisy Ring has that in spades, its full bloom daisy motif imbued with a spirit of pure joy. If rings aren’t your thing but beaded baubles are, Sidai Designs’ Large Pembetatu Hoop Earrings are strung with lustrous glass beads that form shoulder-grazing tassels and look sensational when paired with boldly hued garments that set off the piece’s lightly colored finish.
Whether you’ve bagged someone special this Valentine’s Day or not, show yourself the love you deserve by snagging a timeless tote that’ll always be there. The classic pieces from aspirational leather accessories brand Yeba strikes the perfect blend between modernity and tradition, their finely crafted leather forms boasting a versatility that renders it a keep-forever item. Featuring top handles and a practical shoulder strap, Yeba’s Grape Ayo Mini Bag is a standout stunner, while the brand’s caramel-hued Oshu Medium Bag is a minimalist's dream. Both feature a gorgeous suede lining and gleaming gold-tone hardware and are great for setting off a look built from neutral separates. For those who are really looking to stand out, take your cue from Bella Hadid and give Ohiri’s Black Stool Bag a whirl. Handcrafted from woven raffia in a slouchy, unstructured shape and decorated with a gold-plated recycled bronze closure, the eccentric yet super chic style is a celebration of Ivorian craftsmanship. Pair with a sleek slip dress and barely-there sandals for a look that’s effortlessly on-trend.
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