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Three looks, three dates

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If you're like me, you struggle with what to wear on a daily basis, yet alone on a day like Valentine's Day — the heavily commercialized romantic holiday. Do I wear pink and appear too girly? Spice it up and wear red, or go all out with an all-black number? The choices are endless, infinite and most certainly mind-numbing.

To solve this fashion dilemma, I turned to DressWell Boutique in Bourbonnais and owner Christy Smith to find a few ideas on what to wear and hopefully give others a bit of inspiration for their own date night.

DressWell Boutique started out as a pop-up clothing retailer in January 2017, selling clothes at places like Grapes & Hops in Kankakee, The Longbranch in Clifton, and Flight 102 Wine Bar and The Library Bar in Bourbonnais. Christy followed the success of the pop-ups by launching an online retail store, shipping orders to a dozen states.

Finally, in the spring of 2018, Christy opened her current DressWell Boutique at 409 S. Main St., Bourbonnais. DressWell Boutique is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday.

DressWell Boutique items are on the higher-end side, and are not usually found in this area, which appeals to shoppers and fashionistas alike. 

Earlier last month, I arrived at DressWell Boutique where Christy had three outfit options picked out for me, with accessories to match. Here's what she styled for three specific dates.

YES Magazine: February

Kiera's red, off-the-shoulder sweater and medium-wash jeans are comfy for a date night of TV and movie binging on the couch. Accessorize with soft, fuzzy socks and a scarf to add stylish touches. 

Look No. 1 — Staying in.

What's better than staying in with your significant other binge-watching your favorite TV show, or watching a new movie? Few things. There's nothing like being in the comfort of your own home, lounging with the one you love, allowing the stress of your life to float away while immersing yourself into a world of make-believe where someone else tells the story. All you have to do is follow along. In this setting, snacks and drinks are yours for the choosing, so this date is easily made for not only binge-watching, but binge-eating as well.

But that doesn't mean that you have to look like you've just rolled out of bed.

This look can still be relaxed without that old pair of leggings and worn-in, oversized t-shirt... which is what I'd normally gravitate towards. Christy presented a look that not only has color, but one that puts a bold color at the forefront: red. The seductive color takes the form of a roomy, yet soft and cozy, off-the-shoulder sweater, paired with a white and red striped handkerchief scarf adorned around my hair, and a pair of light-wash, distressed jeans with fringe detail just above the ankle. Topping it all off is a pair of heart-patterned fuzzy socks to keep my feet toasty. Warmth is key when lounging and so is comfort. This look offers both, while remaining stylish. 

YES Magazine: February

Feeling fancy at Flight 102 in Bourbonnais, Kiera's outfit is a black, long-sleeve blouse with lace detail and a leopard print, front-tie corduroy skort with tights underneath and red statement earrings. Not shown, she's wearing a pair of her own killer, black patent leather ankle boots.

Look No. 2 — Out to dinner.

So you want to get off the couch for a change, get dressed up and go to dinner. I love doing this every once in a while,because it takes you away from the mind-melting glare of the television and snacks high in sugar and fat. Plus, you get reacquainted with the outside world where (perhaps) you'd have the chance to make healthier dining choices and engage in much-needed adult conversation.

This outfit is one of my absolute favorites from DressWell Boutique, yet something I wouldn't normally pick out for myself. Although a leopard print corduroy skort (with plenty of stretch) would normally catch my eye under normal circumstances, it might be a little unrealistic with the cold weather of February.

But don't worry — there's always the option of layering with thick, black tights and a long coat to keep you warm and toasty on your walk from the car to the restaurant.

The skort is paired with a black, long-sleeved blouse with lace detail across the shoulders, a pair of red earrings for a pop of color, and my own patent leather, chunky-heeled boots.

YES Magazine: February

Perfect for an activity date, Kiera is wearing a flannel blanket poncho with light-wash, distressed jeans. For warmth, a matching hat and glove set were added and accessorized her own abstract gold earrings.

Look No. 3 — Hitting the ice.

So you not only want to get off of the couch and go out, but you want to do so in a way that can either result in fun or a possible injury. Or both. No judgement here! Ice skating can be pretty entertaining, whether you're a pro on the ice (like my boyfriend), or not — like myself. Nevertheless, it's a good excuse to hold hands with your significant other to make sure your balance remains intact as grade school-aged children skate circles around you.

This look originally involved a soft, cream colored, leopard print sweater paired with a scarf, along with a pair of light-wash, distressed jeans. However, Christy decided to switch this outfit up, swapping the sweater for a soft, blush-colored Burberry-style poncho with fringe detail at the bottom with a basic charcoal-colored, long-sleeved turtleneck underneath.

This outfit is made for twirling around (the best you can) on the ice, while still keeping you warm as you accessorize with a pair of gloves and a hat.

Change it!

Let's say you like specific parts of these looks, but not the whole outfit itself. No problem! Fashion isn't about sticking to the script. That red off-the-shoulder sweater can be worn out to dinner with jeans and heels just as easy as the charcoal-colored turtleneck can be paired with black skinny jeans, patent-leather boots, simple gold jewelry and a bold lip. True love may not be interchangeable, but a wardrobe definitely is.

Whether you're dressed up or down this Valentine's Day, make sure that you're comfortable, safe and having fun!

When she's not watching shows and films to review for the Daily Journal, reporter and YES Magazine Content Supervisor Kiera Allen can be found trying out new pasta recipes, or watching leisure shows like HBO's "Insecure" and endless episodes of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

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