Instead of searching the mall and online boutiques for hours on end, xoNecole has taken the liberty of compiling this list of effortlessly sexy date night outfit ideas, just for you.
I, for one, can admit that a lot of the go-to pieces have in my wardrobe have been "gone to" a few too many times, and I thought it was time to switch it up. To help me on my quest for the perfect threads, I've enlisted the help of Denver-based designer and professional stylist, Felicia Benevidez.
Felicia and I met up at a local restaurant called The Family Jones, where she gave me all the knowledge on how to wow my date without even trying. These styles can be easily recreated using staples in your closet and a whole lot of attitude. Let's get into these looks!
Everyone has a little black dress in their closet, but Felicia shows us how to put the game down, flip it, and reverse it to create an entirely new look. For Valentine's Day, instead of rocking your usual, try adding jeans and accessories to your LBD to add flair and personality. Felicia told xoNecole:
"When all else fails, I feel like you can never go wrong with a little black dress. Creating layers by adding jeans and a sheer overlay automatically takes the look from classic to edgy. The iridescent purse, hoop earrings, and gold shoe adds the perfect final touch to complete my look for date night with bae!"
Ladies, I have the answer to the age-old question women have debated about for years: Size does matter. I mean, when it comes to clothes, at least. Rocking at oversized blazer can set your outfit off in a way that is super unique and known to turn heads. Keep it sexy by wearing thigh-high socks or boots, and feel free to add shorts for a more conservative look. The designer shared:
"I don't know about you, but a blazer always makes me feel put together. To keep it sexy for date night, I added thigh high socks and an extended button up shirt. I finished this look with a black pump and a belt to create some structure and emphasize my waist."
Nothing says effortlessly sexy like a jumpsuit and some booties. For some real fun, use some bold colors like Felicia did in this look! Your jumpsuit game has the potential to level up in a major way if you incorporate accessories and makeup that add a pop of color. According to Felicia, out of all the looks, this one is the easiest to pull off:
"A good jumpsuit makes getting dressed easy, when all you have to add are shoes and accessories! This limited jumpsuit comes from my clothing line VFM and is the perfect look for Valentine's Day! I added a pop of color by adding red booties, a matching purse, and don't forget the red lip."
Who knew a wide-leg pant and a blazer could make a t-shirt look so damn classy? This style is easy to accomplish with any flared pant in your wardrobe, but you can go the extra mile by adding some edgy accessories. Felicia explained:
"This chic date night look consist of a pair of my favorite wide leg pants from my clothing line VFM. I paired them with a T-shirt and yellow blazer to add a pop of color. The leather gloves and platform shoe completes the look and adds the perfect amount of edge."
For women like me who enjoy feeling bad and bougie on a budget, this look is perfect. The best part about this look is, it's flexible and low-maintenance but still looks expensive and elegant. You can achieve this look by mixing any animal print with the faux fur accessory of your choice. Set your look off by adding the maxi skirt of your choice and you've just created the frugal outfit find of your dreams. Felicia shared:
"For this look, I based the outfit around a pleated maxi skirt. To accentuate the deep maroon color, I added a nude animal print turtleneck. Because I love to play with prints, I finished the look off with a cheetah print bootie and fur stole. Such an easy and great look for a night out on the town!"
Grown and sexy takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to this look. Grab any piece of lingerie in your wardrobe and pair it with a pair of slacks and a blazer to turn into the seriously sultry seductress of your man's dreams. To give your fit a little something extra, add a shoe and lip to offer a bold pop of color. What's better is, this look is so effortlessly sexy, the only accessory you'll need is your smile. Felicia told me:
"When the goal is grown and sexy, a pant suit is definitely my go-to. For the perfect date night look, I added a bodysuit and bright pump. My hair was the only accessory, and yes the bigger the better."
It's my hope that you can take these tips and be as sexy as you wanna be for your partner on this special holiday, no matter how you two decide to celebrate. This year, instead of harping over how you look, remember that no matter what you wear, your sexy comes effortlessly!
Thanks again to The Family Jones for letting us use your space to create magic! To find these pieces, check out A Vintage Frame of Mind's online boutique here.
Additional styling by Joce Blake. Makeup by Bree Klee.
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
Unapologetically, Chlöe: The R&B Star On Finding Love, Self-Acceptance & Boldly Using Her Voice
On set inside of a mid-city Los Angeles studio, it’s all eyes on Chlöe. She slightly shifts her body against a dark backdrop amidst camera clicks and whirs, giving a seductive pout here, and piercing eye contact there. Her chocolate locs are adorned with a few jewels that she requested to spice up the look, and on her shoulders rests a jeweled piece that she asked to be turned around to better showcase her neck (“I feel a bit old,” she said of the original direction). Her shapely figure is tucked into a strapless bodysuit with a deep v-neck that complements her décolletage.
Though subtle, her quiet wardrobe directives give the air of a woman who’s been here before, and certainly knows what she’s doing. At 24 years young, she’s a “Bossy” chick in training— one who’s politely unapologetic and learning the power of her own voice.
“I'm hesitant sometimes to truly speak my mind and speak up for myself and what I believe,” she later confessed to me a couple of weeks after the photoshoot. “It's always scary for me, but now I'm realizing that I have to, in order to gain respect as a Black woman— a young Black woman— who's still navigating who she is. And you know, I'm realizing that closed mouths don't get fed. And if I keep my mouth shut just because I'm afraid of what people's opinions of me will be or turn into, then that's not any way to live.”
For Chlöe, the journey into womanhood is about embracing who she is, without succumbing to the perceptions of what others think of her. From the waist up she’s everything you’d imagine. A gorgeous goddess with the kind of sex appeal that some work hard to embrace but fail to exude. But unbeknownst to anyone not on set, her bottom half is covered by a white robe, surprising coming from the girl who boasts “'Cause my booty so big, Lord, have mercy” on her first hit single “Have Mercy.”
But that’s the beauty of Chlöe. There’s more to her than meets the eye. More than what a few sensual photos sprinkled throughout an Instagram feed could ever tell you. Just like the photo-framing illusion of her portrayed from the waist up, what we know about the songstress is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more beneath the surface.
Some hours later Chlöe leans back in a high chair as her locs are transformed from a formal updo to a seemingly Basquiat-inspired one. It’s pure art, and at her request, no wigs are a part of the day’s ensemble. She’s fully embracing her natural hair, a decision that wasn’t always a socially accepted one.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, (Mableton, to be exact) Chlöe began to explore the foundation of her self-image. At an early age she and her younger sister, Halle, demonstrated a vocal prowess and knack for being in front of the camera that caught their parents’ attention. Soon after, they were sent on a parade of local talent shows and auditions, and eventually broke into the digital space with song covers on YouTube.
It was during these early years that Chlöe first learned that the entertainment industry could be unforgiving to those who didn’t fit a particular beauty standard. Despite the then three-year-old snagging a role as the younger version of Beyoncé’s character, Lilly, in Fighting Temptations, casting agents requested that her natural locs be exchanged for more Eurocentric tresses. Ironic, considering that growing up Chlöe saw her hair as no different than that of her peers. “I remember specifically in pre-K we had to do self-portraits and I drew myself with a regular straight ponytail, like how I would put my locs in a ponytail,” she says. “I just never saw myself any different.”
Chlöe would also learn the true meaning of a phrase that would later become an affirmation posted on her bedroom mirror: “Don’t Let the World Dim Your Light.” After attempting to wear wigs to fit in, the Bailey sisters instead chose to rock their locs with pride, which undoubtedly cost them casting roles. Yet they would have the last laugh when making headlines as the “Teen Dreadlocked Duo” who landed a million-dollar contract with Parkwood Entertainment, and the coveted opportunity to be groomed under the tutelage of a world-renowned superstar.
Credit: Derek Blanks
While that could be the end of a beautiful fairytale of self-empowerment, the reality is that it’s just the beginning of the story of her evolution. For most girls, the transition into womanhood takes place in the comfort of their own worlds, often limited to the number of people they allow to have access to them. But for Chlöe, it’s happening in front of millions of critiquing eyes just waiting for an opportunity to either uplift or dissect her through unwarranted commentary.
Many in her position wouldn’t be able to take that kind of pressure. But Chlöe is handling it with grace. “I feel like all of us as humans, we have the right to interpret things how we want,” she says. “I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
Chlöe isn’t the first artist to receive criticism for her carnal content, and she certainly won’t be the last. In 2010, Ciara writhed and rode her way to banishment on BET when the then 24-year-old released her video for “Ride.” In 2006, 25-year-old Beyoncé received backlash for “Déjà Vu."
"I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
So much so that over 5,000 fans signed an online petition demanding that her label re-shoot the video because it was “too sexual.” Even 27-year-old Janet didn’t escape critical headlines when she shed her image of innocence for a more risqué appearance with the 1993 release of janet.
It’s almost as if public reproach is a rite of passage for young Black women R&B singers on the road to stardom. Good girls seemingly “go bad” whenever they embrace the depths of their femininity, and fans only like you on top figuratively. But Chlöe has learned not to bow down to other people’s opinions, but to boss up and control the narrative. As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. If sex appeal is her weapon, she wields it well.
On set, Chlöe exudes the energy of Aphrodite in an apple red, off-shoulder dress with a sexy high split. In between shots, she mouths the lyrics to Yebba’s “Boomerang” as it echoes throughout the space in steady repetition at my recommendation. The hour grows late, yet Chlöe is heating things up as eyes stare in deep mesmerization of the girl on fire.
Credit: Derek Blanks
Through music, she explores the depths of her being, a journey that seems to be, at its foundation, rooted in self-discovery. Whereas their debut album The Kids Are Alright (2018) boasts a young Chloe x Halle empowering their generation to embrace who they are while finding their place in the world, their second album Ungodly Hour (2020) shows the Bailey sisters shedding the veil of innocence for a more unapologetic bravado.
What fans looked forward to seeing is who Chlöe shows herself to be on her debut solo album In Pieces. In an interview with PEOPLE, she confesses that releasing her first project without her sister was “scary.” "It was a moment of self-doubt where I was like, 'Can I do this without my sister?’”
Chlöe has never been shy about sharing her insecurities or her vulnerabilities, all of which are laced throughout the 14-track album. “I want people to have fun when they listen to it and to just realize that they're not alone and it's okay to be vulnerable and raw and open because none of us are perfect; we're all far from it. And I think it's healing when we all admit to that instead of putting up a facade.”
The gift of time has given the self-professed “big lover girl” more encounters with romance and heartbreak. Love songs once sung for their beautiful riffs and melodies become more than just abstract lyrics and are replaced by real-life experiences, which she tells me is definitely in the music.
In her single “Pray It Away,” for example, she contemplates going to God for healing instead of going at her ex-lover for revenge for his infidelities. “With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable,” she says. “I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
Has Chlöe been in love? That still remains to be said. Of course, she’s been linked to a few potential baes, but dating in the digital age isn’t as easy as a double tap or drop of a heart-eyes emoji. It requires a level of trust and vulnerability that’s hard to earn, and easy to mishandle. To let her guard down means to potentially set herself up for disappointment. “It’s difficult dating right now, honestly, because you really have to kind of keep your guard up and pay attention to who's really there for you. And you know, I'm such an affectionate person and I love hard.
"So when I meet the one person that I really, really am into, it's hard for me to see any others and I get attached pretty easily. And you know, I don't know, it's…it's a scary thing.”
Credit: Derek Blanks
“With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable. I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
While broken hearts yield good music (queue Adele), what’s in Chlöe’s prayer is the desire to be happy. What does that look like? Well, she’s still figuring that out herself. “Honestly, I'm the type of person who I don't truly learn unless I experience it. So it's like I can view and watch my parents and watch the loving relationships that I see in my life and be like, ‘Oh, I want that. I would love to have that.’ But then I also have to experience [love] on my own and see what my flaws or my faults might be or see what my good things about myself are. I feel like it's really all about self-reflection. And even though our base is our family and that's our foundation, we are still our own individuals and we have to find out specifically the things about ourselves that may be different from what we saw from our parents when we were growing up.”
Her ideal beau, she tells me, is someone she can feel safe to be her fun, goofy self with, but who also gives her the space to be the boss chick chasing her dreams. A man who understands that just because the world compliments her doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear those words from his lips or feel it in his touch. A bonus if he shows up on set after a long hard day of work with vegan cinnamon rolls. You know, the basic necessities. “I like whoever I'm with to constantly tell me they love me and that I look beautiful because I do the same. I am a very mushy person, and if I see something or you look good, I will never shy away from saying it out loud. And I want whoever I'm with to do the same, be very vocal. Tell me that you love me. Tell me what you love about me because I'm doing the same for you because that's just the person I am.”
Until she meets her match she’s married to the game, and for now, that seems to be perfect matrimony.
Credit: Derek Blanks
On stage at the 2021 American Music Awards, Chlöe solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. It was a full-circle moment. In 2012, bright-eyed and baby-faced Chloe and Halle would walk onto the set of The Ellen Degeneres Show and blow the audience away as they bellowed out their future mentor’s song. Ellen would present the sisters with tickets to attend the AMAs, assuring them that they would be back and had a promising future. Nine years later, Chlöe descends from the sky cloaked in a snow-white cape and matching midriff-baring bodysuit for her debut performance. It’s the first time she’s graced the stage of the very award show that she was once an audience member of.
As she shakes and shimmies and boom kack kacks out her eight counts, it’s clear that she’s in her element. Just like her VMA performance a couple of months prior, and the many more stages she’ll continue to grace, she brings an energy that has earned her comparisons to the beloved Queen Bey herself. An honorable statement, considering few R&B songstresses are getting accolades for their entertainment capabilities. It’s on these very stages, in front of hundreds of astonished eyes and millions more glued to their televisions at home, that she tells me she feels most sexy. Powerful, even.
But off stage, it’s a different story.
It’s more than just the commentary about her image and media-flamed rumors that get to her. Mentally, she’s in competition with herself. The desire to be the best burns at the back of her mind with every performance, every production, and every time she steps into the booth. Before, she could share the weight of this burden with her sister. Being a part of a duo meant she could turn to Halle for quiet confirmation and encouragement without a word being exchanged. But lately stepping on the stage means stepping out on her own. And despite being a breathtaking, five-time Grammy-nominated star, Chlöe doesn’t escape the reality that sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
Over the last year, she’s been coming to terms with who she is on her own while overcoming the fear of failing to become who she’s destined to be. While the world waits to see how Chlöe wins, the real triumph is in every day that she chooses herself and continues to walk in her purpose. “I don't really have anything all figured out, honestly. But what I try to do, a lot of prayer. I talk to God more and I just try to do things that calm my mind down and just breathe.”
To whom much is given, much will be required. She’s been chosen to walk this path for a reason. Once she fully embraces that everything she’s meant to be is already inside of her, she’ll be an unstoppable force. “My grandma, Elizabeth, she just passed away and my middle name is her [first] name. So I feel like I truly have a responsibility to live up to her legacy that she's left on this earth. I hope I can do that.”
There’s no doubt that she will. With a role in The Fighting Temptations at three years old, a million-dollar record deal, a main role on five seasons of Grown-ish, five Grammy nominations, a number one solo record in Urban and Rhythmic Radio, a debut solo album, and starring roles in recently released movies Praise Thisand Swarm (just to name a few), Chlöe’s certainly already made her mark, and she’s just getting started.
Photographer & Creative Director: Derek Blanks
Executive Producer: Necole Kane
Co-Executive Producer: EJ Jamele
Producer: Erica Turnbull
Digitech: Chris Keller
DP: Alex Nikishin
Gaffer: Simeon Mihaylov
Photo Assistant: Chris Paschal
2nd Photo Assistant: Tyler Umprey
Features Editor: Kiah McBride
Special Projects: Tyeal Howell
Hair: Malcolm Marquez
Makeup: Yolonda Frederick
Fashion Styling: Ashley Sean Thomas
For More: Cover Story: Issa Rae Comes Full Circle
‘Love Is Blind’ Star Raven Ross Lists Three Tips That Helped Her Heal After Her Breakup With SK
Love is Blind star Raven Ross has been inspiring her supporters recently by showcasing life's rewards and highlighting the significance of self-discovery and growth after a breakup.
For context, Ross was engaged to Sikiru "SK" Alagbada after meeting him on the third season of the hit Netflix dating show. Shortly following their engagement, the pair would go their separate ways due to cultural differences and long-distance concerns. However, the split didn't last long. Ross and Alagbada would give their relationship another try and get engaged again during the filming of Love Is Blind: After the Altar special.
Sadly, things didn't work out for the couple because they would break up for a final time last November because of cheating allegations on Alagbada's part. Alagbada was accused of dating an influencer while in a relationship with Ross. At the time, Alagbada initially denied the rumors, but he ultimately took accountability for his actions.
Since then, Ross has been living her best life. The 30-year-old has been traveling to different parts of the world, growing her Pilates empire, and has found a new beau. Although details regarding Ross' new union are limited, fans got a view of the mystery man in March after the star made their relationship Instagram official.
In light of her newfound happiness, Ross would open up about how she was able to heal from her past relationship and offered advice to those experiencing similar issues.
Raven On How She Found Healing Following A Public Breakup
On April 20, Ross posted a carousel of photos of herself with her boo on a baecation in Los Cabos, Mexico. In the caption, she revealed that she constantly receives messages from other women who relate to her story, and she decided to share how she was able to find healing.
"Everyday I get messages from other women about how they relate to my story and how they're cheering on my new happiness. THANKS YALL. We ALL go through obstacles in life and especially in dating, so here's some of the ways I've found healing," she wrote.
"1. Spend quality time alone! No distractions, and get comfortable. 2. Find someone you can talk to. Therapy has been life-changing for me but talking to a friend is free, too! 3. Create a strong vision for your future. Become very clear on what you want and make decisions according to that!"
It seems that Ross' is a testament to how healing the right way could be beneficial because she continues to shine her light on social media regularly.
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Feature image by @pilatesbodyraven/ Instagram