Whether you're single, dating, or madly in love, everyone wants attention
on Valentine's Day. And nothing says "Hey look at me!" like a traffic-stopping red dress and an equally arresting book. That's why we've paired seven dresses, from the risqué to the suffocatingly prim, with the literary classics that may well have inspired them. Now it's up to you find the right pair of shoes.
The Trashy Animal Lover / Animal Farm
This shiny leopard-print number is sure to garner some feral stares. Both hardcore and girly, its lace ruffles could spark a rebellion on any farm. Whatever has two legs may be an enemy, but you, our budding fashionista, will have no trouble forging alliances in this frock.
The Sleepy Lumberjack / The Sound and the Fury
This dress looks hot enough to sleep in! Oh, wait ... that's because it's essentially a glorified pair of flannel pajamas. Just the ticket when you're holed up in your country cabin, reading about the emotionally drained people of Yoknapatawpha County. This dress will provoke a stream of consciousness — and a stream of compliments!
The I-Didn't-Go-To-My-Prom Dress / Forever
Why not give your Valentine something to gawk at? The ruffled halter top doubles as a handy napkin, should your lover accidentally drool into your décolletage. This one's made for heartbreak: like a first love, you'll never want to see it again once you're done with it.
The I-Don't-Want-to-Look-Like-I-Care Dress / The Bell Jar
Calling all Manic Pixie Dreamgirls! You're the kind of freewheeler who's so relaxed that you don't even care that your hem is wildly uneven. You're too busy reading Plath's novel for the umpteenth time, basking in such inspirational gems as, “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
The Sensual Schoolmarm / The Age of Innocence
If you want to go old school, like Mayflower old school, this is the dress. The boxy white neckline and loose cut do wonders for your figure. You'll want to stay respectable while reading the Wharton classic, which warns ladies about the dangers of getting too sassy.
The Billowing Beauty / Around the World in 80 Days
You'll just float away in this one, and while you're up there, you may as well catch up on Verne's classic fantastical journey. Crawl inside and escape into a dreamworld where hot air balloons cross oceans and the Franco-Prussian War never happened.
The Why-Not-Wear-Your-Bouquet Dress / The Name of the Rose
If you're worried you might not get any flowers this year, don't be. Just wear your bouquet on your dress and concentrate on more important things — like chasing a murderer in an Italian monastery. You'll be so caught up in Eco's convoluted thriller that you won't even notice Valentine's Day passed. Victory!
compiled by Rebecca Hoffman