How To Own It: Subtle Valentine’s Day Hearts

Hello beautiful, and welcome to How To Own It, where store-bought fashion meets DIY crafts. Each week I’ll be exploring an aesthetic theme, showing you some of the best ways to wear it and how to make it for yourself.


According to the dozens of annoying/addicting fashion newsletters that clog up my inbox every morning, Valentine’s Day has been “just around the corner” since New Year’s Day. January therefore turned into my liminal space for V Day planning, and I’m relieved that it’s finally February so I can tell you about the different Valentine’s Day looks I’ve been thinking about. I know that not everyone is excited for Valentine’s Day for many valid reasons, from our complicated relationships with love to the fact that queers are generally excluded from the mass marketing of this over-commercialized occasion.

Today I’m going to tell you several different ways to gently incorporate hearts into your outfit, so that this V Day we can literally wear our hearts on our sleeves and also on our backs and legs without compromising whatever jaded Valentine’s Day associations you may or may not be holding on to. If you don’t feel the need to wear this look gently and would rather paint pink glitter hearts on your cheeks, please do so, and send me a picture.

Heart Elbow Patches

heart elbow patch
First of all, I love elbow patches in general. They’re a great way to make standard items like cardigans and blazers way more interesting.  Having hearts for elbows subtly shows that while you haven’t forgotten that it’s V Day, you’re not exactly trying to look like a Valentine’s doily. This is an easily DIY-able look that you can get simply by sewing fabric hearts onto the elbows of a long-sleeved item. In the collage below, you can’t see all of the elbows because sometimes elbows are hard to see, but I promise you that they are heart patches.

Heart Cutout Backs

Heart cutout backs aren’t necessarily the most weather appropriate fashion statement where I’m writing from (ugh February is the fucking worst, am I right?) but they sure do look sexy. This is not so easy to DIY unless you’re a master sewer (which I am not), but there are enough cute heart back dresses out there to purchase that you don’t necessarily need to whip out the sewing machine.

Heart Tights

Patterned tights are one of my favorite things about winter, and sheer black tights with tiny hearts on them on are no exception. I especially like the heart suspender tights, with simple vertical lines of tiny black hearts.

DIY Heart Knee Tights

This is a simple project that combines the basic idea of heart elbow patches with heart tights: I’m going to sew some hearts onto my knees, and you should too!

You will need:

Tights or leggings
Felt (no but really, use felt, it doesn’t fray which means you don’t have to sew a seam)
Sewing supplies

1. Cut two sets of hearts out of the felt; one set larger and one set smaller. The larger set should be big enough to cover most of a knee.


2. Put your tights on. CAREFULLY pin one larger heart so that the top hits the middle of your knee, and then pin one smaller heart an inch or two above it. It’s pretty necessary to do this while the tights are on so that they maintain the shape they will be when you’re wearing them in real life.


3. Now just sew the hearts down! That’s it. You’re done. Go woo your valentine!


Want to know how to own a look? Email [email protected] or tweet to @Gabrielle_Korn.

Header by Rosa Middleton

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Gabrielle Korn

Gabrielle Korn is a writer living in Los Angeles with her wife and dog.

Gabrielle has written 95 articles for us.


  1. I love those heart cut out backs. but unfortunately the generously boobed among us cannot participate because you can’t wear a bra with them. but i’m definitely doing some heart elbow patches!

  2. i misread that last sentence as ‘go woohoo your valentine’ and i really should stop playing the sims at 4am because apparently it is messing up my brain

  3. I too love your shoes! Do want.

    I’m not really a big valentines day person but for these such events I’m a big fan of wearing some nice underwear and tying a ribbon around my waist with a gift tag saying something cheesy. Slightly embarrassing, but kind of cute/funny no? This has inspired me to incorporate some hearts somehow

  4. Those heart cut out dresses are super cute!

    On another note, will you be doing masculine projects at some point? Maybe how to make your own tie, wallet, tie clip, or something like that? I like crafting but I can’t see myself wearing things this feminine :(

  5. Ah I love alll of these! Espesh the cut out hearts on dresses. It’s such a nice way to show off which doesnt involve getting a bra that won’t show. And I have my heart tights ready to go. I love them because it’s kind of like wearing long socks or stockings but less slutty in the eyes of my boss. Love this post looking forward to more :) x

    • I just wore through the elbows of my favourite grandpa sweater and this looks awesome! TO THE SEWING STORE!!

    • by which I mean that I wish I could wear these things and am jealous of those who can and feel confident, as as an MOC presenting individual, I could only pull these off confidently while maintaining my gender identity in radically queer spaces. so yeah, “booooo” to that, not to girliness.

      • thanks for clarifying! and please let me know if there are any MOC looks that you’d like to see featured here.

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