The love in the air is thickening as Valentine’s Day fast approaches. Even though you do not need an excuse to show your partner how much you love them, Valentine’s Day gives the perfect opportunity to look your best and spoil them.
Being wined and dined in a fancy restaurant is a popular choice fit for the event, but it’s not everyone’s idea of the perfect date. However, choosing a different setting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look your best.
Here are a few ideas to ensure you put your best self forward, whatever the situation, for the most romantic day of the year:
The most popular option for a date is clearly the fancy restaurant option. There is something about sipping wine by candlelight, being given the rare opportunity to sit across from one another, staring into your partner’s eyes and actually talking to one another, without electronic distraction, which strikes a romantic chord in most.
There is an expectation with this setting though, so your comfy combination of t-shirt, jeans and trainers just won’t cut it. Show them you have made the effort to look your best before a night of romancing.
Men should take this opportunity to awaken their inner Christian Grey or Don Draper. A classic dark suit, shirt and tie, finished off with a pair of oxfords or brogues is enough to leave any partner weak at the knees.
Although men’s formal shirts from retailers like Savile Row come in every colour, nothing beats a crisp white shirt – as long as you’re not the clumsy sort.
Those that simply cannot bear to sit in a suit for the evening can get away with an open collar shirt, trousers or chinos and a leather (or faux leather) shoe, a black or brown loafer, monk shoe or Chelsea boot would still scream sophistication.
There is a good reason so many TV series and movies feature romantic couples ice skating. It is something a little out of the ordinary, gives the perfect excuse to hold hands or cling to one another with support and it is bound to leave one or both of you laughing.
However, as made blindingly obvious by the name of the activity, it is likely to be quite chilly. Unlike a formal dinner setting, ice skating calls for comfier clothing. That doesn’t mean you can whip those paint stained joggers out.
A pair of comfy jeans, thick jumper and light jacket should keep you feeling warming but still looking like date material. Add a scarf, beanie and gloves if you get cold easily or it is an outside rink.
If you are making this Valentine’s extra special and whisking your nature loving partner on a glamping mini-break, there are a few other things aside from a dashing outfit to consider.
Firstly, those romantic strolls through frosty woods. A romantic setting, no doubt, however would it be as romantic if you slipped and fell onto the hard ground?
Practicality springs to mind when planning outfits for a winter mini-break. Comfortable walking boots with a good grip should be item number one. The rest of the outfit should be warm, February can be bitterly cold, and so layering is key.
A long sleeved top, thick wool jumper, jeans, hooded parker or Borg jacket and don’t forget the winter essentials, hat, scarf and gloves these are an absolute must.
If a spot of stargazing is on the cards, make sure you pack an extra-large blanket to wrap around you both.
Pub or Coffee Date
For new couples or first meetings a casual location is usually best, even for Valentine’s Day. There is less pressure to make bold romantic gestures, there is not as much of a chance of getting the cuisine wrong and more importantly – it gives the opportunity to learn more about one another.
Casual settings can include a coffee shop if the date is during the day or a nice pub in the evening. A tip – don’t pick the sticky floored local, good for a shot and a shut in, do some research and find a nice country pub or gastro pub, depending on location.
Of course, you don’t want to be rocking up to a coffee shop in your finest three piece. It is still an occasion for a shirt, but perhaps a casual one.
Opt for plaid or Savile Row linen shirts worn with rolled up sleeves and an open collar for a smart but approachable look. Team with a pair of chinos or dark jeans and clean baseball shoes or lace up leather boots. It is a look that can transition from casual coffee to relaxed restaurant into the evening, if things go well.
Some partners love nothing more than being doted on at home. Valentine’s Day lands on a weekday this year, so your partner will likely spend the day at work. This can make the idea of getting ready for a fancy dinner out seem like hard work, putting a downer on the mood.
Some men then, choose to cook their partner’s favourite meal at home, complete with a bouquet of flowers on arrival and chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne for dessert. But make sure your efforts are not overcast by the fact you are stood cooking in the kitchen with your PJs on. All those go-to home comforts should be tossed out the window for this dinner date.
A smart shirt (open collared or tie, depending on preference), black or grey trousers and leather shoes will nail the look. Or if there is a strict no shoes in the house policy, invest in some classy loafer slippers or at the very least, wear socks. Give all the extras of a romantic dinner date in a restaurant, without the stress of having to actually go out after work.
For the (brave) cheekier few, you can just wear an apron and nothing else.