Hands up who loves Valentine’s Day? The one day of the year (apart from birthdays and Christmas) where you’re encouraged to really go the extra mile to show the one you love that you do actually like them a helluva lot. Is it a corporate ploy to get some more money out of you? Yes, probably. Does that make a difference really? Nah. It’s still a nice thing, whether you want to take part or not. That said there are a few issues that crop up year after year after year that I simply can’t sit back and ignore any more. I can’t. It’s too much.
Have you ever seen a couple out on the town dressed like the lady counterpart is dressed to the nines; hair stunning, dress fitting perfectly, makeup absolutely dazzling, and her husband or boyfriend has just thrown on his three year old All Saints polo and the scruffiest pair of jeans? The disparity between the two outfits: one absolutely nailing it, the other looking like it’s from Oscar The Grouch’s Spring Summer look book, i.e. garbage, is staggering, and at times upsetting.
It tends to be more prevalent in more mature couples, especially the men like Simon Cowell and Jeremy Clarkson who think that bootcut jeans and some cheap brown brogues are sartorially acceptable, when, in fact, not only is it not sartorially acceptable, it shouldn’t be socially acceptable. It’s understandable that men of a certain age give up caring what they look like, and rely on boxy fit polos and t-shirts and jeans that are probably two sizes too big, and definitely too long because they need to cover up what time, and beer, has done to their bodies. I get it, the annals of time have started to decimate all my lines: hair and waist, but that’s no excuse to just let Old Father Time get away with it.
That goes the same for younger men who think that having a pretty dolly bird on your arm is the be all and end all of social situations. If you rock up to a Valentine’s date in a tracksuit, however stylishly tapered, and your date is sat opposite you looking like someone painstakingly drew her in, then you’ve misjudged how important this situation is.
Allow me to show you how easy it is to dress for every Valentine’s occasion. That’s our gift to you. Enjoy!
A cinema date is one of the most basic of all dates and it’s easy to see why. Large swathes of the evening are taken up by staring at a massive screen while you think about whether you want to try and how your date’s hand, or something else, before talking about the film afterwards. It’s really great. Dead easy, dead simple, dead lovely. But what should you wear?
Keeping the palette to a super simple navy and tan means that you can show off your fashion credentials without looking like an overdressed fraud. You still need to be comfortable with what you’re wearing otherwise you’ll hamper your own personality. Which is definitely not what you want. You’ve convinced them to come on a date in the first place, don’t blow it now.
Personally I can’t think of anything worse than spending time outside voluntarily, but walking dates and spending communal time outside are on the rise. Hopefully this trend is going to go the way of combat trousers and bucket hates; with a one way ticket to fashion hell. If you are duped into spending time outside, however, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind. Don’t be sucked into a living commune where you share everything with a family of twelve (soon to be thirteen) and a couple who you could have sworn you’ve seen on Crimewatch before.
Also, and on a slightly less alarmist tangent: make sure you dress correctly for the occasion. Nail your layering and you can take some layers off (ooh lah lah) and still look absolutely belter.
Swanky Dinner Date
If you’re lucky enough to nab a date with money (nouveau riche totally acceptable) then you might be going for a really swanky dinner date in a restaurant where the napkins are fabric and not two thin sheets of paper held together by well wishes. Which is, at the same time, very exciting and very intimidating. How do you know which fork to use? And is your “don’t eat yellow snow” joke instead of a tip acceptable? You tell us because we’ll be chowing down on burgers and hoping our high cholesterol allows us to see March come February 14th.
But how do you dress for a really fancy night out? By totally subverting a suit, that’s how.
By taking the traditional suit and changing little details to reinvent it and put your own little spin on it can make you look like you know what you’re doing when you look into your wardrobe with an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding, unsure where to even start. Changing the collar to a grandad style, and throwing a zip up jumper under the jacket keeps the suit super minimalist, and topping it off with a pair of trainers (white, natch) keeps a suit, which could be boring and stoic, fresh and relevant. Which is what we are want to be isn’t it?
That should cover every Valentine’s Day base, but feel free to drop into the comments below to ask any questions. We don’t mind.