Serge Gainsbourg: Kind of weird looking. And yet he was a hit with the ladies—including British bombshell/actress/singer Jane Birkin. How did he do it? What he lacked in chiseled features, he made up for with charm, talent, and killer Valentine’s Day gifts. (He also knew how to wear the heck out of a suit.) If you’re still searching for a Gainsbourg-caliber date night for the big day (this Thursday)—read on for tips from some of the most discerning women we know. And if you missed it, check out our first installment of Valentine’s tips from last week.
1. GOOD WINE & GOLD CHAINS
Courtesy of Laura O. – Men’s E-Commerce Features Writer
GO: “A home-cooked meal—complete with table settings, good wine (Willamette-Valley pinots; Argyle is good) and some great music—wins big points.”
WEAR: “Dark-wash jeans, a nice wool sweater and oxford shoes (and a chef’s apron—you’re cooking).”
GIVE: “One of my favorite gifts was a big statement necklace that he picked out himself. [Shown: Kate Spade.] I get tons of compliments every time I wear it. Another was a travel-sized notebook—my husband had written a little note in the front of it. I carried it around every day until it was used up.”
2. PRIVATE PLANES & TRUFFLE FRIES
Courtesy of Simone H. – Digital Creative Director
GO: “Little Big Burger in Portland, Oregon. Best little cheeseburger and truffle fries a girl could ask for.”
WEAR: “Blue denim, a refined field jacket and Red Wing boots.”
GIVE: “I live on an island and ferry into the office. Romantic, yes. But day-in, day-out, a royal pain in the arse—which my darling husband has to hear me whine about daily. So last year, he chartered a seaplane to take me from Seattle to Bainbridge Island—bypassing the Friday ferry lines completely. We pulled into the harbor, where he was on the dock with my packed Longchamp bag! After a quick drink at the Harbor Public House we climbed on the plane for a weekend on Whidbey Island.”
3. FALL COLOR & A PHONE CASE
Courtesy of Kate B. – Designer Collections Site Merchandising
GO: “My husband and I used to escape to The Berkshires in western Massachusetts a couple of times a year. It’s also where we got married, so it’s a very special place, and the perfect Valentine’s retreat. Being recent East-Coast transplants, we’re looking forward to discovering our ‘Berkshires’ of the West soon.”
WEAR: “Matt is a very T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, but I love him all layered up. I always find a shawl collar very smart-looking, and this Rag & Bone cardigan will give him versatility for the trip.”
GIVE: “We keep gift-giving pretty minimal for Valentine’s Day, in exchange for a nice dinner out—but I think that this year, my husband Matt will need to step up and gift me a new iPhone case. I’ve had my current case as long as I’ve had the phone, and it’s definitely worse for wear. He teases it constantly, and since I have a penchant for shoe-shopping over tech purchases, he may need to take the leap for me with this shiny number from Jimmy Choo (or for real brownie points…Rag & Bone booties from my wish list).”
4. MAYAN RUINS & DADAIST JEWELRY
Courtesy of Brie C. – Public Relations Specialist
GO: “I generally don’t make much of Valentine’s Day because it always falls during the middle of Fashion Week (unless a designer counts as my V-date?), but this year I get a good one: on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.”
WEAR: “I love a smartly dressed man (read: layers, tailored pants, blazer…hello, Joshua and Travis of Street Etiquette), but beach-casual is essential for this year. If you look like you’re trying too hard on a beach it’s an instant fail, so a casual, collared shirt and shorts is a win. My boyfriend is famous (or rather, infamous) for a pizza-printed T-shirt, and while I find it truly spectacular, let’s hope that one stays in the closet this time.”
GIVE: “Although I tend to resist contrived romance—jewelry never fails. I have my eye on this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress as a gift to myself to wear on Valentine’s Day, but from him, I lust after anything Tom Binns.”
NEED MORE IDEAS?
SHOP: VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS
…And stay tuned for more Valentine’s tips in the days to come.