Look great, feel confident and suitably impress your date, no matter how much you intend to spend
Valentine’s Day: that special time of year when love is in the air, restaurants are packed and panicked men in petrol stations are seen sniffing round for flowers up and down the country.
It’s also a time when we look in our wardrobe for something extra special to wear. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a romance-ready outfit, with some helpful tips on where to take your oh-so-lucky date.
The Day Date
Where to go Rivalling Romeo in the romance stakes doesn’t have to mean splashing out on overly grand gestures like hiring your own Mariachi band for a midnight serenade.
Instead, opt for a day date and put some legwork in early to find a (handily free-to-enter) gallery or stately home. It’s the perfect opportunity to show off your in-depth knowledge of the classics (or whatever you can muster from your equally ancient GCSE history).
What to wear
Feeling confident in your clothes is just as important as the clothes themselves. It’s all about balance: opt for something different, and more special, from your everyday gear but don’t push it to the extent that you become self-conscious.
Try layering patterns, like here, where we’ve used a tight striped tee under a looser wide-striped shirt. The effect is simple but eye-catching and what’s more, it’s easy to pull off.
Bonus tip: Going to an exhibition? Why not read up on the artist before you go? That way, you can fill any awkward silences with fascinating anecdotes or musings on the artist’s clever brush strokes. You’ll be like a charming, sexually alluring Wikipedia page.
The Dining Experience
Where to go A fancy restaurant might be an obvious choice, but like a zip, plate or widescreen TV, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? The important thing is to find the right place for your date’s taste in both food and style.
If they hate fuss, choose a nice laid-back, intimate setting, maybe somewhere with an acclaimed chef but without a separate waiter for bread rolls. If they love a touch of glam, an upmarket Champagne-serving joint is essential. If there’s a button to press for instant bubbly, even better.
What to wear Dressing for a dinner date is more of an art than a science. It’s about considering everything from your first impression to your end destination but above all, it’s about looking tastier than a chocolate soufflé.
It’s important to look smart, but not office-smart — this is about showing you’ve made a special effort. An easy win is to keep your colour palette simple: choose two hues that work well together and build your outfit around them. It’s a guaranteed way to appear tastily suave.
Bonus tip Up the charm and demonstrate your immaculate taste by taking your date for a swanky drink or two to set the mood before dinner. Do your research, find somewhere that’s both hot and new and of course, book ahead. If you feel tempted, book a Mariachi band. Our advice: resist it!
The Night Away
Where to go A night in a plush hotel might be too grand an option for a first date but if you’re in the right place in your relationship, it’s a sure-fire winner — a much-welcome treat for them and (let’s admit it) you too.
Our foolproof tip: pick a hotel that looks like a castle. You just can’t go wrong. Any lodging with turrets and a moat — and a long history of tight-bodiced maidens and fiendish knights getting it on — will set the mood superbly.
What to wear This is a refined and stylish date and as such, requires a refined and stylish outfit.
There are two factors at play here: first that you look great, second that your clothing is versatile enough that you’re not bringing a questionable amount of luggage for a short stopover.
A classy coat and smart footwear will complement each other faultlessly. This luxury navy hip-length coat combined with these beautiful rich brown leather Chelsea boots are ideal — don’t forget to ask your stylist to include them as an option in your next trunk.
Bonus tip Level up and turn this short stay into a full-on spa package. There are plenty of fine retreats to choose from and honestly, who wouldn’t want a well-earned rub-down in a country mansion? Not only will you earn ultimate relationship points with this one but you’ll get to put your feet up yourself and hopefully have them massaged at the same time.