Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Hint to your man...

By Stephanie McGrath

Men need to pamper their lady loves on Valentine’s Day. That’s the rule. They also need to look debonair while they wine and dine their special gal.

It’s all about things being out of the ordinary when the calendar-sanctioned Day of Romance arrives. If you always dress down, put on a tie. If you spend every Saturday night watching Hockey Night in Canada, ditch the jersey for something trendy and go out together to support the arts. In other words, shake things up a bit.

It’s a hard-hearted woman who doesn’t swoon at the men who pepper movies like Bridget Jones Diary or Love Actually. So if you want this Valentine’s Day to be a hit, channel Colin Firth or Hugh Grant. First of all, take the U.K. stereotype to the next level. Think Tweed. You can have tweed blazers, vests, jackets and hats… but that might be overkill. We suggest going for a simple tweed blazer and tossing a cable-knit sweater underneath and wrapping a charming scarf around your neck. For extra bonus marks, pop either a tweed cap or L.L. Bean’s “Wicked Good Shearling Hat” on top of your head.

During your date, take your lovely lady for a drive through the countryside in the afternoon and stop by an intimate English-style pub for a late lunch and a pint of beer, before sweeping her off to a character-filled B&B for the evening. OH! Wait! If you really want to do this date right, spritz yourself with Gendarme or Creed cologne for men, which are both supposedly favoured by Mr. Hugh Grant himself.

You and your special someone are comfy in your sweats together. Every now and then, though, the occasion calls for us to class it up a notch.

First we’re going to need you to get a striped tie, which we’d like to see you wear with a black dress shirt (a white one looks a little too banker-esque for a Valentine’s Day date). If you want to be REALLY trendy, get yourself a skinny tie and a hipster black shirt from Energie, Diesel, Religion, G-Star or this Richmond X option.

Mix your top half with a pair of designer jeans and inspire romantic sentiments about high flyers with one of L.L. Bean’s Flying Tiger leather jackets. Next, remember that what goes on your feet is as important as what covers the rest of your body. If the weather isn’t brutal, opt for the tried and true Converse Chuck Taylors and if it’s slushy and nasty outside, put on a pair of trendy-yet-functional pair of Blundstones.

Now that you’re spiffed up, take your date out for dinner at the hottest urban eatery you can find and then out to see an indie rock show in a small, cozy venue. Make sure you’re channelling Leonardo Di Caprio (a good style guide for this type of occasion) and coat yourself with some Eau D’Hadrien, which is reportedly his signature scent.

Sweep your girl off her feet by hopping off the couch for once.

A romantic hike for two is just what the love doctor ordered. Remember layers are key for outdoor activities. Start off with a long or short-sleeved (depending on the temperature) T-Shirt in a good, breathable fabric. Next, add some high-end-yet-functional style to the ensemble with a cashmere sweater on top.

You can never really go wrong with a fleece jacket on a nature walk and corduroy looks rugged and appropriate, so pick up some corduroy pants to complete your outdoorsy get-up.

Finally, make sure you smell good and douse some Green Irish Tweed on your body. Apparently, that’s what rough-and-ready Russell Crowe wears.

Now, pass this on to your man... and you owe me one. OK, so you owe the author one...

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