Colgate Couture: In-Vogue Valentines


Lisa Mischianti

The month of February has arrived, which means that Valen­tine’s Day is rapidly approaching. We all remember the elemen­tary school days of yore when shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts was easy. You went to CVS, bought a pack of those perforated cards with cartoons on them, punched them out, filled them out and dutifully distributed one to each and every member of your class (including that weird kid who picked his nose); by de­fault, the card was attached to a chocolate wrapped in pink foil, a packet of red gum­mies or a box of those Necco Sweethearts (which said awk­ward things like “Fax Me” and “Sweet Talk,” but whatever). Alas, now we are big kids and shopping for a meaningful to­ken for our loved ones, be it a significant other, a best friend, a sibling, a parent or otherwise is not as simple a task. Luckily for you, I spend way too much time browsing the retail scene and have a few great ideas for sweet, stylish Valentine’s Day gifts. I love staying within the spirit of a holiday, so all of these gift inspirations are valentine-themed, if you will, but not to the point that they become unwearable or irrelevant for the rest of the year.

Of course, one always-perfect option is jewelry. It almost goes without saying that for a particularly special gift, the fine jeweler Tif­fany & Co. is the classic way to go. Tiffany’s is perhaps best known for its heart-shaped merchandise and also offers an additional selection of valentine jewelry in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. So, if you are a gentleman looking to wow your lady or perhaps if you are trying to show your mother some love and gratitude on this special day, this option may be for you. But, given that disclaimer, it is certainly not the only choice, and there is more playful and creative jewelry out there (some of which will not break the bank quite as badly).

One company called Links of London makes light-hearted, casual pieces that still incorporate fine materials and say “love” all over them. For instance, it offers a line of friendship-style bracelets that weave col­ored twine with real sterling silver. Several designs are made specifically for Valentine’s Day and feature sterling heart bead closures and fuchsia-colored string. Another brand, Michele, makes fun, colorful, quality watches that come in hot pink, raspberry and red hues and are available in materials ranging from leather to “jelly.” Both brands have their own online shops, and are also available at retailers like Bloomingdales. Also appealing are a number of edgier engraveable options. My personal fa­vorite is Giles & Brother’s customizables, as the brand avoids the typical look of signets and ID bracelets, instead offering a little more rough-around-the-edges style that still can have the sentimental touch of a personal message. And the great thing about all of these pieces is that they are versatile enough to please almost any recipient: girlfriend, gal pal, sister, you name it.

Likewise, little bags, clutches and wallets are a great Valentine’s Day gift option, especially since many stores and brands are offering very valentine-appropriate selections. Marc by Marc Jacobs’ quilted and logo bags, in nylon and leather, are available in a vibrant rosy pink and eye-popping red. LeSportSac just issued a new tote print called “Lip Smacker” for the holiday. The brand Miu Miu is launching what it calls a “Valentine’s Day Capsule” nationwide this week, which fea­tures red and black ruffled patent leather clutches, satchels, wallets, iPad cases and more.

Guys can be the biggest challenge of all, but never fear; there are goodies out there for him too. Boxers are a never fail. If you are look­ing for cute valentine ones, check out J. Crew; in honor of Valen­tine’s Day they have issued a pink-on-navy “XO” pattern, a candy heart pattern and the traditional red with pink hearts. One more cool idea is sunglasses. Brands like RayBan and Oakley make really sleek red-rimmed options that look classic, masculine and style-savvy in a sporty, retro kind of way.

So using these tips, go forth and shop; in the end, they will know you care!