What We’re Wearing On Valentine’s Day

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What We’re Wearing On Valentine’s Day

Words by Mr Jonathan Dann

9 February 2017

Make a good impression this 14 February, with a little help from the MR PORTER team.

“Love,” according to Aristotle, “is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” which is a line we dare you to try mid pillow talk this Valentine’s Day. The thing is, to test the eminent philosopher’s (rather cheesy) line, you’ll have to get them into bed first.

Whatever you’ve got planned this Valentine’s Day – candlelight and an early night? Dinner à deux at a buzzy restaurant – some new attire should help you flirt your way to success. Read on to find out how the MR PORTER staff intend to make a lasting impression on the 14 February.

My partner and I have never done Valentine’s Day. His birthday falls four days before, so we treat that evening as a double celebration. The past few years, we’ve booked the counter at J Sheekey and ordered the famous fish pie and at least two baskets of bread. This year, we are heading to our new favourite, Dinings, a discreet Japanese off Edgware Road. Also working in fashion, he’s tough to impress, but I think this corduroy blazer from Boglioli with a chambray grandad shirt from Officine Generale might just do the trick. If not, I know a wrapped up and ribboned pair of these Gucci shoes will, because he’s already asked me to buy them for him.

I’m a very lucky man. Every day is like Valentine’s Day in my household (well, that’s how I see it). This year, I’m going to surprise my wife by sporting this Gucci “Blind For Love” sweater. It will bring a smile to her face, which will potentially turn to fury when she finds out how much it cost. I’m going to deviate from my usual scent and pick a favourite of hers – Rosewood. Aren’t roses the most classic gift of all, after all? I plan to give her a picture of Ms Jane Fonda in a bikini playing with a bow and arrow, which was shot by Mr Dennis Hopper, as a gift. She’ll find it funny, but will surely call me an idiot. But hey, that’s what you do when you’re in love.

When you have a girlfriend who loves to borrow (read: steal) your clothes, one must ensure a surplus so there is never a shortage. She’s particularly fond of cosy, oversized knitwear such as this Connolly woollen sweater, which pairs nicely under a neutral toned coat such as the “Charles” from Acne Studios. Both pieces are lightweight and pleasing to the eye, which is a necessity on V-Day. The Ambackpack? Well, that’s to hide her gift inside.

As one of the older members of the MR PORTER team, I grew up in the dim and distant age of pen and ink, and I still think there is much to be said for a beautifully handwritten card – especially on Valentine’s Day. A ballpoint doesn’t quite do my floral penmanship justice, so I’ll be flourishing my trusty Montblanc fountain pen for the occasion. A Montblanc is quite an investment, but one that will last you a lifetime. Rather than eat out and sit cheek-to-cheek with dozens of other couples overpaying for a special set menu, we tend to cook at home on Valentine’s. My wife is a big fan of scented candles – perhaps to disguise the smell of my culinary inventions. I often find their fragrance a little heady but this fig-scented version from Diptyque is not at all overpowering – its scent is all woody bark and leaves. And since we’re staying in, I’ll woo my wife in a saucy new pair of Derek Rose pyjamas. Grrr.

Luckily my partner and I have never much gone in for Valentine’s Day and the pricey pageantry that attends it. This 14 February, we’ll most likely stay in, avoid the probably rotten weather and attempt one of the easier recipes from Messrs Daniel Burns and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s book Food & Beer. Failing that (and the more likely scenario) there is always Deliveroo. When it comes to presents, I am going classic with this Thom Browne cashmere sweater with the signature quadruple stripe. My boyfriend has already dropped a hint that he’s a fan. You can’t put a foot wrong with giving men socks, too, and this Missoni triptych is a great addition to any sock drawer.

In order to escape the hustle and bustle of London, I’ll be spending the day with my other half and the dogs in the countryside. I am expecting long walks in the New Forest and some pit stops at some hearty pubs for lunch and local ales. To look the part, I am packing this Cordings herringbone blazer. I chose this one as the blue, purple and orange flecks give the fabric a fun point of difference, but it is casual enough to work with my favourite A.P.C. denim, too. Win-win. A pair of waterproof Hunter Original boots and my faithful Leica camera will complete the countryman look.

Call me a cynic, but Valentine’s Day is something that is best avoided. Why? Where to begin. For a supposedly romantic day, it is famously the worst time of year to make dinner plans. And it gives hapless Romeos license to don cheap suits and spout torturous chat-up lines (see above). To make a stand, I’ve gone for some understated and (considering the efforts of some people) rather unremarkable clothing. A Neil Barrett T-shirt, Saint Laurent jeans and Spalwart sneakers are a perfectly reasonable way to make a good impression on Valentine’s Day.

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Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry