What’s love got to do with it? Well, everything on Valentine’s Day — the one holiday of the year designated for displaying your amoré. So why scramble last minute for a box of chocolates? In Style magazine editor Amy Goodman points you in the right direction to this year's red-hot trends.
For her, your sweetheart
Hello Dollie: Tackle the tricky gift of selecting the perfect lingerie with a baby-doll nightgown by Flora Nikrooz. With an empire waist and A-line cut, this design looks stunning on a variety of body types and takes a cue from today’s feminine fashion with its pastel hue and flowy fabric. Made of pleated silk with black ribbon detailing, she’s sure to feel comfortable and sexy all at once. Sizes S-L, $125; available at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
Nightie night: For those of us not cut out for minimal coverage, consider a stylish and cozy set of cotton voile pajamas by Bed Head. With vibrant jewel-tone colors (coral, green, aqua and lavender) and gorgeous scroll prints, these pajamas are so chic you’ll want to lounge in them all day. Bed Head Designer Renee Claire prides herself in using high-quality fabrics and detailed tailoring, and has garnered a celebrity following in the world of sleepwear. Sizes P-2XL, $138; available from www.bedheadpjs.com or 310-280-1080.
Lucky charms: For a trendy and affordable jewelry option (that includes loads of fun for the shopper) try a design-it-yourself lucky charm bracelet — all from the comfort of your computer. Visit jewelry designer Tina Tang’s Web site and first select a sterling silver bracelet.
Then add charms that represent your gal’s personality, choosing from a collection of 86 sterling silver and enamel charms. Still in a quandary? Simply start with a red heart charm, then surprise her with charms throughout the year. Tina Tang jewelry: $50 for bracelet, $30 for bangle, $15 to 16 per charm; www.tinatang.com.
For the fellas
Spin meister: With today's CD and DVD-outfitted entertainment centers, ever wonder how to play a good ol’ record? Wow your man with the swank and mod Pro-Ject turntable. Great for a Valentine's Day party — bring out the turntable and watch as your friends become instant DJs. Available in 10 lacquer colors and made with a wooden base. Pro-Ject, $300; 510-843-4500 for stores. Vintage records by Satellite Records, $10-20; www.satelliterecords.com.
For the kids
Though we often think of Valentine's Day as a day for adults, definitely share the love with your children, who adore celebrating this festive holiday.
Warming trend: The poncho, a fashion statement in women's wear, is now making a foray onto the playground. You won't have to worry so much about reminding the little girl in your life to bundle up before going outside. With these soft cotton ponchos with heart design by Bloom Love, she'll be throwing it over her head before she heads out the door! The best part? No sleeves to stuff her sweater-ed arms into. Available in red or pink, for ages 3 months to 6 years. Bloom Love, $72; www.babystyle.com.
Swell gels: Does your child have an artistic impulse every few seconds? Then place Gel Gems in his hands and watch his creativity run wild. Made with a thermoplastic polymer (that's fancy lingo for sticky stuff) that come in colorful, pre-cut shapes like flowers, stars and circles, these gels can be used to safely decorate non-porous surfaces like windows and mirrors.
An accidental discovery by Argentinian chemists Irene and Alfredo Tubert, Gel Gems was created on their kitchen stove for their three daughters. No worry if the kids get them dirty: simply wash with warm water and they'll be as good as new. Nontoxic, great for ages 6 and up. Gel Gems, $1.99 to $39.99; www.gelgems.com.
For some enchanted evening
Creating a romantic vibe for your Big Night In needn’t require hiring a strolling violinist. Take a cue from these sweet and small elements to set the right mood.
Dessert for two: Want to end the evening on a sinful note? Then dip strawberries in melted chocolate in the cleverly designed SweetHeart Fun Fondue set by Chantal. If you're not a chocolate fan or plan to host a singles-only party, try melting cheese and dipping crackers, bread or fruit for an interactive party pleaser. Available in semi-gloss red, glossy pink or two-toned brown and pink. $40; www.chantal.com.
Breakfast in bed: Who doesn't like the smell of a breakfast already made and served without ever leaving the comfort of bed? Surprise her with heart-shaped mini muffins made in a silicone mold. Williams-Sonoma, $22; www.williamssonoma.com.
Silicone is the hottest thing to hit commercial and home cookware, promising outstanding definition and foolproof release, even if this is your first trip to the kitchen. Don't forget to make heart-shaped pancakes with heart molds. Crate and Barrel, $5.95. And washing the dishes will be more bearable with these adorable heart-decked cotton dishtowels — reminding you that every act done with love is far easier. Crate and Barrel, $15.95 for set of three; www.crateandbarrel.com.
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