Happy Valentines Day!

By Karen R. Smith


Valentines Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I think that’s because it’s got no rules other than spread love and have fun. Whether you’re figuring out what to get your spouse, or debating the perfect V-Day gift for your BFF, there’s lots to choose from and some terrific bargains too!

In The Pink

Everyone -- male or female, young or old, looks good in pink. The tone flatters every complexion. The couture shows this season showed even more pink than last year, and I’m convinced that’s because they got so much positive feedback from their clients. Every major designer showed pink fantasy gowns, but there was lots of daytime wearable pink as well.

For men, Brooks Brothers’ mens oxford shirt in red (red and white threads produce the shirt’s pink) is a classic that will look great on your spouse, and just as great on your teenage son. Given our low morning and evening temperatures, you might want to consider giving Forever 21’s mauve zip front hoodie instead. The color is fresh and marvelous, and the hoodie will be a go-to for another few weeks for sure. Neither one quite right for your guy? Izod makes their short sleeved and long sleeved polo in a wonderful pink, and as casual classics go, it’s got few rivals.

For girls, Moms and BFFs, finding something pink won’t be a challenge. Dillard’s has UGG’s pink fur lined Dakota moccasin on sale right now, so if you know her shoe size that’s one way to go...but there’s also the Coach Odette flat, in a real carnation pink, and it’s also on sale...decisions, decisions! Nike’s hot pink Zoom girls’ running shoes are on sale too and they take pink to a whole new level for little girls. Of course, you never really know what they’ll have at Nordstrom’s Rack until you get there...but there’s always their website too. Right now, Pink Lotus’ pink-with-black-edging blouse is on sale for a fraction of its original cost. Day & Mood’s Daffodil leather tote is the right size for every gal, and the pale pink color is the season’s best neutral.

Most boys won’t appreciate getting pink clothes, despite the fact that pink is masculine and finally masculine once again. For your lads, head over to Bed, Bath & Beyond. This retailer has a huge assortment of Valentines gifts that will delight the pink-averse in your family. Whether you find a game or go for Mrs. Prindables chocolate-dipped apples, your Valentine will be smiling.

And speaking of edible Valentines...AJs and Whole Foods will have lots of choices in the bakery section; get there early for best selection, or call ahead and order something wonderful. The Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery Bistro will have beautiful goodies too!

Other fancies

Lots of jewelers (and the jewelry departments of lots of department stores) feature heart-shaped permanent keepsakes at every price point. Don’t overlook the mass merchandisers who also have fine jewelry.

Flowers are always appropriate, and some of us adore them! We’re lucky here in Tucson that just about every supermarket carries a beautiful selection of flowers and plants. When you make your purchase, find out the best strategy for extending their life. An aspirin in the water in the vase holding the roses can help, for example. Other plants like a pinch of salt...and still others a bit of sugar. Talk to your florist. Of course, with any luck at all, plants last longer by far. Choose something that will thrive hereabouts - a nice succulent, for example, rather than that pretty African violet, which will need daily misting to survive in the Old Pueblo!

This Valentines Day, whether you are exchanging gifts or not, I hope you get to hold your loved ones close. That’s the best present ever!!

About the Author:
Karen R. Smith is an award-winning journalist and publicist. Her book, "Stylishly Sexy" is available online and she takes private style clients throughout Arizona and across the country. Visit her at www.stylesmithtransformations.com