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Men, women do not want lingerie for Valentine’s Day

OPINION: I’ll be upfront, I am not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. Although it was cute the one time my now ex-husband turned up at my work with Aesop goodies.

This year, I will begin February 14 lugging my winter woolies through Heathrow, so being swept off my feet after a 24-hour flight is not high on my Google Cal (unless there’s a cute baggage handler who happens across my path).

But if you are getting into the spirit of Valentine’s Day, go you! Make it rain romance but for the love of cupid, please don’t assume your love wants lingerie as a gift, unless she has specifically asked or dropped hints.

And for the less perceptive among us, those clues may include things like, “Gee, my bras are all getting a bit mank. I just wish I had time to get me some new Heidi Klums in a size 12B”.

See my point?

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The good news is that there are so many creative ways to spoil your lover that do not involve Valentine’s Day tropes including overpriced roses, jewellery they won’t like, cliched fixed-menu dinners and anything in pink/red/looks like a unicorn has vomited love hearts all over it.

If you are doing the V-Day thing, and it’s always best to have the yes/no discussion beforehand or it could be awkward if one of you doesn’t reciprocate, here are some ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day – but make it fashion.

Thou shalt not buy lingerie (but underwear is OK) 

“What’s the difference?” I hear you ask. Well, in my mind, lingerie is ornamental (and slightly problematic, unless a woman buys it for herself or chooses to wear it), while underwear is functional.

And it can still be very sexy. Given the 90s are having a moment, why not surprise your partner with some Calvin Kleins, or something inspired by the era (think sporty crops and neutral colours with optional wide elastic banding), such as Le Buns.

Thou shalt not buy roses (but rosé is OK)

I love receiving flowers as much as the next gal but around Valentine’s Day, the price of roses skyrockets like a tank of unleaded the Friday before a long weekend. They’re best avoided.

Instead, why not seek out a boutique winery, say somewhere you took a romantic weekend away, or has a word in the name that means something to the both of you.

Thou shalt not buy fast-fashion (but buying a unisex item is great)

What could be more romantic than giving your love a pair of snuggly leggings or pants (cashmere is my preferred fibre of lust but there are other great, sustainable options) and a note that says you can’t wait to watch the next season of your favourite series together? Better than a box of chocolates, I say (although you can also throw in some of those and few people will complain).

Thou shalt not shop at the last minute (but think outside the box)

You know it’s coming, so don’t leave your running around until February 13 when you are most likely to get sucked into a cliche-infested vortex at the local shops. And if you can’t get something on the day, there is no crime in writing a beautiful card or short story, with or without a pledge to give a gift later.