lifestyle (men & women)

Truth be told, I loathe Valentine's Day.
When I'm in a relationship, it becomes a day for my man, feeling social pressure, to purchase insanely bad lingerie or secure reservations at the "it" restaurant of the moment when most nights I'd be happier at home in a tank top and boy shorts, prepping a home cooked meal for us and watching basketball.
When I'm single, the deluge of "let me give it a shot", 1-800-Flowers bouquets and drugstore candy, while thoughtful, makes me want to find the evil greeting card genius who devised this holiday and punch him.
But I digress.
For all of you, particularly you gentlemen, who actually regard this "holiday" as a day to flex your romantic muscle, here are a few mode modern tips to make this Valentine's Day memorable - in a good way.


The Right (and Wrong) Way to Buy Lingerie
Guys, start by asking yourself this one simple question: Does it look like it's comfortable?

While you may be drooling in your mind at the thought of turning your loved one into a cliched porn star for the evening, remember that your fantasy will go absolutely no where if you've chosen to gift her with lingerie that is uncomfortable, ill-fitting, and poorly made. It takes two to tango ;)

Do your homework! - Take five seconds to take a sneak peek at the size tags in your partner's bra and panties to guarantee that you'll be purchasing something that actually fits!

Quality matters. - Victoria's Secret is not the only game in town. If your lady is well out of college and has an ounce of fashion sense, explore a few higher quality options that offer a bit more sophistication and sensuality that you'll both be able to enjoy long after Valentine's Day.

Here are a few mode modern favorites to get you started:

Fleur du Mal
Leather Corset
Agent Provocateur
Leah Corset
La Perla
Shanghai Sun Lace & Tulle Bra and Lace trimmed Silk Thong
Fleur du Mal
Rose Lace Demi

Floral Etiquette (with a side of sweet)
I love flowers and chocolate - everyday! Receiving a beautiful bouquet or an exquisite box of chocolates, "just because", is, in my mind, a special romatic treat. That's why when flowers and candy are sent on special occasions, I feel they should be the absolute ultimate.

Just say no to drugstore, bodega and corner vendor flowers (unless you have a hidden gem of a location with a great selection which can often be found in NYC). I also tend to avoid the "en mass" online flower companies for truly special occasions. Go the extra mile and hit a local florist for a special floral arrangement containing her favorite flower or a bouquet highlighting the colors that she loves. There's a beautiful floral world beyond the rose. (Hint: Peonies are sexy.)

And when it comes to chocolate, if you're over 18, please put the Whitman's back on the shelf. Expand your taste buds with the best that your local chocolatier has to offer or try some delectable brands like the ones featured here.

Belle Fleur
New York, NY

The Hidden Garden
Los Angeles, CA

La Maison Du Chocolat
8 Bar Sampler

La Petite Hatbox

men & women

Tasteful Toys
Know your audience - or in other words - not everybody is into nipple rings.
Nothing is wrong with using Valentine's Day as a starting point for adding a little spice to your "pleasure routine". Many companies now offer beautifully, sensual "toys" whether your relationship is PG or XXX ;)

* Lelo Massage Oil

* Agent Provocateur Xena Double Cuff

Agent Provocateur

* Dare Me Pleasure Set Box for Men

* Lelo Yva Clitoral Massager (24k gold or Stainless Steel)

Gifts for Women
Here are a few mode modern favorites for the special woman in your life.

* Claire Vivier Duffel Bag with monogram
(Bonus: Add two tickets for a weekend get away inside or a lovely camisole and a handwritten invitation for a sleepover)

* Elsa Peretti Tiffany Key Ring
(Bonus: Add your key - if you're ready ;) )

*Gucci Soho GG Textured iPad Sleeve

* Oscar de la Renta Gladia Cutout Leather Sandals

* Weekend in Paris
Book a flight via the all business class carrier, British Airways Open Skies and secure a great hotel package via or
(Bonus: Be sure to leave a lock with your initials on the "Love Bridge", the Passerelle des Arts, between the Louvre and the Left Bank.)

Gifts for Men
Here are a few mode modern favorites for the special man in your life.

* Monogrammed iPod
(Bonus: Program a sexy/romantic play list of his favorite tunes)

* Miansai Hook Bracelet
(Bonus: Include a note that reads, "you hooked me" and buy an identical one for yourself)

Barney's NY

* Tiffany 1837 Swiss Army Knife

* Weekend in Jamaica
While my second Negril home is The Rockhouse, for a unique romantic escape, that will also wow your man, check out Geejam. Thanks to its world class recording studio you may run into No Doubt or The Rolling Stones who are frequent guests. Located in the Port Antonio region of Jamaica, this is modern, island luxury nestled along one of Jamaica's best beaches.

Geejam Hotel

In the end, the best expression of love on this day is something that is genuine, and from the heart. Whether it's a home cooked meal or a fine piece of jewelry, do it with love and do it in style.

A few of the Valentine's trinkets which have graced me over the years ;)

Happy Valentine's Day from mode modern!

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