The Fashionista is in – Valentine’s Advice

This year, don’t give her the same thing you gave your middle school girlfriend.

There are legions of dudes who are currently wandering about campus totally lost and clueless about ValentineâÄôs Day. I know, I know, it is a tacky and disgusting holiday, but so many girls buy into that whole âÄúletâÄôs celebrate our love!âÄù marketing that a ValentineâÄôs Day gift guide, courtesy of the shopaholic herself, is in order. Boys, desperate Lotharios, IâÄôm here to help! Two types of ValentineâÄôs Day gift-givers exist in the strange and distant world of guys. The first guy hastily scrawls his name at end of some sappy card pulled last-minute off the shelf at Target (or worse, at Harvard Market) and maaaybe takes his girlfriend out to dinner, while the other type goes the safe route. HeâÄôs a marketerâÄôs dream, purchasing flowers and candy and (horrors!) stuffed animals for the object of his affection. DonâÄôt be either of those dudes. Please. And girls, you know your boyfriend doesnâÄôt want all that sappy pink and red love crap, so if you absolutely must buy him something, letâÄôs be creative. Okay? Dudes: If youâÄôre getting her flowers, which is in all honesty an awesome thing to do, just to show her that you do remember itâÄôs some ridiculous national holiday about twitterpation, so donâÄôt buy the $11 bouquet of red roses. ThatâÄôs cheesy and stereotypical. She probably has a favorite flower; girls always do. (Mine is peonies.) Indulge & Bloom, a floral shop housed in the recesses of Gaviidae Common in the Nicollet Mall skyway, has an amazing selection of lovely fragrant blossoms; their orchids are to die for, seriously. Put a little thought into a bouquet and sheâÄôll be so much sadder when it dies than if you nabbed some carnations from the grocery store. ItâÄôs the same way with lingerie; if youâÄôre getting your girl something lacy (is that present reeeally for her?) youâÄôre in luck, because you do NOT need to resort to tacky, tacky FrederickâÄôs of Hollywood (they have banana hammocks!). The Twin Cities have a couple really great sexy shops, and I am not talking about SexWorld. Flirt on Grand Avenue in St. Paul is a little bit on the spendy side but the lines carried at the shop (Hanky Panky, Wendy Glez) are first-rate and wonâÄôt chafe due to subpar fabric. (Polyester blends? Ick.) StyledLife, also located in Gaviidae Common, is my new favorite store. I happened upon it by chance (and by glowing recommendation from Alishops.com, the shopping website run by the Pioneer PressâÄôs splendid shopping expert Alison Kaplan) and fell madly in love with their selection of flawlessly-chosen accessories. There are leather gloves and Missoni scarves, fedora hats and gorgeous watches (and I donâÄôt even like watches!). The choices are endless and amazing. Plus, thereâÄôs stuff for dudes AND chicks. The rings in particular are fabulous, and you can get a stunner for about $70. I know we advocate North Loop shop Martinpatrick3 all the time, but itâÄôs the coolest dude-centric store around. If you got invited to Bogart or SinatraâÄôs birthday party, youâÄôd totally buy their gift here. If your boyfriend has a fetish for classic Hollywood, hand-detailed wooden canes, or leather totes, this is his one-stop shop. I wonâÄôt go on and on about ValentineâÄôs gifts, because I know youâÄôre all capable of stepping up your game this year. But please, if youâÄôre giving chocolates, go to Godiva. Spring Awakenings ItâÄôs too early to be celebrating this balmy weather as a spring thaw, but any temperature thatâÄôs not -10 is fabulous by me. SpringâÄôll be here before we know it, unless Sven Sundgaard dumps a big freeze forecast on the city. The ladies at my favorite boutique, Covered (which has locations in Dinkytown and Uptown), have already started bringinâÄô in the spring, and what IâÄôve seen so far of their warm-weather offerings has me so excited for upwards of 50 degrees. The knit tops from Bobi come in a bunch of punchy colors; the sea blue color is my favorite. It might be a bit early to be thinking so ambitiously about spring, but the Covered girls have that all figured out. Most of the pieces are super easy to layer with turtlenecks, tights, blazers and boots for these still-chilly days. TheyâÄôve brought in midprice bohemian-influenced line Free People as well. ItâÄôs so worth stopping in for the new shipments.