With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, you may be planning a romantic soirée or a peaceful evening for one with that
Macallan Reserve you've been saving. Whichever kind of night you choose – and we're not judging – our team have
picked out their essential items from The Rake Atelier which will ensure you're dressed to impress (even if it is
just for your labrador).
This looks a bit disjointed as a selection, but there is logic to it, and it is a chronological logic. The first rule
of sex: don’t smell. Pankhurst is the best barbershop in London and also
has the best grooming products. The Head to Toe shampoo is very good for cleaning and also the lime and bay rum
scent (yet to be bottled but should be) means there is no additional need for cologne. Shoes are really important on
a date; sexy, sleek Oxfords like Gaziano & Girling’s here go perfectly with
jeans, flannels or chinos and as well as being striking shoes, will make it look like you made an effort. And
finally, underestimate good underwear at your peril. Hamilton & Hare has made a
genuinely good looking pair of boxers - this navy model is that can’t-go-wrong pair that is worth buying.
Charlie Thomas, Deputy Editor
Don’t settle. Yes, a Valentine’s meal is all well and good, but do you really want to be sitting in a room with
thirty other couples eating pleasant-but-overpriced-food from a limited set menu, with slow-jams playing in the
background? No, you don’t. Be a good rake and take her/him on a jaunt to somewhere actually special – a beach house
on the coast, or a remote mansion in the country, perhaps. For this you’ll obviously need an attractive overnight
bag, from Bennett Winch, some driving gloves for the sports car, some flowers (we
don’t sell those), and a knitted polo shirt – neither too smart nor too casual.
Jessica Beresford, Managing Editor, Online
I'm of the rather sentimental belief that Valentine's Day shouldn't be about much more than giving time and thought
to someone significant – and what better way to do that than by sharing a good meal and even better conversation. It
goes without saying that one should look their best – no matter if said date is with an old or new flame – and that
starts with grooming. Thomas Clipper's set comes with everything from a
pre-shave oil to a weighted stainless steel razor, and has a story behind it that can be relayed if conversation
runs dry. A light spritz of Floris' Honey Oud Eau De Parfum
shows subtle sophistication, and a simple gesture, like holding out an umbrella in the event of a sudden downpour,
is the kind of considered display that gets remembered.
Grzeszczuk, Senior Stylist
If she hasn’t already, your date will likely be taking your T-shirt off for you… because it’s so soft she will want
to keep it herself. A new set of socks is essential: one pair for this date and then a pair for every date to
follow. Imagine the shame of old worn socks when you have to take your shoes off, resulting in a situation that will
forever be known (behind your back) as 'toe-gate' among her girlfriends. These navy suede trainers are smart but
also casual enough, and you won’t get weird comments about your shoes. I know women and they don’t always 'get'
Anna Prendergast, Online Editorial
Whether this is your fifth date or your fiftieth, there’s no excuse for not making the effort. If you want to get –
and keep – your date’s attention, you’d better be the best-dressed guy in the room. A good suit or tailored jacket
is a powerful tool you have at your disposal. Avoid looking like you’ve come straight from the office (even if you
have) with a Prince of Wales or Glen check, and finish it off with some personal accessories and sexy shoes.
Browne, Online Editorial Associate
I’m all for Valentine’s Day. It’s a lovely occasion if you just so happen to be in a relationship. However, I’m not,
so there’s no chance I'll be going out for dinner – or anything for that matter – on the 14th. Instead, I’m going to
kick back at home with the love of my life Hector, my loyal and lovely labrador, wearing navy silk pyjamas and
burgundy suede Marphy loafers from Rubinacci. They’ll look fantastic with a red hip
flask that’s filled with something potent, even if my dog is the only one to see me.
It would serve you well to carefully consider your accessories and err on the side of caution when embarking on
Valentine's Day date night attire. Your date will undoubtedly scan you from head to toe, so fix your hairstyle
firmly in place with some Patricks finishing paste for a striking first impression. A statement piece of jewellery,
like this Deakin & Francis sterling silver signet ring, can also double as an
intriguing conversation starter, and investing in a pair of Sutor Mantellassi brown leather Derbies to conclude your ensemble will give you that extra boost of
Natasha Drax, Online Editorial
Personally, my kind of date night doesn’t involve a pretentious restaurant where the maître d’ looks you up and down
before deciding if you’re welcome. I prefer something a lot more casual such as a good authentic Italian restaurant
and as such, my date’s dress should follow suit. Crafted from locally-sourced yet luxurious moleskin, this navy
bomber jacket from Private White V.C. gives the impression of a man
with an effortless knack for style, no matter how long he really spent choosing his ensemble. Match with a long
sleeve polo shirt and some smart suede sneakers to channel James Dean's air of cool and maybe then you’ll steal a pizza my heart.