The Best Bet
This spring, fashion is playing it cautious: Colors are neutral, and shapes are safely ladylike (pretty dresses, ruffled blouses, high-waisted pants). You’ll need to accessorize with attitude in order to bump these outfits up a notch. Makeup can be just as dramatic as a platform shoe or a gigantic squishy bag, and the current look to have is a densely pigmented magenta mouth, meticulously outlined and filled in to a fare-thee-well. Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur lipstick No. 19 in fuchsia pink ($26.50 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-753-4000) will do the trick: It’s a deep, slightly Pop pink meant for grown-ups, not girls. Wear it with little or no other makeup to make sure your message gets through loud and clear.
Exquisite Parisian Chocolates, Finally Available Here
Pierre Hermé is considered one of the best pastry chefs in the world, but his chocolates have been hard to find in New York—until now. FreshDirect has secured the rights to sell these highly coveted delicacies ($42 for a box of 36 at freshdirect.com).
A Classy Valentine’s Day Gift
If you really want to impress her, try the unusual yet elegant oval design of Ted Muehling’s eighteen-karat-matte-gold bracelet ($2,400, Ted Muehling, 27 Howard St., at Crosby Street; 212-431-3825).
A Real Man’s Man Bag
Ready to move up from a messenger bag? Cloak’s collection, inspired by early 1900s hunting bags, is made of heavy Italian cotton canvas, distressed suede, and bridle leather. This duffel is $810 (10 Greene St., nr. Grand St.; 212-625-2828).
Lost Treasure From an American Master
For 35 years, a collection of Milo Baughman frames languished in a North Carolina warehouse. Now, thanks to Fredrick Spendlove and John Agujar of Fresh Kills, four styles are available from that stock, including this Studio MB high-back chair ($2,825; 50 N. 6th St., nr. Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-388-8081).
An Alternative to Roses
Surprise your Valentine with a bouquet of rare Gloriosa lilies, grown only in the Netherlands. They’re available in crimson and apricot, and their outstretched petals are rather alluring (arrangements from $55 at Katrina Parris Flowers, 1844 Seventh Ave., nr. 112th St.; 212-222-7030).