Pearlcore and Lounge-erie: A Valentine's Gift Guide... Sort Of.
(And of course, some outfit ideas for date night, even if it's with yourself.)
Valentine’s Day really brings the smoke. People have strong feelings, whether they wholeheartedly embrace it or fancy themselves a full-on denier. Is it a commercialized non-holiday? One hundred percent. But can it be avoided? Not really. Its cultural presence is overbearing stateside, which makes it difficult to ignore even if you’re determined to.
Come to think of it, it’s a day not altogether unlike its predecessor, New Year’s Eve. A holiday that sends our expectations soaring, but usually ends in an anti-climactic hangover. And too often, Valentine’s Day leaves a hangover of its own — the emotional kind. Same dull headache, different cause.
I’m familiar with the partnered FOMO that starts revving up right about now, engineered to amplify feelings of loneliness for the un-coupled. It’s a holiday I’ve spent single more than once. And whether I’m in love or not whenever it rolls around, I’m always a little bit of a Valentine cynic, because all of its pressure and noise inevitably leaves at least one of my loved ones feeling unlovable.
Maybe it’s the friend fresh off a breakup, or coworker whose feelings are hurt that their partner forgot altogether. Maybe it’s the Dad who forgot to give his daughter a card this year. Or the kid in class who didn’t get as many cards as the others. Maybe it’s the clueless boyfriend who thought he could just show up to the restaurant without a reservation, or the long-distance lovers who can’t be together in person. Maybe it’s the cousin who’s pondering a divorce, or the high schooler who feels invisible, or the husband who took his wife at her word when she said she didn’t want a gift. No matter how happy I am in my own relationship, this is why Valentine’s Day annoys me: because I hear far more stories of disappointment than love.
It’s such a prickly day, tough to get exactly right even for the healthiest relationships. Because of this, I think a lot of the coupled feel set up to fail, and the un-coupled like they’ve failed altogether.
So STFU, V-Day. Take your pink-foiled aisle at CVS and stick it. If you were a person, I would pelt you in the head with conversation hearts for making anyone shed a tear on your arbitrarily-enforced behalf.
Just because I’m spending this one with my someone doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what a downer of a day it can be if you’re not in a good headspace. If that’s you, sit tight, I’ve got some very sincere thoughts about the merits of singledom coming your way next week. Until then, know this: you are loved and worthy of belonging in any way you desire to belong.
If you have a picturesque day with a loving partner, remember the years when you didn’t, and maybe reach out to someone who might be feeling blue.
1. Diptyque Special Edition Candle // 2. Heart Earrings // 3. Black Lace Bra // 4. Stretch Silk Pajamas // 5. Pearl + Rattan Bag // 6. Lip Palette // 7. Fancy Flavored Lubricant // 8. Quality False Lashes // 9. 10mm Pearl Necklace // 10. Silk Robe // 11. Pearl Evening Bag // 12. Lip + Cheek Stick // 13. Conception-Friendly Lubricant // 14. Silk Eye Mask // 15. Floral Cotton + Silk Pajamas // 16. Strawberry Lip Balm // 17. Large-Format Red Wine // 18. Pearl-Strap Mary Jane Flat // 20. Pearl Hoops // 21. Vanilla Woods Fragrance // 22. Slow Burn Candle
Instead of a traditional flowers n’ chocolate gift guide, today I’m sending you a list of things I think any gal would actually love to have this February 14, single or spoken for. That way, you can decide to treat yourself! Or, you can forward it to whoever’s shopping for you — well ahead of time.
(I’ll also be sending you a Valentine of my own next week, just to keep the vibes positive. Stand by!)
Shopping for such a day is the perfect excuse to dip your toe into some of 2022’s more honeyed trends: Pearlcore (it’s exactly what it sounds like, thank you Harry Styles) and Lounge-erie (again, also what it sounds like, thank you Skims).
Me? I’m treating myself to a Gel-X manicure (these are my new obsession) with the faintest French tip. (A French, which I can’t believe is cool again! Kinda love that!) And then I’m grateful to have a low-key dinner with my boyfriend, who I love exactly the same amount the other 364 days of the year. But by God, there will be oysters.
All said, I hope it’s a day you find your own way to celebrate — either by donning mourner’s black and calling it Single’s Awareness Day, dumping it in favor of Galentine’s with your bestie, opting for the pre-fixe at your local spot, or going full-out on the red roses and racy lingerie.
To each her own, but if you want to bedeck yourself in a cloying, head-to-toe heart motif, I’m not going to be the girlfriend who gives you a thumbs up on that one. But I love a subtle wink and a nod: a ruddy, matte not-quite-red lip that whispers “kiss me”, slinky hosiery, a fragrance so delicately applied, it can only be detected within an inch, a pitch-perfect high heel hoist, a pair of jeans that fits just right.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a little bit literal: a tiny heart dangling daintily from your ears, now that I can get on board with — especially when styled against classic black, which can be worn well past February 14.
(I can’t say enough good things about this exquisite top, which I treated myself to. It’s constructed well, made from quality material, and fits like it was made for me. I can’t wait for date night now.)