1) All Doily-ed Up
Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve has helped lovers declare their affection ever since moony-eyed medievals miscast the story of a Roman martyr (Valentine) into a romantic candy-fest. Emersonmade’s lace ticker tees ($38, Emersonmade.com) provide a mod update on the concept, meaning you needn’t sport a creepy old locket holding a hank of your honey’s hair or his varsity letter jacket circa 1996. The shirts are soft and comfy, much like — awww — love itself.
2) Behold Yourself, Anthro
Dear Anthropologie: I’m distressed that only months before my luxe-but-tasteful “Great Gatsby”-ish wedding — the one I’ve been planning for 16 months, two days and four hours — you debut your BHLDN wedding collection. How could you do this to me right before Valentine’s Day?!? Now I’m scrambling to buy one of your Tracy Reese bridal gowns ($1,000-$4,000), vintage-y bridesmaid frocks ($400-$600) and embellished DIY cake topper. Does your online boutique (Bhldn.com) care about MY timetable?
3) Budget Buds
buy your love flowers on V-Day, and you’ll shell out big bucks for a tiny arrangement that’ll wilt in a week. But sign her or him up for a weekly or bi-weekly subscription to the new H. Bloom (H.bloom.com; 1-877-425-6665) and, for $25 each time, she or he will net a big bundle of unusual, arrange-your-own posies and greenery (like next week’s Esperance roses, gladioli and orchids, shown). Online videos by local creative director Sarah von Pollaro give detailed info on how to DIY.
4) Avast! Food!
So progressive is the new breed of pirate. Sure, there are still some evil brigands who seize oil tankers and make international commodity markets messy, but others make vegan, fair-trade Chocolate Pirate’s Booty ($3, Whole Foods) by blending baked, gluten-free goodness with sugar-free cocoa powder. Delicious and diet-friendly, it’s a chocolate treat you can munch without worrying the stuff will go straight to your you-know-what.
5) The Shape of a Heart
Engagement photos usually fall somewhere between stiff (“I’m marrying Prince William!”) and snoozy (“Senator and Mrs. Dullington proudly announce the betrothal of Bethany Lynn to Biff Studly.”) Nella Designs’ custom silhouette prints ($35-$60, Etsy.com/shop/nelladesigns) turn coupled-up snapshots into hipster artwork that’d make even the stuffiest sweeties look hip. The company also does save-the-date cards.
Written by Express’ Jennifer Barger and Katherine Boyle