What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. This Valentine’s day, skip the fuss, (too) close quarters, and stay in for a nice dinner at home. Order in or cook a fun favorite together. But, being a date night – get dressed up! Maybe a full suit isn’t the right look for you and your relationship’s vibe, but it’s worth putting extra effort to set the night apart from the norm. This outfit is simple, effortless, and handsome in that “we’re at home but we’re not mailing it in” kinda way.
The Sweater: Bonobos Donegal Wool Shawl Collar Cardigan – $59 FINAL ($139). Throwing a shawl collar cardigan sweater on top of a button down shirt is a nice dress down from a blazer, but still makes a statement. A classic ribbed knit and flecked donegal wool fabric provides early evening pop, and you can take it off and roll up the sleeves to get cooking. Not down with final sale? Understood. Try the LL Bean alternative for $99.
The Pants: Bonobos Washed Chino 2.0 in Prussian – $59 ($99). Going for a bit of a sleek monochrome look, even if it’s framed in a cozier shawl collar and chinos setup. Not the same as the original washed chino. See the review comparison here. Also part of the big Bonobos winter sale, but not final sale. So these can go back if you don’t like them.
The Watch: Tissot Visodate White Dial/Brown Strap – $650. Not a budget automatic, yet the Tissot Visodate is a definitive “Value” timepiece. A Swiss automatic with sapphire crystal and a stainless steel case, with a day/date function and a clean, timeless design on a dressy light dial. Sometimes, simplicity is key to great design and this watch from Tissot is a perfect example. The more affordable option: Try Orient’s small seconds automatic. Still classy, and that small seconds dial is a nice, simple touch.
The Shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt Non-Iron Twill Grid Check Shirt – $99 or 4 for $200. Expensive when you buy one, but a solid deal at $50/shirt when you buy four shirts total, of any color or pattern combo. Charles Tyrwhitt offers a LOT of fit and size combinations, giving you an outside shot at finding a great fitting shirt off the rack. CT shirts offer great quality fabrics, stitching, and overall construction – with metal collar stays included! A nice subtle check pattern provides a class dash of style.
The Belt: Banana Republic Italian Leather Belt in Cognac – $60. BR does basics well for a fair price (just wish they’d bring back a sale or code every so often). With soft Italian leather and a silver buckle, this is nicer than your average leather belt but still a strong everyday belt option that can pull double duty for this date night.
The Socks: Bombas Merino Wool Calf Sock in Navy’ $19. Wool is your best friend on a date night, especially in a scenario where you might kick off your boots and need your feet to be fresh when you do. It’s a nice stylistic and formal touch to start with shoes, but as you get more comfortable, feel free to take them off if the vibe is right. You’re inside, after all.
The Shoes: Grant Stone Cap Toe Boot in Crimson Chromexcel – $360. Shoes inside my be odd to some households, but it’s yet another easy way to set the mood of the night as a true date night, versus just another night – especially if you live together. Boots, because it’s winter; but cap toe, because it’s a date night. Grant Stone punches well above their weight class compared to the competition at the price range, making truly investment worthy shoes and boots befitting both date nights and daily wear. The more affordable option: Give these downright cheap chelseas from DSW a shot.
The Drink: The Dark & Stormy: Fever Tree Light Ginger Beer ($6ish) and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum ($25ish). Either before or while dinner is cooking, whip up a couple drinks together to keep the co-hosting going strong. A winter favorite, the dark & stormy is a spicy drink for a potentially spicy evening. Get high quality ginger beer and spiced rum for this one – with minimal ingredients, the quality of the two you use matters a lot. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is the legally official spiced rum to make this drink -they have “Dark ‘N’ Stormy” trademarked. For an alternative take, try a rum off a higher shelf that doubles as a great sipping rum – Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum.
About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.