Style and culture writer Lena Dystant helps navigate the tricky waters of Valentine's Day gifting with a selection of pieces to treat your partner or yourself with.
A holiday traditionally associated with fluffy hearts and schmaltzy sentiment, Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. Awkward dinners and oversized panic-purchase bouquets aside, the occasion needn’t be one to dread. It’s all in the approach. Strip Valentine’s Day back to its bare essentials and consider it instead as simply a chance to do something nice for someone you’re rather fond of.
If gift-giving is your gesture of choice, the key is to invest in something worth keeping. Using a little imagination shouldn’t mean novelty but rather looking in those less obvious places. Classic and well-made, Drake’s offer a range of crossover pieces good enough for both you and her. ‘Boyfriend’ fits and menswear inspired styles for women are all well and good but there’s nothing quite like the real deal. Here are my picks for six gifts I’d happily receive on the 14th.
Drake’s offer an endless range of scarves, from simple block colours to rich and intricate prints. This new release is a particular favourite, a wool and cashmere mix with a unique look and feel thanks to the natural dyeing process employed by Japanese workshop Buaisou. Through a year-long process, Buaisou harvest indigo leaves and ferment them into a traditional dye, producing deep shades of blue that are truly special.
A navy roll neck is a must no matter your gender. Typically, women’s versions are produced in rather thin and unsatisfying weights, which is why I always head straight to the men’s section for this particular item. Drake’s pure cashmere take, knitted in the Scottish borders, manages to be both soft and solid and luckily runs a wide range of sizes, right down to XXS. Go full navy and match with a pair of ankle-length pleated trousers for a smart look.
If there’s one piece that remains truly unisex it’s the white shirt and the larger the better when it comes to women’s fits. Made in their own Somerset factory, Drake’s Irish linen button down works particularly well thanks to the fabric’s weight; a little heavier than cotton, it creates the perfect silhouette when worn a size or two up. Best matched with dark denim and heavyweight pair of oxfords.
On a chilly day there’s nothing quite like the cosiness of a cashmere scarf and if it’s large enough to double wrap then you’re onto a winner. Drake’s oversized model comes in an impressive twelve shades; this bold orange a great choice if the rest of your wardrobe is relies on subdued shades of grey and navy.
If being attached to our laptops for a large portion of the day has reminded us of anything, it’s the beauty of a well-made pen. Nowadays the simple (and rare) act of writing is one to be enjoyed, whether it’s a carefully crafted Valentine’s card message or your latest shopping list. German maker Kaweco produces pens for people who love to write. The KawecoSport for Drake’s model, with its comfortable octagonal barrel, looks completely elegant in a brass finish.
Drake’s find a novel use for some of its most popular prints with a series of cushions displaying traditional patterns in large form. Vibrant colours printed on cotton canvas, these Italian made accessories are both beautiful and unusual. The Bird of Paradise design combines various shades of purple and gold to create a distinctive pattern perfect to brighten up your well-used armchair.