A Very Monte Valentine's Day


Ladies, you know what February 14 is: Valentine's Day! The older, wiser and more sophisticated we get, the more difficult it seems to be to celebrate this day. I think Valentine cards and candy have a place in everyone's holiday, but here are a few thoughts on how to embrace the day with style and panache.

Don't go overboard with the pink and red. Pale pink lipstick and nail polish are flattering on most skin tones, so go flirty rather than total siren with pink on your lips and nails.

Treat yourself to an LRD. That's Little Red Dress. It's a standout compared to its cousin, the Little Black Dress, and it'll get you through Christmas, Valentine's Day and even a sizzling hot summer party. And you thought you'd never wear a red cocktail dress!

Skip the overdone updo. I hear it all the time when I'm jacking up brides: "I want to wear my hair down at my wedding because he likes it down." Not going to fly, honey. You're wearing your hair up for the most formal day of your life. But for Valentine's Day, give him what he wants and wear it in loose, soft waves, or flat-ironed straight with a blunt bang.

Dining and Gifting
I think Valentine's Day calls for a quiet, intimate dinner at a bistro or cafe. This is a decadent holiday -- what's better than French or Italian cuisine? Even better if the weather is warm enough for you to dine outside or to take a walk afterward. I love seeing couples walking hand-in-hand through the city. Seeing other people in love inspires our own romantic tendencies.

The smallest gift can make the largest impact. Find a quote or a lyric that speaks to your stage in a relationship. Write it on a beautiful card. Words of endearment never fade! If you're feeling bold, sign it with a kiss (leaving your lipstick mark) and spritz the paper with your signature fragrance. Deliver it with something sweet: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

Celebrating Single
Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love. It's about all special relationships. If you're not in a romantic relationship, don't sit at home. Take out your friends, siblings or parents. Enjoy their company and toast what you love and respect about them.

A very, very happy Valentine's Day from me to you! I'll be traveling with my dog Nellie Belle by my side. She's freshly coiffed and groomed for the holiday, and we spent an afternoon at hospice this week spreading love to the patients. This day is what you make it!

About the Author

Monte Durham of "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" invites us to see the world of weddings, style and etiquette through his eyes.

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