Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so this is your last chance to decide if you're going to A) dress like a hooker, B) succumb to the obligatory dinner and chocolates, or C) say screw it and hide indoors. No matter what you choose, we'll show you how to make it memorable. Plus, we rag on celebrity swag, Buy Clueless tackles the age-old quandary of how to look hot while fishing, and we share the inside scoop on a Black History Month fashion show. It's a sinful Buy Curious!
STYLEFILE We turned to a few knowledgeable locals to find out what sure-fire fashions are most likely to seduce (your partner) or induce (feelings of tremendous satisfaction, in the knowledge that you're so damn hot and sexy that you're clearly single by choice. Who could possibly stack up?)
Oh, and a fun fact that should perhaps make you reconsider doling out for a card this year: The Greeting Card Association estimates that women snap up more than three-quarters of all V-Day cards. Kind of depressing ï¿½ until we remember that ï¿½ duh! That's because men are so darn creative that they often spend hours concocting fabulous cards replete with such enormous quantities of love and passion that they nearly knock us off our feet. How could we possibly forget?
But back to our mission: We skipped over Victoria's Secret, not only because we like to shop local but because really, who the hell wants to pull on lingerie in a cramped dressing room with crappy lighting after gazing at the montages of Giselle & Co. that are splashed throughout the store? Not us.
Down at Lulu's There's nothing more original ï¿½ and cheaper ï¿½ than going vintage for V-Day.
"Leopard print brings the animal in all of us out!" ï¿½ Heather Jewett, sales associate, who hopes to be wearing this jumpsuit on the big night.
"Wear a hot pink peek-a-boo nightie and red lipstick." ï¿½ Tina Lucchesi, co-owner
A Diva's Closet This sassy downtown Oakland boutique is definitely worth a peak ï¿½ and who could pass up the chance to sit on a giant plush leopard print stiletto chair?
"It's sexy and comfortable ï¿½ and it's 20 percent off!" ï¿½ Gert Hays, owner, who swears by the Honeydew-brand underwear
Britches At this unexpected Piedmont Ave. treasure chest, sales associate and lingerie buyer Michelle dished the dirt on what men fork over their cash for. (Hint: it's not the opaque cami and panty set you think will cover your tiny pooch of a stomach. Think minimalistic!)
"I've never had anyone be disappointed by this," Michelle says of a black crotchless fishnet body stocking with a scoop neck and long sleeves. Buy Curious (who up until now have been quite fond of pricey French lace lingerie) was intrigued. "But be careful putting it on ï¿½ it snags easily." Guys also love the red lace, halter-neck singlet (of sorts), and anything with a cherry-print pattern, like thigh-highs or ruffled underwear.
Something else that flies off the racks? A trampy-at-first-glance but surprisingly- sexy-upon-closer-inspection satiny red thong with a cascade of rhinestones (and little else) across the back. Michelle says that she wore a similar pair for a boyfriend once, and a year after they broke up she got a call from him asking if Britches still carried them. "He wanted to buy a pair for his new girlfriend," says Michelle, who was happy to let him know when the next shipment arrived.
Heather also doled out a tip for garter newbies: skip the underwear. And that bodystocking? Layer over it ï¿½ a ruffly elastic mini-skirt, for instance ï¿½ and never, ever forget the sky-high heels.
SHOP TALK More Valentine's Shopping Options
As mentioned above, A Diva's Closet is offering 20 percent off their selection of practical yet sexy Honeydew lingerie, including lacey boy-shorts and exotic animal prints, now through Friday, February 16. While you're at it, pick up a bottle of their scrumptiously-scented body cream, or one of their colorful kimono tops. And in case you're still looking for a date to impress, the Oakland boutique is also sponsoring a speed-dating event on Valentine's at the Silk Road Lounge. Call (510) 836-6600 for more info. Where: A Diva's Closet, 383 17th St., Oakland
Having trouble deciding how much is enough? Hush has convenient Jimmy Jane Valentine gift sets, sure to please even the most fickle lover. Each set comes with a special soy wax candle, Ember, which melts into a rich massage oil; fragrances Wit (to spark conversation), Charm (to seduce), and Kink (to stimulate); plus Wink, a suede mask with a long silk tie. Sounds good to us! But hurry, these gifts are only available today through Sunday, February 11. If that's a little too forward for your mate, the Walnut Creek boutique also has some charming, delicate gold jewelry from St. Kilda.
Where: Hush, 1354 N. Main St., Walnut Creek
Need super-strength seduction? Head over to Elmwood's newest lingerie store, Ce Soir. Whether you're looking for ultra-seductive French styles from Aubade, lace undies from Hanky Panky, or naughtier looks from Spoylt (like this tool belt?), you're sure to find something to make the occasion memorable.