LOOKCITY: The Forgetful Scout Reader’s “Please Save My Ass” Valentine Gift Guide

by Robyn Yager | So you’ve left your search for a Valentine’s Day gift to the very last minute and blown your chance to make a reservation at a restaurant because every eatery that is the slightest bit romantic is booked solid. Well, aren’t you just so darn adorable. Rather than just let you wander off to cruise the city in a panicky daze that results in a bent box of waxy chocolates, a bagful of cheap lingerie, or a stale Dominican cigar scotch-taped to the side of a bottle of J&B, I’ve put together a list of easy, last minute gift ideas that are sure to lessen the fury of the under-appreciated guy or girl in your life.


Oscar’s Art Books (1533 West Broadway)

This coffee table book doubles as an amazing point of reference. Icons of Men’s Style highlights all the actors, writers, musicians, characters and artists that helped shape how we understand men’s style today. It’s a garment-by-garment guide, with point of origin, history, and how it’s worn today. Featuring the head honchos of men’s style: Michael Caine, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Gregory Peck. You can get it over at Oscar’s Art Books on Broadway.

JD’s barbershop (235 Abbott Street)
Momentum Grooming (1237 Burrard Street)
Belmont (111 East Broadway)
Dominion Barbers (214 Abbott Street)

Guys like grooming as much as girls do. That is to say that they enjoy it when someone else does it and they have the luxury of sitting back and relaxing. JD’s Barbershop, Momentum Grooming, Belmont Barbers, and Dominion are all evidence to this. Why not chip in and buy your boyfriend/husband/man-friend a shave and a haircut for the day of love? He’ll feel great afterwards, and he’ll look awesome, too.

Brooks Brothers (1026 Alberni Street)
Duchesse Vintage (430 Columbia Street)

I could give you the option of buying your beau a bow tie, but that’s almost a given as far as guy’s gifts go, right? So why not switch things up in the men’s accessories department and gift them a pocket square instead? It’s the underdog of an ensemble. While the inclusion of the pocket square is often overlooked, when worn it’s rarely forgotten. You can go new – I suggest Brooks Brothers – a favourite of F. Scott Fitzgerald – or you could go vintage at Duchesse over on Columbia Street.

Ideas for what to get your girl after the jump…


Beauty Mark (1268 Pacific Boulevard)

Not that you should be giving hints that your special someone is in need of a new beauty product, but the gift of fragrance is always appreciated. Scent is a personal thing. It’s so personal, in fact, that Coco Chanel once said “a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think that scent is important. Beauty Mark carries a really great assortment of perfumes by Tokyo MilkAquolina, and Fresh. My pick is Fresh’s Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum – pretty, sweet, and romantic; perfect for Valentine’s Day.

LYNNsteven (225 Carrall Street)
Charlie & Lee (223 Union Street)

This gift is pretty typical but when the choosing is done with care the rewards are endless. LYNNsteven has a gorgeous selection of lingerie, by Fortnight, a company whose products are designed and manufactured in Toronto. Pretty undergarments and Canadian? All things point to yes! Charlie & Lee also has some amazing pieces of the unmentionable variety by New York company Only Hearts. Because sometimes it’s what goes unseen that’s special.

Meadow (104 Water Street)

Meadow in Gastown has really adorable and subtle jewelry options that won’t break your piggybank. To keep with the love theme, my choice would be this cute Love Me – No/Yes necklace going for $28.00 or a pair of dainty heart earrings for $18.

Or we could be really traditional here and go for the classics…

Olla Flowers (235 Cambie Street)

Olla Flowers on Cambie Street prides itself on beautiful and ethically sourced flowers and plants. The flower shop does their best to better their community by offering local and fair trade products, providing job opportunities for residents of the Downtown Eastside, and working towards a zero waste mandate. Pretty flowers with a mission to improve Vancouver? That’s love.

Beta5 Chocolates (413 Industrial Avenue)
Dirty Apron (540 Beatty Street)
Harvest Union (243 Union Street)

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: grab some Beta5 Chocolates from Dirty Apron, Harvest Union, or the shop itself. Just do yourself a favour and buy those chocolates. Or don’t, because I want them.

Cadeaux Bakery (172 Powell Street)
Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe (2150 Fir Street)

Some people are not chocolate people. And that’s okay because there’s plenty of other options out there if you’re looking to pick up some sweet treats. Cadeaux Bakery rules with their cookies, cakes, and maple bacon sticky buns, and so does Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe. Their lemon tarts, peanut butter sandwich cookies, and eclairs are amazing.

And for yourself on Valentine’s Day? Score all of the above.

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