Guys: be a one-man Valentine’s gift, but do it right

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      It’s time to get sexy.

      Tradition dictates that a gentleman presents lingerie, chocolates, and flowers to his sweetheart on the feast of Saint Valentine. But face it, the real package with the bow on top should be the giver—and the sexier his wrapping, the better. But amping up a man’s style mojo isn’t like flicking a switch, so let’s get some help.

      First stop, a boutique called (212) (454 West Cordova Street), co-owned by Scott Walhovd and Anthony Castro. Walhovd knows a thing or two about being sexy. While he may appear to be a mild-mannered man who owns and runs a fine women’s clothing destination in Gastown, he got his start in the world of fashion as a six-pack-toting model for Dolce & Gabbana.

      Abs aside, Walhovd recommends focusing on the face—just don’t go overboard. “Anthony gets into a product shop and he’ll try all the fancy stuff, with the scents and everything, but I keep very straightforward.”

      So what does Walhovd use to keep his face ready for close-ups with superstar photographers like Mario Testino? “Actually, I just use Lubriderm [Advanced Therapy Moisturizing Lotion] or something like Vaseline [Aloe Fresh Hydrating Cream].”

      Castro, who later joins the conversation from New York via MSN and the telephone, talks about the head and then moves below the neckline. “Confidence is always sexy”¦a dark, V-neck sweater with a really cool pair of jeans and a jacket can be very sexy too.” Walhovd adds that the outfit doesn’t have to be expensive. “Anthony’s favourite jacket is a bomber from H & M.”

      With the top covered, what makes a sexy pair of jeans for men?

      According to Jason Overbo, owner of Yaletown men’s jeans emporium Brooklyn Clothing Co. (418 Davie Street), trim is in, but not too slim.

      Overbo says, “The main thing you want to look for is slightly more fitted, slightly cleaner. Not a denim long john. If you’re in a band or a teenager, you can wear a skinny. But for most guys, you want something more fitted. A woman should see your shape through your clothes.”

      Pulling a pair of Nudie red-selvage jeans, crafted from small-loom Japanese denim (trust us, it matters) off the shelf, Overbo emphasizes the importance of a neat fit around the pelvis. Folds and draping that mar the derrií¨re are nonexistent.

      Overbo says to look for jeans with a shorter rise, which means less zipper and a lower waistline. This decreases or eliminates the amount of saggy material between the legs, and for the short-legged man it will give the illusion of longer legs.

      A dark wash is also a good idea for a big date. Holding up a pair of jeans from Citizens of Humanity, Overbo says it offers flexibility. “A nice jean, not casual, not really dressy, but you can wear this with a nice pair of shoes and a dress shirt”¦and wear it with a blazer and you could get into any restaurant, any nightclub in town.”

      If one is willing to go nearly all the way in the skinny department, Overbo is ready to unleash his remaining pairs of midnight blue Small Towns. A pair of these can make a 38-year-old feel like an indie rocker without squeezing the juice out of the grapes. Plus, they’re on sale ($122).

      Now that’s sexy.