Lingerie is inherently decedent. No one NEEDS lingerie. No one NEEDS to wrap themselves in silk or bind their body in straps, but DAMN does it make a woman feel all sorts of sexy to wear it. There is a luxurious femininity that comes with lingerie and makes giving it as a gift an intimate and sensual experience for all involved. But the process of purchasing said lingerie ….well that’s a whole other story. One of my first jobs out of high school was working at a major lingerie retailer. While I will never miss reorganizing piles of panties left in big wads on the floor after one of numerous sales, one of my absolute favorite parts of the job was helping men shop for the women in their life. Why? Because it was equal parts sweet and hilarious. I had assumed, over my previous 18 years. that adult men understood how women’s clothing, specifically lingerie, works….NOPE! (Ladies, did you know that there is a large segment of men who think skirts and dresses are the same thing!? Yup, shocks me every time!) Well, it’s not your fault because shopping for lingerie is tricky even if you are buying it for yourself. So to help make the process a bit less painful here are some handy dandy rules to buying lingerie for your lady:
1. PAY ATTENTION
First rule of buying clothing of any kind for your lady is to pay close attention to what she actually wears. Is she a no nonsense dresser who likes clean lines and practical pieces? Then look for items that are monochromatic with small, unfussy details like unique seaming. Or does she layer herself in ruffles, sparkles, and girly prints? Then look for items that play on the feminine fantasy of lingerie – think layers of sheer fabrics, rhinestone and ribbon details, and mixed fabric combinations. Looking to what she wears on a daily basis is a safe way to start shopping for lingerie items for her because you know what styles and colors she feels comfortable in most often. You will also want to start scoping out the sizes and brands she wears most often. Fun thing about women’s sizing is that it can be very incontinence between brands and what she wears in one could be completely different in another. Do your best to find common sizes between her favorite pieces or keep it simple by sticking with the brands in the sizes she already wears.
2. DIG DEEPER
Warning: What she wears everyday may not be what she wants to receive for lingerie! So along with checking out her day to day wear for inspiration listen to how she talks about her clothing. She may wear black every day, but if she is always complaining about the lack of color in her life this might be the time let her know you are listening and get her an item in a brighter hue. Just don’t take things too far and go the exact opposite of her look, take a baby step in that direction, i.e. if she wants to stay away from black try a deep purple or dark red – DO NOT jump to florescent pink (unless she has specifically pointed to that item in that color as something she would like). For many women, myself included, we don’t want our lingerie to be practical, we want fantasy! Just because your honey sports a baseball tee and boyfriend jeans that does not necessarily mean she wants to receive a Red Sox bra and panty set. She might be crying out for leather and lace, but you’d have no idea unless you do some extra searching. How to dig deeper:
- Scour her Pinterest page – She may even have an entire board dedicated to lingerie!
- What does she wear when she has to dress up – Most women stick with easy pieces for everyday wear, but what she wears for special occasions when she has the opportunity to dress up can tell you what fantasy style she really enjoys
- Who is she between the sheets? Find pieces that will bring out her sensual creature.
- Ask her – No, not the most romantic way to go about it, but you can sneak in questions by asking her months ahead of time or pointing items out in magazines and store windows
3. KNOW HOW BRAS ACTUALLY WORK
As a fan of erotica I’ve noticed an odd trend in male written stories – a woman is described as being petite and busty wearing a size 42DD bra …WHAT?! After seeing this mistake time after time it dawned on me that there is a lot of confusion about how bra sizing works. So why is a 42DD bra a mistake for a petite, but busty woman? Because while she may have large breasts (making the DD cup size appropriate), a petite woman would have a small band size so she would be closer to a 32DD – check out my handy diagram: Now that you know how bra sizing works unfortunately that doesn’t mean you can just pick up any bra in that size and it is going to work for her… yes, it’s tricky being a woman. This is where rule #1 comes into play, play detective and dig through your woman’s bra drawer. What brands is she wearing? What styles? Does she like padding or prefer no lining? Again you can play it safe by keeping to the brands you already know she likes, which likely carry styles and designs she enjoys.
4. THINK OUTSIDE THE BRA
There is a wide world of lingerie out there – don’t limit yourself to the usual!
5. ASK A PROFESSIONAL
Take all the info you gathered: preferred colors, styles, sizing, a picture is always handy (or her Facebook page at the ready on your smart phone) and bring it to the professionals at a lingerie store. Expect to spend some time at the store and share everything you’ve learned about your sweetheart. Along with helping you navigate the racks of silk and chiffon, they can also assist with finding the appropriate sizes and give style suggestions. But….
Trust your instincts! You know what makes your girlfriend/wife/lover/sex kitten feel her sexy, sensual best!
ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION BEFORE PURCHASING:
IS THIS REALLY JUST A PRESENT FOR YOU?
Don’t confuse what you would like to see her in with what she actually wants to wear. A comfortable woman is a sexy woman. That doesn’t mean your lady won’t love being bound in leather, but a woman who is uncomfortable in what she is wearing, especially one that is intended to make her feel sexy, well its going to have the exact opposite affect. Things you should not assume she likes:
- Crotchless panties
- Open bra cups (nipples showing)
- Pearl or rhinestone thongs
- Latex, leather, or fur
- Custom corsets (they require a lot of specific measurements that the wearer should be involved in)
- Robes – Keep it sexy with sumptuous fabrics, lace details, and sheer panels
- Sleepwear/Slips – Again stay away from purely practical pieces and choose items in lux fabrics, sexy cut-outs, and feminine detailing.
- Items that fit multiple sizes – As you can see above choosing the right size can be tricky so keep it simple with lingerie pieces like Bodybinds, which fit many sizes comfortably and are multipurpose.
WHAT IF SHE DOESN’T LIKE IT:
Chances are if you do your homework she is going to love what you chose, but in case everything didn’t go as planned be sure to check out the stores return policy BEFORE purchasing. Most lingerie stores will not accept returns especially on undies, however some major lingerie retailers do so you may be in luck. If the store has a lax return policy you might want to think of purchasing multiple items so she can choose her favorite!
MEN: What are your lingerie questions?
WOMEN: What do you most want men to know about lingerie?
Jillian is an avid pole dance student, accessories and costume designer, rhinestone aficionado, and a PDBloggers Executive Committee Member. She also writes at PoleGeekBlog.com.