How to Buy Lingerie

Who hasn’t had an awful experience buying something they thought their partner wanted, only to be acknowledged with a response which reads, ‘Thanks, you got it almost right.’

Lingerie is one of those potential pitfalls. No matter how awesome you think your partner looks in her pants, and how sexy you think she’d look in same knickers that Intimissimi’s new lingerie model Taty, (20, blonde, from Russia, with giraffe-like legs) is sporting, she may disagree.

I remember one snowy Valentine’s night in New York when my boyfriend came home from the local hotpants shop where he’d been with his best friend’s girlfriend (a 36C) for advice for me. The sheer black lace number was gorgeous, but not on me, a 32A. Even my boyfriend admitted that a bit of push-up and padding was more my sort of thing.  Of course I loved that he’d tried, and told him so, but then sprinted back to the shop to exchange it.

A survey by lingerie dynamos Fox & Rose shows that French men spend the most on lingerie per year (over £250/year and they buy every month). If you’re a French man, you may not need to read on further, but if not, here’s our best advice on how to make your woman happy in the underwear department.

  • DO: Get a pad and pen and rifle through her pants drawer. Chantelle lingerie advises the diligent partner to check the bra size and the bottom size, the brands she likes, what colors & styles she prefers, and whether she likes padded or sheer bras. Equally as important is what kind of pants she likes.  Bikini, boy pant, big pant, g-string? If in doubt, snap a photo of a few with your camera phone. You’ll probably want to delete those pictures though after a trip to the shop.
  • DON’T: Think only about what it’s going to look like when you’ve got her clothes off. Remember, she is probably going to go to work in this stuff, or at least out at night, so it’s got to look right under clothes.
  • DO: Chat up the sales assistant. Take your pad with you and corner the most knowledgeable shop assistant you can find. Tell her the sizes and brands and kinds of bras and pants your partner wears and ask her to recommend something similar. Remember, not all brands fit the same.  A 34C La Perla is going to fit differently from a 34C Princess tam.tam.  One easy way out is to buy the same bra and pants that she’s already got, but in a color or print she doesn’t have. You don’t look boring, you look attentive.
  • DON’T: Leave the shop without a receipt. I would have been in a pickle without mine all those years ago. I still have the lingerie I bought with my boyfriend’s thoughtfulness, just not the one he actually chose.
  • DO: Remember that there is more than lingerie. Silk loungewear like the Lucza pieces we’ve got pictured below are gorgeous, feel good, and are fun to take off too. I’d like to throw on the tunic and shorts myself. There is also nothing like a corset for slimming the waist and pushing everything into the right place. If your lady likes them (even if you’ve only ever seen her wear one for fancy dress) then go for it. I like the Romantica by Body Wrap and can see wearing it with jeans and black unbuttoned shirt. Or check out the Jean Paul Gaultier – La Perla Collection – the Baby Doll dress with its hand sewn lace is pretty divine.
  • DON’T: PANIC. If it is getting too difficult and you can’t deal with the stress, just get a gift voucher. She’ll love the thought.

Contributed by Edie Lush, at www.stylebible.com, the luxury city guide.