Style GuideOvernight Expert: How to Shop for Lingerie
Lingerie is probably one of your favorite Valentine's Day gifts (for obvious reasons), but before you get to rip it off her, learn how to get her something she will want to actually put on.
Heads up! Valentine's Day is just a few days away. If you've been putting off the dreaded task of buying her lingerie it's time to face your fear. Trust us, the outcome will be extremely worth those few minutes of awkwardness. To make it less intimidating we got experts in the field to share tips that will turn you into an expert in all things lace.
Get Yourself Inside
While this first piece of advice may sound stupidly simple, it has to be said. In order to buy her something from a lingerie store, you actually have to walk into a store. "We see many men hovering around outside looking in the windows, perhaps getting up the nerve to come in," says Monica Mitro, EVP of Brand Communication and Events at Victoria's Secret. But remember this when you are standing there nervously peeping the windows: loitering around outside a lingerie store is much creepier than actually shopping inside of it, so man-up and go in.
Know You Are Not Alone
Once you make it inside you'll realize you're not the lone guy sticking out like a Yankees cap at Fenway. According to Mitro, Valentine's Day and the few days leading up to it are the most popular days of the year for men to shop for lingerie: "Guys can take comfort in knowing that there will be lots of other men in the store all in the same situation." That also gives you a great opportunity to stock up for her birthday or other holidays when you might want to give her lingerie. Do it now while you've got comrads around for support.
Get Her Digits
It's extremely common for men to know absolutely nothing about sizing, so don't be embarrassed. Instead, do some investigative work by peeking in her drawers while she's in the shower or out of the room, suggests Alexis Isodora, owner of lingerie boutique Brooklyn Fox. Just remember that some brands size differently so check at least 3 of her bras and 3 of her panties. Oh, and write it down, warns Isodora. There's no way you are going to remember, plus you can hand the info to a salesgirl who can help decipher the right size based on your notes.
Can't get her out of the room? Stick with an item that is available in small, medium, large or one size fits all. Don't try to guess without any basis for information—there is nothing scarier than getting her something that doesn't fit and having to deal with her resulting freak out.
Before you head to a store check out their website to see what they have to offer and get an idea of what colors and styles you might like to see on your girl, suggests Mitro. Doing some preliminary shopping from the safety and privacy of your desk chair can make the process a little less overwhelming, plus you can stare at the models on your screen all you want without anyone singling you out as a perv!
Ask For Help
You may not want to stop on the road to ask for directions, but this is one place where you want to put your pride aside. If you're unsure (which you probably are), don't risk getting her something she'll hate. Think of the sales associates as your lingerie GPS and let them guide you to the right gift. "We love that we get to educate men and show them a few things we think will excite them and their partner," says Isodora. And the good thing is that they have seen some freaky stuff, so nothing will phase them.
Get the Good Stuff
Cotton may work for her everyday basics, but for Valentine's Day you definitely want to up the ante and go for lace, satin or silk. Or even better—a combination of them. Different styles suit different women but you hopefully know your woman pretty well, so Isodora suggests using common sense. If she's a laid back t-shirt & jeans kind of girl, she probably doesn't want a frilly, intricate bustier with complicated buttons or lace-ups. Try something sweet, simple, and satin.
If she's more high-maintenace and spends an hour putting on makeup, you probably could go the more complex route. For girly girls like this, Mitro suggests bold colors with glamorous lace.
Use Your Judgment
Above all use your judgment. If you're in a new relationship, don’t buy something too sexy, warns Mitro. If she's never expressed an interested in bondage, do not get her something that resembles a straight jacket. If she's not into role play, a skimpy candy stripper outfit is not going to go over well. And if she has insecurities about certain parts of her body (even if you swear she's perfect), don't get her something that will reveal those areas. When in doubt a woman will always appreciate something classy over something trashy so if you're stuck buy one of these go-to items:
A satin slip or kimono—flirty but not too promiscuous.
A lacy black bra & matching panties—classic and always sexy.