Lingerie 101 – a man’s guide

Lingerie 101 – a man’s guide

Gentlemen, even if you’ve never purchased lingerie before in your life, given a little forethought, celebrating the most romantic holiday on the calendar with a seductive gift that ends the evening sweetly for both of you is easier than you think.

Lesson one: Find out what she likes

Broach the subject carefully. As you’re sipping wine, perhaps you could mention you’d enjoy seeing her in (fill in the blank). Gauge her response. After all, she should feel totally comfortable with the selection you want to see her in.

Lesson Two: Find out her bra sizes

Yes – sizes – as in more than one. Since they’re sized numerically by band circumference (32, 34, 36 etc.) and alphabetically by cup size (B, C, D, DD etc.), you’ll need to figure out both. If you dare, snoop through her drawers for a bra and make a note of the size indicated on the tag located on the back of her current one. For all other lingerie items, knowing her pant or dress size will help our sales associates figure out the rest.

Lesson Three: Picking out what you like

Walking into a store filled with a seemingly endless variety of fun, sexy and romantic bits of silk and lace in a bevy of fashionable shapes and styles can easily be overwhelming. Plus, it’s easy to feel embarrassed, intimidated or even ready to bolt when you’re speaking in public about terms with which you aren’t familiar or unaccustomed to, but wait! Here’s a short primer to get you acquainted with ‘the underworld.’

BRA: Designed to shape, support, enhance or minimize a woman’s breasts. They can be utilitarian or make fashion statements. You no doubt, will be looking for the latter.

Shopping hint: providing the sales associate with “She’s a C” is not enough information, you really need an idea of the numeric and letter size she’s currently wearing.

PANTY: Available in a variety of styles and sizes, panties are a great way to ease into buying lingerie. Given a woman’s correct pant size, the sales associate can guide you to a pair that fits. Some of the more popular styles include:

· Bikini – full coverage in front and backside

· Thong – full coverage in front with a bare backside

· G-string – less coverage in front and a bare backside

· Boy short – coverage on the backside, but a bit cheeky,

· Boy thong – like a boy short only with the bottom half missing – very cheeky

Shopping hint: buy a sexy pair of panties as a “first course” to the Valentine gift presentation. Send them early by mail to help set the stage for a triumphant holiday.

CAMISOLE: Can be worn under jackets or by themselves depending upon the sheerness of the fabrics and lace. Practical as well as sexy, women like to layer with camisoles.

Shopping hint: Camisoles with matching panties make a great gift set.

BUSTIER: Somewhat similar to a camisole but with built-in bra support. Often worn as outerwear. Paired with a long silk skirt for a black tie event or casually with jeans, bustiers are versatile and always hot.

Shopping hint: Knowing correct bra size is extremely helpful when purchasing a bustier.

CORSET: A very specialized garment. Starting at the bust line, made with ‘boning’ to lend support and shape, the corset narrows to cinch the waist. Some have a hook & eye closure but others are often laced in the front or back to adjust the fit.

Shopping hint: Since the best corsets are often European in origin they tend to be pricey.

CHEMISE: Also known as a “night gown”, the chemise is offered in several styles. From figure flattering baby doll style fitted under the bust and flaring out to a very short length and usually worn with a matching panty, to long, romantic and flowing gowns. Often available with matching robes or bed jackets.

Shopping hint: Pay special attention to fabric, does your love feel comfortable in a sheer fabric or something more opaque?

GARTER BELTS: Hands down, one of the sexiest little items in the lingerie world. Women like to wear them and men like to see women in them. Some bra and panty sets have matching garter belts available.

Shopping hint: Don’t forget the stockings.

Stockings vs. Thigh-Highs?

Stockings require a garter belt in order to stay up. Thigh highs or “Stay ups” have a silicone band around the top to keep them in place without a garter belt.


It’s no secret ladies love a little romance delivered right along with their lingerie. Since she’s going to be the one wearing it, make sure you let your lady know it’s all about her. Pull out the stops with lots of candlelight, chocolates, champagne and strawberries to accompany your beautiful, playful, sexy little fluff of something and you’re bound to go to the head of the class.

Well, that’s it, course over. Now that you’ve got a fair understanding of what your options are, picking out what you’re looking for should be a piece of cake. But just in case, get a gift receipt. Oh, and once she knows you’re shopping with us, make sure she stops in the store soon. We’ll take all her measurements and even keep her ‘wish list’ on file to help you shop for her next time around (birthday, holidays or just because she’s special days).


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