Whether it’s for Christmas or the honeymoon, the gift of lingerie is sure to please your fiancée. The problem is, most men don’t have the first clue on how to buy it. And the ones who do sometimes can’t conquer the anxiety that goes along with a lingerie shopping expedition. We hope the following guide will help alleviate some of these issues.
By Elizabeth Tigar, Special to GroomsAdvice from Shop-Underwear
Let’s be honest—gifting lingerie is like getting two for one. It’s a present for her; and, because you’ll also be enjoying how fabulous your lady looks in it, it’s a treat for you too. After all, lingerie is just about the most feminine item a woman can own. But therein lies the problem: whether they’re embarrassed about wandering around a women’s lingerie shop alone, or just plain clueless about ladies underwear, many men have a serious lingerie-shopping phobia.
It’s true, walking into a women’s lingerie store can be an intimidating thing for guys. Those who’ve been too wary in the past should try baby steps like seeking out a smaller boutique lingerie shop. You’re less likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of choices, and you’re more likely to find a salesperson who can give you a little help.
For all the guys out there holiday shopping for your significant others, here are some helpful hints to overcome lingerie-buying anxiety:
1. Come prepared. Before you venture out to buy her lingerie—or anything that comes with a size—you should know what size she is. All this takes is a bit of detective work. Sneak a peek in her underwear drawer (or maybe just at the tag on the bra that’s still on your floor), and note what sizes you see. Bras have a cup (A, B, C, D etc.) and a band size (32, 34, 36). Panties generally come in small, medium or large. Take note of both and bring them with you when you decide to shop.
2. Ask for help. I know this goes against everything a man stands for, but lingerie sales professionals will always know more about the merchandise than you do. So just ask! Mention you’re shopping for a gift and tell them her size.They should be able to guide you in the right direction.
3. Keep it mild. This especially applies for the first-time undergarment gift. DO NOT, under any circumstances, go too sexy with the first undergarment gift. Translation: nothing too see-through (lace is a yes, mesh is a no), nothing too itty-bitty (save g-strings for later) and certainly nothing edible (do we need to say that?), and absolutely, no exceptions, never ever anything without a crotch. Even if sexy is her thing, you risk turning her WAY off with your gift if it’s too risqué, which is exactly the opposite of what you’re going for. Stick to something more tame. A great bra and panty set that she could wear for something other than a special occasion. Maybe even something like a cute nightie. Not the granny kind, mind you—the flirty short kind. This will show her that you’re interested in making her feel pretty and comfortable, not necessarily just seeing her dressed up all racy for you.
Sidenote, When it’s okay to push the envelope: Definitely wait until you’re committed to one another. Critiques on undergarments from someone you’re just dating will get you kicked to the curb fast. Stepping up the game by giving her something sexy is something that can be a welcome surprise. Just make sure you present it with the attitude of “I think you’re amazing and sexy, and I thought this would make you feel exactly like that. But if you don’t like it, that’s okay.” And never with the attitude of “I’m totally sick of your basic cotton undies.” Be tasteful, be respectful. She’ll love you for the gesture all the same.
4. Gift it privately. Lingerie is not a gift you want to see her open in the middle of a restaurant, even a small romantic one. Give her the gift in the privacy of your home, or hers. It’s more comfortable for everyone involved.
5. Don’t be discouraged. Worst case scenario: it’s not her thing. Don’t beat yourself up too much or give up on the idea entirely. If you can tell she doesn’t like it, or if you never see her put it on, ask her gently what she didn’t love about it. Ask her what she likes and take notes for next time.
Following that plan, there’s a decent chance you’ll hit a home run, if not the first time, then maybe the second. Regardless of whether it’s perfect, it’s always the thought—and not the thong—that counts.
Elizabeth Tigar is the owner of Austin, TX, lingerie boutique Underwear. Visit www.shop-underwear.com to check out the latest styles.