Shopping for lingerie for that special woman in your life can be a fun experience. Unfortunately, when most men shop for lingerie, they start their foray without the basic information they will need to make the right choices. Follow some of these simple tips for lingerie shopping, and you and your lady will be happy with the choices.
The most important thing to know are her measurements. You need to know more than just her bust measurement for bra and cup size. You need to be prepared with her weight, height, waist and hip measurements. Most shopping sites will have size guides to which you can refer; however, these size guides are only helpful if you know her dimensions.
Perhaps the most confusing thing for a man shopping for lingerie is the variety of styles available. Before you make any choices, determine how, when, and where you think she will be wearing the lingerie. Some styles are suitable as sexy undergarments under a conservative business suit, while others may only be suitable for the bedroom.
There are several common styles of lingerie with which you must become familiar. The lady you are purchasing the lingerie for has her own personal style, and with some preparation, you can buy the lingerie that she is most likely to enjoy. Let us take a look at the list of common lingerie styles.
A bra is designed to support the breasts, and is perhaps the most fundamental – and difficult – item of lingerie to shop for. There are three basic configurations for bras – full cup, half-cup, and shelf. A full cup breast fully encases the breasts, while a half-cup usually leaves from the bottom of the aureola and upwards exposed. A shelf bra lifts and supports the breasts from below, creating a "shelf" upon which they rest. You absolutely must know the proper dimensions to buy a bra for someone who hasn't tried it on first.
Bras also come in several different models. The simple cup; the padded, shaping cup; the "cleavage builder" models that press the breasts upwards and inwards; and the classic "lift and separate" models. There are also models without straps (some can just have the straps removed) for neckless dresses, and there are also backless, strapless bras that require adhesive to wear.
A babydoll has a built-in bra with a waist-length trailing skirt. Most babydoll designs are suitable as sleepwear or boudoir attire, but rarely are usable as part of a day's undergarments. Many babydolls come with a matching panty.
Both of these garments have a built-in bra, and are generally form-fitting with boning to define the curve of the waist. "Boning" or "ribbing" are stiff materials woven vertically into the garment, today usually fashioned from aluminum, steel, or plastic. It gets its names from the original material used in fine corsets – whale bone.
Bustiers usually come to about the midriff and help define the waist, but are generally not adjustable even though they do provide support similar to a long-line bra. Bustiers are usually fastened by a hook-and-eye on the back of the garment, but less expensive ones may have a zipper. Many come with built in garter straps to hold up hosiery, and a matching panty in the same color and material will often be available.
Corsets are designed to truly bring out the feminine curves, and can be tightened through a set of straps on the back to make the waistline smaller. Most corsets fasten solely from the back, but some may come either with a zipper or hook-and-eye arrangement in front. They all have lacing of some type in the back to pull it tight around the waist. Caution: Never over-tighten a corset, as it can interfere with breathing as it compresses the ribcage.
Both corsets and bustiers have styles suitable as sexy outerwear, as well as form-shaping undergarments.
A chemise is a form-fitting undergarment usually made from satin, silk, or nylon/polyester, usually with spaghetti straps and bra cups that offer little if any support, and fall over or just over the hips. They are a sexier version of a slip, and are suitable as an undergarment to help provide a "no lines" look to sleeker outer garments and dresses. A slip usually comes below the hips and covers the upper thighs, or even longer depending on the dress being worn over it. A chemise also makes a nice garment for sleepwear.
A camisole (or "cami") is akin to a man's sleeveless t-shirt, falling somewhere about midriff or the waistline, usually made from cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, or satin or silk. A cami is usually form-fitting and suitable as an undergarment, sleepwear, and a sexier bit of outerwear.
A teddy generally can be worn as an undergarment. A teddy is a single garment containing both a bra and a panty, connected either by continuous cloth or straps. Think a one-piece swimsuit, but in lace, leather, vinyl or silky material, and you have the general idea.
Panties come in several different styles, and choosing the right one can be difficult based on several factors, but the primary one should be while you're shopping is "Will she wear this?" Just because you – the man – have a fantasy of seeing her in a thong doesn't mean she will feel comfortable wearing it, or believe that she's sexy in it.
The various styles of panties are (from least to most material) are g-strings, thongs, tangas, boy shorts, and regular old panties sometimes called "granny panties." Keep in mind the cut of the leg openings (a high cut makes her legs look longer) and the dreaded female-to-male question "Do these make my butt look big?"
Lingerie comes in a vast array of materials, from silk and satin, to lace, to cotton, to cotton-polyester blends, to leather and vinyl. It can be simple, merely colored cloth sewn into the proper piece, or come with lace cutouts, broacade embroidery, or even patterns. Be aware that leather and vinyl don't "breathe" like cloth does, and if intended as an undergarment, proper measures (powder, etc.) need to be taken to make sure she's comfortable wearing it.
Now, get out there and start shopping for her lingerie! The woman in your life will surely appreciate your gifts, if you follow the simple steps for you, a man, shopping for lingerie.
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