Right, it’s less than a week until Valentine’s day, so if you’re in a couple where v-day is celebrated, you’re probably giving some thought to what gift to buy your special someone.
Broadly speaking Valentine’s gifts fall into rough categories. Perfume & beauty, books and stationary, chocolates and flowers, clothing and accessories, and lingerie. It’s lingerie that we need to have a chat about. Buying underwear for your partner is a bit of a selfish present from the start. We all know it’s because you want your partner to wear it, look sexy in it, and because it’s a nice change from M&S 3 for £6 black knickers. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy undies for your partner. Some of my favourite lingerie was a gift from my husband. But if you’re going to do it, you have got to do it right. If this is going to be a gift, you need to be thing about the person you’re giving it to. How much they’ll like it – not how hot you think they’re going to look in it.
There’s no shame in struggling with buying lingerie. If you’re a bloke who doesn’t wear it yourself, there is no reason that you should know how to buy it. I, as a non penis having woman, would have sweet FA in terms of knowledge about buying jock straps. Shops aren’t exactly bending over themselves to help you, either. From the end of January, every high street shop which makes underwear will have mannequins dressed in cheap, stretchy red lace underwear. Lots of High Street shops only carry bras up to a D or DD cup, which is the average cup size in the UK. So if your other half is even one cup size above average, you can rule out stores like H&M and Topshop. It’s hard to put in to words how much discomfort a bad set of underwear can cause you. Imagine how much fun it is to wear a bra which is slowly constricting your rib cage, and a pair of knickers which is itchy, prone towards smelling really sweaty and not unlikely to give you thrush. That’s the reality of ‘sexy’ lingerie.
Buying good lingerie, well fitted, beautiful lingerie, is a wonderful thing. It’s a lovely present. Something you can use, as well as something that feels indulgent. Bad lingerie on the other hand? Disastrous. We know that the intention is good. And we know that buying it probably wasn’t much fun for you – there’s nothing sadder than a lost looking man wandering aisles of bras with an expression of despair – so we wear the bad lingerie. And it gives us a wedgy, or red lines over our backs, or chafing. Sizing is a complete nightmare. Women often end up buying the wrong sizes for themselves, and they’re the ones with the breasts. So expecting someone to use guess work or good judgement (or, in some very worrying cases, a show of hands to the shop assistant) is mad.
If you must buy Lingerie..
If you are intending to ignore all of the above and buy lingerie, please at least listen to the following advice.
Look in her underwear draw. Copy the size, and the brand, that she already wears. Do not use the size she already wears to buy from a different brand. Women are constantly being gas lit by lingerie companies, who refuse to have nice standardized sizing.
Natural fabrics. Silk, cotton – you know the drill. Please, please do not buy anything made of artificial red lace.
Sexy doesn’t have to mean raunchy. Slips, pyjamas and pretty knickers can but just as appealing. And if that’s more her style, you should follow it. She’s a hell of a lot more likely to actually wear it that way.
If you’re not sure about a bra size, go for pyjamas or a really great robe instead.
Look at what she already has. If there isn’t a single thong in her underwear drawer, she doesn’t wear thongs. That will be because she doesn’t like them, not because she has always wanted one. Ditto anything crotchless.
Good underwear isn’t cheap. Brands like Bluebella, Agent Provocateur, Mimi Holliday, Fleur du Mal and Chantelle make beautiful lingerie which is almost guaranteed to go down well. Not a hint of itchy red lace in sight.