How to buy lingerie for your lady

© 2008 Intimate Guide

We’ve heard that 97% of statistics you find are made up, so here are a few that we just made up for you:

  • 10% of the people reading this are men.
  • 80% of those men have thought about purchasing lingerie for a woman with whom they’re in a relationship.
  • Of those 80% who have thought about purchasing lingerie for their favorite lady, 75% will chicken out, 1% will do it right and the rest will royally screw it up.


If you’re a guy walking into a lingerie store at the mall, the ladies there are licking their chops. It’s their chance to get back at the opposite gender for all the times they felt screwed over at the used car lot. You’re nervous. You’re out of your element. There are little frilly things hanging all over the place. Your imagination is starting to wander. The sales ladies are hot. Heck, even the mannequins are starting to look hot!

You’re asked what you’re looking to buy and you’re not sure. You’re asked what size you’re looking for. You cup your hands and hold them up. “About this big,” you say.

It’s all downhill from there. You either hastily retreat from the store, vowing to return when you know her proper size (but really planning to wait 2 years before even setting foot in the mall again), or you end up spending more money than you wanted on something that won’t get worn more than once anyway. If that sounds familiar to you, or if you’re one of those guys who hasn’t even had the balls to attempt such a purchase, then read on. There’s a way to do this that will leave you and your favorite lady happy with the purchase.

Let’s get past the creepy factor first. It’s not always appropriate to buy a lady lingerie. Here are a few people you shouldn’t buy lingerie for:

    1) Teacher
    2) Babysitter
    3) Sister-in-Law
    4) Mother-in-Law

As a general rule, you might want to be romantically involved with the person for whom you’re purchasing the lingerie. Still, there’s a line in the sand with that too. If you aren’t sure when it’s appropriate to purchase lingerie as a gift for your girlfriend, look at it this way:

You’ve been on a few dates and you’re sitting at dinner and suddenly she starts talking about engagement rings. That may freak you out. That type of behavior may cause you to withdraw from the situation – perhaps with some element of haste. If you present her with lingerie too soon in a relationship, you may just see her do the same thing and if you’re getting her lingerie, that’s probably the opposite of the reaction you’re hoping for.

So, when is a good time?

  • If you’ve seen her in lingerie and she knows you’ve seen her in lingerie, then it’s probably okay to buy her lingerie.
  • If you’re already engaging in activities that lingerie is often used to elicit, then it’s probably okay to buy her lingerie.
  • If you’re married to each other, it’s more than okay to buy her lingerie.

How to buy the right lingerie for her

Having established that lingerie is an appropriate gift, we can move on to finding the right lingerie. Obviously, you want to buy her something she likes. What she likes will be based on her personality, her body type and her body size. You can also base this partially on the lingerie she buys for herself. Keep in mind, however, that women will often buy lingerie that fits their personality, and their size, but is not appropriate for their body type. More on that later. The first order of business is to figure out her size.

If you’re planning on purchasing something sized by bra/cup size, then your best bet is to convince her to get professionally fitted. Another alternative is to play a little game and measure her yourself following these instructions. Assuming you’re not going to be able to pull off either of these options without giving away your gift buying intentions, you’re going to need to dig through her drawers (her dresser drawers). Find her favorite bras, look at the little tag (usually on the inside of the band) and get her size (It should have a number and letter: 34C, 42DD, etc).

Now, look for some panties. These may come in standard ‘small’, ‘medium’, ‘large’ or numbers like 6, 8 or 10. The numbers don’t mean much here and can vary between manufacturers, so be careful with the numbers. If you happen to know her waist size or dress size, that’s a huge help. This will typically be an even number like 6, 12, or 18. Don’t get the dress size confused with the numerical panty size. They’re not the same.

Okay… back to body type. There really isn’t an ideal body type. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez are both lovely ladies and the object of many male fantasies, but their body types are very different. They don’t look good in the same lingerie.

There are generally 5 basic body types:

1) Straight/Slim - The “slim” or “straight” body type is one that is the same relative width from top to bottom. In other words, a body with few curves. Gwyneth Paltrow is a great example of a straight figure. The goal here is to make the body less angular, so avoid things that hug the body and look for pieces that have a natural flow and drape over the body.

2) Pear - A “pear” shaped body flairs out to a larger size on bottom relative to the top. Jennifer Lopez is a classic example of a pear shape. In this case, you might look for something that’s decorated with ribbons or some kind of ruffled texture on top to make that area look more proportional to the bottom. You’ll also want to emphasize her waist.

3) “Upside-Down Pear” is generally busty. Her body is proportionally smaller below the waist than above the waist. Christina Ricci is a good example of an upside down pear shape. Low-cut style will draw a lot of attention to her bust. Slightly plunging necklines (more of a V than a U) and halter styles (that fasten or tie around her neck) will flatter her curves.

4) Round - A “round” body type is generally characterized by a dominant mid section. Her hips and shoulders are narrow relative to her breasts and tummy. Rosie O’Donnell is a good example of a round body. Look for pieces that will define the waist as much as possible and make her top and bottom appear larger.

5) Hourglass - The “hourglass” shape is the ultimate curvy woman. Her body above the waist is roughly proportional to her body below the waist and she delicately curves inward at the waist. Jennifer Love Hewitt has a classic hourglass figure. If you’re shopping for a woman with this type of figure, you’re in luck! Just about anything will look good on her.

What’s She Like?

Once you’ve established her general body type, think about her personality. Is she a princess or a tomboy? Is she conservative or a seductress? While you’ll probably find it fairly easy to fit her into one of the general body type categories, you’ll have more trouble pinning her down to a personality type. So, use the following as general guidelines:

1) Conservative Princess: Since she’s a princess, you’ll want to look for intricate lace embroideries and lavish fabrics. Think about silk and satin. The frillier the piece is the better it is. Since she’s conservative, avoid sheer fabrics unless they’re very dark or overlay another fabric that is more opaque. You’ll want to make her feel comfortable in her lingerie, so less skin showing is probably better. Long elegant gowns will be appreciated. Let the thin fabrics and shape of the lingerie hug her body creating an allure without revealing too much.

2) Sultry Seductress: Like the conservative princess, she’ll appreciate fine fabrics and frilly details. Intricate embroideries are still great, but you should look for these in combination with sheer fabrics. She won’t mind showing cleavage, and you’ll both enjoy short gowns that hint at the curve of her derriere.

3) Conservative Tomboy: She’s probably not used to wearing lingerie, so you’ re going to have to take things slowly. Look for comfortable fabrics like jersey cotton and bamboo. Think “flirty” rather than “sexy” and you’ll do well here. Form fitting, but comfortable gowns and pajamas won’t be a huge leap for this woman who is probably used to sleeping in a large T-shirt. A nice camisole paired with boyshorts or pajama pants will likely look great and win you praise.

4) Teasing Tomboy: The seductive tomboy likes to get down and dirty with the boys, but she doesn’t mind teasing them a little too. Stay away from lace that the Princess will appreciate. Look for cotton, bamboo and satin. Sheer fabrics are okay, but too much can look too frilly. In addition to flirty boyshorts, you can think about sporty bikini panties or even a thong. Camisoles and chemises can be lower cut than you’d buy for the conservative tomboy.

Done correctly, the above steps will show that you’ve spent some time thinking about her. You’ll have purchased a quality garment that fits, is perfect for her body and that she loves. You’ll demonstrate that you know her well and that you’ve been paying attention to her. And isn’t that what gift giving is all about?
Every so often, we put together a list of specific suggestion based on body type and personality. So, if you need more help check these out: (note: links in old articles may be out of date.)

Holiday 2008

Valentine’s Day 2009

Be Sociable, Share!