buying lingerie

A Practical Gentlemen's Guide to Buying Lingerie Gifts

  |   By Holly Jackson

We’re approaching Valentine’s Day, the holiday where everyone starts thinking about how in the world they can get away with buying lingerie as a gift.

Lingerie gifts can be fraught with peril---most involve sizing, styling and figuring out how a chemise and a babydoll can be different when they both look the same. This stuff is hard for people who buy lingerie for themselves, so it’s a whole new learning curve for partners who aren’t as well versed in what's available. Sadly, this means a lot of people just skip out on lingerie as a gift, which is a shame. Lingerie gifts, when chosen correctly, can be romantic and memorable and produce lovely warm and fuzzy feelings whenever the item is worn.

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Today, I’m going to go over some tips and tricks on how to go about buying lingerie as a gift.

1. Sizing is complicated.

Most gift guides start by telling you to stealthily sneak into someone’s lingerie drawer and check the size of their bras and panties. This is a) a little creepy and b) also likely to be slightly unhelpful. Most women wear different bras sizes in different brands or even styles of bras from the same name! If you’re determined to deal with a gift that has cup sizes, check her favorite bra that she wears all the time. You can then input that into a calculator that uses a separate sizing system that compares bras between brands. Then see what other bras might also fit her reasonably well. Panties are an easier choice, and you can never go wrong with a luxurious robe. You’re better off buying a fabulous gift that she’ll love, even if the fit isn’t as precise. If all of this seems too complicated, pick a luxurious basic.

buying lingerie

Violet & Wren Ebony Tulip Signature Kimono
Available in One Size
via Journelle

buying lingerie

Mimi Holliday Hide and Seek Star Knicker
Available in Sizes XS-XL 
via Journelle
buying lingerie
Rhumba Panty w/garters
Available in Red or Black, One Size (plus)
via Hips & Curves

2. In general, avoid thongs.

Except for a few brands like Hanky Panky, thongs aren’t incredibly popular with your average lingerie consumer. They are also much harder to fit, so it’s a risky gift move for multiple reasons. Unless your recipient just adores thongs and lives in them, stay away and go with bikini cut briefs or even high-waisted ones. If they do love thongs, then Hanky Panky has pretty much done your work for you.

buying lingerie

Original Rise Thong Rose Bouquet of 12
Available in One Size
via Hanky Panky

3. Think about her, not about you.

When most people think about Valentine’s Day lingerie, they think about pieces that involve very little support and matching g-strings. While these are great for the right person, they’re probably not for someone who sleeps in an underwire bra and wears only retro style high-waisted panties. Most people’s lingerie collection tends to revolve around a few different colors and styles. Do try to stay within that range. If you want to spring something new on your valentine, add only one new thing and otherwise stick with colors or styles that you know they love. After all, sexy is about feeling comfortable!

Rose Lace Teddy
Available in Sizes S/M, L/XL, 1X/2X, 3X/4X
via Oh la la Cheri
buying llingerie
Rose Applique Babydoll
Available in Sizes 00-5
via Torrid

4. Pick a gift that has a life beyond Valentine’s Day.

It’s easy to get carried away by the Valentine’s Day marketing fever and fall in love with a sheer babydoll with garters that your recipient will only wear once, but try to think beyond the holiday to something they will wear regularly. A bra or robe that will get worn and loved once a week will make her think of you all the time, while a chemise worn once or twice will just collect dust. Buying lingerie includes the option of pajamas and loungewear, which are great gifts if you pick high-quality pieces that work with your recipient’s lifestyle.

buying lingerie

Bed to Brunch Crop Pajamas
Available in Sizes XS-L
via Nordstrom
buying lingerie
Gisele Long Sleeve and Short PJ Set
Available in Sizes S-L
via Eberjey

buying lingerie

Mason Sheer Pants  - Jam
Available in Sizes XS (0-2) to 3X (22-24)
via Rue 107 

5. When in doubt, phone a friend (theirs, not yours).

If your valentine loves lingerie, then they probably already have a list of wants. You just have to get access to it! Talk to someone in their life who would know if they keep an Amazon wish list or is familiar with which brands excite them. If they aren’t a lingerie collector, their best friend or sister might be able to point you in a reasonably foolproof direction or even stealthily ask them without spoiling the surprise.

Are you buying lingerie as a gift for someone this Valentine’s Day? If so, what will you choose?

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