How to Shop for Lingerie

Woman in old-time lingerie

Jane Durelle (Les Dessous Elegants, 1913)
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Valentine’s Day . . . one week away. This is the time of year for lingerie stores to bombard us with ads and sales aimed at couples, including us married — and married a long time — couples.

While I’m not crazy about seeing models in bras and panties everywhere I look, I do like the idea of putting on something pretty and appealing for my husband. I like the idea that wives make additional effort to appeal to their husbands sexually.

Lingerie can include anything from a camisole and briefs to a long nightgown to a leather teddy. Whatever your idea of pretty, you can probably find something to wear to bed . . . and to let hubby remove. But today’s post is mostly for the hubbies out there.

So you want to buy your wife lingerie? You brave soul. I admire the courage you have to step into the department of silky things and lacy frills and figure out what your wife would look good in and want to wear. You’ll likely feel the way I do when my husband is shopping for lawn equipment at our home improvement store and I’m standing there looking a little lost. But you can figure it out. I promise!

Here are my tips for shopping for lingerie for your wife. (Wives, you can apply them too.)

Fabrics. One of the standard complaints I hear from wives about lingerie their husbands want to see them in is that they itch or scratch their bodies. I agree. An entirely lace teddy would irritate my sensitive skin, so that would be a poor choice for me.

Look for comfortable fabrics. Oftentimes, this means spending a little more, but not always. Cotton, silk, and satin will feel better than polyester, lace, and leather. If you want a lacy look, you may find a comfortable choice with the lace overlaid on a softer fabric.

But don’t worry too much about checking labels or asking “What’s this made of?” Just touch the fabric. Stroke a small section in your hands and ask whether you’d want that fabric rubbing against your own thighs. And then buy your wife what feels soft and sexy.

Body Type. What looks and feels good on a tall, thin woman isn’t the same as what looks and feels good on a petite, buxom woman. Lingerie should play to your wife’s assets, while minimizing those areas she is less thrilled with. Some quick tips in this regard:

Full-figured? Consider a babydoll, teddy, or two-piece design that is fitted around the bust and flares out toward the hemline. This will emphasize the bust but camouflage any extra around the torso. Remember that dark colors are slimming, so stay away from whites and pastels.

Tall & thin? A standard bra or camisole and panties combination flatters this figure. If she’s willing, a garter belt will emphasize her long legs.

Short & petite? Try a chemise or gown with a slit up the leg. This will make her legs appear longer, drawing the eye up toward the torso.

Athletic build? Boy shorts and “cheekies” emphasize muscular legs and a nice derriere. Pair them with a bra, camisole, or even a corset.

Bra/corset tips. Based on my research . . . Smaller busts look good in triangle bras or balconette styles. Average busts look good in demi (half-cup) and push-up styles. Larger busts look good with a full cup or plunge. These guidelines aren’t hard and fast, of course. Just a few ideas.

Your best bet is to describe your wife’s shape and her assets to a salesperson. Even if your wife is short and petite, she might look awesome in a corset and boy shorts if she has an hourglass figure. Look through the store with an eye toward what will help you focus on her best attributes and help your wife feel confident.

Fit. Check her size. This is by far the most prevalent piece of advice I found about shopping for lingerie. If you buy too small, she’ll be uncomfortable and/or may feel that you wished she was a size 6 or 10 or whatever. If you buy too big, it won’t show off her assets and/or she may be offended that you think she’s that size. Yes, I understand that we ladies come off as overly sensitive with this warning, but it’s often because we wives really want to look our best for you and feel terrific about the bodies we present in the bedroom. Help us do that.

If you don’t know her size, you can do one of two things: (1) ask her, or (2) go through her drawers and see what she already owns. Small, medium, or large isn’t enough. You’ll need to know her bra size, which is a number and a letter — like 32A, 40C, or 36DD. And you’ll need her panties size, which is a number usually ranging from 5 to 9. (These are U.S. sizes, so look up a size chart for your country if you are outside the States.) Armed with these measurements, you can convert to S, M, L, XL, etc. later if needed.

Comfort. A wife wants to feel confident about her body when she puts on lingerie. For some ladies, that means a black-and-red corset and a thong. For others, that means a silky nightgown with matching robe. When buying lingerie that both hubby and wife can enjoy, pay attention to the wife’s comfort level. Buy something that stretches her a little, but not too much. If she’s in a sleep shirt most nights, she probably wouldn’t feel comfortable donning nipple tassels and crotchless panties, nor should you ask her to (at least not right away).

Find something like what she already wears, but a little edgier, a little sexier, a little more revealing. Then she can feel comfortable and confident about her sexiness, and you can enjoy the view.

For both of you. I’ve emphasized throughout that this lingerie experience is not solely for him. Sometimes men can communicate that message unwittingly (or wittingly). Most wives want to be appreciated, desired, beautiful . . . but not ogled like a 16-oz prime rib at your local steakhouse. She isn’t being served on a platter. She is presenting her body in beautiful attire to appeal to her husband and to feel confident about the beauty that God gave her. Choose lingerie that accomplishes that.

Don’t be shy about asking for help from a salesperson. They are there to assist. They will not think you are a pervert or a stalker if you ask questions to find the right fit and garment for your wife. Present your wife’s measurements/sizes, her assets, what you’re looking for, and then go from there.

(One note here: Do not say to a saleslady or random shopper anything like, “My wife is about your size. Let me hold this sexy teddy up to you to see how it looks.” Yeah, that would be creepy.)

When you bring home your treasure and your wife puts it on, be sure to tell her how amazing she looks and how beautiful she is to you. God does nice work, eh?

Also, if some of your lingerie might cause you and your kids to blush if it were found, you can check out my post on Storing Your Sexy Stuff.

Another good article: WiseBread.com – 4 Easy Steps to Buying Lingerie for Your Wife

9 thoughts on “How to Shop for Lingerie

  1. Anonymous

    For many men who struggle with porn, it would be unwise for them to shop in a lingerie store with all the life size pictures of women in little to nothing. I personally would struggle if my husband were to purchase something from a lingerie store, so we have an agreement that I do the shopping in that area.

    1. J

      Good point. I do think it depends on the store. Our department store doesn’t have photos like that, but specialty lingerie shops certainly do.

  2. IMAN

    Husbands, humble thyself and take your wife shopping for lingerie at least 2 or 3 times a year, on any other day except for VD (or Christmas or her birthday).

    Even if she doesn’t buy anything it can help set the mood for later in the evening.

    If she likes ice cream or coffee, don’t forget a ‘surprise’ stop at her favorite coffee/ice cream shop on the way home. Many a night of passion have I had after a brief grocery trip and an improptu stop at the local donut shop for a cup of joe and few jelly donuts.

    Just like saving money in the bank, you have to make regular deposits into your savings account, over days, weeks and months to see your money grow…… make those small daily, weekly & monthly invetments into your marriage account.

    Have a Happy Valentines Day
    IMAN

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks for taking the mystery out of this lingerie shopping thing.
    Great tips!

    -A happily married guy

  4. Anonymous

    The time my husband asked me Why did I buy that– lingerie only ends up on the floor, I have never purchased another piece. The flimsy fabric just doesn’t hold up my DDD’s so it’s not worth it to try to squeeze my breasts into a neglige that was made for someone with a C cup.

    1. J

      Actually, I have one of those husbands who prefers nude over nightie too. Sometimes I wear sexy lingerie, though, to make myself feel pretty and confident. If it doesn’t matter to you two, save the money. 🙂

  5. Beth

    One of the things I have a hard time with, is knowing where to go to even find good, affordable lingerie. Any suggestions from you ladies?

    1. J Post author

      I’ve bought items everywhere from Wal-Mart to Victoria’s Secret. I tend to suggest mainstream department stores (Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc.) because their selection of items and sizes is typically varied.

  6. Pingback: Valentine’s Day for the Rest of Us | Hot, Holy & Humorous

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