Monthly Archives: February 2013

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

You Would If You Loved Me!

Paul Byerly

What a treat today! One of my favorite marriage bloggers, Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband and The Marriage Bed, is joining us to send his message to us wives from the hubbies.

Most men have figured out that “If you loved me you would” is not a good way to talk their wife into sex, and because of this, they do not say it. However, most men do feel this way. Before you get upset, let me try to explain.

Odds are your husband only wants to have sex with you. I know that is not true for all men, but it is far more common than most women think. He loves you, he chose you to be his wife, and when he did that he understood he was saying yes to you sexually and no to every other woman in the world. He willingly made that choice because you were the woman he most wanted to be with sexually. You were the one pearl of great value for which he gladly gave up all others!

For men sex is a significant expression of love. His having sex with you is saying to you that he loves you and your having sex with him is you saying to him that you love him. Is this really that odd? You are the only person he is sexual with, sex is special, unique, something he shares with you and you alone. Why wouldn’t he see it as a deep expression of love?

Ladies, what speaks love to you? What does he do that makes you feel he loves you? (Or, what does he not do that would speak love to you if he did it?) Now imagine that you knew from experience that if you ask for that thing, you will get it less than half the time — how would you feel?

If this is true of your husband, why does he talk about his needs, and focus on the physical aspects of sex, rather than telling you that sex makes him feel loved? Most men are more aware of their bodies than their “feelings” and far more comfortable talking about their bodies than their feelings. He may not fully understand why being told no makes him feel so bad, and even if he does he may not feel comfortable expressing that, or may not know how to express it. Basically, falling back on the physical is easier and more natural for him.

Sex is intimate and deeply personal and being told “no” hurts in a very personal way. Saying it is not personal does not change that it feels personal.  How you mean it does not change how he hears and feels it.

Am I saying any no hurts? Not unless he is totally selfish. The problem comes when he hears no more often than yes. When no is the most common answer, why you say no eventually stops mattering. Even though some or all of the reasons are very understandable, when they are part of a general pattern he stops hearing much past “no.” I suspect you are much the same — if he repeatedly says no to something, do you really think about the reason(s) he gives? After a while, don’t you assume he just does not care about you enough to say yes to what you want?

If you say no to most of your husband’s requests for sex, you are telling him you do not really love him, or at least that you do not love him enough. That may not be what you want to tell him, but it is probably what he is hearing deep in his heart. Can you imagine what that does to a man? Can you imagine how he will change over time if it goes on? Maybe you can look back and see a gradual shift that is related to this very thing.

If things keep going as they are, will he “get over it”? If by “getting over it” you mean will he accept you are not going to change, then yes, he will. If you mean will he learn to feel  you love him despite saying no to sex most of the time, no, he will not. He will probably learn to change to avoid getting hurt as much, and that might look to you like he has “matured” or “accepted things.” Do not be fooledlearning to live with something that is painful does not mean it no longer hurts.

Have I a put a heavy burden on you here? Have I made you feel horrible? I do not desire to do either of those — my goal is to help you understand that your husband does have feelings, and that you can hurt him deeply. Often saying no to sex will hurt him, and that pain is not because he is selfish or sexually greedy; it hurts because it makes him feel he does not matter to you.

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Paul, and his bride of 28 year Lori, have been writing and teaching about Godly sex and marriage since 1997. They live in Eastern Washington and love SciFi, TexMex and the beach — two of which are not to be found near home.

Websites: The Generous Husband, The Generous Wife, The Marriage Bed, Twitter and Facebook