THE NAKED TRUTH
How to buy lingerie for the woman in your life
By Nicole Reino
Copley News Service
Some years back, Mike Pazder walked into a Victoria's Secret by himself - with little lingerie know-how - in search of something, anything.
"I didn't know how this whole operation worked," the 29-year-old lawyer from San Diego said. "I didn't know if I was supposed to touch anything or just keep my hands to myself."
A saleswoman sensed his unease around all the lacy, silky fabrics with strappy things, hooks and lace, and helped him out.
"It wasn't exactly the most comfortable conversation when we were trying to figure out what size to get and I had to compare my girlfriend's body to hers," Pazder said. "But aside from that, there is no question that the best advice is to immediately go up to a saleswoman when you go in the store and ask for help rather than wandering around aimlessly looking and feeling like a big pervert."
Point noted and taken: Men, get help.
Nobody expects you to be an expert in lingerie. Turn to those who have the knowledge before buying her unmentionables for any special occasion.
Laurie Thomas, owner of San Diego lingerie shop The Enchantress, shares a few tips that may make your life a lot easier:
- Know her style: If your girlfriend or wife wears lacy, skimpy thongs every day, don't buy her cotton granny panties. If she's a bit more conservative, you might not want to get her an ensemble you'd likely see on an adult film star. That said, read on.
- Don't be afraid to be a little adventurous: Let's say white cotton bras are her staples, however, you know she'd like to wear something a bit sexier - like a silk corset or baby doll - for special occasions. Go ahead and get her that fancy, unexpected piece of lingerie. If you really want to take it up a notch, buy it in fire engine red or a deep purple.
- Find out her size(s): Snoop through her lingerie drawer and take note of the size or, in many cases, sizes. Some women wear multiple sizes, depending on the brand and style. Your best bet is to buy whatever size you see the most of in her drawer.
- Go smaller with panties; larger with bras: If you weren't able to find out what size she wears, remember that rule of thumb and you'll stay out of the doghouse. No woman wants a gift that implies you think she has a big rear and small breasts.
- When in doubt, buy panties: There's no such thing as "too many." Women can always use another pair.
- Don't fret, shop online: If just the mere thought of walking into a department store's lingerie section or a boutique like Frederick's of Hollywood or Victoria's Secret makes you feel like you're on the verge of an anxiety attack, then don't even think about it, let alone force yourself to go inside! Browse stores online in the privacy of your home.
- If you're ready to completely surrender, buy her a gift card: Unless your girlfriend or wife is anti-gift card, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving her one to her favorite lingerie shop.
LINGERIE LINGO: WORDS TO SHOP BY
Baby doll: Flowing top, goes with a matching panty.
Bikini cut: Underwear briefs fitted low on hips or below.
Camisole: Sleeveless, tight-fitting garment made of silk, satin or stretch material, worn with or without a bra.
Cheeky: Panty revealing part of lower behind.
Corset: Molds and shapes torso.
Demi: Cutaway bra covering lower part of breasts.
Peignoir: Long outer garment usually sold with matching nightgown.
Push-up: Bras designed to enhance cleavage.
G-string: Type of thong with "string" of material between legs and buttocks.
Teddy: Combines camisole and panty in one piece.
Thong: Underwear made of thin strip of material along center of garment's rear.
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