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A Man’s Guide to Lingerie

By Elise Solé, Shine Staff

MODEL FAB: Sexy Naomi Cambell VAMPS IT UP For Spring 2012 Fashion (thumbnail)

It came as no surprise that the men Shine asked unanimously agreed that lingerie is a romantic gift for a woman on Valentine’s Day and for the most part women agreed—with some caveats. Buying it for your lady friend on February 14th? Follow these rules.

Put some thought into it: Before stepping foot in a department store, ask yourself three questions: Are we officially dating? Have we slept together? Does she already own lingerie? If the answer to all three is “Yes”, proceed.

Have a plan: “When a man buys lingerie for a woman, what he’s really doing is buying himself a gift so he should at least try to match her style,” says Laura, 34, New York City. Consider what she wears on a daily basis. If she’s a jeans and T-shirt gal, go with cheeky boy shorts and a cami. Does she wear dresses? She’d probably love a silky chemise. Is she body shy? Buy lace, a material that both covers up and exposes. 

Stay classy: “I don’t care so much about brand-names but cheap fabric is harsh and itchy,” says Kate, 33, Stamford, CT. But you don’t need to run to Agent Provocateur. Just make sure you buy garments made with comfortable, airy fabrics such as cotton or silk and has support (underwire). When it comes to bells and whistles—anything sparkly that comes with fur-lined stilettos—the golden rule is: Don’t assume. “However, if you’re going to buy me something trashy, make sure we’ve discussed it beforehand,” says Catherine, 32, Brookline, MA. “I might feel like dressing up but if you surprise me with a French maid outfit, you’ll be sleeping on the couch.”

Do the math: Not knowing her size will have an unfortunate two-pronged effect. You’ll freak out the sales staff by creepily lingering in the underwear aisle and you risk offending your partner by buying the wrong size. “If lingerie is too small or makes me look fat, I won’t even come out of the bathroom to model it for you,” says Liz, 36, Boston, MA.  Sneak a peek in her dresser drawer and write down her sizes. If you don’t have the opportunity, buy in the smallest size they have, then let her decide whether she wants to exchange it. And if you remember anything, let it be this: 36B is the same thing as 34C. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Pamper her: Buying lingerie for a woman will seem a lot more romantic if it’s a luxe experience. One recent study conducted by Cornell University found that people are more satisfied with gifts that offer an experience (weekend getaways, the theater, etc.) than material items. Tell her you want to surprise her, then take her to the store and let her choose her own items. Pay for them, then treat her to a romantic dinner.

The bottom line: Women just want to feel sexy and comfortable in lingerie (and ideally be able to sleep in it) so as long as it makes her feel confident, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. Original Story

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