I imagine that most ladies who set out to buy lingerie for other ladies will have a pretty solid idea of where to start. After all, ladies are likely already familiar with the stuff, since lots of us, you know, wear it. We can probably ask/find out our partner’s size without too much drama. Ladies share things like that, and if you’re shopping for a surprise for your girlfriend/wife, you probably know her taste and bra size, or you could find it out without raising suspicion. So this one is for the dudes who love ladies who love lingerie.
Men, if you want to buy your lady lingerie, and you’re hell-bent on surprising her and giving no hint of what’s in store, let’s talk this through, shall we?
From La Petite Coquette:
IGNORE THIS, YOU MORONS. I’m sorry, you’re not morons, because you’re reading this trying to make sure you get your lady a gift that fits, and that’s really thoughtful and caring of you and really smart. But seriously, this graphic makes me ragey, in part because it assumes you ARE morons. Do you really want to be the grown-ass man slinking into a nice lingerie store, holding out a grapefruit and saying “the boobs, they go like this?” La Petite Coquette is pretty good at fitting, and they have some verrrry sexy high-end lingerie, and they have, well, at least a few (expensive!) full-bust options, but this chart does a disservice to every woman (and man) who walks through their (admittedly gorgeous) doors.
There are so many things that are dreadful about step #4 that I just start blurting out thoughts: Women’s bodies aren’t food. They’re human bodies. The language used to describe the women is cutesy and infantilizing. It assumes that men are hapless imbeciles who can only relate to food. Just identifying a woman by her cup size is reductive, insulting, and inaccurate: a woman is not her boobs, and a cup size is meaningless without a band size attached to it, so even if you guess the fruit right, you’re still flying blind. Fellas, feminist theory aside, this chart will not help you. I promise. Bra fitting is hard enough for women to figure out. A woman who wears a 32D is still a very, very slim woman. You will never guess her size standing in a store holding an orange in your hand, and if you ask a shop assistant or fitter to do it for you, she will laugh, and you do not want to get laughed at in a women’s lingerie store, trust.
Credit where credit is due: I think La Petite Coquette is dead on with step number one. You are presumably buying lingerie for a person you know, shall we say, intimately? Are you in her bedroom? Is she in the shower or drying her hair? Is she out walking the dog or running an errand? Walk over to her drawer, open it up, and quickly jot down the sizes you see on the tags. I’d also recommend snapping a picture on your phone (not creepily, and kindly delete once you’re done please). The tags will give you an idea of her size, and don’t panic if you see they’re not all the same; a good lingerie store will help you figure it out. The picture you snapped will give you an idea of the fabrics, colors, and styles she likes, as well as what kind of accessories she prefers, and if you visit a store in person, the shop assistants will most likely be able to identify the brands and styles and suggest similar options.
What are you hoping to accomplish with this gift of lingerie? I ASSUME, since you’re a handsome, intelligent, grown-ass man, that you’re hoping to buy her a present that makes her feel beautiful and sexy and fabulous. I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you’re not buying her a gift of lingerie solely for your own pleasure. Unless she has specifically said to you “I’m really interested in trying a latex bodysuit” or “Fishnet bodystockings are where it’s at”, I strongly recommend taking your cue from the styles she already wears. Purchasing something that deviates wildly from her current lingerie wardrobe without any provocation or prior discussion could make her feel uncomfortable, pressured, and unlovely, like what she’s currently wearing isn’t good enough for you. It’s absolutely okay to like the way your lady looks in lingerie. It’s absolutely NOT okay to demand that she change her style completely to suit your tastes.
Along those lines, I also agree with La Petite Coquette’s “beware the back of the drawer” warning. The stuff on top of the drawer or the stuff dangling on her drying rack is where it’s at: she wears it the most because she likes it the most. The only exception is if the back of the drawer contains her sexy special times underwear, in which case you’ll just have to call it like you see it. If you feel uncertain about buying the correct size despite your preparations, ask the store or retailer about their return/exchange policy. Ask about gift cards. Look into luxuries that don’t have to involve cup sizes: tap pants, silk pajamas, marabou slippers, elegant stockings, and slinky chemises are all wonderfully sexy surprises that will get plenty of use. If you think she might like something that she currently doesn’t own, but you’re not sure what it’s called, take a look at the Lingerie Dictionary and find out!
My last suggestion is to Look At Her and Listen To Her. How does she talk about her body and her boobs around her friends? Around you? When she’s getting ready in the morning, does she get fully dressed immediately, or does she primp in her delicates? When she looks at herself in the mirror, how does her posture change? Does she fidget with or adjust anything? Does she say she wishes her boobs were bigger/smaller/perkier? Do you catch her safety-pinning her blouses closed? Does she smile when she sees herself in the mirror? Does her wardrobe reflect a distinct personal style? You certainly don’t have to answer all of these questions. I don’t think I could answer them about myself, come to think of it. But it may help you when you’re in the lingerie shop, and it may suggest ideas beyond “Girlfriend/Wife, you’re beautiful, and I got you beautiful underwear.” If her personal style says “vintage” or “romantic”, but she’s dashing into her clothes, might she like a long and flowing peignoir to wrap herself in while she’s doing her makeup, or an old-fashioned atomizer filled with her favorite perfume? If she’s futzing with her clothes, might she like some new wardrobe items that make her feel comfortable and beautiful more than new underwear? If she seems dissatisfied with or uninterested in lingerie, or self-conscious about her breasts, might she enjoy a scheduled fitting and mini-shopping spree, courtesy of you? I hope your lady knows and believes she’s sexy, but if there are any indications that she doesn’t, you might wind up giving her a gift that is more than something soft and silky. You might be able help her turn some of the love you feel for her into love she feels for herself.