The feeling for most gentlemen when entering a lingerie boutique is one of sheer terror. By following some simple guidelines and with some open communication, it will be everything but.
Hold Your Head High
Have some confidence when you walk in the door. Sales clerks are there to help, not hinder, your quest for the perfect gift. Your conversation with them will involve talking about breasts and details of your better half’s body; they shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable at all. If you already have a basic idea of what you are looking for, a sales clerk should be able to successfully help you find it.
Also remember that lingerie boutiques are a woman’s world — there will probably be other ladies there shopping for themselves; don’t let that intimidate you, but also be considerate of them.
Come Prepared for Size
Do a little reconnaissance work before you head out. If you are able, look through her existing lingerie drawer. Check the sizes and colors of what is in front — that’s what she actually wears. If it’s in the back of the drawer, she probably doesn’t like it or it is uncomfortable or it doesn’t fit. If you can’t do that, then try the closet.
If you have a dress or pant size, a good sales clerk can translate that into an appropriate size for you to purchase. If you can’t get any sizes from her wardrobe, it is ok to compare her to the girl helping you: Is she taller? Is she bustier? Is she thinner? The sales clerk knows what size she is, and honest comparisons can help.
If you have no way of figuring out a size, then opt for items that are not size specific. Cosabella makes a wonderful lace thong in their Never Say Never collection which is a one-size-fits-most — grab a few pairs of those.
Stick to a Budget
Yes, lingerie can be pricey; since it lays closest to the skin, fine fabrics are a must. Silks cost more than polyester, but it has to be comfortable for her to wear and for you both to enjoy. Cottons are generally a more affordable route and also tend to be more casual.
If you have a smaller budget, then think outside the box, too. Try a luxurious silk eye mask from Mary Green — they don’t have to just be for sleeping!
Know Her Style
I’m not saying you have to know exactly what she likes, but at least have a general idea. Does she like pastels or neon? How about neutrals or darks? Is she more sporty or sexy? These basics will help in picking the right gift. You wouldn’t want her to open your gift and have it be her least favorite color!
If she tends to wear more form-fitting clothes, then a slinky camisole or chemise might be what she would like. If you see her in baggy sweaters, then treat her to soft and supple pajamas. Even a robe is a wonderful piece of luxury to gift; look for details like attached belts and pockets. You want your gift to make her feel comfortable and confident, not out of place.
Shopping for intimates certainly does not have to be intimidating. Ladies, you can help with this endeavor, too. Visit your local lingerie boutique together first, show your guy what you like, even start a wish list if you can! If they provide bra fittings, get fitted; any boutique worth its weight will keep record of all your sizes.
Above all, have fun! Enjoy the experience and if all else fails… get a gift certificate!
All photos are courtesy of the author.