Buying Lingerie Without Dying of Embarrassment

January 23, 2010

Panty on foot © Nomadsoul1 | Dreamstime.com

Where to Shop?

First – don’t think you have to go to one of the lingerie stores in the mall. The selection is great, but the potential for embarrassment is high and your wallet will take a beating. Wal-Mart has some very nice looking things, at great prices. You can also check out my shopping links for on-line resources that provide lingerie without porn. Amazon has a wide selection and some great prices, but you are going to see a lot of skin your call.

Buy Something She Will Like

In addition to not embarrassing yourself, you don’t want to offend her with what you buy. Consider what she wears now versus what you would like her to wear, and go for the middle ground. If you’ve never given lingerie before, start with something just a bit racier than what she currently wears. If she only wears white and pastels, something black with red trim is over the top. Try solid dark colours like blue, green, or purple. Solid black and solid red are more sexual, so if she may be nervous avoid these items or put one such item in with several tamer things. A black background with flowers is a good “compromise”. If she doesn’t already own a thong, don’t buy her one!! It’s about where she is now – if all she wears are “granny panties”, a bikini (not even a string bikini) may seem pretty sexual to her. If she has thongs and no-cup bras, you probably can’t shock or offend her.

The Size Variable

Lingerie sizes are a joke – so go armed with some measurements. You want to get her items in which she will be comfortable. You need her waist size, dress size, T-shirt size, and bra size (the number is her chest measurement under her breasts; the letter/cup is how much bigger she is measured around at the fullest part of her breasts – usually at the nipples.)

  • Bras are easy to size, but then you have other options. Again, let her current wear guide you: If none of her bras has an underwire (a stiff insert under each cup), don’t buy a bra that does. If she does not own a push-up bra, don’t get her one. If all her bras have a bit of padding, buy the same unless it going to be bedroom-wear only. Unless she does not own ANY back hook bras, don’t worry about front vs. back (of course front is easier and more fun for you!)
  • The sizes on panties have no correlation to pants, or dress sizes, or any other aspect of reality, and to make it more confusing they vary from one manufacturer to another. Your best bet is to check a pair of her panties (which are not too old and thus stretched out), and “measure” them. Put one side of the waistband on your pointer finger, and gently pull it along your arm, noting how far it goes. Repeat at the store (when you are sure no one is watching). Otherwise, check the size on her panties at home, then try to find the same brand at the store. If you have her actual waist size, a clerk can help – if you are willing to ask for help.
  • OS stands for “one size fits all”. DO NOT BELIEVE IT. If she is over 30, has ever had a baby, or eats normally, forget about OS.
  • Some things, especially looser things like teddies, are small, medium, large, and maybe extra-large. You can probably guess fairly well at this, or go by T-shirt size. When in doubt, get a bigger size. Tight might be a turn on for you, but not fitting into it is likely to make her feel bad.

Day Wear vs. Play Wear

Some women have two kinds of lingerie – what they wear under their clothes, and what they wear in private for their husband. Some items aren’t practical or comfortable for extended wear, so let your wife know you’re fine with her putting them on just so you can take them off.

Want to try something you think she will find “adventurous”? Give the item along with other items that will not push her boundaries and let her know the one item is “for me”.

 

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12 comments
Lovemyman
Lovemyman

I looked through some of your shopping links and I'm wondering if anyone out there has a good resource for some beautiful nightgowns. My husband doesn't necessarily care for lingerie but he loves the understated sexy nightgown. I'd like to pick up some beautiful things to wear to bed. Soft natural fabrics are a must with easy breast access. So nothing grandmotherly and the only other requirement would be maternity sizing. (I'm currently pregnant with our 4th baby) I know it's a tall order but maybe you know of something.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Lovemyman A number of companies now provide or specialise in this. Google "maternity lingerie" and you will get plenty of hits. Most or all will have live models. 

KBH
KBH

Thank you for sharing the links for the Christian places to shop. I think all the lingerie choices and terms can be a bit confusing to a guy so a suggestion for wives who like to buy and wear sexy, fun things for your hubby--narrow down to a couple things you like online but are different styles or color and ask which he likes better-I've learned a few things this way and had fun shopping for us. Once I went shopping for something sexy to wear for my husband when he got home from a work trip and he called while I was at the store-told him what I was up and he was very happy but told me as long as it's not red. Guess what was in my bag already? Ha! For the guys if your wife loves to wear these girly things a fun thing would be to print a homemade gift certificate for one of the linked Christian sites and then "shop" with your her online-tell her what you think she would look beautiful and sexy in and find out what likes. I love to learn my husband's preferences and having him specifically choose a "safe" place to shop would send a huge message of being honored, respected and cherished by him. If your wife has never spent $ on herself in this way and is in the years of taking care of little ones she may need your help in remembering (or learning) she is a sexual being also. Give her permission and encouragement. Baby steps. How about making an appointment at a spa? She can be pampered w a massage- give in a gift bag with a scented candle and a gift certificate to Target or WalMart (Gorman's and TJ Maxx have very nice lingerie for very cheap if they have one in your town. Also note: I would not appreciate, and I'm sure some wives are the same, my hubby going into a mall lingerie store for a gift certificate or shopping bc of the pictures of half dressed women. Same with Amazon. Would ruin it for me.) tell her her next stop is there and she has to spend it on herself buying something from the lingerie department that is not practical and makes her feel beautiful (if she's not used to spending on herself this will be difficult-she may need to replenish her everyday practical undergarments desperately too so maybe enough for a practical bra and a couple of new panties on top of the fun stuff) , tell her you made arrangements for the kids for the night, get carry out from her favorite place and relax together-remember to light the candle! Or start with a lacy trimmed nightie and give her that with the candle and massage oil and you do the pampering at home! If she does wear something a little sexier and new to her, she will be out of her comfort zone so know she is feeling extremely exposed and vulnerable and is doing this for you. make sure she sees the love and appreciation in your eyes and tell her how beautiful she is and how lucky you are! A dozen times and again the next day ;-) Every time she takes another vulnerable baby step for you if you make her feel beautiful and cherished you will help her blossom!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@KBH  I hear you on the gift certificates. One of the bit mall based stores used to have an on-line page for buying gift certificates that was G rated, and I sent people there all the time. Now they have near nudity on the page, and I don't link to it.

stagdoe
stagdoe

@KBH My wife and I went on hanes site once and picked out 2 bras for her. A lot of fun and good to know they'd fit and she'd like the styles.


Kim
Kim

This would be a WONDERFUL article for new or younger brides to read too. I wish I'd known half of this stuff before I went to buy something as a surprise for our first anniversary. I got a very odd look for wearing something that simply didn't fit right.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Jenn - My best guess - and that is all it is - is that sexy lingerie means something to him - something he does not want to associate with his bride. It could be something he saw that shocked him when he was young, or he thinks only immoral women wear such things. Ask him what he thinks of you that you want him to buy such things, or how he feels when you wear them, or how he would feel about himself if he bought such things or wanted to see you in them.

Jenn
Jenn

So what should a wife do when she is the one who wants lingerie, and her hubby is the one who wants "granny panties?" I've been married now for almost 13 years, and I'm in tears as I type this. I was in shock in my (our?) first pregnancy when my hubby said he like the huge pregnancy panties. I HATED them. In fact, after that first pregnancy (where, like most pregnant women I suppose, I bought all the "pregnancy things" that the retailers say you "should"), I never switched undies when I was pregnant. I wear bikinis when I'm not pregnant, and I keep wearing them when pregnant. My hubby was disappointed in the second pregnancy when he found out I wasn't going to buy pregnancy panties. I've bought lingerie over the years trying to find what he likes, and ne never seems particularly interested. I've tried dropping hints that I want my hubby to buy me lingerie. Nothing. So about 9.5 years into our marriage I finally flat out told him that I wanted him to buy me lingerie for Valentine's day. He bought a cotten nighty with soft girlish floral pattern that your grandmother might wear to check her mail. And sizing? Well it fit me LOOSELY 9 months later when I wore it as I labored with our 5th child. I've tried explaining to him that this is important to me. I've tried telling him that I want to know that he enjoys looking at me. I have BEGGED him to ask me to wear lingerie. I've suggested that he just put a piece out in our bathroom in the evening as a cue he wants me to wear it. I've told him "you know, you could just ask me to 'slip into something more comfortable' once in a while." Nothing. How do I get my husband to understand? Otherwise he is a good, generous, and loving husband. But this issue is really hurting me, and hurting us.

Glynn
Glynn

Wow, it really takes a lot to buy one piece of garment (for a guy, that is). I was recently married (2 months) but already had the reputation of buying stuff either not her size or not her style. Studying her just like during courtship sounds fun! Really great tips. Will do that.

Michael
Michael

"Lingerie sizes are really a sick joke." - I LOL'd at this. Thanks for the great post.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Susan - Thanks for the kind words, and I certainly try. BTW, I really enjoy your blog, which I have been following for a good while. Also bought your very pink book, which is excellent.

Susan Kuchinskas
Susan Kuchinskas

This is really great and thoughtful advice. I've received too many uncomfortable and ill-fitting lingerie items. You go way beyond just looking at the size label, which is sooo important. Gee, I bet you're just as careful and thoughtful about other stuff, too ... ; )

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