BY LISA GONZALES
Men want to buy lingerie for the women in their lives. That said there is a growing need for information to help men choose the right lingerie for their wives and girlfriends, as often the purchase is a gift for a special occasion. Special occasions like a honeymoon, anniversary or vacation are a great reason to buy and wear lingerie. Relationships today are perhaps no more complicated than in the past, but it is clear that lingerie is growing in popularity due to a number of factors. Special occasions can be a loved one returning from a tour of duty or a weekend getaway. Regardless of the reason for buying lingerie, both men and women are often disappointed, as the lingerie is not appropriate for the woman who has to wear it, or worst of all, it doesn't even fit. Unlike flowers, jewelry or dinner and a movie, lingerie needs to fit, and if it doesn't, the effect on the evening can be dramatic.
As women express themselves in the clothing they wear, lingerie is a major apparel line that women wear in intimate settings as well as increasingly as outerwear. Men are often shy to enter our lingerie retail store. Grown men are reduced to babbling and stuttering when faced with the prospect of talking to another woman about their wives or girlfriends undergarments. I see it time and again where a man comes in to buy lingerie and is visibly nervous. Enthused about the idea of buying his wife or girlfriend lingerie, he comes face to face with a woman who is asking him questions he is often ill prepared to answer.
While buying lingerie over the web is a lot easier for men due to the anonymity factor, the problems of buying the right lingerie for the woman who has to wear it, and getting the sizes right still remain. Most women love lingerie, but many do not relish the thought of having to wear what their husband or boyfriend chooses. When women return the lingerie they often admit it was the wrong size or their husband must have bought it for themselves as the woman would have never purchased the garment. Men need some assistance in how to buy the right lingerie for the woman and occasion. It is understandable that many men love to see women in lingerie, but they need to focus on the woman they are buying it for, and how it will look on her, as well as how it makes her feel.
Men know what they like, but that doesn't always translate to the women in their lives. Many men make the decision of what their wife or girlfriend will look great in is as a result of of television programs or movies. While there is nothing wrong with that, it may not result in the woman in his life being happy with the choice. Men need to think before they buy lingerie for the special woman in their lives. Many men enter our store and complain that their wives or girlfriends don't wear the lingerie they buy them. This is due at least in part to the possibility the lingerie was bought to fulfill a man's fantasy without consideration of the woman who has to wear the outfit. A real girl who may have some concerns about such things as modesty or her body image Does that mean men are inconsiderate when purchasing lingerie? Yes, sometimes they are as they often buy what they like, ignoring what the woman may like or want to wear. Lingerie, unlike outerwear does little to nothing to conceal body imperfections, real or imagined, and little wonder a woman refuses to wear something that makes her look or feel bad about herself.
Buying a woman lingerie is not unlike purchasing any gift. Giving some thought to the purchase before the fact will improve the chance that the lingerie is worn and appreciated. Whenever buying another person a gift one should consider a couple of factors. Consider exactly who it is you are buying this gift for. Is the gift for her, or is is for me? A good gift is one that takes the recipient into consideration, not just what you may like. But it is not just taking her feelings into consideration, but knowing her personal taste and attributes as well as her height, weight or favorite colors may be the beginnings of a gift that is not worn or appreciated. Is it true that it is the thought that counts? Of course not! If there was no or very little thought put into the purchase of lingerie, then perhaps it is the thought that counts, and in fact counts for very little. The thought of giving a woman an intimate gift of lingerie that exposes her body and it is the wrong size, too revealing for the womans sense of modesty, or the wrong color can be insulting.
This article is really just a couple of suggestions that should help men choose lingerie appropriate for the occasion, and most importantly the woman who will wear the lingerie. So let's get started. First are the feelings of the woman! Never lose sight of the fact that you are buying lingerie for a living, breathing, thinking person. It is not like buying a toothbrush, or even a sweater. Lingerie comes with an emotional charge. That is one reason many men buy lingerie. That emotional charge can be great, and it can be the basis of disappointment. Unlike other gifts, lingerie may be the most intimate gift one can buy for a woman. It is, after all intimate apparel, reserved only for the special person in her life. Also, it exposes some potential flaws, real or otherwise that she likely doesn't like to advertise to anyone, especially the man in her life.
Second think about her about her likes and dislikes in clothing, comments she may have made about various fashion styles, celebrities, and her comfort level when it comes to lingerie. Whew! If this sound a little like a primer on relationships, it is and it isn't. The truth is buying lingerie does require knowing something about the recipient. Does this mean that you shouldn't buy lingerie for someone you don't know a lot about? Yes! As a general rule there are those you buy lingerie for, and those you don't. Don't buy lingerie for someone you don't know well, and that includes your wife or girlfriend. Learn who she is first, and the rest is relatively easy. How long does it take to learn what she likes? An hour or more should do it.
Comfort level is important as everyone has a different tolerance for things. Tread gently my friend. Lingerie should not become a test of your and her political will. Understand her comfort zone, and go beyond it at some risk. The point here is to stretch her comfort zone, but any attempt to violate it will likely do more harm than good. Ask yourself does she like it when you suggest new things, or is she more likely to prefer her own tastes? Does she like the assertive lead taker, or is she happy making all her own decisions? Regardless of the answers, know your wife or girlfriend, her personality as well as her stated limits.
Is it all that difficult? No, not really. Most men know that their wives or girlfriends enjoy the theatre or movies, staying at home or partying until the police arrive, or skirts and heels versus sweats and flip flops. So don't turn it into rocket science. If you don't know the womans likes and dislikes, ask! Ask her if she would wear the outfit you are looking at in the catalog. What does she think about wearing a thong, or a mini skirt or whatever? Whatever the answer is, you accomplish at least two things. One you learn what she likes, the other is you learn what she dislikes.
Step three is what I call- fact finding. Get the information and gather the clues. When she steps in the shower, or when she leaves to go to the store check out her panty drawer. Check out her clothing, preferably lingerie, panties and bras to get the following information. Bra size, panty size, color preferences, style preferences, size of her jeans, skirts, blouses and yes, even her shoes. Somehow get her weight, or at least an educated guess. Every man should have a list of all his partners sizes, preferences on his person at all times.
It takes ten minutes of your time, and should be updated from time to time to take into account weight loss, or gain, changes in comfort zones, if any and color preferences! Don't forget shoes, as a gift of shoes could make you the king of her kingdom. Buying shoes for a woman is not easy as styles change often, women have specific preferences based upon the season, the occasion, their unique likes and dislikes and other factors unique to her. If you can master buying shoes for the woman in your life, then you have arrived! Let's start with something a lot easier. Lingerie!
Now that you have an idea about her comfort zone, as well as her sizes you are onto step four, what I like to call surveying the landscape. You have a general idea what she likes; you know what she can fit into, now you need to know what is available in the marketplace. This will take a little longer than steps one, two and three as they are easy while step four requires a survey of the internet, and perhaps a visit to a local store.
The beauty of the internet shopping is offset slightly by the disadvantage of being unable to try items on. This can be a substantial disadvantage in some cases. I suggest you shop online but beware of a couple of things. Check out their return policy and call them if you have any questions about what can be returned. Second understand your sizing as lingerie does not generally follow conventional sizing due to the nature of the lingerie, as well as deviations in products made overseas. Finally, remember that the model wearing the outfit on the internet is likely 10-25 pounds lighter in real life, is 5'4" tall before she puts on the 5 inch platforms and the garment has been pinned, tucked and perhaps altered to fit her body like a second skin. She is a model, after all. Even if your girlfriend is a model, or ought to be, the garment will likely fit differently.
The benefits of internet purchases are generally selection, as few boutiques in your hometown will carry the styles, colors and brands available on line. Next, the cost of items online is generally much lower than in retail stores. Finally is the anonymity of buying lingerie from your home is far different from driving down to your local neighborhood lingerie boutique store and negotiating women's undergarments.
When you sit down to look at lingerie online, use your save a favorite function liberally. Why? Because you are going to need to sit down with your girl to refine the search, and perhaps make a purchase or two. What should you look for when you are searching alone? Here is where the information you have previously gathered comes into play. What is your woman's favorite feature? Her legs, tummy or her feet? This is where you start. Does she have a nice tummy with a sexy belly button ring? Then a baby doll that shows off her stomach will likely make a good fit. Does she have legs from the floor to the ceiling that drive men wild? Then a lingerie set with stockings, garter belt and a matching bra may be just the ticket.
What doesn't work? Stay away from missy sizes if she is tall, or over 160-165 pounds. If she is long waisted ignore the teddies and body stockings. Does she have very slender legs, stay away from hosiery. Does she have a large derriere? Stay clear of one size fits most.
Colors to avoid! All colors she doesn't like as well as prints and designs that are risky as they may just not be to her liking. Colors that are safe- black, white, perhaps red. Don't venture too far here, unless you think she will like the color, and it is compatible with her own skin tones. Color and style are risky by their very nature. You can experiment with hot pink, fuchsia and other hot colors as these garments are hot by their nature. While she may not have hot pink as a favorite color, a lot of lingerie is made in hot colors for dancers and bedroom attire.
If she is a plus size woman the news is good as more and more manufacturers are making sexy lingerie for curvy girls. But be sure you understand plus size sizing. Many women don't understand it because plus size lingerie is sold often in extra large, 1x through 6x. Be absolutely certain before ordering, or ask the online customer's service representative exactly what sizes will fit your ladies curves. Be prepared to give the height, weight, bra size, waist size in order to size her lingerie correctly. Be careful when buying plus size lingerie that is offered as one size fits most-plus. This is a bit of a risk as a 1x is obviously not the same as a 3x. The manufacturers do this to make the garment less expensive, not to make it easier for you to buy it. The same applies to misses' lingerie sold as one size fits most-misses.
Caution: One size fits most is not one size fits all. In the past manufacturers labeled these items one size fits all. Through bad experience, the labels have been changed to read one size fits most, but many people assume that it means fits all. It doesn't! Typically, but not always one size fits most means up to 5'6" and up to 145 pounds. The one size fits most is very confusing to most buyers, and must have a substantial spandex content to fit.
When ordering online the word to the wise is: Order from a website that has a toll free number with a live person to speak to. Second order from a site that carries inventory. The vast majority of sites are bedroom enterprises that carry little or no inventory. Third beware of sites that are drop shippers only. While drop shipping is perfectly good, and larger sites utilize some component of drop shipping, drop ship only sites rarely have good product knowledge as they may only ship from one manufacturer, and since they carry no stock cannot develop product knowledge when they do not have inventory to actually pull the product and respond to specific inquiries. Often the only option they have is to call the manufacturer. Third ascertain how long they have been in business on line. Do they have a retail store. What is their Google page rank? Don't be afraid to ask as reputable businesses are proud to answer those questions.