While lingerie is a gift that many women would love to receive from their other half
at Christmas, choosing it can often be a minefield.
From getting the size wrong to buying something too racy when she wants something
practical, picking up the perfect undies can be fraught with difficulty.
Here FEMAIL has asked leading lingerie experts for their top tips to give the men of
Britain advice on how to choose the perfect lingerie for your lady this Christmas.
While many women would be happy to find lingerie underneath the tree, most men are
at a loss when it comes to buying the right under garments. Lingerie experts from
Tezenis, which Rita Ora is modelling above, and other stores offer their advice
BE TASTE SENSITIVE
Emma Parker, founder of British lingerie brand Playful Promises, commented that it’s
important men don’t just think of themselves when they buy lingerie as a gift.
‘If you are not sure, you can research all the different styles very easily online.
Don’t be baffled by the many knicker styles either – but do look at her favourite
style and follow suit.
‘So if she likes a thong, short style knickers or a classic lace knicker, then
choose this style to match her bra style.’
Also, be circumspect about buying something just because you see it being modelled
by a celebrity.
‘Every woman loves the sensual feel of silk’, said Soozie, adding that if you’re
nervous about choosing bras or bustiers the solution could be to buy a silk wrap,
chemise, a night dress or pyjamas set instead.
KNOW HER SIZE
It’s an obvious one, but complicated lingerie sizing goes over most men’s heads –
and this isn’t helped by the fact one woman may be multiple sizes in different shops
Debbie Duckett, buying director at Boux Avenue, said: ‘If you get it wrong it may
not go down too well, so don’t try to guess.’
‘Give yourself a head start and take a peek in her lingerie drawer. Check the size
tags on her favourite styles. Make sure you note down both the back band and cup
size i.e. 32 C.
‘Whilst you’re at it, check her knicker size as well – us ladies like a set!’
Emily Bendell, CEO of Bluebella Lingerie, agrees that some sleuthing is probably the
easiest way to find out your partner’s size.
PAY ATTENTION TO COLOUR
‘When picking the perfect colour, always consider two things; her favourite shades,
and the type of gift you want to buy her,’ Boux Avenue’s Debbie Duckett recommends.
‘Say “seduction” with bold shades of red, black and purple in luxurious satin and
lace fabrics. Alternatively indulge her sweeter side with romantic colours like
cream, grey and pink with feminine florals and flirty little frills.’
Emma of Playful Promises encourages partners to pay close attention to the colours
their partner normally tends to feel sexy in.
You can get this right by looking at the colour lingerie your partner normally wears
on special occasions.
‘Then choose something that complements this, whether it be a floaty sensual chemise
in a soft pastel colour or thigh high stockings and a garter belt in bold black,’
‘It is often the stereotype that sexy lingerie is red and racy but actually most
people would agree women are at their sexiest when at their most confident, and by
choosing something that appeals to your partner’s taste means she will exude
confidence when she wears it.’
SHAPE IS VERY IMPORTANT
Colour and size are not the only considerations when deciding what will suit your
Shape is also important when weighing up what will flatter your other half’s figure,
as well as know what parts of their body they love to accentuate, and other parts
they aren’t so keen to put on show.
‘If she’s smaller on the bust and is happy with her size, opt for a delicate lace
plunge style; if she’s after a little bit more on the bust, go for a padded plunge
bra,’ Debbie Duckett advised.
Similarly for bottoms it is important to note what style your partner likes to wear.
Petite types can favour thongs as they accentuate curves, while pear-shapes might
FOR MATERNITY OR MASTECTOMY
Shopping for maternity or mastectomy bras will take an extra bit of specialised
knowledge. Luckily Jemma Barnes, the UK Manager of Anita, is an expert in the field.
Jemma has been working in the lingerie industry for more than 20 years and is a
trained fitter for all types of bras and lingerie including mastectomy and
maternity. She says neither are reasons not to treat your partner with lingerie.
‘Maternity lingerie is harder to buy as the breasts are changing weight and size
with the effect of hormones and so really products do need to be tried on,’ she
Jemma advises men buying maternity bras to know their partner’s breast size up to
the point when they want the bra – which would mean finding out and buying the bra
pretty close to Christmas Day.
MAKE IT SPECIAL
Stephen Morrow of Maison Lejay said that it is important when buying Christmas
lingerie to make sure the gift is special, not just something she could pick up
herself while doing the weekly food shop.
He said: ‘Designer lingerie is a treat as most women don’t necessarily spend that
much when buying underwear for themselves so why not splurge on a cute baby doll
teamed with some pretty briefs?
‘Making an adventurous choice can make the gift more memorable and special.’
SALES ASSISTANTS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
What’s more, if you find yourself helpless wandering the lingerie department feeling
a medley of confusion and despair, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Stephen said: ‘Whether you’re buying in a shop or online, do get advice from the
‘Most retailers enjoy helping out their male customers so don’t feel embarrassed:
they are there to help you pick the perfect gift.
‘And don’t forget to opt for the gift wrapping stunning packaging is essential and
you won’t have the chore of making it look beautiful either.’