Fashion Dr: Buying her undies

Last updated 05:00 14/11/2012
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PRETTY SMALL: Do your homework before embarking on buying lingerie as a gift.

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I want to buy some sexy lingerie for my girlfriend. I know her size from looking at her current bras and panties. I know that she likes frilly lace. I like the look of corsets, but are they too old-fashioned?

Should I take a risk with the right size? Or go shopping with her so that she can try it on? Shopping for underwear for guys is so much easier; it's either an S, M or L!


Buying underwear for your girlfriend can either be very romantic, or it can go horribly wrong. Let's start with corsets. They are the stuff pornographic dreams are made of, and are rarely worn in real life. Buy her one and it will probably spend its days in a crumpled pile at the back of her undie drawer. Not to mention she could be totally offended by the gesture.

Comfort and support is a hugely important part of bra choices for women, and if she has large breasts then this is especially important. If you think this will be an issue then I suggest you buy her a lovely camisole and matching undies instead or simply get her a voucher to choose a bra herself. While bra sizes do vary slightly between brands, if you know what size she usually wears you should be OK. While you can't generally return underwear, make sure you get a returns card for the bra.

Now you know she likes lace, but what about colour? Unless you're completely adamant it's her cup of tea, don't buy red underwear. Despite what most blokes think, red undies are not always deemed as classy. But if she already has some in her drawer on high rotation then go for it.

Black is the safest option, but if you find a gorgeous shade that you think would suit her perfectly, then by all means branch out.

The other thing to note before you go out spending is whether she's a G or a full brief kind of girl. Also note whether she wears her undies high waisted or low slung around her hips; it'll be safer buying the styles she likes and wears already.

Now for the spend - where to go? Don't buy cheap underwear. Elle McPherson makes gorgeous pieces, and she has two lines depending on your budget. The main line is fashionable and you'll find some great styles there, but the boudoir line is where to look if you want something a bit more special. Think real silk, French lace detailing and often a little bit raunchy.

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If you're really looking to spend, then the creme de la creme of underwear is Agent Provocateur - perhaps the most famous underwear brand in the world. You can't buy it in New Zealand but you can order it online via Net-a-porter. Check the measurements before you buy and be aware they may be in another country's sizing, but they are great with returns if you have a problem. You'll be looking at anywhere from NZ$200 to $800 for a bra, but it'll be well worth it to see her face when she opens the box.

And if you're completely freaking out then get her a voucher and take her shopping to choose some herself. You'll enjoy it as much as she does - promise.


- Wellington


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