Richard Bernardin Image by: Richard Bernardin
ELLECanada.com: How do I figure out sizing when trying to buy lingerie for my girlfriend/wife?
Jen Klein:This is a good question! I like to recommend for partners to browse around their ladies underwear drawer and write down a few of her bra and panty sizes-the writing down is very important here. Often women wear the incorrect size so there could be many sizes, bring the range so the sales woman can get an idea of what range the woman is in. A photo of the woman can help if you are shopping at a fitting boutique like Secrets From Your Sister! At our store we keep a record of each woman's purchase and will have her most recent size on file. Don't worry about making the purchase -- what really counts is that you braved the task and showed her no matter what the discomfort for you, she is worth it! We have wish lists at our store for our customers. They can try on and pick what they like and we record the colour, size and model. The partner can then come in and review the pieces and pick what they like. It is a win-win situation this way. We also have gift certificates, but I always feel a gift is a really good idea, women love opening gifts and she can always exchange it if it's not her style!
ELLECanada.com: I know what I'd like to see on my girlfriend/wife, but it may vary from what she likes. How can I find her something that's sexy, and not trashy?
JK: Although Valentine's Day is a couples holiday, it is often a holiday for the woman. If a woman isn't comfortable she will not be confident and therefore won't feel sexy. Your best bet here is to communicate with your woman and share your fantasies. See if she is up to that and then bring her what you would like to see her in. Alternatively, you can both indulge and have a little of both. I find the problem is often in a lack of communication. The girl will most often spend hours decking herself out in what she sees as super sexy. The man, although appreciative, may have a very different idea of what he likes but will be too shy to say anything after knowing what lengths the woman has gone to. I once had a boyfriend who thought my sports briefs were super sexy. As a lingerie store owner I almost passed out with that piece of information. Share your fantasies with each other and share in the fun but compromising. Valentines Day's is just one night, having fun and being open with your partner can last forever!
ELLECanada.com: Is there anything I should be looking out for particularly when buying lingerie for her?
JK: Look for things that you think or know she will feel comfortable in. I cannot say it enough, if a woman is not comfortable she won't feel sexy. If she is self-conscious about her bum, don't buy her a g-string. If she is really busty, don't bring home a chemise or bra that is made for a girl with no bosom!
ELLECanada.com: Are thongs considered a no-no now?
JK: If the woman doesn't wear them, yes for the most part. If she loves thongs then they are an awesome gift! Women always need knickers and if you find her something nice, you'll receive a very happy response!
ELLECanada.com: What about 'novelty pieces' -- Is that going to totally turn her off?
JK: That depends on the woman. If it turned my lover on, I would wear anything for him. I wouldn't recommend coming home with diapers or anything very interesting like that!
ELLECanada.com: Should I look for any particular fabric/design/colours?
JK: Not really, what you can afford will often decide this for you. If she has sensitive skin and can't wear latex, avoid that. If she tends to wear softer things look for something like that, if she wears a lot of lace that's another indication!
ELLECanada.com: Should everything match?
JK: No, it fun to mix and match! Unless she has to match, and then yes!
ELLECanada.com: Beyond bras and panties, what else is out there??
JK: I always say use your imagination! In the lingerie store there are chemises, pj's, gowns and robes. At home there are lots of fun things, trench coats, aprons and plenty of other things to have fun with. You don't have to spend a fortune on this one day of love. What is important is that you are together having fun.