It’s probably a man’s worst nightmare – walking into a lingerie shop or department, rifling through lacy knickers and bras, trying not to make eye contact with any women in the vicinity and not having the slightest clue what to buy.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then don’t worry, help is at hand. All you need to do is follow our advice, do a few checks before you hit the lingerie shop and you’ll be Mr Popular throughout the festive season!

First things first – choose your shop carefully. Your best bet is a specialised lingerie boutique. Here you can be sure that the staff are properly trained and know their product (you’ll more likely than not be talking to the boutique owner) and they’ll be used to dealing with the uninitiated! Lingerie departments in large stores may also be OK, but bear in mind that not all staff may be lingerie trained, especially on popular shopping days like Saturdays when extra staff may be roped in to help out.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – unless you are in the lingerie business yourself (in which case why are you reading this?!) the staff are the best placed to give you the advice you need. Just be prepared to answer some questions about the sort of thing your loved one likes. Most of these will require you to root around in her underwear drawer when she’s not around, but this will really help get to the bottom (excuse the pun) of what is required.

Do your research – the sort of things you’ll need to know are as follows:

  1. What bra size does she wear? – it will be something like 34B, 38FF or 36D. Check the labels on her bras for this, but make sure you only pick favourite items that she wears regularly
  1. What is her dress size? – this will be 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and so on. It’s important when buying briefs or nightwear. “She’s about your size” is not a good answer to this question, so more rooting round in the knicker drawer or wardrobe is required.
  1. Does she prefer wired or non wired? – this relates to the cup of the bra. Have a feel and if the underneath of the cup is material then it’s non wired. If it has a curved metal/ plastic band covered in material at the bottom of the cut then it’s wired.
  1. Does she prefer a moulded or non moulded cup? – in very simple terms this means “Do her bras have padded or see through cups?”. They may have both.
  1. What colours does she like? – Again the answer is in the underwear drawer. As with all of these questions, have in mind the sort of thing she’d wear for special occasions.
  1. What type of brief does she wear? – in very simple terms we’re talking G-string, boxer short shape, “budgie smuggler” swimming trunk style or Bridget Jones? Again there may be more than one – if so, go for the sort she would wear to go out in.
  1. Does she have a favourite brand? – Again you’ll need to look at underwear labels – but if she has particularly expensive taste she’s probably told you, so be alert to any subtle hints…
  1. Is she particularly body conscious about anything? – If your loved one is very self conscious about showing herself off then you might be better buying a pretty nightwear set instead of the bra and briefs option

If all else fails take along some photos or magazine pics – if the above reads like Swahili or you’re really unsure about things then take some pictures of the underwear drawer and her favourite bras and show them to the staff in the shop. If she has been good enough to hint at something in a magazine, then take this (or a photo of it) into the shop too. Just make sure that she doesn’t look at your phone……

And there’s always the Gift Voucher option …..but don’t blame us if you’re accused of being slightly lazy!!

Happy shopping!