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3 Kinds of Lingerie You Should Never Buy Online

Red Lingerie

Lately, I’ve been hearing way too much bad news about shady dealers, sham websites, and substandard products. Most of the transactions involving those three “S’s” have been online. The internet is a great resource for buying lingerie, but only if you use it well. Here are the three kinds of lingerie I believe you should never buy online.

1) Your first bra during/after pregnancy or during/after any significant weight change. I personally know several women who’ve insisted on wearing the same bra size after pregnancy that they wore before it. Ladies, your breasts are alive; they change as your body changes. If your body isn’t the same as it was one year ago, your breasts aren’t either. Go get fitted.

2) Your first corset. Sadly, this is the one area where I’m hearing the most bad news. Corsets are wonderful and everybody should own one, but before plunking down your hard earned cash on a fly-by-night website, please, please, please do your research. The LiveJournal group I’ve linked above is an excellent resource. In addition, don’t hesitate to write me at thelingerieaddict@gmail.com. I’d much rather you lose a few minutes on web research than a few hundred dollars to a scam artist.

3) Any final sale merchandise. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as lingerie you’ve purchased before and know you’ll love, but, for the most part, anything that cannot be returned to the store needs to be left at the store. Remember, it’s not a good deal if you never wear it.

Come back next week for Part 2 of this series, “The 3 Kinds of Lingerie You Should Buy Online.” In the meantime, why don’t you share your favorite online lingerie buying tips in the comments section?

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

12 Comments on this post

  1. SugarKitty says:

    If no one bought corsets online, I would be out of business. Not every corset maker is a scam artist.

  2. Alicia says:

    It is important to be properly fit in a bra by a Fine Lingerie Store. It is NOT the size that matters, its the BRAND, first and foremost. Its all about what brand works best for you, just like your favorit pair of jeans or a favorite shirt. You will always be at least 3 different sizes in a bra, but the brand that fits is whats important. Shelf Bras, dont get me started:)! A man named the shelf bra a shelf bra thinking it was meant to hold up your breasts, need I say more?

  3. Treacle says:

    Thanks for your feedback. It's always good to hear from other people about their lingerie buying experiences.

    Please believe me when I say you have standing permission to post anything you like in the commnents section! As someone who buys, sells, and wears lingerie, I can't tell you how much I value your perspective.

    That's really great advice. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. :-)

  4. Treacle says:

    @Tights Lover
    I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this post! When a fellow lingerie addict gives it the seal of approval, I trust I did all right. :-)

    Thanks so much for commenting! Please come back and do so more often. :-)

    I agree. They're a great resource if you're just starting out with corsetry.

  5. MT says:

    @ Vicki…

    Great advice!

  6. vicki says:

    I have some advice to add to this, I hope that's okay?

    First of all, another danger area for online buying – I wrote a blog post quite some time ago because we were experiencing a lot of returns from brides to be buying our corsets to wear as underwear. As the blog post explains, the corsets we sell are not designed to be worn beneath clothes. They are designed to be shown off! The post is here for anyone interested:


    This leads me to my point about underwear to be worn *beneath* your dress. I am talking more about control wear, things that suck you in and push you up etc. Personally I think this kind of underwear is best bought from a physical store where you can try on, preferably under your dress. Buy your stockings, garters, honeymoon and wedding night lingerie online – but for the really important functional stuff that must sit well beneath your dress – I recommend a trip to the shops.

    Regarding buying your first corset, so many of our customers are buying corsets for the first time, and they come back again and again for more. We offer fitting advice and guidance at every stage, and we check all measurements before dispatching the order. Make sure you are buying a real corset (with steel bones and back lacing, made from proper corset fabrics). Alarm bells should sound if the corset seems incredibly cheap (if it seems to good to be true it usually is) and if the sizing is simply S,M,L (real corsets are sized by the waist size, not dress or bra sizes).

    There is a reason good corsets are not cheap, they will last a lifetime if treated properly and really are an investment.

    I'm not sure how it works in the US, but over here in the UK distance selling regulations apply to all items sold, including sale items. So if the website is reputable you still have your statutory right to return any goods within (usually) a 7 day period at least, for a full refund. having said this, not every website operates by the book but most do.

    Wow that was along comment – hope it was of some interest!

  7. doll says:

    I bought my first corset from Axfords over the internet. They wouldn't take my order until I had absolutely confirmed my measurements as they didn't believe them. It is a great little corset and fits perfectly. I think it is possible to buy a forst corset over the internet but you really do have to go to a professional and long standing supplier.

  8. MT says:

    Another great resource online is the Long Island Staylace Association.

  9. Lilee says:

    very true!

  10. Tights Lover says:

    Great idea for a post. As I'm sure you know, it seems like so much of the good lingerie comes from Europe, so it's important to know these things.

    …and I will get a corset one of these days! I know of one reputable shop in my area, so that helps…

  11. Treacle says:

    @Couture Cookie

    I'm the same way. I try and stick to retailers I know and trust. I find that they not only make sure your goods get to you, they'll be honest about your sizing questions and such. After all, it's not in their best interests for you to return merchandise either.

    Next week, I'm going to do a post on the kind of lingerie you should buy online. I'd love to get your feedback on that as well. :-)

  12. Couture Cookie says:

    Greta advice! I am suspicious of buying almost anything except accessories online – hard to know whether the fit will be good or not, and once the item is at your house, it's so much more work to return it.

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