Tla Logo

Enter your email address for a sample chapter of my new book,
In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie

We promise to never send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Available Now!

A comprehensive and accessible illustrated guide to lingerie from intimates expert Cora Harrington, founder of The Lingerie Addict, the internet’s top intimate apparel blog.

Order Your Copy Today!

In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie is available now! Click here for more info!

How to Buy Lingerie for Your Partner

Today's guest post is by Annmarie, one of our longtime and most passionate readers (you've probably seen her comments on several blog posts). She identifies as bi-gender, which enables her to appreciate lingerie from different perspectives, and she's here to share her top tips for lingerie shopping with your partner with TLA readers.

La Perla

A few weeks ago, Treacle tackled the issue of “why can’t women just buy lingerie for themselves,” quoting several article titles which associated lingerie exclusively with “bedroom lingerie.” Also mentioned in the article, and unfortunately proved by quite a few of the respondents, is that many partners don’t really care for, let alone have any appreciation for lingerie.

But sometimes it's the other way around. A person, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, might want to encourage their own lingerie-deprived partner to appreciate herself. But they’re not really sure how to start the “lingerie conversation” and they may be a little worried that their attempts come across as too crude or cheap or sexist or whatever. So if you’d like to get lingerie for your partner (whether it's for a special occasion, upcoming holidays, or just because) yet you're a little worried about how it will be received and understood, this article has a few things you may want to consider. And as someone who feels extremely lucky to be on both ends of giving and receiving lingerie, here are some tips I came up with over the years:

  1. I hope you already show your appreciation for your lover in all aspects of your life, as you really should! If you don't, getting lingerie out of the blue may seem awkward and disconnected.
  2. Never --- in fact EVER! --- initiate this lingerie conversation by getting your partner cheap, trashy, itchy, poorly made, ill-fitting lingerie of some sort. Aside from just being cheap, it may also come across as disrespectful.
  3. For that first piece of lingerie, think of getting something that is likely to make HER life better, not necessarily yours. In my experience lingerie daywear of some sort is a great start. Think of a beautiful, comfortable bra with or without matching knickers, a pretty slip or camisole, or just a gift card while assuring her it is all about her.
    Showing your lover you view lingerie first and foremost as something for her own convenience and style is likely to boost her “lingerie confidence” and make her venture into trying new items.
  4. After you’ve successfully done steps 1 through 3 and you think it's time for “bedroom lingerie,” you want to once again show your appreciation. Something like a lovely silk chemise or a nightgown, accompanied with a matching robe, is a good way to do just that. The most important thing is choosing an item based on what you two are comfortable with... though I would suggest delaying getting the lace teddy and stockings to some other point down the road. After all, patience and trust will provide plenty of opportunities for more "boudoir" items in the future.
  5. After establishing some “lingerie trust” and figuring out what styles you both like, make a plan to go lingerie shopping together. Choose a store you both like and feel comfortable shopping in, be that a small lingerie boutique or a department store. This is also a great way to make an intimate, fun date by combining it with dinner or drinks before and/or after, discuss the different styles on the spot, maybe even include a sneak preview in the dressing room.

Most of all, remember these four words: trust, intimacy, empowerment, and beauty. After all, that's what lingerie is all about!

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.

14 Comments on this post

  1. Jack says:

    My Wife and i are in our 60’s, she has been a Tomboy all her life, i am at the point in my life where i love this Sexy lingerie, she could care less. Any suggestions how i could introduce her to this new life style, she is still sexy to me but i need a BOOST at this age.
    Thank You

    • Annmarie says:

      Not sure what you mean by this “sexy lingerie life style”. I view lingerie as part of a dressing style that can add another dimension to a relationship, but not as a “life style” on its own.

      In any case, this article is really for you and you should follow the comment left by Thursday right above yours. I think it’s a pretty good summary of what I attempted to convey, and is also a great way to start this “conversation”.
      Good luck to you and the wife.

    • Thursday says:

      Hi Jack,

      I agree with Annmarie, that the best place to start is by having the conversation with your wife about what you’d like to share with her. You say she is a tomboy and doesn’t care for the “sexy style”, but it’s important that she knows you find her sexy no matter what her taste in underwear. Maybe try starting the conversation by telling your wife how sexy she is already, and that you’ve been thinking about how lovely she’d look in a specific item you’ve seen – something not too far from her own taste, but a little bit special – and that you’d love her to feel as sexy as you think she is. Annmarie’s tip #3 is another great one – perhaps buy your wife a nice new piece of lingerie that is very similar to what she already wears, but a bit special – maybe a more luxurious fibre than usual or a colour that looks really great on her.

      Once you start the conversation you can see if she’d like to try some new things with you. I hope you succeed in making her feel loved and desired, as she should be!

  2. Thursday says:

    I think there are some great principles to start with here – especially that you should buy lingerie for your lover that makes her feel great.

  3. Good words as a man I have written this down as a guide from the woman’s cave:)

  4. HOnathan Dewey says:

    Wonderful article well done

  5. akhMSW says:

    I feel like this is a great start… but I wish that there was a little more of the actual “how-to” for a partner!

    I sometimes find trying to explain sizing of garments, or material choice, or why one would want x vs y piece of lingerie to my partner is a struggle. I was hoping this would be the reference that I could point my partner to for questions like: Where can they go for advice? Who makes good ___ for my partner’s size/dimensions/style? What the heck is charmeuse anyway?

    I absolutely agree- all of the above boxes must be ticked for a lingerie gift to not feel like a request for sexy-role play purely for partner’s benefit (which, while it has it’s time and place, isn’t the only reason why we’re here, obviously). That being said, any follow up tips on getting well intentioned loved-ones to the part where, once they’ve mastered the [respectful, loving] approach, now how to go about acquiring the goods?

    • annmarie says:

      The issues mentioned in your comment are very important indeed, and I wish I could discuss them all in the limited space I had. Knowing the wholesome approach to lingerie that this blog takes there may even be a previous post here that addresses your concerns.

      Treacle- can you point us in the right direction?

    • annmarie says:

      On a second thought… It’s possible that the wide range of lingerie-related topics you’ve mentioned cannot be all addressed in one blog article. I would suggest looking for a short book of some sort that will lead the reader through “Lingerie 101”.
      This is not an endorsement as I’m sure there are lots of great lingerie intro books out there, but the only one I’ve ever read in this category is “The Lingerie Handbook” by Rebecca Apsen. It may not be much news for those who are already familiar with the different styles and terminology, but is certainly valuable for newcomers and those who want to learn more about the subject.

  6. Gaby says:

    This is a fantastic article, and raises so many excellent points – I will definitely be sharing on the Hopeless fan page!

    The only thing I wanted to mention was Point 3 – as a bigger busted girl I would prefer to receive bottoms/panties rather than a bra as a first gift. Bra shopping is a frustrating experience for me – and it’s only been from years of experience that I know which brands work for me. If your partner has a bigger bust – or her bras are not all the same size – I would really make knickers the first gift! Then the bra to come later after the lingerie trust has been established.

    • annmarie says:

      So glad you liked this. I agree with your comment that getting bra as a gift can be a tricky one. My idea was to illustrate the importance of getting a lingerie present for your lover that will mean more for them than it may for you. One can assume that a lingerie gift of some sort can always be exchanged or refunded for a different purchase.

  7. Great post, Annmarie! I love how you break down the emotions that go with the lingerie gift giving– it’s so important that the gift communicates something about your relationship and you want it to be the right thing!

    • annmarie says:

      Thanks for your comments. Despite being a certified organic lingerie addict I still think lingerie is only part of the relationship. And when handled right can be a very intimate and beautiful one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *