How to buy lingerie for a partner

How to buy lingerie for a partner

Thinking about buying some intimate underclothes for someone special? Here are some tips to keep in mind!

Consider letting them pick their own gift. Sure, surprising someone is fun – but with sensitive items like lingerie or sex toys, about which many people have their own strong opinions and preferences, it may be best to either buy your sweetheart a gift card or bring them along on a shopping trip. However, if you’re dead-set on surprising them with a sensual gift, read on for more advice…

Find out if they’re even interested in lingerie. You could try asking them “What do you think of that [bra/bustier/corset/etc.]?” when fancy undergarments show up in a show or movie you’re watching together, or mention an article you saw about lingerie (like this one!) and ask them if they’ve ever considered wearing any. Get the conversation started and see whether the thought of luxe underthings lights them up, bores them, or something else entirely.

Take note of their aesthetic. Are they more of a “leather and latex” person, or a “lace and pearls” person? Do they like bold, bright colors, or gentle pastels? What fashion designers do they admire (if any)? What parts of their body do they like to highlight when they dress sexy? Observe all of these things before making any purchases – and remember that some people’s sexual persona (especially kinky people) may be pretty different from how they act and dress “in real life.”

Find out their sizes. This is one of the trickiest parts of the process to do in secret, but it can definitely be done. Take a look at the size tags on garments your partner wears often and seems to feel good in. For extra specificity, you could always ask if you can take their measurements with a tape measure “for future reference.” (You’ll need to do this anyway if the garments you’re buying are made-to-order.) Hold onto those numbers – you never know when you might need them again!

Get them something they’d like, not just something you like. (Unless they’re into being objectified or “used” for your pleasure in a kinky way, that is!) Lingerie has a reputation as being the sort of gift that is more for the giver’s benefit than the receiver’s – but that doesn’t have to be the case. Maybe your partner would prefer comfy cotton skivvies over itchy lacy ones; maybe they hate wearing a bra, even one that matches their panties; maybe they go commando every day! If certain types of lingerie are incompatible with their lifestyle, think long and hard about what you could get them that they would actually appreciate and wear.

Make them feel great about their new lingerie. Once you’ve given it to them, don’t pressure them to wear it more than they want to. If there’s a sizing issue, look into returns, exchanges, and/or tailoring, so your lover can feel their absolute best in the gift you chose for them. Tell them exactly how hot they look in their new garment(s), especially if they’re shy and/or they don’t wear lingerie very often. The better they feel in their skimpy new duds, the more often they’re likely to wear them – and that’s good news for you!

What tips and techniques have you found helpful when purchasing lingerie in the past?

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Kate Sloan is a journalist, blogger, podcaster, and educator who has been writing about sex online and in print for over five years. She writes about sex, kink, relationships, fashion, beauty, writing, and mental health. She has been voted a Kinkly.com Sex Blogging Superhero for four years running, and her words reach over 22,000 sex nerds, weirdos and queerdos every month. As a journalist and essayist, Kate has written for Glamour, Teen Vogue, Daily Xtra, the Establishment, Maisonneuve, Herizons, the Plaid Zebra, xoJane, and more.

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