Sometimes a man decides to gift a piece of lingerie to his wife or girlfriend but soon realises that he doesn't actually know anything about women's undergarments . . . other than the fact they look great on her. The inside of a lingerie store is like a maze of satin and lace and it all looks the same!
There are a few basics to understanding women's lingerie. First, underwear and lingerie have genres and sub-genres. Do you know your G-string from your thong? Second, do you know there are 10 different types of panties? Third, do you know her size? See Bra Sizes Explained and How to Find out Her Size for more info.
- Ask her what she prefers. Then write it down!
- See what she is already wearing (consult pictures below), and make the match. Then write it down!
- It is essential to not only know her bra size but also her general physical shape:
- For the skinny or slim woman, it's usually best to buy boy shorts, garter belts, bustiers and bras
- For the curvy woman, corsets, teddies, baby dolls and charmeuses are preferred
- If you feel like you're in a bit of a pickle at the shop, don't hesitate to ask the assistants for help. They know their stuff and you won't be the first man they have helped.
- Don't want to visit a lingerie shop? Fear not, the internet is here to save you. The following Australian lingerie sites offer easy purchasing (but first know her size as you can't just eyeball the size online).
- Bras N Things (also have 175 shops across AU and NZ)
- Blush Bras and Lingerie (good prices)
- Isabella's Passion (on the racy side!)
Panties are classified into various styles based on criteria such as the amount of rear coverage, width at the sides and height at which they are worn. These categories are not necessarily distinct and usage may vary somewhat among brands.
- Briefs rise to the waist, or just below the navel, and have full coverage in the rear.Classic briefs feature sides that extend below the hip. Sometimes these are called “granny panties” by young women.
- High-cut briefs are designed with sides that are somewhat narrower
- Control briefs are designed to offer support while giving a slimmer appearance. This type usually contains a stretch material such as spandex and may extend above the waist
- Hipsters are worn lower down on the body, with the waistband around the hips
- Bikinis sit at hip level, like the hipsters, but the fabric of the side sections is narrower. With the string bikini type, the side sections disappear altogether and the waistband consists of only string-like material; also, the rear coverage of the bikini is more revealing than that of the brief
- Boyshorts are styled after men's boxer briefs and have short legs extending below the crotch
- Tangas provide a moderate to minimal coverage with back coverage that is less than a bikini, and the waistband is reduced to a narrow strip at the sides
- Thong is similar to a G-String but it has a little more fabric going up the back, unlike a G-String, which has just that, a string
- G-string has a vertical string at the back, which connects the crotch to the waistband, sometimes featuring a triangle of fabric
All of the above panties come in a variety of materials and fabrics, including satin, silk, PVC, cotton, nylon, mesh, lace, rawhide, leather, latex, lycra, and polyester.
This is a short, loose-fitting top that goes to the waist. It can be worn like a slip underneath a wool sweater, beneath an open jacket, or just as it is with a pair of matching panties.
Sounds French, and is actually a French-pioneered design. It is basically smooth, silky and slightly loose satin lingerie that drapes down to the hips. Not too erotic but neither too subtle.
This is one of the hot lingerie items; it is actually a really short nightdress that flirts at the top of the hip. It begins with a clasp or a knot at the bust, and the rest of it floats away from the body. Usually, a baby doll is sold with a panty type bottom.
A teddy is similar to a one-piece bathing suit. It is a combination of underwear and a short top.
This is similar to a bustier but is longer and stronger. It has boning over the bodice and is laced or hooked either in the back or at the front. Corsets can be worn tight to give the wearer an hourglass figure, but they can also be laced loosely and worn as a regular top.
These are robes that are usually worn over revealing types of lingerie. A kimono is used to make a girl feel more comfortable, when she’s walking around with hardly anything on and wants something to cover herself up.
Ever wondered what those straps on the thighs of a woman were? They are called Garter belts and their original purpose was to hold socks or stockings up. But later someone figured that the garter belt added to women's erotic appeal and hasn't been used as a belt since then.
Now here is something every one of us has seen in movies. Despite dating back to the sixteenth century, the bustier hasn't lost its sensuality. They can be worn very tight and uncomfortable (recall Keira Knightly proclaiming, “I can’t breathe” in Pirates of the Caribbean). But bustiers designed as lingerie can be comfortable to wear. They either fasten at the front or lace up at the back and enhance the bust and curves of the wearer.