We’ve scoured the shops so you don’t have to!
It’s that time of year when men may be seen wandering around the shops looking confused by row upon row of lingerie and whether you’re looking to buy something for your partner this Valentines – or to treat yourself to some new underwear to feel confident and beautiful, I have some expert advice and shopping suggestions for you – for all budgets.
If you’re a gentleman and find the idea of shopping for underwear for your partner a little daunting, or for us ladies who could do with some advice with correct sizing, it’s a good idea to actually go into a shop rather than buying online and independent boutiques are particularly helpful.
I spoke to from Sandra Davies, the owner of Sandra Dee luxury lingerie boutique in Montpelier, Cheltenham who is an expert in advising on and fitting underwear, having owned her boutique for nearly 40 years…and she gave me some great advice:
“If you’re shopping for a partner you obviously need to try to find out her current bra size – and I say current because people’s sizes do go up and down for many reasons and what your partner wore a year or two ago may not be the same today”
Sandra also pointed out that you should look at the shape of her bras too, because many women will only wear a certain style. Is it padded or just underwired? Is it a deep, plunge bra or a wider shallow cupped balcony? In fact Sandra suggests you try to actually bring one of your partner’s bras into the boutique with you, or take a photo of one, so that the assistants can see exactly what your partner likes.
For us ladies, finding the correct bra size can be surprisingly difficult and in fact there have been recent reports that up to 80% of women are still wearing ill fitting bras, which means they are probably not comfortable and certainly doesn’t make the most of our shape!
Sandra said she can often tell a lady’s size just by looking at her, which she then confirms with a thorough measure – but with the high street shops who don’t specialise, I know I’ve been measured completely different sizes in different places – plus there will be a range of different manufacturers making the underwear and therefore your size can be different in one style to another – which personally I find really frustrating!
“Going into a specialist boutique they will often stock all items from specific manufacturers which means, not only do you get an expert fitting, the sizing of the lingerie they sell will be cohesive.”
A perfect solution:
Ladies – you can go into Sandra Dee and choose some lovely lingerie, leave a small deposit and then send your partner in! They will gift wrap your selections for him to collect and make the final payment on – that way you get exactly what you want… and gentlemen, if you would like help in choosing something beautiful, I found the staff at Sandra Dee super helpful, they are used to helping in this way all the time and once you’ve established the correct size and style your partner likes, they will make a customer card for you so that they have your information for the future.
However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to hit High Street, I’ve rounded up some of the best online buys for all budgets:
La Perla has to be the ultimate and iconic underwear gift and if you’re looking to really impress this valentines, they have some very sexy but sophisticated options to choose from.
If you’re investing in luxury lingerie, bodysuits are always a great choice because they can also be worn as part of an outfit such as under a pretty sheer blouse with trousers or a skirt for evenings out, so pieces like these below will generally get more use than a standard bra and knickers set:
This black body suit with corset inspired piping is cut to be super flattering and is very wearable. With its embroidery on semi-sheer tulle and full coverage bra and knicker area, it’s the perfect item to layer under a sultry evening outfit:
This stretch satin bodysuit is the most luxurious item in their collection being hand finished with intricate floral motifs embroidered on tulle. Sexy yet relatively modest at the same time:
For a softer and more romantic look this pink, sheer bodysuit is a very pretty option, more affordable and available in three other colours too:
For Love and Lemons are a favourite brand of mine for fashion when you are prepared to make a bit more of an investment than general high street items and they always have beautiful fabrics and very feminine pieces to choose from.
With sheer tulle and velvet details, this Papillion butterfly motif bra is pretty but with bondage inspired straps it also has a bit of an edge:
…And The matching thong is stunning!..
For a softer option, this strappy bralet with sheer cups, embroidered applique accents and velvet trim is very pretty:
Victoria’s Secret is always very popular and they have a huge range to choose from.
This demi bra is one of their new additions for Spring and is pretty, very wearable and comes in a huge range of colour options:
Going a little sexier, this fishnet lace longline bra has the current popular cage style details but still offers good support:
Subtle and romantic, this chantilly lace, high neck teddy is very flattering and available in three colours:
Best of Budget
If you’re unsure of specific bra sizing, going for a lovely satin chemise or robe is a good option…. and if you’re buying something for yourself, they are great for body confidence – giving you a little more coverage but still lookins sexy!
Boux Avenue has lots of lovely chemises to choose from this valentines, they also have offers such as free knickers when you buy a bra, plus free gift boxing and delivery.
The Rosie for Autograph range at M&S is always very popular and this longline balcony bra would be flattering on many body shapes.
The matching knickers give good coverage but are still sexy and go up to a size 28:
…And finally Primark, who do a large range of budget underwear – you can’t buy online but the preview of their new Valentines range looks very pretty and on trend, with prices starting from £5.00.
So that’s my roundup of this year’s Valentines lingerie from both the high street and high-end brands – if you’re buying for the lady in your life, remember to sneak a look in her knicker drawer to check sizing 😉 and if you are buying for yourself, I hope you find something really beautiful that makes you feel confident and fabulous!