Buying regular, basic bras is a scary and overwhelming experience sometimes, and it only gets worse when I set out to buy the good and fancy stuff; the lacy lingerie that your mother doesn’t want you to get because it makes you a ‘loose woman’, that’s the stuff I’m talking about. For something that is such an integral part of our wardrobe, and is something that all women wear, lingerie really is an unnecessarily taboo topic. And for that reason, I can understand why it can be a daunting task- not only do we not have too much information about it, there’s hardly anybody we can ask without getting judged a little. And wanting to look good- even if it’s on the inside and nobody is going to see it- is somehow too much to ask for in this country sometimes.
The world of lingerie is one of taboo; as women we’re not really supposed to publicly talk about wanting to feel sexy and beautiful or wanting to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a single pair of underwear. More importantly, having great underwear is looked at something only for women in relationships. That doesn’t have to be the case! Committed women are not the only ones who need to feel sexy; in fact, a good lingerie set can give you a much needed confidence booster if you’re looking for a reason to feel good about yourself. So therefore, for all the beginners out there, who are too scared to venture into the lacy waters of the world of lingerie, we’re breaking it down for you.
- Get fitted: This really cannot be repeated enough; before you set out to buy what you want, you need to know what size to get! And only an expert can help you with that: head to your local lingerie boutique for a fitting. There will be fit experts on hand, and you’ll get the best and most knowledgeable service. Second of all, don’t get too hung up on your size; bra fitting and lingerie as a whole are about finding styles and sizes that fit well and look great. It’s important to ensure there’s no gaping at the cup and that the band is snug against your back as the majority of support comes from the band. And don’t worry about the size too much, you just need to make sure that whatever you pick up, is the most comfortable option.
- Keep an open mind: Lingerie shopping can be hard because it’s such an intimate, personal piece of clothing that it can bring out a lot of difficult feelings, and make you question things about yourself that you might not exactly be comfortable with. However, unless it’s way outside your budget, it never hurts to just try something on to see if you’re the kind of person who definitely needs a black lacy slip. Or ouvert knickers. Or a strappy bra. Or you could need all of the above! If you try on things before, things that you didn’t think you might need, you’ll have a better idea when you go out the next time.
- Go slow: You’ll definitely need some time to understand what works for you, and what your tastes are. If you’re a lingerie newbie, I would suggest investing in great-fitting, great-looking sets – yes, go for the set rather than just the bra- to build your wardrobe: a T-shirt bra, a plunge bra, and definitely an unlined lace demi. These will be your lingerie workhorses, so to speak, so be sure to take special care of them. If you’re an advanced lingerie lover, go for the wow factor; There’s nothing like purchasing an over-the-top set complete with suspenders, a super-sleek bodysuit, or those cheeky ouvert panties that you saw recently and have fallen in love with. It doesn’t have to be a splurge, just something over-the-top and unexpected, and maybe not 100% practical. It doesn’t have to be expensive either! Spend some time looking at options and establish a budget range beforehand so that you don’t get carried away (which will probably happen anyway). And remember, don’t go straight for the three-piece garter set; start slow and figure out your tastes and level of comfort. Then go all in!
- Be comfy: This is the most important thing as far as I’m concerned; how does one feel sexy and good if you’ve got the wrong set on? Comfort means different things to different people, so whether it’s choosing materials that feel good, styles that make you look amazing or something that makes you feel cute and flirty, don’t let a pushy salesperson, a partner or a shopping buddy push you into anything you don’t want to do; lingerie is a private and individual thing – and something that only you will be experiencing most of the time- so make sure it’s something that makes you feel awesome.
- Don’t scrimp: Go for high quality fabrics. Trust me, you’ll thank us later when the material isn’t scratching the underside of your boobs after a couple of washes. After making sure you’ve got the right fit and design, take some time to figure out what kind of material you would like; there are a lot more options than lace out there, trust me, so don’t limit yourself! You should take a look at the silk options, as well as the ones that are made out of tighter fabric, if you’re having a catwoman moment.
- Always hand-wash your lingerie: This cannot be stressed upon enough. I know we all have those days when we can’t be bothered to wash our bras and undies by hand, but when it comes to lingerie, it simply isn’t an option that you should even consider. If you need any motivation, think of the amount of money that you’re spending on it! And the only way it’s going to stay in good condition, is if you take care of it properly; hand-washing your lingerie is the absolute best care you can give it. It may sound tedious, but it’s actually not, here’s how you do it: fill the sink basin with lukewarm water and add a capful of delicate lingerie wash; you can find them online or at your supermarket. Then, swish your pieces around in the water a bit, rinse, gently squeeze out the water, and lay flat to dry. And remember, the only thing worse than the washing machine is the dryer!
Have fun: This might sound a little bit strange, but hear me out: what’s the point of going through this entire ordeal if you’re not enjoying yourself? No matter the reason that you’re wearing it, the underlying reason is so that you feel good, and the only way to ensure that happens is if you have a good time! Yes, there are utilitarian purposes to bras and briefs, but when you get into the fancy, unusual stuff, you get to play out all those sexy and empowering fantasies that have so far only existed in your head. So go on, be bold. After all, go big or go home right?