Luxury lingerie shopping might sound intimidating. This world of rich silk and fine lace has historically been rather inaccessible, hidden in store boxes and kept secret from so many of us. However, lingerie shopping for yourself can be as luxurious as selecting a bouquet of flowers to brighten up your home, or trying a new wine with dinner.
High end lingerie is a treat for the senses, and everyone deserves to wear beautiful lingerie. Here are our tips for buying yourself luxury lingerie for any occasion.
Get into the mindset
Lingerie shopping doesn’t have to be anxiety-ridden. Why not make it a pleasant experience instead of a chore?
Acknowledging that you are absolutelyallowed to wear beautiful lingerie, no matter who you are, what size or shape your body is, or what your life is like, is the first place to start. When you feel relaxed, loving, and confident in your own skin, you’ll know it’s the perfect time to do some lingerie shopping. After all, you’re about to treat yourself to some of the most personal apparel items you can buy! You want to approach this in the same way you might buy some fancy new skincare products or beautiful new shoes.
So set aside some time for yourself, turn on some of your favorite music, and pour yourself a glass of something delicious. Get comfortable in your space and give thanks to your body. Then, get excited to adorn it with pretty lingerie that makes you happy.
Discover your sizing
Everyone’s body is different, so finding well-fitting, comfortable lingerie, especially bras, can be tricky. There are many different measurement methods for fitting a bra, and no single method is the “right” one. However, it’s important to find a starting size, no matter what type of bra you’re buying. One way to do this is by measuring your underbust and bust measurements, then subtracting the two to find your cup size.
Start by finding your underbust measurement. Wrap a measuring tape around your torso, just below your bust, where your bra band sits. Keep the tape measure parallel to the ground and pull the tape snug. This measurement is your starting band size. (If you measure an odd number, you can select the number above or below, depending on whether you like your bras snugger or looser.)
Then, find your bust measurement. Keeping the tape measure parallel to the ground, measure around your back and across your bust point—that’s the fullest part of your bust, often where your nipples are in a bra. Don’t pull tight! Keep the tape slightly loose, just skimming your skin.
To find your starting bra size, subtract your starting band measurement from your bust measurement. For every inch difference, add one cup size. A 1” difference between the two measurements correlates to an A cup; 2” is a B cup; and so on. For example, if your band measurement is 32” and your bust measurement is 37”, the difference is 5”, which is a DD or E cup. In this case, a good starting bra size for you would be a 32DD.
Once you find that combination of letters and numbers, it’s easy to form an identity around it, especially if your cup size is larger than you expect. However, it’s important to remember that you are not a bra size—you weara bra size. In fact, you probably wear many bra sizes, depending on the brand or even the style of bra, and you might have to try a few different sizes to get a good fit initially.
Clothing has no standard sizing, and the same thing applies to lingerie. But once you have a good starting size for your body, you can check fit notes for individual styles and decide which size to purchase.
If you wear a cup size larger than a D, it’s also important to keep size conversions in mind. Different countries label sizes differently, so a 34F bra from a UK-based brand is a different size from a European brands’ 34F. Double check the size range of the brands you’ve chosen before you make your purchase so you won’t be disappointed when you receive your lingerie.
As far as shopping for loungewear, knickers, and other non-cup-sized lingerie goes, the most important thing to know is your measurements. You might wear a size medium in one label, and a size extra large in another, but if you know your bust, waist, and hip measurements, you can find the size that’s best for your body—no matter the designer. Check the size chart for the brand you’re shopping with and follow their size recommendations for your body.
Figure out what you like
Just because you see glamorous models in perfectly matching sexy lingerie sets, doesn’t mean you haveto buy those exact ensembles to enjoy wearing lingerie. From complex garter belts and seamed stockings to soft silk bralettes and relaxed tap pants, lingerie styles exist for all bodies and all tastes.
One place to start is by examining your day-to-day personal style. Do you love metallic fabrics and sparkly accessories? Bright colors and geometric shapes? Are you always wearing feminine cotton dresses and vintage-style prints, or are androgynous, tailored separates your thing? Try shopping for lingerie in the same way you shop for the rest of your clothing: with your favorite vibes in mind.
You can also try the exact opposite approach. What styles are you intrigued by, but are too nervous to try in public? Maybe you wear a simple black suit to the office every day, but you’ve always wanted to try wearing sheer bras and sexy red lace. Or maybe your personal style is demure and traditional, but secretly, you’d love to play with bondage-inspired styles and crotchless lingerie. This is one of the greatest joys of wearing lingerie: expressing yourself beneath your clothes, no matter who you are to the rest of the world.
Consider your lifestyle
Shopping for lingerie isn’t just about shopping for the styles you love, but for the way you live your life. What lingerie will suit your lifestyle?
If you’re looking for shiny satin lingerie but don’t have the time to hand-wash silk, cotton sateen lingerie or synthetic fabrics could be the perfect items for you. If you love wearing full skirts every day, you have the opportunity to try out ruffled panties and frilly garter belts with stockings everyday without the fear of panty lines.
This idea extends to what you need from the bras you buy, as well. If you’re always running around and want a lot of support, a 4-piece cup with a snug band might do the trick. If you want to make sure your nipples are hidden beneath your blouses at work, a molded foam cup will give you that coverage. If you’re looking for just a little support and a lot of comfort, a lace bralette is a nice option.
Also consider what lifestyle you want to live. That doesn’t mean buying something over-the-top that you’ll never wear, but rather combining what you wishyou could wear, with what you actually will wear. Do you go to sleep every night in a comfy old t-shirt and sweatpants, but dream of something a little more luxurious? Try a matching cotton pajama set for a chic look with the same amount of coziness and ease. Or, if nude t-shirt bras are your norm, but you want to try something sexier, why not go for a t-shirt bra in a pretty new color with a matching panty?
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying out something you never thought you could wear, but absolutely fell in love with! Why not buy a leather lingerie set, just to see how it feels? Or invest in a silk nightgown for evenings where you want to feel like a wealthy baroness, even if you have to wake up for work before the sun rises the next day?
Expand your everyday requirements, and you might see your life in a fabulous new light.
Examine the occasion
Much like your grandmother’s china, it’s easy to save your fine lingerie for a special occasion. But beautiful things are meant to be worn—not just take up space in your cedar chest. Where will you be wearing all your new lingerie? Maximize the wearability of your lingerie wardrobe by purchasing items you know you’ll have occasions to wear.
There are no set “rules” about how many bras or what types of bras to buy for your starting lingerie wardrobe, but make sure you have the items you know you’ll need, based on the places you go and outfits you wear over them. For instance, a well-fitted strapless bra can save a party dress, and you might like a few bras in your exact shade of nude to wear under white blouses at work.
What if you’re dying for that gorgeous quarter cup bra or fantastic embroidered corset, but don’t think you’ll ever have an occasion to wear them? Make it happen! Wear the ouvert bra under a sweater during errands for a little secret no one will ever discover, or find a dress that matches the beautiful corset and pair them for a unique ensemble out on the town. Even the most extravagant lingerie can be worn on everyday occasions.
And holidays are the perfect time to try something you’d otherwise pass by. There’s no better time to try see-through lingerie or glitter pasties than Valentine’s Day. Or out-sparkle the champagne on New Year’s Eve with glittering details like sequins and rhinestones. If it makes you happy and you feel comfortable in it, it’s perfect.
Complete the look
So you’ve selected the perfect plunge bra for that little black dress, the chic chemise to wear on Friday night, and the stockings to wear to the meeting next week. What else do you need?
One of the most exciting parts of lingerie shopping is pulling together entire looks. You certainly don’t have to wear matching sets, but it can be quite fun and make you feel extra “put together.” When you buy a new bra, explore the coordinating panties and garter belts that might be available to match it, and you’ll have an instant lingerie ensemble, guaranteed to impress anyone who sees you in it (even if it’s only yourself in the mirror!).
If the matching items available aren’t your thing, feel free to buy coordinating items from other brands or collections that might work well together—just like pulling together any cute outfit. For instance, if the garter belt from your sexy red lingerie set is sold out, find another garter belt in the same shade of red instead. Coordinating items that aren’t an exact match can be fabulous together, too. If you find a beautiful bra with a violet print on a black background, try pairing it with a solid black or violet panty for a cheekily styled outfit.
No matter what path you take to finding your lingerie style, our biggest piece of advice? Buy what you love and what makes you happy, no matter what. Welcome to the world of luxury lingerie.
Lingerie is truly the perfect gift. Whether it’s for a birthday or anniversary, a romantic getaway or a holiday like Valentine’s Day, or just for a fun surprise, luxury lingerie can be a fun, sexy, romantic present that she can enjoy for much longer than one night.
But buying lingerie for your girlfriend, wife, partner, or paramour can be confusing—especially if you’ve never done it before. Beyond the obvious questions of color and style, lingerie can have particular sizing challenges. Plus, different people have different levels of comfort with intimate apparel. So where do you even start?
First, let us introduce you to your secret weapon: Club Evellier. When you sign up, you’ll be able to create a profile for every important woman in your life. Our system will email you a reminder before important dates like birthdays and Valentine’s Day, so you’ll never forget. Best of all, you’ll be able to input their lingerie and clothing sizes, and save lingerie styles you think they’ll love. Shopping for lingerie will never be a challenge again.
But what sizes do you need from her? And what styles make great gifts? Once you’ve signed up on our website, it’s time to fill in those blanks. We’re here to help you find the perfect lingerie for your beloved.
Selecting the right pieces
When you’re thinking of gifting a sexy lingerie set, your first impulse might be to buy whatever lingerie ensemble you dream of seeing her in. After all, you see her in a beautiful light, and you want her to see herself in that light as well! But in order to achieve that, consider how she’llfeelin whatever lovely lingerie you buy her. If you buy something she’ll be happy and feel comfortable in, that light will come out effortlessly.
So before you take the plunge, ask yourself: is it something she’llwant to wear? If she feels comfortable in an item, she’ll feel sexy, and that’s the ultimate goal.
If you think a certain style might be too bold for her, consider an option that flirts with the concept. For instance, if you love cupless bras but you’re unsure if she’ll feel comfortable in one, you could look for a full-coverage sheer mesh bra, or a quarter-cup bra offering a little more coverage and support. If she insists on only wearing high-waist knickers, maybe look for a high-waist bikini with high-cut, retro-style leg openings, to show a little skin without making her feel exposed.
And when you’re considering what she might like to wear, remember that women’s lingerie isn’t just bras and panties. In fact, lingerie pieces like robes, slip dresses, sheer camisoles, and bustiers can be super sexy, and often work into her daily life, as well. There’s nothing more luxurious than slipping into a silk robe after a hot shower, and a good bustier can be worn under that date night dress any day of the week.
Once you’ve found a piece of high end lingerie you think she’d love and feel perfect in, consider buying the coordinating pieces. Lingerie brands will typically sell matching pieces for every lingerie set, making your job of finding a full outfit easy! Find the name of the item you’re buying, and search the website for the same name. You’ll likely come up with a list of coordinating items, perfectly designed to go together.
If you buy a garter belt, or a garment with clipping garter straps attached, make sure to purchase a pair of stockings as well. If the ensemble you’ve selected doesn’t have garter straps but you think she’d like legwear to match, make sure to find stay-up, or hold-up, stockings. These have silicone grips on the back, so they stay up against the thighs without any additional assistance.
Finding her size
Getting the size right is the trickiest part of lingerie shopping for a partner. Just like with regular women’s clothing, there’s little consistency in sizing between lingerie brands, and that difference can make bras difficult to fit. So even if you know she normally wears a 32C, a 32C bra won’t fit her in everystyle.
Because of that, we invite you to look into buying items that come in lettered sizes, like "small” and "medium,” rather than items that have a cup size, like 34A or 36D.
If you do decide to buy her a bra with a cup size, we suggest asking her upfront for the size she likes to wear. The possibility of ruining the surprise is better than gifting her an item she might not be able to wear! And when you do ask for her size, make sure it includes both a number and a letter, like 34C. She might "wear a C cup,” but that letter doesn’t mean anything without the number; a 32C is a different size than a 36C. The number represents the size of her ribcage, and the letter represents her breast volume in relation tothat number.
If it sounds confusing, it’s because it is! Even people who regularly buy bras can feel frustrated by bra sizing. If you want to buy her a bra and avoid this issue, look for a bralette. These are wireless bras with less structure than regular bras, often available in sizes like "small” and "medium.” This makes them an easier option for gifting. We generally recommend buying her a bralette in the same size that she’d buy a t-shirt.
If you have no idea what sizes she wears in general, flexibly-sized items like robes, swingy chemises, and even stretchy knickers can be excellent gifts. Pair them with a pair of fancy nipple covers, matching stockings or knit high socks, or a unique thigh garter for an excellent gift that’s guaranteed to fit.
Shopping for her style
The world of lingerie offers so much more than sexy red push-up bras and barely-there thongs. Just like the rest of fashion, lingerie is available in varieties of styles, from sweet and demure to edgy and erotic. When you really want to impress her, consider buying her lingerie in a style she’ll truly appreciate. But what is her style?
One easy way of answering this question is to look at her existing lingerie and buy her something similar. However, we don’t necessarily recommend doing this! This is a gift, a special surprise for a special occasion. Why not buy her something she’d never buy herself? She might wear skin tone cotton bras everyday, but that doesn’t mean it’s allshe’ll wear, or even all she wants to wear. She might just never think to put her money towards exotic lingerie. You can buy something unique and unusual for her that she’ll actually want to put on—you just have to look for the right clues.
Start by checking out the style of the clothing she wears every day. Is her wardrobe elegant and elevated, with a closet full of designer labels? Look into gifting her a luscious silk lingerie set, detailed with fine lace. Does she always wear feminine sundresses and pastel hues? Select something romantic and frilly in a color that will match her favorite dress. Have you neverseen her wear anything other than black? It might sound safe, but a black lingerie set is classic, sexy, and guaranteed to make her happy.
But don’t let this turn you off from buying something totally unexpected. If she’s a total risk-taker and you love trying new things together, why not buy her the exotic lingerie of your dreams? No matter what you buy, the most important thing to consider while you’re shopping for her is her point of view.
Wrapping it up
So you’ve selected the perfect lingerie to give her. Congratulations! She’ll be so excited to wear her new gifts. But if you’ve never shopped for luxury lingerie before, you might be surprised at the prices when you head to the checkout page. Why do such tiny garments cost so much, when they use so little fabric?
The fact is, material costs are one of the smallestpercentages of the cost of lingerie. Unlike other manufacturing industries that have been modernized with automated systems, all clothing is still made by humans. That means alllingerie is handmade by highly skilled workers operating sewing machines, and sometimes sewing on details like bows and ribbons by hand. Because these detailed garments take a lot of knowledge and time to manufacture, most of the cost of lingerie is the manufacturing cost.
Lingerie also has some of the lowest markups in the fashion industry, meaning lingerie companies make even less on their products than fashion companies. And when it comes to luxury lingerie in particular, you might be paying a bit more, but the quality and workmanship will show—and she’ll notice your investment. After all, fine lingerie can last a lifetime.
When you receive your order, be sure to wrap it beautifully and present it to her in private, preferably at a time when she’ll be able to try it on and you’ll have all the time in the world to admire her in it. And once she has it on, continue to keep the focus on her. Ask her how she feels in her new lingerie. Shower her with compliments. Give her all of your attention and all of your admiration. Make sure she feels as beautiful as you always know she is. Making the gift about her needs will ensure she feels sexy—which is the point, after all!
At the end of the day, whatever lingerie you purchase for your partner should be something she’ll love as much as you. When she loves the lingerie she puts on, she’ll feel confident and sexy—and nothing is more important than that.
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! You’re getting ready to celebrate your future together with the one person on this earth that makes you mind-numbingly, effervescently happy. How romantic is that?
Maybe you’ve dreamed of the beautiful details of this day your entire life, or you’re only beginning to explore the glamourous world of modern matrimony. Whether your wedding aims to be an elegant, flower-filled occasion filled with live music and dancing, or a low-key affair with only your family, closest friends, and maybe a new pair of shoes, your day will be exactly perfect for you and your beau. And your lingerie should be, too.
Bridal lingerie isn’t just what you wear beneath your dress at the ceremony; it’s what you wear after the event, too. Just like the rest of your wedding, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow in tradition’s footsteps, or to pave your own way forward. It’s your chance to wear lingerie you’d never wear otherwise, or to buy the ideal lingerie set you’ve always dreamed about.
Whether you’re a seasoned lingerie lover or delicately dipping your toe into the world of luxury lingerie, we’re here to help you buy your perfect bridal lingerie, from beneath your gown at the ceremony to behind closed doors on the wedding night.
How will you get ready?
The hours spent getting prepared for your wedding, whether you savor them in quiet solitude or celebrate them with your closest friends and family, are so important. These are the last moments of your single life, so luxuriate accordingly!
Fine silk loungewear is the perfect thing to wear while you’re getting ready. Fabrics that match the color scheme of your wedding not only look fantastic in photos, but they immediately remind you that yes, this is your wedding day! If you’re sensitive to air conditioning or are celebrating in the colder months, warm over-the-knee or thigh-high socks are a sumptuous way to keep comfortable while still feeling elegant. Add a lace bralette and silk knickers beneath your loungewear for a lush ensemble.
No matter what you choose to wear for getting ready, be sure that your top has a front opening, like a romantic tie-front robe, or a button-up tailored pajama set. You won’t want to smear your makeup or fluff up your perfectly coiffed hair with loungewear that pulls over your head.
What does your dress require?
Your wedding night lingerie does not have to be the same lingerie you wear beneath your dress! Changing after the ceremony is totally allowed. However, what you do wear beneath your dress is just as important: It provides your literal foundation for the day.
Although there’s no outfit that truly requires certain lingerie, some wedding dresses are constructed to be worn with certain bra styles, and some tailors prefer sewing support lingerie into dresses during fitting. If you’re interested in wearing shapewear for a smooth or modified silhouette, dress styles with particularly low backs or unique cut-out details might require very specific shapewear styles. Bridal shapewear options are practically endless, and you can find something for nearly every wedding dress. If you’re unsure about what lingerie you need for your dress, ask your tailor or the sales assistant at the bridal shop for their advice.
If you want or need to wear a strapless bra with your dress, be sure to measure yourself first. A well-fitted, high quality strapless bra won’tfall down, and will keep you from hoisting up your outfit all night. If strapless bras in your size feel uncomfortable, consider a bustier. This will distribute the weight of your breasts over a larger part your torso, and can provide waist and hip shaping, if you so desire.
After you’ve discovered the ideal foundation to wear beneath your dress, the most important aspect of wedding ceremony lingerie is wearing the entire lingerie ensemble during dress fittings. If you go to the tailor in different lingerie than what you plan to wear to your wedding, it might not fit you the same way on the big day, and you could discover things you could have prevented earlier—like, say, seeing your garters through the skirt of your gown. Solve these easily-preventable mishaps by purchasing your foundation lingerie before your first fitting at the tailor.
If your dress doesn’t require anything specific, why not wear something fabulously grand beneath it? Don’t be afraid to wear some cheeky (literally) ouvert panties beneath your dress, or sparkling rhinestone-bedazzled nipple covers. Alternatively, wear a soft pair of organic cotton knickers for a little bit of comfort on a big day. Have a little fun with it and make it your own—especially if you’re planning on changing after the ceremony.
What have you always dreamt of?
Just like finding the beautiful dress you’ve always imagined, consider the lingerie you’ve always dreamed of. When you close your eyes and imagine yourself in your bridal lingerie, what do you see? Sweetly cozy loungewear for snuggling up with your beau? A dramatic multi-piece lingerie set, complete with matching stockings, heels, and accessories? An incredibly detailed strappy bodysuit, wrapping you up like a present for your new life partner? A vintage-inspired chemise and robe set in pretty pastel shades like your bouquet?
This special occasion is your chance to follow your biggest dreams. Nothing has to be “too much” for this momentous occasion.
Even if you’ve never thought about your perfect wedding lingerie, consider the lingerie on your dream wishlist. If you get heart eyes every time you think of the hand-cut applique lace along the hem of a fine silk nightgown, why not find one to slip into after the ceremony? Or, if there’s a certain designer you’ve followed for years, this might be the occasion to finally buy a full set from them.
You don’t have to wear a white, ruffled lingerie for your wedding night. In fact, your wedding is the perfect time to wear the most beautiful, luxurious lingerie you’ve always dreamed of, but never thought you had the opportunity to wear.
What traditions do you want to follow?
No matter what tradition states, you do nothave to wear anything specific on your wedding day. If the idea of following a certain lingerie expectation makes you cringe, don’t do it! However, certain colors, motifs, and garments that are traditionally “bridal” can be fun to play with, too. You could wear these whenever you want, but why not embrace the one time it’s downright expected?
An angelic white lingerie set is probably the most traditional wedding lingerie. Even if you’re wearing an ivory, champagne, or vibrantly-colored dress, you can pair a lacy white bra and panty set with matching ivory hold-up stockings for a classic wedding night ensemble. Skirted white garter belts bring to mind a fancy wedding dress, and white knickers with side-tie bows are as fun to remove as the dress itself.
This concept also provides a fun way to play with extravagance when you’re eloping. Why not go all-out traditional for a big surprise after a small, casual wedding?
Bridal lingerie is also a fun way to add that ceremonial “something blue” to your ensemble for good luck. Pale robin’s egg blue is the most traditional hue of bridal blue, and many designers make white lingerie with pale blue details specifically for this special occasion, but no shade is necessarily the “right” shade of blue for your wedding lingerie. Find the hue that makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin and go for it.
Another way to add that something blue?With a thigh garter. Thigh garters, also called wedding garters or bridal garters, are rising in popularity for non-bridal lingerie ensembles, but they’re certainly not a part of most people’s daily wardrobes, making them a fun addition to your bridal lingerie—especially when you buy one to match the rest of your lingerie set.
If you’d like to wear a thigh garter beneath your dress during the wedding, consider selecting one that coordinates with the lace, beading, and other details on your gown. Alternatively, you could try a completely opposite style for a fun surprise, whether or not you plan on having your partner remove it during the ceremony. If your daily style is a little edgier than your wedding ensemble lets on, a wedding garter with heavy hardware and dramatic black elastic could secretly bring your personality into your ethereal ensemble.
If your dress is a mermaid cut or similarly snug around the thighs, make sure you select a garter that is soft or dainty enough to not be seen beneath your dress. Wearing a ball gown with a full skirt? Bring on the pearls, ruffles, and thick lace applique! A carefully handcrafted thigh garter makes a fantastic heirloom piece that you can pass down to future generations. If you want to splurge on one piece of wedding lingerie, a bridal garter is a fun, cost-efficient direction to go.
What makes you happy?
At the end of the day, this is your wedding day, and you’re allowed to wear exactly what you want. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to wear something fantastic and over-the-top, no matter what your everyday life is like. Your lingerie can be as lavish as you always wish you could be; as sexy as you feel beneath your casual clothing; as romantic as you feel when you’re at your beloved’s side.
If your wedding is modern and chic, but part of you wants to celebrate all the classic, bubbly romance you read about in books as a young child, why not explore that with some frilly lace lingerie for your wedding night? If you’ve tried tons of pastel lingerie sets for your wedding night and wish you could just change into your normal shades of black and more black after the party, you absolutely can and should. If your party will be a spectacular event from start to finish, but you just want to come home afterwards and lounge on the sofa with your new beau, find some cashmere leggings or a silk nightshirt to elevate your evening without any extra expectations. There are truly no “musts” when it comes to bridal lingerie.
What about the honeymoon?
After all the happy tears and grand emotions from the big day have settled down, it’s time to look forward to the next best part of getting married: a romantic trip alone with your new life partner.
The most important part about shopping for your honeymoon lingerie is considering the climate of your destination. If you’re headed somewhere hot and beachy, look for lingerie in natural fabrics like silk satin and airy cotton voile, perhaps in vibrant, tropical colors. If you’re looking to get cozy in a winter wonderland, wrap yourself in cashmere robes and knit bralettes.
Your honeymoon is also a great time to try new styles you never thought you could pull off in your daily life. What about bold prints? An incredibly beautiful cup-less bra? Some very sheer lingerie you’d never be able to answer the door in? After all, this isn’t your daily life—this is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation celebrating your love.
And since this is a time set aside specifically to enjoy each other’s company, don’t be afraid to bring extra lingerie and loungewear. No matter how packed your itinerary is, it will remind you to focus on simply being together.
Just like your partnership with your future spouse, nothing about bridal lingerie should be done out of obligation, but rather out of joy. Celebrate the beginning of the rest of your life by wearing lingerie that makes you feel beautiful, comfortable, and radiant, no matter what that means to you.
You know yourself better than you ever have before. You know what you like, what feels good, what makes you happy. Why wouldn’t this be the perfect time to start buying beautiful bras and knickers that bring you joy and make you feel beautiful? Here’s our guide to buying luxury lingerie in your 50s and beyond.
Become your own personal shopper
When you start shopping for lingerie, why not make it as luxurious as trying on dresses at your favorite boutique? Set some time aside for yourself to get comfortable and feel good in your own skin. Pour a glass of your favorite drink, put on your favorite music, forget about the stress of the rest of the day, and settle into the moment.
Shopping for lingerie online doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. It can be a way of giving thanks to your body, a way of bringing a little light to getting dressed every morning, a little spark of joy throughout the day, just for you.
Find your size and fit
Because everyone’s bodies are different, finding well-fitting, supportive lingerie (especially bras!) can be a challenge. There is no one “correct” method for measuring yourself for a bra. Plus, when we get older and our breast tissue softens, it can be even trickier to find bras that give us the type of lift and comfort we want. One simple measuring method to discover a starting cup size? Subtract your underbust measurement from your bust measurement.
To start, put on your best fitting underwire bra for a little lift. (It’s OK if it doesn’t fit the way you’d like.) Wrap your measuring tape around your band, just below your breasts. Pull the tape measure snug, and make sure it’s not rising up in the back. This measurement will give you a starting band size. (If you measure an odd number, select the number above to start.)
Second, measure around your back and across the largest point of your bust to find your cup measurement. Keep the tape slightly loose, and make sure it’s parallel to the ground. You’ll find your cup size by subtracting your band measurement from your bust measurement and adding a cup size for every inch difference. A 1” difference between the two measurements means you should try an A cup; 2” for a B cup; and so on. So if your ribcage measures 34” and your bust measures 38”, the difference is 4”, which would give you a starting bra size of 34D.
If this size is drastically different from what you were measured at previously, this is totally normal, no matter your age! Our bodies fluctuate throughout our lives—even weekly, due to hormones and varying levels of water retention—so it’s a good idea to re-measure yourself every few months when shopping for lingerie.
Not to mention, bras themselves are very different from even a few decades ago, so measuring systems have changed, as well. Due to new fabric innovations, lingerie is much stretchier than they used to be. This particular measuring method is designed to give you more lift, with those changes in mind.
As you’re trying on bras in a new size, they might feel tighter than you’re used to, especially if your existing bras are stretched out. 80 percent of a bra’s support is meant to come from the band, so that snugness will lift your breasts up. However, an uncomfortable bra isn’t worth it. If you have any pain at all in this size, don’t be afraid to wear a bigger band size.
On top of all that, our society tends to turn our bra sizes into our identity. Just remember you are not your size—you wear a size. You will likely wear multiple sizes, because every bra fits differently, depending on the brand, style, construction methods, and fabrics used. Once you’ve found your starting bra size, you can check notes on fit to decide which size to go with when shopping from different brands.
If you’re shopping for cup sizes larger than D, make sure to keep size conversions in mind, as well. A 34G from a European brand is a different size than a 34G from a UK-based brand, so double check the size range of the brands you’re shopping with to ensure you get the best fit possible.
And when it comes to knickers, sleepwear, and other lingerie that doesn’t use cup sizes, knowing your body measurements will make shopping easy. Disregard your pre-existing notions of what size “medium” and “large” mean, and instead, compare your own bust, waist, and hip measurements to the size charts for the brands you’re buying from. That way, you’ll definitely get the right sizes for your body.
Discover what you love
You might have the idea that lingerie is a certain “type” of undergarment; that in order to be a person who wears lingerie, you have to wear those super sexy lingerie sets you see on those previously-discussed models. But loving lingerie means wearing the intimates you personally like.
That means you can absolutely wear those sexy lingerie sets if you so desire, but you can also wear sweet lace bralettes, luxurious silk nightgowns, or casual knit loungewear. Buying what makes you personally happy is the first stop on your lingerie shopping journey.
So find out what you like! The easiest place to do that is by looking in your closet. After all, if you love to wear it on the outside, you might love wearing it underneath, too. Are you a fan of sparkly metallics and bold patterns? Look for lingerie with those dynamic details. If you adore careful tailoring and incredible construction details, look into purchasing some gorgeous items from luxury lingerie brands, whose quality garments will match those of your favorite designer apparel lines.
Alternatively, what fabrics, details, and styles do you find beautiful, but maybe aren’t the right fit for your daily life? Just because you wear a simple suit or uniform all day, doesn’t mean you can’t wear something fabulous beneath it. Spring for a vibrant color you’ve never worn before, a sexy detail you’re intrigued by, or even a see-through lingerie set you’d never thought you’d wear but always wanted to. The best part of lingerie is walking around with a secret bit of joy, just for you, all day long.
Keep cup style in mind
Scientifically speaking, there haven’t been very many studies on the causes of breast sagging, otherwise known as breast ptosis. Many myths about what causes sagging breasts are quite simply that: myths.
One thing’s guaranteed, however: it’s going to happen as you age, and it’s totally normal and fine. It does, however, make bra shopping a little trickier. Depending on your breast shape, softer tissue can fall out of certain bras, just because of the shape of the cup. You might find that you need more center support than plunge bras can give you, or more vertical coverage than a balconette bra might have. The best way to figure out what works for you? Try on a few styles in a size that fits and see what happens.
If you find yourself looking for extra lift, push up bras are great if you want cleavage, along with the appearance of extra tissue. However, even a well-fitted unlined bra can give you excellent lift on its own. If your tissue is less firm and you want that extra lift without the bulk of a traditional push up bra, look for sewn bras with multiple cup pieces. They’ll offer more structure for soft tissue.
At the end of the day, however, there isn’t a certain style of cup you’re supposed to wear. If it makes you feel beautiful and happy, wear it.
Shop for the life you have (and the one you want)
It’s important to buy things you love, as well as things you’ll actually wear. If you only wear bras that give you a ton of lift, pass up that embroidered triangle bralette for an equally gorgeous embroidered bra with a three piece cup. Or if you love the strappy detail on a certain thong, but can’t stand how they feel, look for that lovely detail on another piece of lingerie.
There’s no use in buying beautiful garments if you know they’ll only get shoved to the back of your dresser, never to see the light of day or grace your skin with their presence. Instead, look for equally stunning pieces you know you’ll wear.
However, shopping for your life doesn’t mean avoiding styles that might seem too extravagant or “not you” at first glance. Sure, that three piece boudoir lingerie set might be designed for the boudoir, but even if you don’t have an occasion, why not wear it under your everyday clothes?
If you fall in love with a cupless bra, you don’t need a date night to wear it: you could even try it out underneath a sweater during something as everyday as grocery shopping. Or if you love the look of a certain corset, but don’t have any fancy parties to go to, lace it up beneath a regular day dress for date night.
You don’t need to live a certain life to wear beautiful things. Sometimes, you can simply change your perspective.
Turn it into an ensemble
So you’ve found your perfect everyday bra, the silk chemise of your dreams, or the perfect bustier you’ve always dreamed of. What now?
One of the best parts of lingerie shopping can be finding coordinating items for matching perfectly beneath your clothes, and the easiest way to do that is by looking at what’s offered from the brand you’re already purchasing from. They’ll usually have coordinating bottoms, designed exactly for a perfectly matching set.
If you’re not into the particular pieces they’re offering, look around for styles in the same or coordinating colors. A blush pink bra from one brand would look just as perfect with a blush pink panty from another. Or, if you’ve found a perfect printed bra in shades of green and blue, but the bottoms are sold out, you could find a solid green or blue pair of knickers for a uniquely matching set.
A full lingerie ensemble doesn’t only feel great under your clothes; it’s also the best surprise for whoever sees you at the end of the day, whether that’s your partner or simply yourself. But matching isn’t a necessity. The important thing when shopping for a lingerie ensemble is how you feel in it.
Whether you’re in the market for a full three piece set complete with garter belt, a new lingerie wardrobe, or just one bra that will change your life, buy what makes you feel beautiful. The world of luxury lingerie is open to you. Welcome.
Lingerie shopping – whether for pleasure or out of necessity – can often be a complex task, particularly when it comes to buying a bra that fits correctly. For a start the variety can be infinite; and as shoppers we’re faced with the task of choosing from the often endless array of options, that includes everything from strapless bras, to backless bras, to wireless bras to cupless bras and beyond, so it’s little wonder that finding a bra that both fits and feels comfortable can be a daunting task for many.
And while simply making do with an ill-fitting bra rather than taking the time to find the right lingerie for you can sometimes seem like the easiest route, wearing the wrong sized bra can lead to both discomfort and frustration, not to mention longer term issues such as back pain. So while finding a beautiful bra that fits might appear to be a mystery to many, it doesn’t have to be so elusive.
These days, many women are choosing to buy their lingerie online; a process that affords shoppers a more private, more relaxed, and less pressurised environment.
And so, if you’re sitting down with your laptop to peruse the unrivalled online offerings, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to bra shopping for you to follow, that will mean that oversized, loose, tight and slack bras will be a thing of the past, and you can start to revel in your new-found knowledge when it comes to all things lingerie.
1. Know your size
Before you even begin the task of finding a bra that fits, it’s essential that you get fitted by a professional first. With up to 85% of women thought to be wearing the wrong bra size, taking the time to ensure you know your measurements is an essential part of buying a good bra. And getting fitted regularly is also important – just like with shoe and dress size, our bra size can fluctuate due to a number of factors – weight gain, pregnancy, hormones and menopause can all have an effect on our size, so, if you notice a change in your body shape, it’s essential to get an up-to-date fitting. While the thought of being measured might be unnerving to a few women, it’s a simple, quick and straightforward procedure that merely involves being measured both directly under and across the fullest part of the bust.
2. Choose the right shop
While the quickest option is choosing a site that has limited lingerie options, if you want to find a bra that fits, a website with a wide range of bras on offer is your best bet. Perusing the many online offerings in the privacy of your own home makes for a calm and comfortable experience, and you’ll feel far less pressurised to buy anything that isn’t completely right for you.
3. Know what you’re looking for
Before you start your bra shopping, it’s important to know exactly what type of bra you’re after – are you after something flirty; like a sheer bra, a plunge bra or a lace bra? Or do you need something more comfortable – such as a wireless bra? Are you shopping for a special occasion – and looking to purchase some bridal or Valentine’s lingerie? Or do you want to treat yourself to some lace lingerie? Having a clear idea of the type of bra you’re looking for will make for an easier – and quicker – shopping experience.
4. Pay attention to the cups
Once you’re armed with your correct bra size (which can fluctuate depending on both brand and style of the bra – so it’s important to be open minded about this) your focus should be on finding a bra that both provides you with ample support, and also correctly positions your breasts. A way to check if a bra does this is by looking in the mirror to asses the fit. Your bra should lift and centre your bust midway between your shoulders and elbows, and your breasts should stay within your body's frame. There should also be one inch of definition between your breasts.
5. Wear the right shirt
When trying on your new lingerie, it’s important to wear the right sort of top. Wearing a loose or baggy shirt will make it hard to tell how your bust will look under something more fitted or low cut. Experts recommend wearing a fitted shirt so you can see the different look each bra provides, and – of course – if you’re buying underwear for a special occasion, be sure to bring the outfit you’ll be wearing over it with you, to ensure there aren’t any unwelcome surprises on the night in question.
6. Opt for quality over quantity
It can be tempting to stock up on a wide range of bras, forgoing quality for quantity, however, it’s far better to have fewer bras of better grade, than to have a drawer full of lingerie made from cheap and inferior material. The better quality of bra you buy, the longer they’ll last and the less often you'll have to replace them. And while it might be a bigger expense up front, in the long run it will work out better value for money, as the cost per wear for good quality bras is much more economic than cheap lingerie. Experts recommend having between seven and ten bras on rotation, and warn against wearing the same bra day after day, instead wearing the same three of four bras one week, followed by a different three or four bras the following. Investing in different bras for different occasions is also worth considering – so you might want to add a strapless, backless or wireless bra into the mix when shopping for underwear.
7. Allow for stretching
While bras are made of a variety of different materials – from lace to silk to cotton and beyond, many women buy lingerie that is made of materials such as Lycra and spandex – both of which lend themselves well to flexibility, which can be an important factor when it comes to the comfort of a bra. However, such materials are also susceptible to stretching and loosening over time, and so it’s important to take this into consideration when buying your bras. One way to ensure that your bra will still fit, even when it does eventually loosen is to buy a bra that fits best when it’s on its loosest possible bra hook, which will allow for stretching. This means that over time, if your bra does stretch, you can simply tighten the setting.
8. Assess the fit properly
When trying on new lingerie, it’s essential to correctly asses the fit of your bra. Don’t be afraid to face yourself in the mirror with a critical eye, to check for any gaps, overspill or digging. Ensure that the straps aren’t riding up, that the middle point of the bar is flush against your chest, and that – most importantly of all – the bra feels comfortable.
9. Buy in bulk
Given the pitfalls of buying a badly fitting bra – from breast pain to back ache and sagging – if you do find a bra that is both stylish and sexy and a great fit to boot, stocking up on your size can only ever be a good idea.
10.Take care of your bras
Once you’ve been through the process of getting professionally fitted and measured and you’ve invested in some high-quality, comfortable and well-fitted bras, the last thing you want to do is to put that effort to waste by not taking good care of your bras. Simply throwing them in the washing machine along with your other laundry will not only lessen their shelf life; but in some scenarios can cause loose fabric, broken wires and ruined material. If you do buy higher-quality bras, proper maintenance will help make them last longer and keep their shape. Experts recommend hand washing your bras every few wears, using a soap that is gentle on the fabric; if you are able to machine wash them (and be sure to check the label thoroughly before doing so) buy a netted laundry bag, which will not only protect the hooks from clasping onto other articles of clothing but will also prevent the bra from twisting and turning out of shape. Finally, always air dry your bras on a clothing line – however short on time you might be – and never put your bras in the dryer. Getting into the habit of paying due diligence to taking care of your bras will ensure that you get maximum wear and comfort from your bras.