With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, women all over the country are daydreaming (and night dreaming) about the unfaultable trifecta of chocolates, diamonds and lingerie.
While it’s relatively easy to stick to Godiva and read up on the four C’s (carat, cut, color and clarity), it’s a little tougher to impress in the realm of brassieres, garters and cheekies.
To all the men shopping for that special someone and to all the single ladies rockin’ to Beyonce: Read on not only to decode words like “cheekie,” but also to discover some of the season’s hottest trends and to pick up a few shopping tips.
Hottest lingerie trends for springVintage: No, nobody’s recommending trying used underwear. Take a look at the new line by Victoria’s Secret - Vintage Victoria - for inspiration. Billed as “an intimate collection for every boudoir,” this lingerie is sexy and soft, detailed yet effortless. The pieces range from lace-adorned black slips and slit-down-to-there teddies (one-piece garments) to bustiers and thongs.
Satin:Satin dresses up all types of undergarments, from bra, panty and garter sets to retro-looking robes. Whether used in combination with a candy-store color, such as bright pink or luminescent yellow, or with a neutral, it adds a rich, unexpected elegance.
Color:While red, pink and black traditionally take starring roles on Valentine’s Day, switch it up with an unexpected color, such as slate grey, peacock blue or royal purple. These colors haven’t been used much in lingerie, but as designers continue to blur the line between underwear and outerwear, they’re stealing the spotlight.
Always in style
Cheekies:“Cheeky” underwear does just that: It shows off your cheeks. By cutting across the bum, this style of boy shorts gives the illusion of firmness and acts as a push-up bra for your bottom half.
Demi-cup bras:These bras have less coverage and create more cleavage while providing support with sturdy underwires. Try styles trimmed in lace or featuring tiny buttons or bows between the cups for the ultimate feminine effect.
Baby-dolls:Flattering for all body types, the baby-doll style top or dress loosely falls over problem areas: the stomach and hips. Women with smaller busts should choose versions featuring push-up bras, while larger busted women should opt for lightly lined, triangle-cut styles. “Men like sexy lingerie, but done in a classy way,” said Laura Berenson, sales associate at The Enchantress in Mission Valley. “A baby-doll in a see-through fabric is charming.”
Valentine’s Day 2009 shopping tips
Gift cards will land you in the dog house:A gift card, even if it is to the fanciest lingerie store in town, says three things: I’m insecure because I don’t think I know you that well, I didn’t do my homework and I like creating more work for you. A hideous piece of lingerie says only one thing: I have really bad taste, but I tried my hardest. Women like men who tend to say less.
When in doubt, go down a size:Yes, going to the store to conduct an exchange is really irritating. Irritating quickly becomes embarrassing, though, when a size four woman has to explain to a snarky saleswoman why her husband thought she needed a size XL. If caught between two sizes, go for the smaller size - always. Or, pre-shopping, raid her underwear drawer and write down her sizes.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help:Find a sales associate, march up to her and admit defeat. Whether the customer is well-versed in lingerie-speak (“My wife lives in camisoles, particularly her silk ones!”) or not (“Um, she wears like, bras …"), a sales associate can ask questions and show samples hoping that one will eventually elicit the right response: “Great, I’ll take it.”
As for purchasing men’s undergarments, stick to boxers and boxer-briefs in solid prints and only try a pattern if it doesn’t feature a flying, overweight baby hanging on to an arrow (Cupid, Schmupid). Since guys don’t really respond well to jewelry, stick to jewel-toned boxers for a nice Valentine’s Day surprise. For example, cotton boxers in emerald, ruby or blue sapphire will add a nice kick to his underwear drawer.