This is for the men who like to surprise their leading lady with a romantic night on the town and want to leave a big box on the bed with a huge bow with everything she needs to dress for the special event. Before you go ahead and buy that sexy, backless dress; consider the undergarments she’ll need to wear it. Otherwise, she’ll worry about the bra and shoes she doesn’t have to wear with it, and your great idea goes south before she can even get excited about the date.
Use this lingerie guide below to find the perfect solution for your next surprise gift! Once you know how to navigate the lingerie world, everything else is seamless, and shopping for her becomes fun. It’s not enough to know her proper bra size. Bras comes in various styles and shapes with different wardrobe functions. Below, you’ll find 9 different bra types, so you can learn which one is best for your leading lady, and navigate the lingerie department with confidence.
The most common question you’ll hear in women’s dressing rooms is: what bra should I wear with this? There’s deep plunging necklines, backless dress styles, halter necklines, spaghetti straps, and other styles that are made to step in when the regular t-shirt bra just won’t work with what she’s wearing. If you’re going to buy her a beautiful dress; make sure she’s got the undergarments to go with it. Otherwise, she’ll have to buy them herself before she wears it.
Lingerie 101: 11 Bra Types and 5 Panty Styles To Fit Your Leading Lady.
Here are 11 different types of bra styles and shapes from Bergdorf Goodman’s Betty Halbreich. She covered this in her book, Secrets Of A Fashion Therapist. I’m sharing this valuable resource to guide you when you’re shopping for women’s lingerie. There are also 5 different types of underwear and a simple panty fit test, so you know you’re getting the right size and what kind of underwear will be flattering on her. Hint: no woman likes unwanted panty lines.
- Padded: These generally have cups that are padded (either a thin or thick layer evenly all over. Best for: anyone who wants to increase her overall bust size significantly. Also good to wear under tight tops if you want to make sure your nipples don’t show through.
- Push-up: Like the wonderbra, most push-ups are underwire bras with extra pads that slip in for more boost. Be sure to try these on both with and without the extra pads for the right fit. Best for: creating cleavage.
- Demi cup: Rather than a full cup that encloses the entire breast, these underwire bras have half cups, wide-set straps, and work by pushing in from the sides. Best for: enhancing A and B cups who have trouble filling out a cup.
- Underwire: Any bra constructed with curved wires beneath the breasts. Best for: support.
- Soft cup: Any bra constructed without an underwire. They need to fit perfectly or you will have a baggy cup. Best for: A and B cups who don’t want a lot of support.
- Molded cup: These are designed so that the fabric holds to its own shape, and if it’s a sturdy fabric you will get good support and more separation. Best for: C and D cups.
- Seamless: Cups that are completely smooth with no seams at all. Best for: wearing under tight tops.
- Front close: Bras that hook in between the breasts rather than at the back don’t offer as much support because the back hook is more adjustable. Best for: smaller busts or anyone who wants a more natural look.
- Racer back: The straps come together in the back in the style of a racing bathing suit. Best for: wearing under sleeveless clothes that are cut out at the shoulders.
- Strapless: Any bra without shoulder straps. There are also long-line strapless bras (which come down to the waist), which are more comfortable for larger bust sizes. Best for: wearing under any strapless or thin-strapped dress.
- Wrap around: The shoulder straps adjust so you can elongate them, and then they wrap around and hook in the front at the waist. Best for: accommodating low-backed dresses.
What To Look For When You’re Panty Shopping.
Betty Halbreich says, “for the smoothest look, try panties in fabrics like stretch lace, fine cotton, or a sleek microfiber, and here’s a great way to test a pair of panties if you’re not the one trying them on. Take a pair and lay them flat, front side up on a table. If the leg holes sit in flat V’s, chances are the pair will give her a line. If on the other hand, the leg seams are rounded and curl slightly up and in, that means they will form around the natural shape of her behind and be much less likely to present problems.”
What you wear is your business, but you should know what your options are when it comes to underthings.Betty Halbreich
- Briefs: These are your basic, full-cut, high at the waist, low at the leg underpants.
- French cut: Briefs that are cut very high on the leg.
- Bikinis: These have a waistband that generally hits somewhere around hip level.
- String bikinis: A skimpier version of the bikini– basically two triangles (front and back) connected across the hip with a narrow band of elastic.
- Thongs: Also known as a G-string, the thong is cut down to just a strip of fabric at the back.
Where To Shop.
Here are some online stores you can shop for a good starting point in getting familiar with women’s lingerie.
What To Do Next.
If you’re shopping for your leading lady; think about the special undergarments she might need for the outfit you’re buying her. Look for solutions using the lingerie guide above. Once you know how to navigate the lingerie world, everything else becomes seamless, and shopping for her becomes fun instead of stressful. Share 2 struggles in the comments below that you face when buying lingerie for your leading lady.