Birthday lingerie suggestions!
August 18, 2006 3:50 AM   Subscribe

I would like to buy my wife some lingerie for her birthday that will make her feel extra sexy and special. Any recommendations? She is small, fit, and fairly conservative about clothing and fashion.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Boas are great silly playful fun. Get her favorite color, put it in a smallish box so that when she opens it the feathers are practically busting out.
posted by dog food sugar at 4:02 AM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

In my experience, and in the experience of many of my friends, the lingerie men consider sexy bears little or no relationship to women's ideas of sexy.

A boa is a nice idea, something a little different, but I would add in the box a gift certificate to a really nice, fancy lingerie store in the town where you live (preferably not a chain store), so she can choose something other than a red satin basque and fishnets (!).
posted by essexjan at 4:35 AM on August 18, 2006

Try La Perla. It is a very sexy yet non skanky brand.
posted by Alison at 5:15 AM on August 18, 2006

Stay away from a boa. I'm pretty much Queen of Fun but Useless things, and even I'd not have much use for a boa. I don't really know any female who's used them seriously - indeed, even the guys wear them tongue-in-cheek. A gift certificate is nice, but it means more when you pick it out because not only did you put thought into it, but it implies you'd also like to see her in it. I'd pick out something like a sexy bra and panty set that's a bit more indulgent than she'd usually get, and perhaps a garter belt and stockings. Just take a look at the garters to make sure they're somewhat flat, otherwise if she wears it under a skirt she may feel they're too "obvious" to everyone. You can also then throw in a gift certificate on top of that.
posted by Iamtherealme at 6:37 AM on August 18, 2006

Silk and satin feel wonderfully luxurious to wear. Lace adds pretty detail. Of course, you want to love it too, so I think you can buy it yourself, but try to get her something comfortable (a lot of lingerie is not). Enlist the help of a saleswoman. Describe your wife and her taste. La Perla is nice. I recommend a pretty chemise, silk or satin with a little lace trim, and a matching, short robe. I don't think the color matters all that much, unless color is her thing. The chemise will be hot and the robe will let her cover up if she wants to. Plus, there's a certain glamour in a silk/satin robe - the antithesis of the big, comfy terry robe.
posted by Amizu at 7:08 AM on August 18, 2006

Swipe a bra and panties of hers that you know fit her well and she's comfortable in (you can tell they're comfortable because they're the ones she wears all the time) and take them with you when you shop. This will help the salesperson help you get her size exactly right. Also, you might want to pick out something that's similar to what she already has but a little bit different. If she generally wears one style, you probably should stick to something similar to that style if you want her to really wear it.
posted by palegirl at 7:13 AM on August 18, 2006

The problem with buying lingerie is that it is too-often used by men to try to communicate some kind of elaborate fantasy that they don't have the balls to discuss, hence making the supposed "gift to her" really a "hope for a gift for meee!"

Has she expressed longing for something in a shop window or catalogue, but dismissed it as a waste of money or too impractical? If so, you're already have a great hint. Now all you have to do is translate that hint properly. (Is it the style/cut/flow of the garment or the fabric/color/level of frou-frou?)
posted by desuetude at 7:15 AM on August 18, 2006

Be absolutely sure this is a welcome gift. I think buying another person lingerie is like buying them shoes in your size. And a can of shoe polish. And a card that says, "Happy birthday! Polish your shoes so I can wear them!"

But, if you are already sure that this is not a gift that's going to make her feel like a dancing monkey, buy quality stuff that doesn't have itchy/scratchy/poky things all over. Definitely aim for higher-end department store stuff and not polyester play items, and stick to the realm of real lingerie like a gown or chemise, or even really fantastic pajamas if she's a pajama type of woman. Even I would soften in the face of really great pajamas, because of the low dancing monkey factor and because there are some amazing soft happy pretty fabrics out there in the pajama realm these days.

(on preview, what desuetude said)
posted by Lyn Never at 7:16 AM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

Dolce & Gabbana's always good, the aforementioned LaPerla is a sure thing, but my personal favorite is Eres

if you live near London check out Coco De Mer
posted by matteo at 7:39 AM on August 18, 2006

Speaking as a woman, there is nothing sexier than silk pyjamas.
posted by meerkatty at 7:51 AM on August 18, 2006

I know it is not "lingerie," but a really nice silk bathrobe is sensuous and also allows her lots of controll over how much to reveal or conceal. Worn with other things or all by itself,; if it is realy nice feeling to wear it will probably become a favorite of hers quickly.
posted by BeerGrin at 7:53 AM on August 18, 2006

Warning: silk and satin can be unpleasant in a hot climate. There's really nothing like having your chemise sweat-plastered to your back on a hot Texas night. There are some rayon blends that are incredibly light and soft and fluid that feel soo good on, and I would recommend that over silk, satin, or 100% nylon or polyester (common in pajamas), if Anon lives in a hot part of the world. There's a reason that the best longjohns are made of silk.

Silk does make a fantastic cool-weather robe, though it's hard to handwash a robe.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:09 AM on August 18, 2006

I second Alison's recommendation for anything from La Perla - they are classy and sexy.

I'd recommend against Victoria's Secret - their stuff is not special enough.
posted by echo0720 at 8:16 AM on August 18, 2006

A silk bathrobe and a matching strappy silk slip.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:20 AM on August 18, 2006

I'm a girl, and I think pajamas are sexy.
posted by matildaben at 8:35 AM on August 18, 2006

La Perla is super nice. Also try Agent Provocateur - not sure about retail locations in the States but since you're not trying on before buying, that may not matter as much.

Agree on the no Victoria's Secret thing. Their stuff has gotten better but it's still kinda crappy and as noted above, not all that special.

If I were you and you wanted some advice locally, I'd find a local non-chain lingerie shop in your town. They'll have the best selection of non-standard stuff, stuff you can only find in an independent boutique. Plus, you're likely to find that the sales staff is more knowledgeable and can spend some time figuring out what would make your wife happy.

Having been the clueless 17-year old working in the lingerie department of a big department store, many years ago, I can say that most of the sales staff (except maybe at Nordstrom) at department stores is pretty useless.

And one additional tip, when you're talking to the sales lady and she asks what size your wife is, don't give her the once over and say "oh, about your size." That's no good.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:44 AM on August 18, 2006

But also, now that I think about it, the smaller boutiques will probably have more-restrictive return policies and it sounds like you'll need a little more flexibility.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:32 PM on August 18, 2006

Second Agent Provocateur. Yes, they have US retail outlets and (in LA) VERY helpful saleswomen.
posted by johngumbo at 3:05 PM on August 18, 2006

You want her to feel sexy, do you? How generous. Save the lingerie for your birthday. That is so a present for you.

Seconding that a bathrobe or silk pajamas would be a very nice present for her, if you decide to get her one.
posted by Methylviolet at 3:26 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

For someone who's not flashy about clothing, I recommend something conservative. Perhaps a classy gown of a really fine fabric. Nothing that shows too much skin. Something that will compliment her skin tone and perhaps show off a feature you know she likes about herself. If she likes her legs, make it shorter cut. If she hates her legs, make it ankle-length.

It's nice that you want to buy her something that will make her feel sexy. Be super vigiliant not to let your own ideas of sexiness interfere with that. I know I have a hard time with things like this.
posted by scarabic at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2006

That is so a present for you.

This is a totally irrelevant point of view. The questioner doesn't ask for good gift ideas. The questioner seems to think that spicing up the sex life with some lingerie she will like is a good idea. How about suspending judgment and stereotypes about horn-dog men who drool over garter belts, and just answering the question?
posted by scarabic at 6:39 PM on August 18, 2006

Methylviolet says: Save the lingerie for your birthday. That is so a present for you.

Oh yes. I received that memo today, the one that said that presents for couples should fall in the exclusive category of utilitarian and functional. I guess poor anonymous neglected to add it their manifesto.

Jesus. Chill out. Lingerie need not be restrictive or coercive at all. There are plenty of avenues and options available that something functional, re-usable, and sexy is definitely available and a number of great examples have been provided in this thread. You don't know their relationship, or her likes and dislikes, so stop projecting your hangups on him.

Personally, anything that could double as sleepwear (so satin and silk are definitely on the table) but still offer a mystique (knee high socks/nylons, chemise, comfortable bras and/or panties etc.). The style is definitely hers, so make sure you know what you're looking for, and if it has anything to do with the bust area, make sure you get the right size. Steal a bra, or accompany her on a fitting at a reputable local shop. Some tend to keep sizes on hand for the returning partners in order to reduce the guesswork (and possible issues) with products geared towards that area.
posted by purephase at 10:01 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

Steal a bra

Or just check the size tag in her favourite bra and tell the saleslady.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 PM on August 18, 2006

Not to derail the thread but speaking as a guy who wants to understand quality under garments for his special lady, what makes a seemingly ordinary bra from La Perla cost $153.00 when a similar one from a major retailer might cost $35-$40?
posted by mmascolino at 10:37 PM on August 18, 2006

orange swan says: Or just check the size tag in her favourite bra and tell the saleslady.

Size is easy to remember! It's the type of fit that counts.

I've rarely had to actually steal a bra, but if there is one that I know she likes a lot I'd rather just show the salesperson as they are infinitely more experienced in finding similar fitting bras than I would be.

Also, each girl is different. I know what my current SO likes so these types of tactics are not necessary for me, but for an inexperienced lingerie shopper it might come in handy.
posted by purephase at 7:35 AM on August 19, 2006

I, too, am fairly conservative in matters of dress, currently rocking the Sexy Librarian look (I hope), and wearing sexy little underthings makes me feel lovely. If they were sexy little underthings my sweetheart gave me, that would amp up "lovely" to "unstoppable."

(Previous responses make it clear some women would not love this gift. Some of us would be delighted. I trust you know into which camp your wife falls.)

The silky chemise and robe is a perennial non-skanky favorite, or a luxurious bra & panty set can be a delicious secret under her daily wear, and an all-day-long delicious secret can spice things up when you both get home. Oh, yeeeeeah.

Don't forget the allure of a slinky camisole, though. It can be worn under blouses, or peeking out of a suit jacket, or with a matching panty or pyjama pant at home. This makes for some sexy lounging attire.

Garter belts can seem elegant or trashy, and I agree that cheap ones bunch and bulge and feel obvious under a skirt for daily wear. If you do choose a garter belt, I would urge you to find traditional stockings to go with it, not elastic-topped thigh highs, which do stay up on their own but also cling in a most unpleasant way.
posted by Elsa at 9:03 AM on August 19, 2006

mmascolino: This article might explain some of that to you. Actually, the whole article might be of use to mr. anonymous up there, too.
posted by anjamu at 4:19 PM on August 19, 2006

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