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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Buy me something pretty

A package arrived for me in the post the other day. I knew it was going to be something really special - when I ripped off the brown paper, there was a small white box tied shut with a black ribbon. Inside it, wrapped in pale grey tissue paper (you can tell something is really special when it's wrapped in tissue paper), was a beautiful mulberry silk slip. Another attempt by MDH at purchasing lingerie - and unlike previous occasions, his choice was absolutely perfect this time round.

Choosing lingerie as a present for the special someone in your life really isn't that difficult, as long as you think '6S'.

1. Soft. Lingerie has to be comfortable and luxurious and sensual. It's difficult to feel sexy if one isn't relaxed - and it's difficult to be relaxed if one is feeling hot, sweaty and itchy. Stick with smooth satins and silks, crisp cottons or cuddly flannels. You have to really want to touch it, to feel the texture of it on your skin. Basques, corsets and anything that includes underwires should be avoided unless you are 100% certain of that person's size and figure (see point 4) - but be warned that she might not wear them often enough to make them worthwhile purchases. Fur, feathers, PVC and leather are all very exciting and sexy, but not much fun for sleepwear and besides, they make a girl look more like a bordello mistress (and she might not be the type - so you'd best play it safe and stick to my advice).

2. Sweet. It's all about the details! Lace, ribbons, embroidery - it all makes a slip look so much prettier, and gives it character, makes it more special. A small embroidered flower here, a dragonfly
applique there, a lace trim, a contrasting velvet bow, a cluster of opaline beads. It not only holds the eye but draws attention towards curves and lines of the body. Keep it delicate, subdued and above all, simple. A row of hook-and-eye fasteners on the back or tiny buttons down the front look amazing but could be a hassle to get on and complicated to get off.

3. Skim. The fabric should skim the body or be softly clinging, not skin tight. She needs room for movement. Besides, less is not more when it comes to lingerie. The ultimate seductress,
Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, describes her most provocative negligee as one that 'hides everything from the eye, but reveals all to the imagination'. I'm not suggesting that it has to be high necks, long sleeves and cover-your-ankles-you-tramp, but the main body of the lingerie should be opaque or at the very most, translucent. Not transparent. The words 'mesh', 'peek-a-boo' and 'crotchless' should not be in the description.

4. Sizing. Unless you know her exact bra-cup size, try to buy in simple measurements ie. Small, Medium, Large. Pick outfits that allow room for minor alterations - adjustable shoulder straps, ribbon ties, drawstrings or a little bit of lycra or lace in the material. Try to avoid elastics as they sometimes leave marks on the skin.

5. Sets. Matching overgarments (robes, kimonos) or undergarments (french knickers, boycut or bikini panties) would be nice, just for completeness and aethetic appeal (imagine having to wear a tiny black babydoll slip with Bridget Jones type granny pants *shudder*). Some negligees will come with a free g-string thrown in, but I wouldn't advise buying thongs or g-strings unless you already know that the receipient of the garment wears them comfortable. There's nothing worse than a wedgie.

6.Slogans. Girly and fun is the way to go. Something like 'Little Miss Naughty' or 'Sugar and Spice' would go down very nicely. I have a pink nightie that reads 'I have a way with Freudian Slips', emblazoned in tiny black letters.

And there you have it. My guide to buying women's sleepwear. Guaranteed 6S!

PS. MDH bought my lovely new slip from Figleaves, but this site has great stuff too.

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