How to buy lingerie for your girlfriend, wife or partner



Buying lingerie for your partner can be an intimidating process if you haven’t done it before. There are so many lingerie brands and lingerie sets to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. For fellas brave enough to buy lingerie as a gift though, it can be a thoroughly rewarding experience for all involved. 

Don’t be put off by pages of intimates online or racks of lingerie in store, we’ve put together a helpful guide to help you not only navigate the process but also find something really special your partner will love. 

Lingerie is a great gift to give at any time of year, whether you are going for something sweet and practical or super sexy to spice things up in the bedroom. 

In this guide, we’ve compiled all our best advice on how to shop for lingerie for your wife, girlfriend or partner so your gift is a hit. You’ll learn how to find your partner's style, fit and size as well as what kind of lingerie is best for gifting. Let’s get into it!  

Understand Her Style

One important part of buying lingerie for your partner is to find out what her style is, so you can ensure you are choosing something she will feel good and be comfortable in. 

Some women like more adventurous styles such as bright colours and revealing lingerie, others prefer classic options such as black lingerie. Remember to pick something that is to her taste so she feels confident, not just what you’d enjoy seeing her in.  

To find your partner’s style, take a look at the kind of lingerie she has now. Is it made of lace, is it patterned, brightly coloured or something out of the ordinary?

Once you have a rough idea of what she wears, you can delve further into the ‘3 Ps’ - does she like Pretty, Practical or Proud-of-it! 

Man looking at lemon yellow women's underwear lingerie styles

Pretty Lingerie Styles

Pretty styles offer something for everyday wear but can also include a touch of something eye-catching such as full lac, fine lace or colourful patterns.

Lacey bra and brief lingerie set

Practical styles

Practical styles offer comfort and simplicity that are suitable for everyday wear for any occasion. Practical pieces showcase plain smooth lines, soft fabric and practicality for everyday life. Skin-coloured (or nude) lingerie can also be practical as it doesn’t show through clothing.

Pretty blue contour bra and matching brief in a flat lay on a blue background


Proud-of-it styles are for the adventurous types looking for bold items such as red lingerie or lingerie extras like suspender belts or stockings, and heavy lace or extra revealing styles.

Model wearing Lace Me Up Contour Balconette Bra

Finding the right bra style

Now that you have an idea of the different lingerie styles, let’s get specific with bras.

Take a look at your partners’ current lingerie wardrobe:

Can you see through the lace of the bra?
If yes, this would indicate a ‘soft cup’ or ‘underwire’ bra.

When you touch the inside of the bra does it have lots of foam?
If yes, this would indicate a ‘push up boost’ bra.

Does the bra have a single piece of fabric that covers the full cup so it is lightly lined or moulded and it’s not see-through?
If yes, this would indicate a ‘contour’ bra.

When you feel the bra, is it soft with no underwire but is made from a moulded piece of fabric?
This would indicate a ‘wirefree’ bra.

Is the bra colourful or neutral in colour like black or nude?
This will indicate the kind of bra colour that she prefers.

Finding the right style of briefs

Now that we’ve looked at bra styles, it’s time to look at brief styles. If you want to get a full set, a matching bottom creates the perfect finishing touch.

Take a look at your partners current lingerie wardrobe: 

Do the briefs cover her bottom completely and sits high near her bellybutton?
If yes, that would indicate a full brief.

Do the briefs only have a thin piece of fabric or lace that shows off her bottom completely?
If yes, that would indicate a thong style. 

Is the brief in between a full brief and a thong?
If yes, that would indicate a bikini or brazilian style. 

Do the briefs sit high towards her belly button but doesn’t cover her hip bone as it has narrow sides?
If yes, that would indicate a high-cut style. 

Are the briefs see-through?
This would indicate she wears sheer or lace lingerie. 

Are the briefs mostly colourful, neutral in colour like black, white or nude, or have a print?
This is a good indication of what fabric and colour she likes. 

Get the size and fit right 

The fit of lingerie is just as important as the style. It should be comfortable and hugging in the right places, so it showcases her body in a flattering way and makes her want to wear the pieces. 

Picking the right fit will not only help her to feel you know her body well, but also that you have put effort into getting it right. These are the little, thoughtful things that will make her swoon!

How to choose the right bra size

Bra sizes have two components, the cup size and the underbust size and looks something like ‘12B’ or ‘16G’.

Cup size

This can be anything from a smaller size ‘A’ to a bigger size ‘G’ and indicates the size of the bra cup.

Getting this right ensures her breasts are not spilling out of the bra if it’s too small or moving around in a cup that is too big. 

Underbust measurement

This is the length around the body from under the bust and is shown in numbers, for example, ‘8’ or ‘24’.

This measurement ensures the bra is not cutting into her ribs or sitting too loose

To find her bra size look at the bra that she wears the most. The size can be found on the tag at the back of the bra, look for a number with a letter. 

*Top tip: Through different phases of life, women’s bra sizes do change. Try to use the newest bra she has which should give you a more accurate idea of what size she wears now. 

close up shot of a bra looking at a bra label and how to understand it

How to choose the right brief size

Brief sizes only have one component, which is usually shown in either numbers such as 8 or 20, or letters such as S or XL. 

These sizes relate to hip and waist measurement in centimetres or inches, so if you have those measurements you can check our size chart to find her brief size. 

You can find her brief size on the tag of her underwear, usually inside at the back or at the hip. Pant or skirt size can be the same as her underwear so you can also check her trousers! 

Getting this right ensures the underwear isn’t cutting into her hips, bum or tummy, or equally, falling off if they are too big! 

Close up shot of women's underwear showing the label and how to read it

Still a bit stuck?

If you have had a good look at her current lingerie and are still a bit stuck on what to buy because her style is varied, here are some helpful things to think about:

Does she wear a certain lingerie set all the time?
That could indicate what she is most comfortable in or what makes her feel the most confident.

Has she mentioned which set makes her feel good or not so good?

If she has complained about the way something makes her look or feel, that is a good indication of what not to buy her! 

Do you remember any special lingerie she had worn for you in the past?

If you’re looking for something to spice things up in the bedroom, then follow her lead, get something similar in style and change up the colour.

Some other things you can try for inspiration are:

Heading to the Bendon website to browse for lingerie you like in her size by using the size filtering option or asking for help in-store. 

Take a photo of her current lingerie, or bring it into the Bendon store for identifying what size and style she has now.

Our friendly in-store staff would love to help you make your partner the happiest woman alive!

Don’t be shy to ask her

If you feel your partner won’t mind you asking her about her measurements or lingerie sizes, this is a great option. Plus, she’ll likely be excited about the gift coming her way!

If she doesn’t know her size, there are sizing guides available so you can sort a perfect fit for her!

You could also ask your partner what she would like - is there anything missing from her lingerie wardrobe she would like you to pick for her? Get some ideas but keep it a surprise!

Ask us for Help

Bendon are the lingerie experts so you can always pop in-store or call customer service for assistance. 

They can have a look to see if your partner is on the database, which means she has shopped with us before and we will have a reference to her size and styles.

You can also take lingerie into the store to get some help with sizing and style, or they can just chat through some options based on what information you have. 

If you’re lucky enough to know her friends well and want the gift to go down well, ask her friends her size. They may even have some ideas on what she would love and be able to give you more advice on getting it right. 

Bendon Lingerie team ready to help you in store, posing against a store counter in store

Why not do it together

Buying lingerie together can be fun for you both plus she will get exactly what she wants. You can make a special occasion even better by incorporating a trip to Bendon to pick out some special pieces. 

The best lingerie for gifting

Searching lingerie online or wandering in store, you have so many options to choose from, but to make it simple we’ve done a roundup of our favourite bits of lingerie for gifting. 

Lingerie sets

Few things make women feel more confident than a matching bra and bottoms.

Sets help women to feel put together, and we don’t always have time for matching so a lingerie set can be a really special gift. 

Shopping within the same brand, you can also find different cuts within the same range - for example, the same fabric in both a brief or thong so you can tailor it to your partner. 

Lingerie sets some in a great range of colours, materials and cuts, so there is something for everyone’s taste. 

Woman looking down wearing a matching bra and brief set in dark turquoise

Sexy Sleepwear

Treat her to something sensual to slip into at the end of a long day. Pj's and cami and short sets are a luxury piece that’s sure to please. 

One-pieces and bodysuits

One piece lingerie and bodysuits are not always something women buy for themselves, so this could be a nice surprise of something different! 

They are an ultra-sexy, flattering option, and are great for all sizes.

A Chemise

Even something more modest like a chemise is a great gift, sizing is easy and it’s a nice bit of luxury for her. 

Sexy extra’s

If you are looking to level up the gift, why not add a suspender, some sexy hosiery or a robe!

This is also a great option for a partner that already has a lot of lingerie or has recently done an update.

Woman posing in front of a chandelier wearing a white corset, brief and matching suspender

Visit a Bendon store or shop online to find the perfect gift for your partner

Our helpful fit experts can point you in the right direction so you can find the best lingerie for your partner. Visit us in-store or online.

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