Nothing makes a woman happier than giving her a gift for no other reason than to see her smile. Why not satisfy her need to open a box and your need for, well, you know, with some sexy lingerie? Rebecca Apsan, owner of La Petite Coquette and author of The Lingerie Handbook, is here to guide you in the right direction—far, far, far away from flannel.


Don’t assume you know her size. Buy something too big, she’ll assume you want her breasts to be larger. Buy something too small, she’ll scream at you for calling her fat. Your best bet is to rummage through her underwear drawer and fi nd out which size bra and underwear she wears. Find out which colors and styles she wears most. Does she prefer cotton over lace? Thongs over bikinis? “Avoid what you fi nd in the back of the drawer,” warns Apsan. “There is a reason they’re there, and that’s because she never, ever wears them.” And don’t linger!


 Less is not always more, and while you’re in love with every inch of her body, she’s not going to be so happy about wearing a $100 piece of dental fl oss, especially if she’s a bit insecure and not as in love with her curves as you are. “Be sensitive to her likes and dislikes—she’ll be more apt to wear lingerie if it’s fl attering,” says Apsan. To be safe, she adds, go with something fuller on top and shorter on the bottom. “Most women are comfortable with their legs, so you’re pretty safe buying something short to show them off.”


Don’t cut corners. She wants to feel sexy, not cheap. Avoid plastic, vinyl, leather, metal, or anything else too kinky (unless she’s into that). This is also probably not the best time to be introducing crotchless panties. Edible, either. “If it feels scratchy and itchy, don’t buy it,” says Apsan. “You want it to be soft.” When shopping, rub the material on your forearm; if it feels smooth, it should also feel nice and comfy on her lady parts. If not, keep looking. Can’t decide? Go for a short black silk slip—it never fails.


Don’t worry, she’s not going to assume you’re buying things for yourself (and if you are, who is she to judge?). She wants your girl to be happy. She wants you to be happy. And since she wears the stuff, she can tell you fi rsthand (or fi rst fi llin- the-body-part) which items are most comfortable and fl attering. Some higher-end stores will keep your lady’s sizes on fi le for future reference—this can be problematic if shopping for more than one girl. But who are we to judge?