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Men's Guide: How To Behave in a Lingerie Store

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Men and Lingerie. Lingerie and Men... the two often have an awkward relationship. 

Men have as many reactions to lingerie as there are types of people in the world. The aspect of this we will be focusing on today is lingerie shopping. To make this easy, I'm going to break Male Lingerie Shoppers into three basic categories:
           a. Men shopping with their significant other.
           b. Men gift shopping for their significant other.
           c. Men lingerie shopping for themselves. 

Because the construction and ideals behind the lingerie store are inherently female-oriented, men (from any of the above categories) can be affected in countless ways by the nuanced environment of lingerie shopping. As the co-brains behind Miss Underpinnings, I have now been to (what feels like) a ton of lingerie stores (though its probably been like... 7), and cultivated many behavioral techniques that I would like to pass on to my fellow man. Ladies who read this, you have my permission to share this with your otherwise lovely boyfriend/husband who may be clueless in this regard...

1. Ask permission before entering the fitting area. This is out of courtesy to everyone else in the store. Being fit is a very sensitive experience that can cause women a lot of stress, and having a strange man around, even just reading a magazine or idly checking out merchandise, will just add to that. If you are the only couple in the store, its probably cool, but you should check anyway.

2. If you are gift shopping, try to be as informed as possible beforehand. There is no way around it: you need to know the correct cup and band size of the gift recipient before you go in to the store. As much fun as it may sound to go in and announce, "I'm pretty sure my girlfriend has Double D's," you are probably just going to get an eye-roll, and that's not really enough information. If you for some reason can't figure out the right size bra, go with a gift card. 

3. If shopping for your wife or girlfriend, do not flirt with the saleswoman! It seems very obvious, and yet I can tell you that to many men it is clearly not. You will come off as a total creep. If the proximity of mannequins in lingerie causes your flirtatious desires to run rampant, do not enter the store. You never hear about women going into Men's Wearhouse and aggressively winking at the tailor.

4. When asking for help, listen. As a man in an overwhelmingly female environment, you need to be humble, courteous, and respectful. Having questions to ask a salesperson is a very good thing, and it shows that you are interested in making an informed decision about a product.

5. Just be yourself. After having made it seem like there are a million rules for how to act when lingerie shopping, this is the most important one! People love you when you are calm, cool, and collected. Lingerie shopping is a perfectly normal thing for a man to be doing, so there is no need to be embarrassed. 

That's it! It really isn't that complicated. I hope these rules help make guys everywhere feel just a little more comfortable when buying undergarments for ladies, and ladies, hopefully your husband will opt not to wait in the car from now on.

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  1. I'm not sure about first two type of men. But I'm pretty sure I'm the third one. At my place, it would be awkward to have a guy wandering at intimates section. But for me, since it's public and open place (take example as Wal-Mart). I would just walk and check it out like other girls would do. But it would be different matter if I'm checking out an intimates shop. It's exciting to explore every part of the shop.

    However, my point is. It's inevitable to encounter awkward feeling between male and female customers. I could say; it's shop responsibility to ensure they cater for both gender needs (as in fitting room, or privacy between each customers).

    1. Hey Sharazy, thanks for offering your point of view! Fitting rooms for both genders is a great idea, although a lot of times at bigger unisex stores like Urban Outfitters, they have unisex dressing rooms and that works out fine as well. I think that you're right that some awkwardness may be unavoidable, and my post is focusing on helping men who may feel uncomfortable for whatever reason feel less so when shopping for intimate apparel. Thanks for reading!

  2. I do most of my shopping online because no stores nearby carry my size. I hate looking around for bargains, so I maintain a list of bras I want and the size I want each bra in, and it is my partner's job to find them online and order them. This works out pretty well: he likes to find a good price, and I want to get my bras with a minimum of fuss.

    1. Sounds like you two have a nice shopping arrangement worked out! Online shopping is often a great way to go, especially if there are no good stores nearby. Thanks for reading!

  3. Great post Mr. Underpinnings! So many solid tips, and I like the bits of humor you threw in there at times. Made me really enjoy the post. I hope more men read this!


    1. Thanks Amber! I'm glad you enjoyed it... These are mostly just things I used to notice when Miss Underpinnings worked at our local lingerie store and I would see men not knowing what to do with themselves :)


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