How To Buy Lingerie Online

There’s a real advantage to shopping online for lingerie: You can look at tons of styles, get hard-to-find sizes, and do it all from the privacy of your bedroom. The challenge is finding things that fit.

Check the angles. Make sure you see each garment from the front and back, and if possible, on a real model, not a mannequin.

Know your numbers. Never trust a system based on pants or dress size. Anything with measurements in inches will be more helpful. Get out a tape measure and measure yourself. First, exhale completely and measure the underbust-that’s where the band of your bra goes. It should be as snug as possible without being uncomfortable. Check that number against the size chart. It’s not intuitive-if you measure 32 inches, that doesn’t mean you’re a size 32. Then, while wearing a noncompressing, nonpadded, non-push-up bra, measure around the fullest part of your breasts. Take that number and subtract your band size. That’s your cup size (one inch is an A; two inches is a B; etc.).

Look for key words. If something is meant to fit snugly-and this is especially true for underwear-look for words like “multistretch,” “four-way stretch,” or “stretch lace.” And if you’re concerned about seams or panty lines, always check the treatment of the fabric along the leg; if there’s an obvious seam, move on. A seamless cut or lace is the best bet.

Wires aren’t everything. Soft-cup bras are much more forgiving if you aren’t 100 percent sure of the right size. If you are larger than a D, though, soft-cup bras are just as supportive as underwires, but they don’t give you the same degree of definition.

Skip novelty lingerie. Expensive lingerie and novelty pieces, like peekaboo bras, shelf bras, and garters, are tricky to buy online. If you know the brand well and are confident of your size, go for it. Otherwise, it’s best to try those on in a shop.

Tip

Get a professional fitting at a lingerie boutique, buy a bra there, and then keep the measurements for online shopping.

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