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lingerie gifts

Holiday season is almost upon us, and there are plenty of articles around with advice on lingerie shopping for a partner. But what if you’re a girl who’s hoping to treat a friend?

You would think that, as lingerie-wearers ourselves, we’d have a much easier time picking something out for someone else. But if you’ve never seen the inside of your friend’s lingerie drawer, it can actually prove rather tricky to work out what she would like! After all, lingerie is pretty personal.

It does make a gorgeous gift though. So here are some tips to help you get it right!

Subtly bring it up in conversation

You could outright tell your friend you want to buy them some lingerie and ask what they’d like, but it’s always nice to surprise someone right? To get an idea of their underpinnings preferences without being too obvious, casually steer a conversation towards the topic.

For example:

– bring along a magazine that you know has a few bra styles on the style pages and go “oo, this one’s cute, what do you think of it?”

– mention you’ve heard that thongs are on the way out and big knickers are back in style, and gauge her reaction for clues about what she’d rather wear

–  open some product tabs on your phone, say you’re lingerie-shopping for yourself / another friend and can’t decide which is the prettiest option

– say you need some new bras but can’t find anything you like, and ask where she normally gets hers

Try to find out her sizes

Some friends are close enough to know each others’ bra and clothing sizes, but don’t panic if you aren’t. Maybe you can find it out. Avoid peeking at her laundry though – that’s a bit creepy, even if you’re good friends! Try these instead:

– ask her sister, if she has one

– bring up one of those just-for-fun lingerie images where they compare cup sizes to different fruits and ask her which one she is

– tell her you’ve just discovered bra sister sizing and ask if she knew about it – if you’re having a conversation about bra sizes in general, you might get lucky and she’ll just mention hers

No luck? Try the next tip…

Hit up a few lingerie stores together

Going bra-shopping together is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone! If you end up trying anything on, you should be able to clock which sizes she picks up or asks the shop assistant for.

Plus, it will give you a really good idea of what designs she is drawn to. Make a mental note of the colours, fabrics and shapes she graviates towards. You could even come back and buy one of the items she clearly loves.

Consider her style, and lifestyle

If none of the above works, you can still use your best stylist skills to guess at what she’d like. Think about the clothing you see her wear – is it minimal? Glam? Sporty? Cute and girly? Take note of whether she wears a lot of low-cut necklines, in which case you may have the most success with a plunge bra.

Don’t forget to take your friend’s lifestyle into account too. If she’s a yoga babe, maybe she’d love a sporty racerback she can show off under a workout top. If she’s a housewife, perhaps a fancy robe to swan about the house in. Speaking of which…

Think beyond just bras and briefs

Remember that there’s more to lingerie than simply bra sets! You could also treat your friend to a robe, a nightdress, pajamas… even little treats like a sleep mask can make a lovely gift.

Plus, non-cupped items are much easier to fit since they are sold by clothing or lettered sizing – solving the problem if you really can’t figure out her bra size.

Keep in mind when she’ll open it

If you’re heading to a lingerie shower where you’ll all be sipping wine, giggling, and opening the presents one by one, then anything probably goes.

But if this is a gift she’ll be popping under her tree until December 25th to open with her kids or parents, I’d definitely advise toning down the sexy!

Prepare to potentially get it wrong

Despite your best efforts, there’s a chance that what you buy won’t fit or be her style. It’s not the end of the world – it’s the thought that counts right? Just make sure you’ve asked for a gift receipt and included it in the parcel. These don’t show the price, but allow your friend to go back to the store herself and exchange for another size or style if needed.

Check the returns policy too, especially if you’re the type of organised person who does their shopping early. Many retailers do offer an extended returns period for items bought in the run up to the holidays, but not all.

Have you ever bought lingerie for, or received it from, a friend? Have any tips to add to this list?

Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black
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Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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