Alright Swimwear and Lingerie Fans, I have decided to forgo my disdain for this holiday and help out the few hapless folk who are desperately trying to win points for tonight by buying their significant other some lingerie.

Just because I will not be receiving any surprise gifties of decadent silk goodness, doesn’t mean that I can’t help some one else with their dream fulfillment. So, here is my Top Five List of Last Minute Lingerie Buying Tips for the Hopeful;

1. Last minute should never mean low quality; Just because you haven’t bothered to plan ahead, doesn’t mean you can just zip in to your local lingerie store and grab something cheap off the sale rack. By leaving it this late, you have basically taken away any chance for frugal luxury. Fabrics such as polyester, pleather and vinyl should not come home with you. Not only are these notoriously unforgiving fabrics but no one looks good in them and frankly they won’t win you any favors. You will want to find something that feels and looks stunning. Something that tells your partner that you treasure them and feel that these fabrics are worthy of adorning their body.

2. Fit, Fit, Fit; I just can’t say it enough. If you buy your beloved something that is too small, the immediate reaction will be for them to assume that you think they should be that size. Which won’t lead to a romantic Valentine’s Day. If you buy something that is too big, the giftee will assume that you think they are that big and therefore think they are fate. Which also won’t lead to a romantic Valentine’s Day. There is very little room for wiggle in this area and unfortunately good intentions will only carry you so far. So, if you can, take a peak in your Valentine’s drawer and see what size has been getting the most wear these days. Don’t be surprised to find quite a range of sizes, after all, we all have the;
a) Fits right now comfortably size
b) Fits right now if you don’t plan to breathe too much
c) Fit a few years ago, and is too pretty to give up on
d) Fits when the chocolate covered almonds have been calling too frequently
e) Never fit, but is really cute and was on sale and HEY! optimism is good, right?

The many sizes and the psychological angst that accompanies each one can be really tricky to navigate, so just stick with the size of something that you have seen worn in recent rotation.

3) Style, Type, Kind…Just Bring a Picture; If you aren’t down with all the lingerie jargon, it is easy to be overwhelmed. After all, their is a difference between a garter belt and a girdle. A BIG difference. One says, I think you’re sexy and this could be fun, the other says, I think your bloated and needs a little help with your lady lumps. Definitely not the time to mix those up! When in doubt bring in a picture. However, if the only picture you can find of the particular type of lingerie you would like to purchase involves and 18+ viewership law, then skip the picture. After all, being arrested for lewd behavior or soliciting prostitution won’t make for a very happy Valentine’s Day either. It may be useful to simply grab something from the lingerie drawer and bring it in to show the sales person. If walking around with his jock underwear in your pocket is a little too strange for you, then you can head over to an informational site like Swimwear and for a quick tutorial.

4) Stick to Small, Medium, Large etc.; Seriously. once you get into bra sizes and corset sizing…. anything can happen. Your best bet is to stick to underwear or panties. When it comes to men, there are so many stunning brands out there that are really reinventing mens underwear. Between fabrics, patterns and styles, the sky is the limit and every guy loves to have supportive and comfortable underwear. For women, go ahead and check out thongs, string bikinis and lacy hipsters. If you had planned ahead, I would have suggested some handmade uber luxurious underpinnings from Ophelia Fancy, Toad Lillie or Nasty Pig. But this is last minute, so even rush delivery can’t help you now. Head to your closest boutique lingerie store and follow the rules outlined here.

5) Buy Some for Yourself; It is one thing to wow your date with a gift of lingerie, it is yet another thing to wow them with your own lingerie. While you are in that boutique lingerie store (not local adult store… they will not have the selection of fabrics, styles and fits that have been discussed) pick up a new pair of skivvies for yourself. Try out something new and see what all the fuss is about. Take a leap and experiment with color, fabric, style or brand and you may just realize that there really is something uplifting and confidence building about wearing beautiful and beautifully made underwear.

That’s all there is to it. Don’t make the day any harder than it has to be. Print up this guide and get thee to a lingerie store…

Oh, and have fun… that’s what Valentine’s Day is really about isn’t it?