Whether you’re wearing it for your partner or underneath a bulky sweater and pants to the office, lingerie can make us feel empowered and sexy. But the act of lingerie shopping is rarely discussed. “There’s a certain level of self-consciousness and pressure women feel when making such an intimate purchase,” Mariela Rovito and Ali Mejia, co-founders of Eberjey, told The Cheat Sheet. And since most of us are wandering aimlessly to find something hot that doesn’t look half bad in the dressing room, we’re most likely making tons of lingerie mistakes in the process. Today, we’re getting up close and personal with six lingerie mistakes you’re probably making and easy ways to fix them.
1. Arrive without a plan
Do you really need two black ruffled slips in your drawer? Probably not. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a lingerie store or become completely enamored with an impractical set, but buying too much is actually a common mistake many women make. Luckily, this is easy to fix. “Identify your needs before you shop,” Rovito and Mejia recommended. Just as you would at the grocery store, make a list of all the pieces you need to pick up — you’ll end up saving hundreds on duplicate items. Also, it’s imperative you have the essentials before branching out to buy trendier pieces: An underwire bra, soft lace bra and panty set, comfortable thong, soft pajamas, robe, and sexy sleepwear like a chemise or teddy are key, according to Rovito and Mejia.
2. Not getting properly fitted
While you may love the bralette you saw online, there’s a chance it may not complement your body — and that’s OK. Lingerie is supposed to make women feel their best, so it’s important to find a style that flatters your great shape. “We recommend getting fit with a lingerie specialist and getting refit at different times of the month, as your body naturally fluctuates,” Rovito and Mejia advised. “Take into account not only band and cup sizes, but your individual shape as well.” The process is going to take some trial and error, but we promise the results will be worth it. If you’re still struggling to find a style that fits you well, Rovito and Mejia recommend looking at multi-functional pieces, as they offer support but are still sexy.
3. Paying no attention to fabric
Your bra and underwear are basically second layers of skin, so the fabric you choose is arguably one of the most important factors in lingerie shopping. “Not paying enough attention to fabric content can result in an uncomfortable and itchy or bothersome wear,” Rovito and Mejia said. With all the e-tailers that offer top tier lingerie brands, buying your unmentionables online is very convenient. But if it’s your first time with a new brand, pop into a traditional brick-and-mortar store to feel the fabric yourself — it’ll save you the hassle of returns.
4. Forgetting to adjust straps
Since you’d adjust any bra you’d wear to work, it’s important you do the same when you’re in the dressing room. Otherwise, you won’t be sure you’re getting the best fit for your body. Rovito and Mejia recommend you adjust your bra straps to your preference and wear your bra on the loosest hook — you’ll move the hook as the bra stretches. For extra measure, Rovito and Mejia recommend you put on each bra using the swoop and scoop method. “Hook your bra and pull the straps up, then bend forward and gently position your breast tissue in each cup,” Rovito and Mejia explained. “There shouldn’t be any spilling over or gapping at the top or sides.”
5. Standing still in front of the mirror
Unless you’re buying it for a sexy magazine centerfold, you won’t be standing or sitting still in your lingerie. You’ll be walking, jumping, and dancing, and much more. So, the next time you’re trying on bras, panties, and slips, get moving. “Don’t just stand in front of the mirror and think you’ve found the perfect fit,” Rovito and Mejia cautioned. “Bend down, lift your arms, move around, and make sure your bra moves with you.” Not only does this ensure you’re buying the best size and style, it’ll also help you feel unbelievably sexy when you debut it in the boudoir.
6. Tossing lingerie in the dryer
It doesn’t matter if you dropped hundreds of dollars on a bra and panty set or bought your lingerie from your nearest department store, your pieces will have a longer shelf life if you give them some tender loving care. Think about it this way: Even some of your ratty T-shirts and sweatpants can get destroyed in the washer and dryer, so why would you throw your intimates in the laundry? To ensure your lingerie looks just as great during months later, the Eberjey co-founders recommend picking up some lingerie detergent and hand-washing each piece. Don’t have hours to dedicate to lathering up your drawers? “If you must machine wash, choose the delicate cycle and wash items separately in a laundry bag with the backs hooked,” Rovito and Mejia said. “Never put your lingerie in the drying machine.” Trust us, you’ll be happy you took the extra measure to care for your lingerie.
[Editor’s Note: This story was originally published November 2016]