Monday, February 13, 2012

Journelle's Tips for Picking Out Lingerie

When I was getting ready to surprise A. in Bangkok for New Year's Eve, I knew I needed something special to wear that night. I already knew what dress I'd greet him in, but I also wanted something new to wear underneath because sexy lingerie always adds a little extra oomph to your attitude and any man's happiness once he sees you in it.

As a petite woman, finding lingerie that fits well can be a challenge, but during a fun trip to Journelle I tried on piece after piece that actually made it really hard to choose just a couple! (I eventually decided on this charcoal and pink Elle Macpherson Gentle Jade bra and thong set.) So I've pulled in Karen LaPorte and Jennifer Klick, manager and assistant manager of Journelle's Union Square location, to answer a few questions about picking out lingerie and share some tips for the guys who are planning to surprise their woman with a new set for Valentine's Day.

Whether you love to show off that body, would rather play it sweet and comfy, or are trying to break through the shyness, there's really an option for every one and every mood.

Hi Karen and Jennifer! Thanks for popping in to share some lingerie 101 with us. So to start off what's the difference, if any, between lingerie and underwear?

Lingerie is something we choose to wear, that is worn with intention, and speaks to who we are as women. Underwear is a layer purchased simply because it's a necessity.

Why should every woman invest in some good quality lingerie?

There is a really strong connection with what we wear and how we feel on the inside to how we look on the outside. It's the first thing we put on in the morning and even if only we know about it, it will effect how we feel throughout the day. Properly fitting lingerie is the foundation for your daily outfits. No one is in a good mood if they are adjusting their ill-fitting bras and panties all day long. With a proper fitting bra, you can look younger and five pounds lighter.

What should a woman look out for when selecting the right fit and style?

It's always good to remember that we are all a shape and a size. It's important to learn the styles and shapes that will fit and flatter your body the best. Don't be afraid to try on lots of different styles to find what works for you. Just like jeans, it's not about the number on the label, it's about what fits you the best.

I can attest to that! A size in one brand doesn't necessarily mean it's your size in another so it's important to try them all out. Besides, it's fun to try on all those pieces in the dressing room. The salesperson is a huge help to finding what fits, but how else can we make sure that we're wearing the correct size?

We recommend getting fitted every two years, or if you lose or gain 10 or more pounds. The band should be parallel around your body to the floor - not riding up the back. Cups should also lay flat against the body, not gap or create the dreaded "four-boob." The bra should be comfortably snug. There should be no need to adjust it throughout the day.

On average, how many pieces of lingerie should a woman own at a time and for what different purposes?

It's really important to have enough of the everyday pieces to be able to rotate and give at least one to two days off in between. Two to three t-shirt bras in black and nude, one to two strapless bras, one to two everyday lacy bras. For sexy and special occasion sets, we say as many as your heart desires!

Now I'm sure there are lots of guys out there who'd love to surprise their woman with something sexy for Valentine's Day, but are completely clueless when it comes to buying lingerie. Do you have any tips for them?

Yes! At Journelle, we love to help gentlemen find special items for their ladies. On our blog we have The Discerning Gentleman's Guide to Lingerie. It's a wonderful four-part course that explains the differences between a bikini and a thong, a demi bra and a balconette, etc, and how to select for his lady's personality. A must-read for anyone before they go to a lingerie store for the first time. [Check out courses one, twothree, and four here!]

For guys buying lingerie as gifts for their ladies:

1. Know her size. With that piece of information a sales girl can steer you him in the right direction.
2. Buy something you both will like. Showing up with something that she won't wear or the he doesn't want to see her in helps no one. This is a mutual gift.
3. Buy a matching set- girls like to have the complete set and often two pairs of matching underwear to the bra. Often a thong and a shorty are available, why not get both?
4. Splurge on something she would love but wouldn't necessarily get for herself. Isn't that what gift giving is all about? It doesn't have to be expensive, but say if she always buys practical, get her something feminine that she would only dream of buying.

In addition to lingerie, we carry lots of fun accessories such as Jimmyjane massage oil candles, Maison Close Plumeau Caresse feather ticklers and satin-and-lace cuffs, and Bijoux Indiscrets burlesque feather pasties.

Thanks for the advice, ladies! And for readers who'd like the chance to win $1000 worth of fine lingerie, enter Journelle's Valentine's Day contest and submit up to five photos illustrating what love means to you. Submissions must be made by tonight at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck!

Images: Mimi Holliday Fondant Rouched Suspender With Corset, $68; Mimi Holliday Nonnettes Padded Super Plunge Bra, $90, Chantelle Saint Germain Demi Bra, $84, and Chantelle Saint Germain Shorty, $36; all from


  1. Great interview. I'm a bit 'chesty' which many people think means there are a lot of choices for me... Not so. Specialty shops really help in that department.

    1. Same goes for me and I'm just tiny all over. A specialty shop will have a much wider range of sizes and styles.

  2. I think the guy-key here is know her size. :)

    1. I think if it's come to that stage in the relationship where it's cool to buy her lingerie, I assume there's access to her clothes that are lying around on the floor, no?

  3. Let me start by saying I love the way these panties fit. They are comfortable and the style is cute. However both pairs that I bought are showing signs of wear after just one washing. I believe it is due to the material they are made out of.


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