Written in partnership with Porte-\u00e0-Vie\r\nA man\u2019s guide to buying lingerie? The headline for this story alone is probably enough to instil fear in the heart of every bloke with a regular squeeze. Come Valentine\u2019s day, chocolates and flowers are an easy win; dinner in an exxy restaurant with champagne will seldom go down poorly; even something as simple as candles in the bedroom will chalk up some brownie points. But one mention of the L-word (lingerie) and most men, no matter how savvy in the romance department, fall to pieces.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a well-known truism, yet one that hasn\u2019t seemed to change much over the years, no matter how accessible information might be on the web. Speaking with Lisa Hili, one-half of the brains behind Aussie lingerie and adult-wares website Porte-\u00e0-Vie, we sought advice to delve into the root of what makes men so scared of the subject, and how we can lift our lingerie game.\r\n\r\n\r\nLingerie is a Great Valentines Day Present for a Reason\r\nWhile the thought of having to buy lingerie may turn you to water, it\u2019s an undeniably great present for the 14th of Feb, and with good reason: it\u2019s really for the two of you.\r\n\r\n\u201cLingerie is the perfect gift for Valentine\u2019s Day as it is just as much a gift for her as it is a gift for you. In our experience, lingerie that looks this exquisite, is quickly relegated to the bedroom floor. \r\n\r\n\u201cUnlike roses and chocolates, lingerie does not have an expiration date. Lingerie is a gift that will keep on giving.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nStep one: getting over the fear factor\r\nWhether you\u2019ve stepped into a store only to turn right back around, or made it all the way to an online checkout, only to chicken out, the fear is real. Don\u2019t let this be the thing that holds you back, however. Knowledge is power, and arming yourself with a few guidelines will have you expertly selecting satin and lace in no time.\r\n\r\n\u201cFrom the outside, to the untrained lingerie consumer, the world of lingerie appears to be an entirely foreign world; unfamiliar terminology, complicated sizing, endless options. \r\n\r\n\u201cAs such, for some gentlemen, buying lingerie for their significant other can be a shot in the dark, doomed to end in returns and disappointment.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nGet a Grip on the Basics of Buying Lingerie\r\nThe first step to overcoming this fear is to break it down to basics. It doesn\u2019t take a genius to figure out why women love lingerie so much, so using this knowledge to your advantage is the first step towards getting the formula right.\r\n\r\nLearning the differences between a brassiere and a baby doll will make all the difference (if in doubt, refer to the handy glossary at the bottom of this page.)\r\n\r\n\u201cThe first thing a man must consider when buying for their significant other is: what will make her feel her the sexiest?\r\n\r\n\u201cBefore you take the leap and purchase, take the time to observe her style and preferences. Does she prefer a bra or bralette; a thong or a brief? Is she inclined to hide or accentuate a particular body feature? Does she opt for colours or does she stick to a monochrome palette?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cIf you can, take a sneaky little peek into her underwear draw to confirm her size. If you are not in a place in your relationship to do this, don\u2019t fret, most online retailers size in small, medium and large, and provide comprehensive size guides based on individual brands. \r\n\r\n\u201cStill unsure? Choose an item that is elasticated or adjustable, providing an additional margin of error. Remember, Valentine\u2019s Day lingerie is for occasional wear, to be pulled out of the lingerie draw to mark a special day. Fit is important, but it doesn\u2019t have to be as precise as something for everyday wear.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nAvoid the Common Lingerie Buying Mistakes\r\nSo now you have a starting point, it\u2019s time to look at the common mistakes all those \u201cother\u201d guys make. While this may seem obvious, don\u2019t be too selfish when selecting her new knickers; just because you think she\u2019d look banging in a burlesque brassiere, if it\u2019s not her style then you\u2019ll have sadly missed the point.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhile the lingerie you purchase is just as much for you as it is for her, try and find a middle ground between what lingerie you want to see her in, and what lingerie she will want to wear. While you may want black, strappy and barely there, if she\u2019s a colour, lace and full coverage lady, try and find a set of lingerie that has a bit of both, keeping both parties feeling sexy and satisfied. \r\n\r\n\u201cWhen buying lingerie online, be sure to read the product descriptions carefully and consult the brand specific guidelines on each product page to ensure you purchase the most exquisite fit for the leading lady in your life.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\nGet the Right Lingerie Outlet for an Easy Win\r\nOne of the best features of the internet is the ability to hide behind a screen and not have to have an embarrassing in-store conversation. The downside, however, is that you miss out on the helpful interaction that a shopkeeper can provide, which comes in particularly handy when you haven\u2019t the first clue about what you\u2019re buying.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis is where the true genius of Porte-\u00e0-Vie comes into play.\r\n\r\n\u201cPorte-\u00e0-Vie is the ultimate Valentine\u2019s Day destination for men as we have done all the hard work for you. \u00a0In our Erotic Boxes are a hand-picked selection of sensual surprises, exquisitely presented in a luxurious gift box, ready to be presented to her on delivery. No wrapping or cards needed. Our extensive \u2018For Her\u2019 section features a curated selection of boudoir delights for every kind of woman, whether she is new to you, she\u2019s the boss of you or she\u2019s an adventurer, to name just a few. \r\n\r\n\u201cIf your significant other is the kind of woman who knows exactly what she wants and isn\u2019t shy about letting you know, our \u2018Drop a Hint\u2019 feature allows her to send an anonymous message straight to your inbox detailing exactly what she has her eye on.\r\n\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t be Afraid to Ask for Help with Buying Lingerie\r\nWhile an online store may lack the smiling (or possibly smirking) shop assistant, it doesn\u2019t mean they\u2019re lacking human interaction. Shooting an email through is the best way to get assistance, and given that they\u2019re all pros at the other end, there\u2019s no such thing as a stupid question.\r\n\r\n\u201cAt Porte-\u00e0-Vie we want the pleasure to be all yours. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be delighted to point you in the right direction. This Valentine\u2019s Day, finding the perfect present is as easy as clicking a button.\u201d\r\nVisit Porte-\u00e0-Vie\r\n\r\nA Glossary of Essential Lingerie Terms\r\n\r\n \tBabydoll: A short nightgown, typically paired with matching panties.\r\n \tBalconette: A type of bra with a low cut and minimal cups which creates a straight line across the bust.\r\n \tBoning: Rigid additions (usually plastic or metal) to a piece that add shape and structure.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tBoy Shorts: Panties that offer full-coverage, but which are still more revealing than standard boxers.\r\n \tBustier: Similar to a corset, a bustier is a versatile garment that spans from the bust to the navel, and is fixed at the back with a hook-and-eye closure.\r\n \tCamisole: A sleeveless, usually loose-fitting undergarment, similar to a singlet.\r\n \tChemise: A type of sleepwear longer than a baby-doll, which is usually tighter at the top and loose-fitting at the bottom.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tCorset: A type of shapewear that typically laces at the front and uses lots of boning to add volume to the bust.\r\n \tDemi Cup: Bra cups with a smaller coverage that add lift without compromising comfort.\r\n \tG-String: Contrary to popular belief, not exactly the same as a thong, a g-string offers no coverage at the back, and joins the gusset to the waist via only a string.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tPlunge: A type of bra with a deep \u201cV\u201d shaped neckline.\r\n \tPush Up: An underwire bra that also has padding, adding at least one cup size to the wearer\u2019s bust.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tSlip: Similar to a chemise but tighter-fitting; worn under a dress to stop clinging.\r\n \tSoft Cup: A bra with no underwire, and the most comfortable for everyday wear.\r\n \tTeddy: A one-piece garment that can feature a snap-crotch closure, often worn instead of a camisole.\r\n \tThong: Similar to a g-string, offering minimal coverage, with the goal of reducing the chances of a visible panty line (VPL).\r\n \tUnderwire: The wire that runs underneath a bra\u2019s cup, providing shape and support.