Buying a woman lingerie can be a baffling experience, but this expert guide will explain why each kind costs so much and tell the guys xactly what to get her. Click below for our beginners' guide, and head to Esquire.com for all 12 tips.
ALSO: Take Esquire's Survey of the American Woman & Find Out How You Compare!
What it is: Oh, you know what it is. (And if you don't: A minimal panty with a thin strip of fabric running up the back that leaves the derrière fully exposed.)
Who it's best for: Girls who already own them.
The experts say: Get a one-size-fits-all thong and choose one with a flat back panel that will lie smoothly against her body without causing muffin top. Hanky Panky has one of the most popular one-size thongs available, with a thick lace waistband that hides any extra around her middle. Hanky Panky thong, $18-20Want More Tips on Buying Lingerie? Click here to learn from Victoria's Secret Models
What it is: A modernized version of a full torso brace used in the 19th century to sculpt the figure. (Merriwidows have garter belt straps.)
Who it's best for: Large breasted women, plus-sized women, Goth girls.
The experts say: Today's versions are less restrictive - the corset strings and hooks are just sexy details. Rebecca Apsan, owner of NYC lingerie emporium La Petite Coquette, recommends corsets because they accentuate body features that a woman might normally hide. Betsey Johnson bow lace corset, $88PUSH UP BRA:
What it is: A bra padded to make the bust look larger and push the breasts upward to create cleavage.
Who it's best for: A girl with small or sagging breasts.
The experts say: The sign of a quality push-up bra is its structure, which means you absolutely must get the right size. Wendy Herman, a 15-year veteran of the intimate apparel industry, recommends looking at the tags on a few of her most worn bras to find her true size. Calvin Klein Seductive Comfort Customized Lift bra, $22-$44Need more tips for Valentine's Day? Discover Our Tips and Tricks at Esquire.com
THIGH HIGH STAY-UPS:
What they are: Stockings with elastic at the top, which keeps the stockings up. (Essentially, really big tube socks.)
Who it's best for: Everyone, for the most part. Thigh highs come in a wide array of sizes.
The experts say: Thigh highs let you to get down to business without all the unhooking that comes with a garter belt. The drawback? They're delicate and get runs easily. Tahanny Chehab, who runs Aya, a clothing boutique in Brooklyn, recommends the Austrian brand Wolford, "They're made out of steel - I still have a pair from high school."