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Guys' guide to buying lingerie this Christmas

According to relationship experts, what men want from a relationship is attention and sex, while women want support and protection.

This is explicitly apparent when you examine what each of the sexes select when gift shopping; women shop with a practical mind, aiming for serviceable, functional clothes for their men, while men shop with a view to undressing women and the anticipation of fun thereafter. So today we thought we’d address both aims, while giving a bit of advice.

Guys, women do love lingerie. But it shouldn’t be the only gift; I’m just warning you. Don’t think you will get massive kudos for picking out what you’d like to see her strip down to. Have a back-up plan. If she is fussy, ask the store about their refund/exchange policies, as most lingerie shops do neither. If they agree to make an exception for you, get them to write it on the receipt. Just to be sure, to be sure. Investigate her lingerie drawer and see what size she wears. Make a note of the brands, if you can, as they fit differently, and doing so helps the shop assistant when you seek help. Secondly, check out what size clothes she wears — is she a size 12 on top and 16 on bottom, or is she a ‘proper’ size 12? Knowing this helps hugely.

This season, lingerie is so beautiful, with distinctive trends, that it will be hard for you to get it wrong. Fine lace in black is hot, as are the colours burgundy, teal and bottle green, all of which look sensational on. Ranges such as Mimi Holliday and Myla in Brown Thomas; La Perla and Cadolle in Susan Hunter; and Miss Mandalay and Fauve in Cupcakes Lingerie, are pure boudoir and gorgeous.

Ladies, men do like to look good. They just don’t feel comfortable discussing it. Just as you feel better about yourself when you dress well, so, too, will he feel more valued and respected if you buy him something attractive, as well as functional. Do not do as one man described to me earlier this week: “She gets home with a bag of cheap clothes and says, ‘There’s your clothes for the year.’ The way to make a man feel manly and valued? I don’t think so.”

Men are loyal and have labels they love, be they classic brands such as Bugatti and Tommy Hilfiger, Irish brands such as Magee or Tricot Marine, or funky labels such as shirts by True, or jeans by Counter Propaganda.

Shop local. Every town has a great men’s store with an understanding of local men’s needs. What men desire is that bit of special attention, which shows you really see them. Just as you want from him. In that way, the sexes are alike.

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