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Valentine's Day lingerie: a gift for him... or for me?

In three days it will be the big V-day. For the first time in a few years, I actually have someone to celebrate with. We all know that buying gifts for men is hard enough, but buying a gift for a guy for Valentine’s Day is almost impossible. I need help!

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In three days it will be the big V-day. For the first time in a few years, I actually have someone to celebrate with. We all know that buying gifts for men is hard enough, but buying a gift for a guy for Valentine’s Day is almost impossible. I need help!

Even if you have money to throw into a gift, it’s still hard. I kind of wish I were in high school again, because then I could get away with buying a silly pair of boxer shorts with lips on them. That’s cute when you’re 16. Not so much in your thirties.

And buying a Valentine’s Day present is not the same as finding a birthday present, when you can buy him something that you know he needs or wants – like a cappuccino maker, or a golf shirt, or cuff links. Maybe it’s just me, but a golf shirt just does not say ‘I Love You.’ (It’s the equivalent of getting a vacuum cleaner on Valentine’s Day.)

I’ve been polling every man I’ve met in the last week about the perfect V-Day gift. All of them (the ones that don’t say, “I dunno”) answer “lingerie.” I was not entirely shocked at this response. I was shocked when one guy said, “The sluttier the better. I’d love that.”

Is the best present a gal could get a guy for Valentine’s Day really lingerie? I’m not really into “slutting” it up for a guy. But, depending on your sensibilities, isn’t lingerie a present for us? I like to put on pretty bras and underwear.

But I can see how men would like this, even though shopping for lingerie isn’t exactly easy. Is there a compromise when it comes to buying lingerie as a gift for a guy? Is there a way to pick out something that says, ‘I know you like the sexiness of this. And me putting this on for you is my gift to you,’ while also saying, ‘I may want to wear this again for the rest of the 364 days this year.”

I spoke with Alicia Vianga, a bra-fitting expert and the owner of the lingerie store Premier Jour. Here are her tips on buying lingerie for your man:

1. Vianga calls lingerie the “gift that keeps on giving.” “We grew up thinking that lingerie is like sleepwear and not something that you can wear every day. But you do feel more beautiful and that you have more sex appeal when you wear it.”

2. She agrees that women don’t like “slutty.” However, there is a line where a guy can see an outfit or piece as “slutty” while a woman sees it as “elegant,” she says, “All a piece needs is a slip or lace on the back. That will turn a man on, but it is elegant for a woman.”

3. So are we supposed to get dressed in our lingerie and come out of the washroom? (I ask, because I truly don’t know.) Vianga suggests that on V-Day, women lay their new sexy lingerie on the bed or on the table so the man can see it first. “You have to set the mood. Have wine ready. Light the candles. And then even ask for his help to put it on. Men love that.” If you do decide to get dressed on your own, then she suggests you have to come out of the washroom sexily, first with one leg, then show an arm…

4. Bustiers, she says, are the perfect V-Day gift for women who don’t know too much about lingerie. “You can wear that under a blazer or shirt too. They are super sexy but also practical.”

5. Men, she says, do notice what women are wearing under their clothes. “Men do peek. They like to see the nice lace on a bra.” Keep that in mind ladies, when you’re out for dinner.

6. The best advice she can give is the advice her husband gave to her. “I don’t want you to be my mother or my sister. I want you to be my wife.” She says that women don’t know that sexy can be practical too. So dress the part!

And the bonus, she says, is that when men see that you have sexy bras and panties, they’ll be more willing to do the laundry. Now that is a gift that keeps on giving. I’m off to shop for lingerie now. For him, I suppose, but for me too.

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