Experts Tips on Lingerie Shopping
Online shopping has become the standard for many modern consumers. In fact, almost eighty percent of people shop online on a regular basis. This increase in the commonality and popularity of online shopping means that fewer people are visiting brick and mortar stores to buy the items they need. Today, people shop online for everything from toothpaste to jeans to lingerie. As convenient as it is, buying lingerie online is much different than buying a T-shirt or a pair of pants from an Internet storefront. Well-fitting, quality lingerie is a necessity for daily comfort. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for women to buy bras and underwear on the internet sight unseen and end up with lingerie that fits well and makes them feel confident.
We gathered authentic responses from 50 lingerie market experts regarding their tips and advice on how to get the best results when shopping for lingerie online. These experts’ answers cover a wide range of topics, including size, measurements, and fit; style and quality; and returns and reviews.
1. Sizing, Measurements, and Fit
2. Style and Quality
3. Returns and Reviews
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1. Sizing, Measurements, and Fit
Breast expert and author
“Don't assume you wear the same band and cup size across all bra brands and styles. Construction, materials, and quality of design all factor into how well a bra fits you. Remember that you likely have a "zone" of sizes and be open to trying new styles and brands to find the perfect fit.”
Elisabeth Dale is a world-renowned expert on breasts. She is the founder of the popular blog TheBreastLife.com, which features content on topics including boobs, bras, and body image and health. Elisabeth has written several best-selling books and regularly contributed toThe Huffington Post.She is currently located in Los Angeles.
Professional lifestyle blogger
“Be sure to know your measurements or get fitted before going, but that's not enough! It can be cumbersome, but you need to try on as many undergarments as it takes for you to get the right ones. It's important to get the right fit, but it's also important to get the right style you're trying to achieve as well. No matter your size, you shouldn't settle for less than what you want AND need!”
Brittney Mason is a professional blogger and the founder of ThePrettyPlus.com. She maintains social influence in fashion, wellness, and beauty.
Blogger and entrepreneur
“The first tip I would give to anyone shopping for lingerie online is to find your correct bra size. You don’t need to go into a store to do this—it’s easy to do yourself. Once you have your size, do a little research into brands and styles that other women with your size love (or don’t love). If you find something you think you might like, read the reviews—especially from women in the same size. Remember, not all breasts are the same, so what works for one woman may fit you differently. Don’t be afraid to try a few different bras to find your perfect fit.”
Tomima Edmark is the inventor of the Topsy Tail and the founder of HerRoom.com. After hearing friends complain about trying on bras in department stores, she set out to create an online space where women could find bras that fit without ever setting foot in a store.
“Measure your body at home! This will definitely help you to buy the perfect size when you shop online!”
Camilla Sentuti is the founder of and contributor to the popular fashion blog glamgerous.com.
Fitness and beauty blogger
“Know your REAL size. Have a professional fitting in-person, with an expert, and take those numbers to the internet to find what's best for you.”
Adina Puleo is an NYC-based fitness and beauty blogger. She has a passion for all things social media. Adina works in finance by day, blogging and bodybuilding by night —leading a double life, just like a superhero.
“Know your measurements.”
Tiffany is the 'Tee' behind TheMrsTee—a lifestyle blog created as a place to share her love of all things faith, family, fashion, food, fun, tech, and travel. Her writing, how-to guides, event reviews, and YouTube channel let her share each with her readers, one click at a time.
Author and businesswoman
“Follow the store's size chart for best fit and make sure they accept returns.”
Nancy is the owner and author of Style, Decor & More. She enjoys blogging and finding inspiration and beauty in daily life.
Blogger and TV personality
“The key to online shopping for lingerie is to know your measurements! Make sure you order the correct size for your measurements not necessarily the size you typically wear. Brands tend to size differently so knowing your measurements will help ensure you get the correct fit.”
Pamela Kieck works as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogger. She is also a TV personality and vogue influencer.
Blogger and lifestyle influencer
“First, measure yourself to know your accurate size. Then, be sure to stick to styles that have worked in the past for your body. Sometimes we get dazzled by the pretty and it might not be practical to how we want to look and feel. If you are venturing out, be sure to know what the return policy is!”
Carla Ortiz is a lifestyle influencer with a focus on fashion and cocktails. She was born in Puerto Rico and currently lives and plays in New York City. Aside from sharing her style and finds on her blog, Haute Cocktail, Carla also works as a Social Media Manager for the hospitality industry.
Keep in mind that your size can vary between brands - or even between styles! Be open to trying the size or sizes that fit you best...even if they're not you're "usual."
Cora Harrington is the founder and editor-in-chief ofThe Lingerie Addict, recognized as the world's most extensive lingerie blog.
Grazielle CamilleriBlogger and entrepreneur
“The first, and perhaps most important thing you can do before you really spend money buying clothes online is to get proper measurements of yourself. Always check the [online store’s] sizing charts.”
Grazielle Camilleri is a fashion and travel blogger and entrepreneur in marketing and PR. She is a very healthy person who enjoys practicing a variety of sports activities including jogging, squash, dancing, weight training, horse-riding and car racing too. Follow her journey!
“Make sure to check with an expert to get the proper fit.”
ShaKera is a blogger who attained her moniker by demonstrating in her plus-size fashion blog that real women set the standard in fashion and that style comes in all sizes. Since 2015, ShaKera has shared her girly sense of style and its evolution over the years. She relates to all women and encourages them to embrace themselves, flaws and all.
“I find that ordering a few sizes of bras helps a lot. Dependant on the brand, the sizes do differ. It might also be an idea to get measured before hand to know your size.”
Anoushka Urban is a blogger who has a love for beauty and a passion for fashion. She always has her eye on the newest trends and styles.
“My advice would always to be sure of your bra size. Places like John Lewis, Bravissimo and Debenhams will measure you for a variety of brands as they can often be different depending on brand and style. When you are sure of your size you can snap up some lovely lingerie online! Stock up in the sales as there are often some real bargains to be had!”
Sally is a thirty-two-year-old blogger from Manchester. She contributes to her blog, SweetieSal, around a full-time role in Human Resources. Sally’s blog SweetieSal was voted the 7th Best Beauty Blog in 2016.
Blogger and Youtuber
“If you are shopping for a new brand of lingerie, always remember the sizes can vary from brand to brand, so be sure to check out sizing guides and measurements. It's always a good idea to even take your measurements again, so you can compare them with the size guides. I recommend reading customer reviews, especially when opting for a new brand, as this can really help you make a decision.”
Paula Holmes is the blogger behind The LDN Diaries, an award-winning UK lifestyle blog based in London. Her blog covers everything lifestyle from fashion and beauty to food, travel, and interiors. Paula also has a thriving YouTube channel where she shares her passion for beauty products.
Fashion and lifestyle blogger
“Always go for an expert fitting service at your local lingerie store (such as Boux Avenue, Victoria's Secret etc) before buying online. This way you can find out your correct bust size and its give you a piece of mind when shopping online for lingerie.”
Anna is a full-time fashion & lifestyle blogger and digital marketing manager based in London. She lives with my husband and enjoys photography and traveling.
Makeup and fashion enthusiast
“Get your measurements right! It is extremely important to get the correct size when shopping for lingerie. Most online shops have a size guide, which can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming and confusing if you don't know your measurements. There are plenty of instructions online on how to do it. All you need is a tape-measure and 5min of your free time! If you get this step right, you will never face the struggle of your lingerie not fitting well.”
Vera Pun is a Russian makeup and fashion enthusiast. She loves traveling and gets excited by everything metallic and shiny. Vera’s wardrobe can be described as a mixture of pink cardigans, white shoes, culottes and lacy bralettes.
“It's normal to wear a different bra size in different brands, or even different styles from the same brand, which makes it more or less impossible to guess your size correctly EVERY time you buy lingerie online. It's very common to buy two or three sizes to try on at home and then return all but one, and lingerie retailers are used to it so don't feel bad about doing it! Just be sure to check the returns policy and reviews of the retailer before buying to make sure you won't run into problems sending stuff back, especially if the bra is heavily discounted.”
Estelle Puleston is based in the UK. She regularly blogs about lingerie, swimwear, and hosiery on her site estylelingerie.com.
Fashion and lifestyle blogger
“Make sure to measure yourself properly - even if you think you know your size - and use the online size guide to make sure you're getting the correct back and cup size from each individual store.”
Lily Shepherd is a Southern girl in Manchester. She is a fashion and lifestyle blogger and a coffee and wine drinker.
Blogger and entrepreneur
“Measure! Know your measurements and check the seller's size chart. Also, sizing up is always better than sizing down if buying from a new seller.”
Stefanie Augusteijn is a style expert with an innate understanding of the curvy woman and a keen talent for dressing her. Her award-winning boutique in Mississauga and international online store (www.sexyplusclothing.com) offers sexy, sophisticated fashion, affordable casual trends for women wearing sizes 14-28. In 2014, Stefanie won a Body Confidence Canada Award, and in 2015 her boutique won the Top Choice Award for the best plus size clothing store. She has been featured in FabUplus Magazine, Dare
Magazine, The Curvy Fashionista Blogger Spotlight, Rogers TV and her collections have been showcased in Montreal Plus Fashion Week, Ryerson University’s Diversity Project, The Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty show, The Fuller Woman Expo, and the Malia Indigo Plus Size Fashion Show.
Blogger and entrepreneur
“Make sure you know your size. Shop somewhere with free returns. If possible, shop with online stores who have trained bra fitters on their customer services team who can assist you.”
Niamh Morrison is a professional bra fitter and lingerie blogger. She has worked in Bravissimo and now runs her own private bra-fitting business.
Businesswoman and blogger
“As far as bras, fit really matters. I would suggest that the customer has a proper personal fitting at a respected bra fitting store before assuming her size. Yes, sites claim to have innovative methods of discerning fit, but the success of these algorithms is random. Once the fit is properly determined, it is easy to buy on line. But remember, a bra is a complex garment, highly engineered. Even if one bra fits well in your size, don’t expect every brand to fit exactly the same. There is always a bit of trial and error.”
Ellen Lewis is a thirty-five-year veteran of the lingerie market, holding executive positions on both sides of the industry: retail and wholesale. She is widely recognized for her expertise in product development, merchandising and communication. She is currently the publisher and editor of the well-respected industry and consumer blog Lingerie Briefs.
Ali LevineFashion expert/Celebrity stylist & blogger
“Some key tips and advice I would give got shopping for lingerie online would be, pay attention to your size and the fit. The shape of the undergarments. Pay attention to the wiring, for comfort and flattering fit. Make sure you know your size well! Get your measurements done early on before shopping online. Including bust, hips etc. You want to make sure everything lays right and doesn't look lumpy or frumpy. Or even feel uncomfortable. Pay attention as well to the fabric or design of the bra if it's something you would wear. You want to be comfortable! Happy shopping!”
Ali Levine is New York hotshot turned Hollywood "it girl" for fashion styling. Beginning her career with such brands as Target and Coach, Ali quickly progressed and is now a top contributor for USA Today, NY Times, LA Times, and many other national media outlets. Known for her on camera tips for LA to NY's hottest television shows, she can also be found dressing the A-listers heading to the biggest red carpets! Ali is an influential fashion blogger, on camera expert and TV personality.
“My key tip when buying lingerie online is to know your measurements. All of them. A recent bra fitting is the best, but a tape measure, a notepad and a friend works too. From there you have what you need to get the right fit. There's so much variation in sizing, you can't just reach for your 'usual' size and have it fit. Measure, measure, measure.”
Melissa is a blogger atSugar Coat It, an Australian plus fashion blog with a side order of confidence-boosting oomph.
“Make sure you pay attention to each brand and stay true to your measurements. Fitting bras is like fitting jeans: each brand has a different fit, especially when you are a size DD or higher. You might be a G in one brand, an H in another. At Trusst Lingerie, we have built our sizing calculator to help you find your Trusst size.”
Sophia Bernham is the founder of Trusst Lingerie, which provides unmatched support and comfort for the DD+ woman through a newly engineered bra support technology designed by women.
Blogger and stylist
“Make sure you have some measuring tape handy or better yet your measurements mortised. All the best brands will have their measurements ready so its easier for you to compare and make the best selects for your shape.”
Kristy Koutsogiannis is a successful luxury fashion stylist and a plus-size fashion blogger. She has over eight years of experience in the fashion industry.
Professional blogger and bra fitter
“My best advice would be to contact the online shop customer service and let them do most of the work. A good lingerie online store will have knowledgeable CS who can advice you with a particular brand or a style you are looking to buy - simply asking help will save you the hassle of exchange and returns or at least keep them to minimum! Also, doing your research on basic bra fit 101 is important so you can tell a good and a bad fit apart when trying on the bras at home.”
Mette Hänninen is a blog editor at the bra fit and review-focused lingerie blogTwo Cakes on a Plate. She is also a professional bra fitter and works in CS for an online lingerie store.
Author and creative entrepreneur
“My advice is always to consider making your own [lingerie] if you have been disappointed in the fit of ready-to-wear. There are issues that RTW just cannot accommodate, such as uneven breast sizes. If you can sew - consider making your own bra. Then you can look to the RTW brands for inspiration only!”
Beverly Johnson is the Fairy Bra Mother to more than 50,000 women to whom she has taught bra-making online or in her store in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of 5 books, including theBra-makers ManualsVolume 1 and 2.
“When buying lingerie online I would recommend checking the returns policy of a brand (some lingerie brands will not receive knickers back due to hygiene, so it is best to be decisive when buying knickers online) and I would recommend buying more then one bra size if you are unsure or buying from a brand you're not familiar with, so you can try them on and return whatever doesn't work for you. Also check the size guides featured on most lingerie sites for more clarity.”
Chloe Hamblen is the Creative Director and Founder of luxury lingerie brand Lascivious.
Professional blogger and bra expert
“I'd tell them to order at least three times as many items as they actually plan to buy, so that they only keep the best fitting ones and return the rest! This is usually much more frugal and time-saving than buying an item or two that don't fit perfectly, then exchanging them, and maybe exchanging them again, spending time and money on shipping. Personally, I often order the same bra in several similar sizes, so that I can keep the one that fits perfectly. Lingerie, especially bras, have to fit really well to be comfortable and supportive, yet so many of us settle for sorta-fits bras. Accessing the correct fit through a computer screen can be tricky, not only are many bra models not true to size, but also may or may not be compatible with the different breast and body shapes. Ordering a whole box of bras means you are much more likely to find something that works perfectly. Oh, and make notes when trying bras on, what works and what doesn't, which brands, cuts, fabrics; this will help you pick out well-fitting bras much easier in the future.”
Maya founded and ran her lifestyle, beauty, and bra-fitting blog based on her knowledge and expertise on these topics. She has been blogging about bra fitting, beauty, and DIY cosmetic since what feels to her like prehistoric times.
2. Style and Quality
The style and quality of the lingerie you buy online is a significant determinant of how confident and sexy you’ll feel when you wear.
Lela LondonBlogger and presenter
"Go with your gut! Or lack thereof! It is always tempting to search through every option available, but the pieces that highlight what you love about your body - your chest, stomach, back, etc - will be the ones you wear time and time again. First instincts are almost always right in lingerie world!”
Lela London is a lifestyle and travel blogger, presenter, and world taker-over. She is only here to make your life the happiest it can be.
“Comfort and support [are key]! Your underwear will be worn all day long so it needs to be comfortable, but it also needs to give support as it's your foundation for your outfit!”
Kirsty Merrett is a professional lifestyle blogger. She has a love for color and luxe!
Fashion and lifestyle blogger
“I always say know what suits you and what make you feel sexy and comfortable. It's also not a bad thing to go a little out of your comfort zone of your shopping for Valentine's Day or anniversaries.”
Sersh Meenaghan is a twenty-six-year-old fashion and lifestyle blogger from Ireland. She currently lives in London. Her blog is aimed at the everyday working girl and features posts about high-street beauty and fashion.
Fashion blogger and entrepreneur
“My advice would be to pick out pieces that they truly love. If they see a piece of lingerie online that they absolutely adore and they have it in their size, then buy it. There's nothing worse than saying you will go back for something online and it's sold out. I would also say to be daring. I know a lot of people who say that they would never wear something and never give it a try, but you never know. It may turn into your favorite piece of lingerie.”
Jasmine Grimes is a twenty-four-year-old plus-size fashion blogger and creator of Mysse Match Magazine from the San Francisco Bay Area. In her blog and on her Instagram, she talks about her passion for fat and body positivity, body confidence, and her love of plus-size lingerie.
Blogger and vlogger
“Look for styles similar to your favourite underwear that you have at home - that way you know the shape of the lingerie will flatter you.”
Lily Kitten is an award-winning fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger and vlogger. She is based in Manchester.
Model and entrepreneur
“The most empowering and authentic things are usually not seen. Your lingerie is your amour: it’s not always exposed but it’s there, giving you confidence. I choose lingerie that is delicate and ethically produced, which makes me feel beautiful and feminine. Select natural silhouettes that draw into your shape so you can practice self-love, because you are worthy and you're always enough!”
Kristina Velkova is a successful entrepreneur and model with a popular social media presence.
Blogger and fashion lover
“Know your body type and research lingerie that will flatter your figure.”
Kia Singleton is a driven and passionate Philly-native with big goals. She loves all things fashion and beauty and hopes to one day work in the fashion industry. Kia travels frequently, and her favorite food is pizza. She lives for it.
“The right lingerie has the ability to make you feel empowered in any situation. So choose something that makes you look polished on the outside and feel confident on the inside. Your lingerie drawer should have at least two sets of bras and panties for each type of outfit you own—whether you need seamless garments, push-up, or multiway straps. Diversity is key.”
Sonya Keshwani is the founder ofnymannequin.com, a style and social issues blog from the perspective of a New Yorker in Washington D.C.
“Find something that makes you feel sexy. It doesn't matter if it is what society says is sexy. When you put the lingerie on, it should make you feel empowered whether your significant other is seeing it or it's just under your clothing. Comfort is also key, it's hard to feel sexy when you are uncomfortable.”
Toni Patton is a lifestyle, fashion and travel blogger experiencing the world one trip and fashion item at a time!
3. Returns and Reviews
When you shop online, make sure to check out the site’s return policies and any listed customer reviews before making any purchases.
Fashion blogger and stylist
“Make use of the websites search engine to narrow down what you're looking for, otherwise the scope of choice can be overwhelming. Read the returns policy so you know what to expect if you don't like the item. Make use of customer reviews-they are normally really helpful. Only buy online if you know your size and how it varies across brands.”
Sara Delaney is a stylist-turned-fashion blogger. She is the editor of theNotes From a Stylistblog,which is directed toward women over forty who are looking to keep their fashion mojo on track.
“Read reviews! There's no better way to determine if an online product is great or not than by reading other people's thoughts on it!”
Michelle Orsi is a New Yorker. She works in the TV Industry by day and is a fashion blogger by night. Michelle is also a beach bum, hockey fan, and a lover of sweets and shoes.
Blogger and social media presence
“Know your body type! It is important that you accentuate what you love about yourself so that you feel your best while wearing the clothes.”
Lauryn Hock is the writer behind the blog and social mediaLauryncakes. She has spent the last three-plus years showcasing her favorite urban chic styles, beauty hacks, and travel with her following.
“Consider the details when shopping for lingerie right after fit. If you intend on wearing it during the day under your clothes, lace, bows, and bulky clasps are distracting from your outfit. Keep the mystery and make sure any lingerie you wear is suited for the occasion.”
Bianca Karina is a plus-size lifestyle blogger who decided life is too short to wait until you reach your goal weight to enjoy it.
Blogger and entrepreneur
“Look at fabric content.”
Maddie Flanigan is the founder of the blogMadalynne. Started in 2006,Madalynneis an informational and inspirational blog, sewing studio and lingerie brand providing style, fashion and sewing advice for the modern, everyday girl. Based in Philadelphia,Madalynneoffers in-person and online lessons and workshops and is also a budding ready to wear line. Madalynne Intimates demonstrates Ia contemporary, modern take on Maddie’s aesthetic that mixes sporty, feminine, comfort and function. Every piece is cut and sewn in Brooklyn— made in the USA is important to Maddie.
Dawn BarberBusinesswoman and entrepreneur
“Always buy [from] secure websites, use the filters to narrow options and read the product description and reviews.”
Dawn Barber is the Managing Director of UK Tights, UK Swimwear and UK Lingerie. Dawn founded UK Tights in 2005 while pregnant with her fourth child. Since then, UK Tights has grown to become the largest hosiery store in the world.
Jessica DiLulloProfessional blogger and bra expert
"I have two pieces of advice: seek out reviews, and don't be afraid to ask questions before you buy! As an on-the-cusp-of-plus sized gal, I use Instagram as a resource for checking out how various brands look on different body types. Sometimes a simple hashtag search can lead to lingerie gold, especially if you have a curvier body type. (Added bonus? You've now filled your Instagram feed with new follows and fabulous styling!) Have a question about sizing? Don’t hesitate to ask! Most companies have a live chat or email customer service feature, and they WANT to help you make the best buying decisions! (Especially if you're buying from a new or smaller biz.) These folks are pouring their hearts into a business and want to make sure their customers are informed, happy, and buying lingerie that they'll love to wear!”
Jessica DiLullo is a fierce, femme, lingerie-loving Philly girl with a flair for everything retro. From full-bust bras to the fluffiest of skirts, she can be found atwarningcurvesahead.com.
Online shopper and businesswoman
“One of the most foolproof ways to determine the true quality of a product is by looking at reviews previous customers have already written. Don’t ever buy from a site that doesn’t include plenty of on-site reviews. Also, make sure you read through a range of reviews to make sure you have access to a wide cross-section of opinions on the products you’re looking to buy.”
Funbi Ibe is a wife, mom, and online shopper. She works as the senior marketing executive of technology and consumer products at Samsung Electronics America. Funbi is responsible for demand generation for Samsung’s entire line of tablets. She leads efforts to identify and capitalize on market opportunities by developing actionable consumer insights, driving product innovation, crafting relevant and compelling communications, and securing the active support of channel partners.
Shopping in online stores for lingerie from the comfort of your own home can be much faster and more convenient than trying to buy pieces in brick-and-mortar stores. However, this process can also be frustrating if you end up with products that aren’t exactly what you expected them to be. The collection of experts’ responses in this roundup article are gathered to help online lingerie shoppers find success when searching for lingerie pieces on the internet by offering information on sizing, measurements, and fit; style and quality; and returns and reviews.
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