How to Shop for Lingerie | Tips for your Boudoir Shoot | New York City Boudoir Photographer

 So excited for my purchases!

So excited for my purchases!

I was transitioning my closet from spring to summer recently when I noticed that all of my “lingerie” (and I use that word in quotes) were, well, tired.  No scratch that, they were beyond  tired, they were exausted, old, torn up, stained basically in an unacceptable starte for any grown woman.  How long had I had these pieces?  Honestly I don’t remember but suffice it to say it was before I had a baby and everything about them was wrong. My body is different post-baby and my underwear hadn’t gotten the memo.   But where to start when looking for a total lingerie refresh?? I knew I needed help!

Enter lingerie blogger Melissa AKA The Lace Appeal.  I photographed her this past winter and I knew she was the perfect person to ask about rejuvinating my lingerie wardrobe.  If you haven’t checked out Melissa’s site or insta yet, do yourself a favor and do so.  It’s a blog dedicated to all things lingerie, specifically helping women find products that make them feel beautiful.   She’s got amazing recs on boutiques all around the country (east coast, west coast and everything in between), lingerie & activewear reviews, on top of being completely real and relatable.  Her blog is full of fun reads and no topic is taboo - from period boobs to briefs that won’t give you a wedgie, she’s not afraid to talk about it all.  In her words, The Lingerie Appeal is a place for women to explore topics of their bodies freely, sans judgment.   Basically, she’s got the point of view on lingerie as I do on boudoir photography!  I was thrilled that she agreed to take me shopping. 

We met at Sugar Cookies - an amazing ligeerie boutique in Chelsea, which just celebrated it’s 10th birthday this past weekend!  I must admit I was nervous!  I, like so many other women, had never been properly fitted for a bra, and I am (as I’ve written about before) essentially flat chested.  The store is filled with tons of beautiful lingerie options, but would they have anything that fit me?  

 Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

Beautiful Sugar Cookies Lingerie Boutique

The amazing Monica took my measurments and brought me pieces to try on.   This was KEY.  She was endlessly patient and had a sixth sense about what would work for me.  We tried on a LOT of different options and through good old fashioned trial and error I ended up getting a completely new lingerie wardrobe.  Here are some tips I picked up between Monica and Melissa:

Get fitted by an expert

 Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Monica helping me select the perfect piece of lingerie

Melissa told me that a shocking 80% of women were wearing the wrong size lingerie!  This seems insane given that most of us wear bras every single day (side note, I’m noticing more and more young women going sans bra these days… but that’s a blog post for another day…)  Many women are surprised to learn what their actual bra size is.  There’s no need to guess or to awkwardly try to manuever a measuring tape around yourself — take it to an expert.

Don’t get bogged down by the sizing.  

Once you do get messured, give yourself some sway in either direction.  Just like with clothing brands, different lingerie brands fit differently.  I was a a 32A in most brands but a 34B in bras from The Little Bra company.  I never would have treid on a B cup bra in the past, but the thing is, you never know unless you try.  The key is to keep an open mind.  Another trick I learned was to aim for a bra that fastens on the loosest hooks, that way as the bra stretches out over time, you’ll have the tighter hooks to compensate for the stretch. 

And speaking of “ I never would have,” don’t limit yourself based on preconceived notions!  

That’s actually good advise for life in general isn’t?  But when it comes to bras, I never would have tried on an unstructed, unlined piece, becuase, well, I feel as if I need some extra oomph.  but when I tried on the Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra, a silly smile came over my face.  I just felt fantastic and sexy and THAT is what good lingerie is all about.  So try it all on and choose what makes you feel GREAT - you’ll know it when you find it.  

Bring outfit pieces with you.  

If you’re looking for lingerie to go with a specific outfit, it’s a good idea to bring those pieces with you when you go shopping. This way you can match colors and textures together, and see how certain combinations look. Show your outfit or accessories to a store clerk to give them inspiration. They will know the store’s product lines and may be able to help you find the perfect piece to pair with your outfit.  If you’re looking for an every day bra like I was, bring a smooth tight tee shirt or whatever type of top you normally wear to be sure the bra works with it. 


When you find a brand you like stick with it.

I have a hunch that I am the ideal client of “The Little Bra Company,” so I know I can probably count on them for bras and other pieces alike.

Ladies, lingerie is all about confidence.  Try to go when you’re feeling good about yourself, eat a little something to keep your blood sugar up, and give yourself time to sift through the options. If you’re having a hard time, try to remind yourself that we are always our toughest critic. Your partner will think you look amazing no matter what you choose so be sure to be true to yourself and get pieces that give you swagger.   You’ll be really happy you did.

 Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Look at the big goofy smile on my face — I am one happy customer!

Here are all the pieces I picked up at Sugar cookies (from top to bottom):

The Little Bra Company Lucia Push Up Bra in black and nude, with matching thongs

Cosabella thong

Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie No Wire Bra

The Little Bra Company Sascha Smooth bra in nude

BlueBella Carmen Basque - just for fun, and because the lace couldn’t be more beautiful.


And a bonus My Bra Kitty, which Melissa turned me on to — the perfect way to pack your bras without them getting squished & misshaped.  

 How sexy is that Faux Croc?

How sexy is that Faux Croc?

Have any other questions i can help answer? What tips do you have for lingerie Shopping? Share them below!

xoxo, Stephanie

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