Buying underwear for the lady in their life is a scary proposition for most men. Getting married and saying 'I do' comes with about the same amount of fear as wandering round the lingerie section at your local department store trying to work out what a cup is, and what the difference between a demi bra and a triangle bra is.
On the one hand there's the worry that you'll buy something that either will be the wrong size (will she be offended if you thought she was bigger, or smaller, than she is?) or that you'll buy something totally inappropriate, and of course the nagging worry that people will think you're merely staring as a result of some kind of strange fetish you happen to have.
The first thing to do when it comes to choosing lingerie for her is to start at home with what she already has. Have a hunt through her underwear drawer and find her favourite sets. Have a look at them and try to note down the sizes of both the bra and the knickers. Wherever possible it is best to spend a few extra pounds and get a set rather than just one or the other. Women seem to prefer matching sets, so just go with it.
Check out features of her favorites, such as colors and styles. Check if it is under wired or not. You can tell this because an under wired bra has a thick wire running through the lower seam under each cup. If the whole thing is flexible, then it isn't under wired.
When you reach the shop, don't be afraid to touch. Many men have an embarrassed look at the sizes and colours, grab the first one that seems right and make a rapid dash for the till. However, remember that this material is going to be worn close against sensitive areas of her body for a long time, (or as long as you let her of course!), so it needs to be comfortable. Is it soft and comfortable? Is it under wired, and if so, does that feel well padded?
One thing to bear in mind is that there is often a world of difference between what men like to imagine their lady wearing, and what women actually like wearing. When choosing underwear, try to aim more for a classic look rather than something more likely to be worn by someone on a dodgy adult video. Try to avoid unnecessary lace and frills, and see-through material is unlikely to be met with as much enthusiasm as you would like to pretend. Similarly, open crotch and things are not the wisest choice.
Something for the more adventurous male to try, and which is likely to be met with more enthusiasm, is to look at the alternatives to the traditional knickers and bra sets. Camisole sets, corsets and babydolls are all types of underwear which are classic, very romantic and effectively combine kickers and bra into one look. The same rules apply however, and you would be wise to avoid buying something more likely to make her look cheap than classy.
One final world of advice: always keep the receipt. If all else fails and it has to go back, why not take her with you and let her help you? It will make choosing underwear on your own in future a little easier, and she'll be only too happy to offer you advice and tell you her preferences.