Shopping for your better half’s small and skimpies is a minefield and, frankly, the odds are against you.
To prevent underwearageddon on 14 February, we’ve enrolled the senior buyer for lingerie at House of Fraser, Nicky Clayton, and the heart-achingly hot FHM Girlfriend, Nicole Neal, to hold your hand around the underwear aisles, no matter how difficult your missus is to buy for.
Here's our problem-shooting guide to getting something for everyone...
She doesn’t like receiving pants as a present
Nicky says: “Opt for a slip, like this one, as it’s about femininity and clean lines. She can wear it under a little black dress for the evening, or as sleepwear, so it has multiple uses. It’s very sophisticated, too.”
Nicole says: “This is so comfortable! It makes me feel like I want a movie night in with someone – one that leads into other things… fun things.”
Underwear: Studio La Perla Mimi Parigina slip, £67
She’s an underwear snob
Nicky says: “The 1920s led a huge trend in lingerie over the last year, thanks no doubt to The Great Gatsby. This collection has a very classic look and uses some beautiful art deco-inspired embroidery.”
Nicole says: “Ooh, I feel classy in this. I can’t stop stroking it! I’d put this on in the bathroom and come out expecting some sexy time. Oh, and look! My bum looks nice, too. This is my favourite.”
Underwear: Untold Decadence bra, £39; thong, £18
She gave you better presents than you gave her last year
Nicky says: “Luxury Brit label Agent Provocateur is a very aspirational brand, but it can often out-price a lot of budgets. This diffusion line is the perfect way to buy her something without breaking the bank.”
Nicole says: “I love these colours, and it’s very sexy. It feels special. I’m feeling pretty playful and fun in these. It’s underwear for when you want to only wear underwear, if you get what I mean.”
Underwear: L'Agent by Agent Provocateur Marisela bra, £50; thong, £26
She only wears the latest fashion
Nicky says: “All girls love French lingerie – it’s synonymous with quality and fit. Implicite is a very new brand in the UK, and this set has a really cool pattern and uses some lovely material.”
Nicole says: “There’s not much to this, and that’s the kind of underwear I like. It’s very comfortable, but at the same time it’s got a sexy bondage vibe to it. I feel like I’m wearing less, and I’m into that.”
Underwear: Implicite Obsession bra, £48; thong, £23
She doesn’t do just ordinary
Nicky says: “This is a beautiful floral but smooth-cup bra, meaning she can wear it under absolutely anything she wants to, but it’s far from just an ordinary plain T-shirt bra. Biba is a Brit heritage brand and it knows what its doing.”
Nicole says: “Hmm, it’s a little bit too practical to feel sexy. But then again, I’d only wear special underwear if I knew my boyfriend would love it, so if this is his thing, I’d happily put it on… if it meant taking it off again shortly after.”
Underwear: Biba Brigitte bra, £45; thong, £25