Do lingerie stores make you feel as exposed as a see-through negligee? Follow these steps to shop for intimate apparel without embarrassment.
Step 1: Be prepared Before you shop, consider who's going to wear the lingerie you buy; knowing her preferences in size, style, and color can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
TIP: If you don't know her bra or underwear sizes, consider pieces with less specific fits, like pajamas or a camisole.
Step 2: Enter with confidence Stand up straight, hold your head high, and smile as you enter the store. One study has demonstrated a link between self-confidence and posture -- plus, salespeople may be wary if you skulk around like you're trying to steal ladies' underthings.
Step 3: Stay focused Stay focused on your own shopping; keeping your mind on the task at hand will help keep anxious, uncomfortable thoughts out.
Step 4: Ask for help Approach a salesperson as soon as you can; it's their job to put you at ease and help you find the right item. Let them guide you through the lingerie options -- they're the experts in this delicate world.
TIP: Don't trust your salesperson blindly, or you may get talked into items you don't want or can't afford.
Step 5: Shop around Don't be afraid to look around and ask questions about any lingerie you're unfamiliar with -- there's nothing wrong with showing interest in the store's displays. Just remember: no peeking at the dressing room area.
Step 6: Feel proud When you're done shopping, relish your triumph over a double D-sized psychological obstacle.
FACT: In 2009, three Chicagoans won a prize for inventing a bra that transforms into a protective face mask.