A Guide to buying lingerie
Find the Perfect Fit
Between silhouettes, sizes, fabrics and fastenings, lingerie can be confusing.
Whether you are buying lingerie for yourself or finding your partner the perfect set, within the Home of Pleasure we have everything you need to get it right.
For the wearer, we recommend re-evaluating your bra size once a year, or whenever you feel your body may have changed, to be sure you are always properly supported. We have a little guide to measuring yourself at home, or you can book a bespoke fitting at our London atelier. If you’re not in London, do not worry, our experts can help you through the Live Chat function on our website.
How to work out the correct bra size at home
You can work out your size at home using the following method:
Step 1 - Band measurement:
Standing upright and braless, use a measuring tape to measure around your underbust, keeping the tape level and snug to the body. The tape should sit where the band of a bra would typically sit. Measuring in inches, round up to the nearest whole number and add 5. If that number is even, that is your band size. If odd, round it up to the nearest inch to work out your band size.
Step 2 - Bust measurement:
There are a few methods to work out the cup size; but, the easiest way is to wear an unpadded bra you own that fits comfortably in the cup. Keeping the tape level, measure around the fullest part of your chest and note down your number in inches.
Next, subtract your band measurement from your cup measurement. The difference between the band and the cup measurement will equate to your cup size, using the following sequence: 0=AA; 1=A; 2=B; 3=C; 4=D; 5=DD; 6=F; 7=FF; 8=G; 9=GG; 10=H; 11=HH; 12=J; 13=JJ; 14=K, and so on.
Finally, combine your band size with your cup letter to work out your bra size. While different brands, styles and fabrics will have different fits that need to be considered, this method is a great starting point if you are unsure of your size.
How do you know if a bra fits?
You'll know your bra is the right fit when it feels comfortable, snug and supportive, without any gaping, spilling, riding up or digging in. Take time at first to adjust the straps - you should be able to slide one finger under the straps but shouldn't be able to lift them higher. The gore should fit as flat to the sternum as possible, sitting in the centre of the breasts. The band should be level to the floor and is too loose if you find it rises at the back or sides. An excellent way to test the bra's fit is to see if you can fit two fingers underneath the band all the way around - if this is uncomfortable to do, then it is too tight. It is best to wear your bra on the loosest hook and eye fastening initially, then with wear, you can tighten it as the fabric loosens over time.
Bra Style Guide
If you find you are still having fit issues after these checks, you may be wearing the wrong bra style for your body type.
Read on for a few of our favourite pieces for every shape and occasion.
The Balcony Bra and Brazilian Knicker
A classic combination that feels every bit as sensational as it looks.
The support from the straps sitting at the side of the cup makes this a perfect style for fuller or wide set breasts. The gentle lift of a balcony bra really does elevate in every sense.
The Brazilian Knicker is known for its flattering shape for good reason. With its high leg positioning and being cut across the cheek, this lifts flawlessly and is as exquisite for wearer and viewer alike.
The Triangle Bra and G String
Soft and sensual, a triangle bra gives a natural shape without any wires involved.
An incredibly popular shape for those with smaller busts and those slightly averse to underwires.
Add a little erotic enticement with silk rouleau straps like these and eyes will likely wander, not to mention the little secret power they hold for the wearer.
The most minimal knicker design, the G String has a barely-there look. Perfect for smooth silhouettes and discreet delights alike.
The Open Set
Looking for something a little more, liberating?
Open lingerie isn’t necessarily there for support, but if you are looking for a lifted and supported shape, a quarter cup bra like this is best.
There are a number of different open styles, it all depends on the lift and silhouette you are looking for. For a next-to-naked look, the open triangle bra style will work wonders.
Celebrate the pleasures of ouvert splendour with an open knicker, a classic in erotic lingerie that feels sensational and lets the imagination run wild.
Whatever your preference on shape and finish, open lingerie really does have a delightful impact.
The Plunge Bra and Brazilian Knicker
This style works brilliantly for so many different body types, but it can feel especially beneficial for those with narrow shoulders. People with outward-facing breasts may like this style, as it pushes the breasts to the centre, creating a wonderfully natural cleavage.
If you struggle with the centre front of your bra sitting flat on your chest, a plunge bra can eliminate that issue.
Exquisite as a set with our beloved Brazilian Knicker, or made even more unforgettable with a suspender belt to complete the experience.
Bodysuits and Slips
Looking for a little coverage that still has you feeling your best self?
Frame yourself with the added indulgences of beautiful shapes, delicate laces and sumptuous silks.
Bodysuits and slips are also wonderful options for lingerie gifting for all the reasons - a practical one being that these pieces range from Extra Small to Extra Large, making any guessing around sizing somewhat less daunting.
Beautiful to layer under your outfit, these styles are every bit as unique and sensational as you are.
What to look for when buying lingerie
Feeling confident, beautiful, and empowered is always our intention at Coco de Mer. The right underpinnings can be the difference between a good day and a bad day, so why not make yours the best you can? Lingerie, after all, is about redefining sexuality on our own terms as women.
If you are shopping for yourself, go for something that speaks to you, your body and your taste. Once you know your fit and the best silhouettes for you, it's simply a case of trying on some options and seeing what makes you feel amazing.
Buying lingerie for someone else can be trickier - do your best to find your partner's size by checking the label inside their lingerie. It's best to take a photo of the label to take shopping with you for accuracy. If you cannot do this and don't know their bra size, it may be best to try a soft cup lingerie set or nightwear that is shoppable in S/M/L. You can shop our Nightwear collection or view our assortment of soft-cup bras.
Once you know what size you need, think about how you may describe your loved one's personality and aesthetic. If words like 'minimalist' or 'sophisticated' come up, you know they would likely appreciate something timeless like black lace and silk in classic silhouettes. Try to match your pick to their personality, sense of style and their day to day wardrobe. If in doubt, a gift from our Icons collection is always a success.
We would recommend exploring our Gift Guides, where the Coco de Mer team have curated a shortlist of favourites that would make excellent gifts.
To wrap up…
Lingerie is incredibly personal and nuanced, but you have all the tools you need to get it right for yourself or a loved one with the correct measurements, fit, and mindset. We are always here to help, so please do ask us via our customer care line or Live Chat, or book in for an appointment to explore the possibilities and find the perfect lingerie to empower and delight.