Giving Oh-La-Las . . .
ALL due respect, Today Show, leave this one to a professional (no, not you Kathie Lee).
Here - without hesitation - is the ONLY advice you'll ever need on giving (in a package or on your body) lingerie for Valentine's Day (or the other 364 days of the year). I dare you to poke holes in this logic. You can't. I got this . . . so forget WHAT to buy or how much to spend or blah, blah, blah. The simple RULES of lingerie are far more important . . .
1) That old adage "it is the thought that counts"? Doesn't apply here UNLESS the thought is around mutual comfort (see rule 10). JUST because you think latex is sexy doesn't mean it will make her feel sexy. Your desire for something edible on the bottom doesn't mean it's going to taste good or not give her a rash.
2) There is nothing romantic about leather, chains, or ropes/restraints. There is nothing WRONG with those things either. Set the tone in the lingerie and go with it. Point of clarification: let's keep this sham of a holiday about romance vs. role playing. Now is not the time for a costume that sexifies the uniforms of any profession (cop, nurse, nun, Hooters girl, etc.). That is what Halloween is for. It's also not the time for pseudonyms or six-inch steel heels to the tain't. That is what any given Tuesday is for, Missy. Sorry - Mistress (please don't flog me).
3) Relax. Both of you. No man really scrutinizes how a woman looks in lingerie. Like the wrapping paper and gift bags at a 8-year-old's birthday party, it is something that simply builds anticipation and allows us pervs to size things up and allow us to really get excited the first time we see what's actually inside.
4) To that end - you're all beautiful and sexy, ladies. We don't tell you enough but it is true. Now - that doesn't mean all of you look your sexiest in everything (Sidebar: Raise your hand if you think they should only make tube tops in size small - maybe medium. Exactly.) but that you'll put on something a little va-va-voom for us makes you instantly that much sexier. These are not the moments to worry about your exact weight or the dairy-like qualities of some of your body parts. We're not looking with that scrutiny. Trust me/us.
5) Housekeeping . . . If you are wearing these underthings for fashion, sanitation, necessity, or daily demand - NOTHING has to match. If you are wearing ANY of it for the show/reveal - it ALL has to match. No excuses. No surrender.
6) The words panty and panties are both wicked, wicked creepy and should be stricken from the English language. Let's call them underpants, who-na-na-nas, knickers, bloomers, or lacy racies (regardless of fabric). Seriously. Stop with the p word. Seriously. I'm not asking - I'm telling.
7) Color. I'll bottom line you . . . nude, white, ecru, bone, and/or ivory are not colors that should be donned here (if it is your wedding night and you like irony - go white - otherwise let's get a little creative). Sure - black and red are obvious choices but they are - as just said - obvious. Might I not-at-all-humbly suggest pale pink, navy blue, chocolate brown, or grey? They are the right sorta' tone to set. And - depending on your skin and hair coloring - you can go with the orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet too - to great success.
8) Think big picture. As mentioned in Rule 3 . . . the lingerie is not the real reward. It's about the whole thing. Hand to G-d . . . the sexiest thing in the world in this blatant pervert's mind and heart is the flash of a bra strap or cup, or the seam of hosiery perfectly perpendicular to the floor. Close seconds are jewelry, accessories (shoes, etc.) and make-up that compliment the look and form a presentation and may give a nod to what is underneath (note the rest of this is, as far as our egos need to know, as much as what the rest of the world gets to see - the rest is for us). A very important third is perfume and scents (candles, oils, etc.). Have it all go together and - trust me - the whole thing will go far more swimmingly and be far more memorable.
9) It goes both ways, fellas. I frown on any banana-hammock and/or male-lingerie equivalent but put on some clean boxers, take off your damned socks, maybe trim your ear and nose hair, put on a little bit of cologne. Wash your junk. Twice. And bring some accessories - music, candles, oils, etc. NO candy or flowers (for this part of the marketing-driven holiday) and please, please, please NO cans of whipped cream or flavored anything. That is what any given Wednesday and every-other Sunday is for.
10) Mutual Comfort. You've been given some true pearls of wisdom here (you're welcome) but the real question still looms . . . Can't figure out how far to push the lacy envelope? Use this simple, never fails "comfort" sliding rule. Just pick what number best describes BOTH OF YOU (if you are not the same number, split the difference and favor on her side of the scale) then get your credit card out, make sure your colleagues really are at lunch, and click on the descriptor.
1 - You blush at even a quick peck-kiss in front of family and friends - including at your own wedding.
2 - When the "Kiss-Cam" falls on you at a sporting event you ham it up and "neck."
3 - You are pretty sure that when 2 people love each other very much, what they do between them is okay.
4 - The human body of a consenting adult, like you and your partner, is meant to be enjoyed and shared.
5 - Sure they are a hassle but thigh high stockings are worth your time and attention even in everyday use.
6 - Movie theaters are dark and some feature presentations are not that popular for a reason. Popcorn?
7 - You've been at least partially naked, in front of other people, and not in a locker room or doc's office.
8 - At least one former lover has a naked photo (or two) of you still in their possession. So what?
9 - That padlock on the nightstand? It's not to keep your kids from the second amendment or sleeping pills.
10 - You post homemade nude photos and/or sex videos to public Internet portals using your real name(s).
So there you go. You're now officially ready to get yourself something special (even if you're not going to be the one wearing it). Remember the pill does not protect against STDs, pregnancies are serious business, and no idea is ever as good once the champagne wears off so act NOW.
PS - If you did choose number 10 above, send me a link. Or two.