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Small but perfectly formed
7:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in Lifestyle
Create a lasting impression in the bedroom. Lisa Haynes reveals the lingerie to guarantee pulses are racing on Valentine's night.
By Lisa Haynes
When it comes to lingerie that's made to be seen, Victoria's Secret is anything but under wraps.
The brand recently unveiled their £1.6 million Floral Fantasy bra, flaunted on the catwalk by their 'Angel' Alessandra Ambrosio and hand-set with amethysts, sapphires, rubies and white, pink, and yellow diamonds - all set in 18 carat rose and yellow gold.
Luckily, you don't need to rob a bank to look a million dollars in the bedroom on Valentine's night.
Find the right bra and fit for you and it will not only bestow some va-va voom in the bust department but could help improve your posture, making you look taller and leaner too.
Whether you're feeling sweet or sultry on February 14, lingerie can cater to your every mood.
"Every woman wants to feel great about herself and the right lingerie can do just that," says Amanda Lorenzani, co-founder of Fox & Rose lingerie.
"Fifty Shades Of Grey has certainly generated demand for more adventurous lingerie sets, but the line between sexy and sordid is very fine."
Time to find your perfect match.
Glamour puss Make a statement in the bedroom with a dark, dominating look. If you like one colour, stick to seductive classic black, or try a big cat print if you're feeling wild.
A sheer, embroidered mesh will keep things more subtle than a padded bra if you favour patterns.
Lace is the fabric that's made for a seductress. If you feel too exposed, try a demi cup bra that's half sumptuous silk and offset with sultry lace.
Forget visions of Bridget Jones big pants and think Brigitte Bardot instead. While shapewear has proved a godsend for helping create a streamlined hourglass silhouette in clothes, it's tended to be far too unflattering to reveal what's underneath! But these days it can be alluring too - look for silky pieces that contour the body but feature mesh or lace panelling.
Girly pretty Feminine florals are in full bloom for spring so transfer the catwalk trend to your lingerie drawer.
Think English rose or Japanese cherry blossom rather than tropical blooms for guaranteed elegance.
Offset cuteness overload by opting for seductive shapes or a surprise colourway, such as grey or blue accented with a contrasting floral embroidery.
For the ultimate in girliness, try silk lingerie in pretty pastel or nude hues. Get the fit and cut just right and the simplicity will be breathtaking.
Romantic rose Embrace the glamour of past eras with vintage-inspired styling. French-style high-waisted knickers and corset-inspired bras will accentuate your assets, without losing the sexy factor.
For something daintier, look for demure, soft pieces that lack obviousness in ethereal tones. Ornate embroidery and delicate straps are the details to covet.
If skimpy sets aren't your thing, cover up in a slinky kimono wrap or chemise set and let his imagination run riot as to what lies beneath.
Sexy siren Pull out all the stops with plunging necklines, racy cuts and bold colours.
To channel your inner vixen, you can't beat lipstick red. Just make sure it's a tone that suits your colouring to achieve a flattering effect.
For the ultimate in underwear indulgence, kit yourself out with a matching set consisting of bra, thong and suspenders to get pulses racing.
Cutaway and peekaboo lines are made to shock. They may be relatively understated from one side but rather more revealing on the reverse.
Shopping S.O.S Buying lingerie as a gift can be a logistical nightmare for guys, but not if you do your homework.
"For many men, lingerie is a confusing and intimidating world, but it's crucial they make the right choices if they want smiles rather than slaps on Valentine's Day!" Fox & Rose's Amanda Lorenzani says.
Here are her tips for navigating the minefield of buying smalls: :: Take an all-important sneaky peak in her underwear draw and find out her correct sizes by looking at the labels.
:: Be taste sensitive to gain serious brownie points. What style of knickers does she normally wear? Does she like thongs, short-style briefs or classic lace knickers?
:: If she's not a fan of racy red, don't try and tempt her out of her comfort zone. If she's feminine, go for one of the stunning nude or pale lingerie sets and show her you pay attention.
:: Most women enjoy receiving beautiful underwear they wouldn't necessarily buy themselves. Be bold and go for something versatile and different. For example, try a flowing yet sexy babydoll paired with a thong for a luxuriously sensual look.
:: If in doubt about her size and style preferences, choose a beautiful silk robe.
:: Ask for help. Whether you're buying in store or online. Most retailers enjoy helping out their male customers so don't feel embarrassed - they are there to help you pick the perfect gift.
:: Avoid at all costs: crotchless knickers, edible lingerie, leather, PVC or fishnets, which rank as the most unpopular gifts.
Get the look Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry has all the right ingredients for a classy red carpet look. She's cream of the crop in her Damsel in a Dress Kayleigh evening gown, £229 (www.damselinadress.co.uk).
Buy it now Hands up if you heart this Radley bag. The accessories brand has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to launch an exclusively designed red leather 'Pocket' bag, £99, and heart print canvas tote bag, £10. The limited edition bags will be sold in Radley stores nationwide and online at www.radley.co.uk throughout National Heart Month, February 2013, with 15% of profits going to the BHF.
Fashion flash :: Dishonesty best policy The answer to the eternal question: "Does my bum look big in this?", should simply be, "No, dear". The majority of women would prefer to be lied to than hear the unpleasant truth, according to a survey by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk. When asked whether or not they wanted the cold hard truth when it came to outfit choices, 61% admitted that they wanted to be lied to, 29% said they preferred honesty, and 10% said it depended entirely on who the person giving the advice was. Women most commonly asked partners their opinion, followed by friends, then family members. More than a quarter (17%) asked colleagues for outfit advice, while 1% relied on strangers' opinions.
:: Green slippers Reduce your carbon footprint with the high street's first recycled slipper. Marks & Spencer has developed a revolutionary new slipper, made from 100% recycled polyester fabric and created from recycled water bottles. M&S also sell the world's first sustainable suit, coat and chinos. The Per Una slipper is currently available in blue velour at M&S stores nationwide and online at www.marksandspencer.com, priced £12.50.