There are two golden rules for choosing underwear for the woman in your life: ignore them at your peril!
1) Make sure you get the right size?
This is relatively easy - all you have to do is have a look at the label inside a bra that she often wears and note the size (numbers and letters, eg 36C) and do the same for a pair of knickers. Just don't let her catch you rummaging in her underwear drawer or she might get the wrong idea!!
Then take yourself down to the nearest lingerie outlet (try a big department store - you'll get more help choosing and you'll get extra brownie points for the effort), find someone to help you and tell them the size you need. Ladies in lingerie departments are extremely helpful when it comes to helping a chap choose... :-)
DO NOT buy smaller than your girlfriend/wife's size. It is the best way to get yourself stuck in a series of 'Does My Bum Look Big In This'- type interrogations. Equally, don't buy bigger, for the same reason. If you're stuck, choose the smaller of the two options, but make sure you keep the receipt and make it clear when you present her with the gift that you won't be offended if the size is wrong?
2) Try to buy for her, not just for you?
Just because you think that Jenna Jameson looks hot in red fishnet stockings and a black PVC basque, it doesn't mean that the real woman in your life fancies wearing them?;-) If she's more of a white cotton underwear kind of gal, introduce her gently to the world of sexy underwear, perhaps starting out with plain white or cream satin or lace. If she's more adventurous in what she wears, go with the flow and choose accordingly.
DO NOT, under any circumstances, buy her red underwear unless she has plainly stated that she likes it. Trust me, it's a girl thing?
If you want to buy her naughty/kinky underwear, I would definitely recommend that you take her shopping with you. Try Anne Summers outlets for a gentle introduction.
Buy her underwear that, first and foremost, she will feel beautiful in, and you will be on to a winner!
Emma Cooper Tarry is the founder and owner of I-Candi Designs (http://www.i-candi.co.uk), which specialises in unique ideas and handmade goods from the UK. I-Candi supplies clients all over the world with wide range of bespoke silk items, from silk kimonos to evening wraps, underwear and nightdresses, as well as unusual interior design pieces, hand-painted furniture, event decoration advice and a range of other bespoke products. You can find out more at http://www.i-candi.co.uk or by calling +44 (0)1227 860886 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.