Splurge or Save? Lingerie Edition

Author: Christopher Murray

Not so long ago, splurging was the only option when it came to lingerie. Something sexy for the bedroom came from Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood or local specialty stores, and they all charged top dollar.

These days, you could literally take three $1 bills and position them strategically over your private parts, and it would be about all you’d have to spend to purchase lingerie from some online marketplaces. This can be a good thing. It lets you experiment with your wilder side without wasting money on something you’ll discover you don’t like. But for some undergarments, such as figure-enhancing shapewear, it’s important to realize quality matters.

Here’s where to save and where to splurge.

SAVE: Stockings (and Body Stockings)

Your partner likes stockings. Sometimes you do too. But they can be expensive. You’ll spend $8 to $12 on a pair at most department stores, and that’s for the basic styles. The name brands can be much more costly.

And they run. Getting a run in your stockings is practically unavoidable, and it occurs far faster than one might imagine based on the price tag. That’s why it’s better to buy three or four pairs online for the cost of one at Target or Kohls. You can wear them and not worry about ruining them when you have them on.

The same goes for body stockings, the sexier older sister of the stockings that stop at the thigh. They have the same appeal and the same problems. Look for more affordable prices and consider them disposable.

SPLURGE: Garter Belts

On the other hand, garter belts are worth spending extra money on. The little things that connect them to the stockings you pair them with come in different levels of quality.

The good ones are easy to attach and stay attached when you’re active. The bad ones are hard to attach, and they loosen all the time.

There are many types of lingerie that come with garters, including bodysuits. Although you can overpay for name brands or various bells and whistles, it’s worth paying market rates for your garters instead of the lower-quality low Internet prices.

SAVE: Nightgowns and Sleepwear

woman wearing pink sleepwear

The great thing about nightgowns and sleepwear is they’re sexy enough to feel great in and comfy enough to wear to bed if you’re in that kind of mood. They’re a simple, attractive garment that’s hard to do wrong.

For that reason, it’s OK to go ahead and spend as little as possible on nightgowns. It’s hard to screw them up, so more affordable models are just as good as the high-end stuff. Go ahead and save, with a couple of caveats:

  • Pay attention to bust sizing if you’re larger in the chest. They can come in sizes that are too small and very uncomfortable.
  • Wash any brightly colored nightgown before wearing, preferably by hand.
  • If you want to sleep in them, we recommend purchasing comfortable sleepwear made from a silk or cotton material.

SPLURGE: Bras

A bad bra is horrible. It’s uncomfortable. It’s sweaty. It might be linked to back pain if you have larger breasts. Bras can dig in where the underwire sits, and poor front construction sometimes results in a wardrobe malfunction. And let’s not even get started on complex or easily broken fasteners. Bad bras suck.

Good bras aren’t perfect, but they are much better. If you’re a woman over 30, you probably already know and appreciate the difference between a $30 bra from Walmart and a high-quality bra from a specialized company. It can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.

SAVE: Babydolls

Babydolls are the cuter little sister of nightgowns. They run to the thigh, not the lower legs, and often have more lace or sheer fabric. They’re definitely for a special night with your partner, not casual around-the-house wear. But like nightgowns, they’re simple garments and hard to screw up.

One note, though: A lot of the more affordable options come with something we’re pretty sure the manufacturer thinks is a sexy thong but is actually an implement of torture. It’s hard to order them without the “free gift,” but it’s safest just to push it to the back of your delicates drawer.

SPLURGE: Special Occasion Ensembles

white lace lingerie set

Whether it’s for a special surprise for a long-term partner, or even just a gift to treat yourself to, every woman needs one or two lingerie outfits that make them feel dynamite.

Give yourself permission to spend real money on these ensembles. For one thing, the higher price tags send you an unconscious message that you’re worth splurging on when it matters. For another, the expensive stuff is nicer than the low-cost imitations. That may not matter for every lingerie purpose, but it does for this one.

SAVE: The Extremely Sexy Items

Every woman has a baseline in the bedroom. Some are comfortable with a garter belt and stockings but think a thong is too much. Others are happy with thongs but not ready for a corset. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just what makes you feel sexy and happy.

That said, most people are tempted to experiment a little beyond their comfort zone from time to time. Maybe you’ve never owned a Latex suit but would like to try one, or there’s something about those gloves Catwoman wears that gives you pause.

Low-cost lingerie options make it inexpensive to try these new outfits on for size (both physically and mentally). If you hate it, you can get rid of it without breaking your budget. If you like it, you can then explore whether the inexpensive version is enough or you want to invest in the more lavish versions.

SPLURGE: Corsets

This entry applies mostly to corsets, but really to any and all pieces of lingerie that include rigid pieces. Bustiers, waist cinchers and even some babydolls fall into this category. Spend real money on these for two reasons.

First, those rigid pieces are poky and uncomfortable in low-cost models. They dig into your skin and organs, making it hard to move during a time when you want to be able to move.

Second, the inexpensive models aren’t very adjustable. The rigid parts make it feel like you’ve put a barrel on over your body. Since their point is to accentuate your curves, the last thing you want is one that holds its own curves no matter what shape your body is.

BOTH: Panties

There are two kinds of panties in the world. There are the comfy ones that cover your entire booty and are made of soft, breathable fabrics, and there are the skimpy, sexy ones made of satin, silk and lace.

It’s important to show your bottom-half some love, so we recommend shopping for high-quality panties at a low price, and knowing when it’s worth the splurge. From regular underwear to sexy panties, Leonisa has multiple options that fit any budget.

Final Thought: Know Where Your Garments Come From

When saving money by buying inexpensive lingerie online, remember most of it is made in China or Malaysia, with sizes appropriate for the women from that region. If you’re a New York small, you might be a medium or large by international retailers’ standards. Check the sizing charts in the specific listing for the item you want. You won’t save money by buying something that won’t fit.

Our company values transparency, so we produce all of our garments in one of our 44 manufacturing plants. At Leonisa, we know these products are not just undergarments, but rather a statement of confidence and sexiness. So, whenever you purchase from Leonisa, know that our products are made with integrity and with your confidence in mind. Whether you save or splurge, just know that you never have to compromise feeling sexy!

Christopher Murray lives in California with his wife and three teenage daughters. Part of his research for this piece was completed just by doing the household laundry for a week.

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