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Valentine's Day is for lingerie

February 10, 2012|By Joanna Gustafson, for RedEye

WithValentine's Day just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about gifts. This year, forget the tired box of chocolates and bouquet of roses, and spice things up and surprise your significant other with a visit to a local lingerie emporium.

(RELATED: See photos of Valentine's Day lingerie)

Whether you're shopping for your girlfriend, your wife, or maybe just a friend's upcoming bachelorette party, lingerie can be a great gift.

Lisse Levin, manager of Isabella Fine Lingerie (840 W. Armitage) in Lincoln Park, says the greatest challenge when it comes to buying lingerie for someone else is sizing.

"Always know their size in bras and panties before coming in to purchase," Levin suggests, though many shops do record ladies' sizes just this purpose.

If you don't have a clue on size and the store doesn't have it on file, rifle through giftee's drawers (in a non-creepy way) to get an idea. And if you're truly stumped, Levin suggests playing it safe with a gift certificate so you can shop together or "stick to items such as bralettes and panties as they come in sizes small, medium, and large," she says. "Never purchase a bra and panty set if you are unsure of your significant other's size!"

The other challenge when it comes to buying clothes for someone else, of course, is style -- and making sure they love what you buy.

Levin suggests sticking to classic styles. A nice chemise (nightgown) also is a safe choice -- and an especially good one if you're shopping for a friend and don't want to get too sexy. "Some women never treat themselves to lingerie so a beautiful silk or cotton chemise can be a real treat," Levin says.

Lingerie stores often carry more than just lacy underthings. In addition to the old Hollywood-inspired Mimi Holiday line, which Levin loves and says, "makes you feel ultra sexy," Isabella Fine Lingerie also carries JimmyJane hot oil massage candles. "They are heat sensitive," Levin explains. "You light the candle and can pour the oil directly onto the body-its a fun treat for both!"

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