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How to buy sexy Valentine's eye candy for your baby doll

Maison Rouge: Actor and HSN queen Rhonda Shear owns this boutique, where Michelephone listing says Michelle, (Caperell, Michelle, Tarpon Springs, 727-938-8863) so ....  B/Anne checking on whether we could/should run this pic of the woman, since it’s been two years -- mimi  Caperell tried on a black silk gown. The store carries Shear’s line of shapewear, sleepwear and loungewear, plus makeup, costume jewelry and a few adult toys. 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 898-8400; maisonrouge.com. Six more red-hot lingerie shops, 26W

CHERIE DIEZ | Times (2007)

Maison Rouge: Actor and HSN queen Rhonda Shear owns this boutique, where Michelephone listing says Michelle, (Caperell, Michelle, Tarpon Springs, 727-938-8863) so .... B/Anne checking on whether we could/should run this pic of the woman, since it’s been two years -- mimi Caperell tried on a black silk gown. The store carries Shear’s line of shapewear, sleepwear and loungewear, plus makeup, costume jewelry and a few adult toys. 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 898-8400; maisonrouge.com. Six more red-hot lingerie shops, 26W

For a lot of guys, lingerie is like food. You enjoy it at home, but you're not keen on going out to get it. You divert your eyes from the scantily clad mannequins in shop windows. When your lady needs to go bra shopping, you drop her off at Victoria's Secret and tell her to meet you in the food court when she's done. Those stores are just so . . . lacy. • This Valentine's Day, it's time to man up. You know what your girl feels comfortable in. And you definitely know what you'd like to see her in. It doesn't take a degree from the University of Pantyland to pick out lingerie. Just keep these pointers in mind. Dalia Colón, Times staff writer

Size matters: Buy too small and you're in trouble. Buy too big and you'll really end up in the doghouse. Don't just eye the salesclerk and say, "She's about your size." Jot down your sweetie's bra and panty sizes. For corsets and nighties with built-in bras, you'll need her exact numbers. Also note her shirt size, dress size and, for longer nightgowns, her height. If she's like most women, she probably has clothes in a range of sizes — fat clothes, skinny clothes — but focus on the stuff she actually wears for the most accurate data.

Allow leeway: If you're not sure of her exact sizing, get something that comes in small, medium or large. A safe bet is a teddy or nightgown without a built-in bra. If possible, opt for an item with adjustable straps, removable garters and other adjustable features.

Push the envelope . . . "Usually around Valentine's Day, the woman is willing to step a little bit out of her comfort zone, wear something a little more revealing," said Trip Sanborn, who works at the Todd in Tampa.

. . . But not too much "It's about the comfort of the woman," Sanborn added. "To me, that is the most important." Lesley Geyer, owner of the Pink Petticoat in Tampa's Hyde Park, hears from married men all the time: "She would never wear that." You know what she feels comfortable wearing, both physically and emotionally. Buy accordingly.

It's all in the presentation: Red and pink are no-brainers for Valentine's Day, but you'll hit a home run if you pick out something in her favorite color. Wrap the present or, if you're all thumbs, have it wrapped. And yes, you have to fill out the card. Girls like that stuff.

Remove the guesswork: Buy her a gift card instead.

Do your part: Intimacy is a two-way street. You don't expect her to prance around in some tight-fitting, wedgie-inducing garment while you're in your sweats, to you? While you're lingerie shopping, pick up a pair of silk boxers and some cologne for yourself. Take a shower. Shave. While you're at it, unload the dishwasher. Now there's a turn-on.

Boudoir sources: Amber James, Laura Garcia, Jamie Jackson of Jackson Studio, Lisa Presnail of South Tampa Photography, Robert Crum of Robert Crum Photography, Zekeshem Parsons of Blue Lane Photography.

Lingerie sources: Marie Crane of Shear Enterprises and Maison Rouge, Trip Sanborn of the Todd, Lesley Geyer of the Pink Petticoat.

. SHOPPING LIST

Love shacks

Looking for a V-Day gift of the bow-chicka-bow-wow variety? Try one of these stores.

La France

This vintage clothing shop features lingerie from the early 1900s to 1960s: nightgowns, bed coats, slips, bullet bras and such. There's plenty of satin, plus lots of lace and ribbon, mostly in peach, pink, cream and light turquoise. Because everything's one of a kind, sizing is hit or miss. 1612 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City; (813) 248-1381; myspace.com/lafrance74.

Jezabelle and

Her Wandering Gypsies

La France owner Jill Wax carries the vintage theme up three blocks to this eclectic shop. Among the antique books, furniture and kitchenware you'll find mostly Victorian-era camisoles, teddies and bloomers. Again, sizing is tricky. 1923 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City; (813) 247-1923; myspace.com/jezabellefashionmarket.

Lotus

The shop carries bras, panties, comfy nightgowns and button-down PJ sets in addition to bath and body products. Special orders are available. 1451 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 906-7080; shopknickers.com.

The Pink Petticoat

This Hyde Park boutique offers a user-friendly selection of teddies, nightgowns and such, plus body lotions and jewelry. Try "7 Ways to Say I Love You" (your feelings displayed on her derriere in a different language every day), $112 per set. 1625 W Snow Circle, Tampa; (813) 253-2244; thepinkpetticoat.com.

Priscilla's

This 18-and-up store carries panties, baby dolls, stockings, costumes and wigs. There is plenty of risque merchandise, too. 732 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; (813) 873-1616.

The Todd

We'd be remiss if we failed to mention this "couples superstore," a Tampa institution celebrating 40 years of hanky-panky this year. Once you get past the X-rated DVDs and the penis-shaped baking pans, there's some fairly run-of-the-mill lingerie in the back of the store. Check out nighties, heels, fishnets and costumes, including a decent plus-sized selection. Ages 18 and up. 13417 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; (813) 971-0007; thetoddsuperstore.com.

How to buy sexy Valentine's eye candy for your baby doll 02/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 3:30am]
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