Guarantee Customer Satisfaction by Shopping Her Body Type

by Jennifer Manuel Carroll
A life-long lover of lingerie, Jennifer Manuel Carroll has shopped for underpinnings during her travels in North America and Europe and is a savvy lingerie expert. After years of experience in the intimate apparel world, she was inspired to share her knowledge with others. Carroll is the author of Underneath It All, A Girl’s Guide to Buying, Wearing and Loving Lingerie (Harlequin 2009), a comprehensive resource for the lingerie lover and novice alike.

My favorite customers to work with are open minded and willing to step outside of their comfort zone. Nothing makes me happier than when a customer, in search of the perfect bra or sleep set, allows me to choose what I think will best flatter her figure. Some clients are more trusting that others, so the interaction doesn’t always happen that way.

We have all experienced the situation where a customer chooses a few items and enters the dressing room; and in our mind we know that what she picked isn’t going to work on her body. Why do we remain silent? As a woman, I know it is the worst feeling to pick out gorgeous items from a sales floor, only to find that none of them work on my frame. It is depressing! So, why not speak up? Let your customer relax while you pick out the perfect items that will best suite her figure.

“In my experience, if you offer your client the best-fitting lingerie that makes her look and feel amazing, she is more relaxed and open to further suggestions.”

In my experience, if you offer your client the best-fitting lingerie that makes her look and feel amazing, she is more relaxed and open to further suggestions. You will cinch a sale with anything that has a fantastic fit with a flattering cut. Once she is comfortable, it is okay to experiment with racier or less-safe items.

In my book, Underneath It All, A Girl’s Guide to Buying, Wearing, and Loving Lingerie, I discuss body-type and describe what is most flattering on each type. Here are the highlights from the Sizing Matters chapter. Keep these figure fixes in mind when shopping for your next customer, or yourself!


Women come in all shapes and sizes. It’s what makes us unique, special, and eternally frustrated when we can’t fit in to the latest designer trend. Lingerie is the same way–you can try to put your body into the same thing that everyone is wearing, but the end result is not always the same. For example, if you are a 34A your push-up bra will surely make you look perky and perhaps a little bustier, whereas a 34DD in a push-up bra may look a little more porn star. Not to say that a little porn star is a bad thing. The point is, the same style bra can look completely different on two different girls.

You may already know your shape, your assets and figure challenges. If not, below is a list of some general body types and challenges. Your body might have characteristics in more than one category.


Your top half is proportionately bigger than your bottom half. You typically have a larger bust and tummy, a small booty and slim hips and legs. You gain your weight above the waist. The best fitting lingerie for an Apple tends to accentuate your ample bosom and slim legs while discretely covering the tummy.

Sans clothes: Wear babydolls. They’ll show off your nice legs and small booty. These fluttery, A-line shaped chemises barely cover your behind. Avoid any that split up the middle that shows your tummy. Another option is a corset. It plays up your assets by boosting boobs. Thigh-highs look fantastic on your slim legs. Pair them with the corset for a night of naughtiness.

Under clothes: Invest in a good bra that lifts and separates, creating a waist and a longer torso. Consider a waist cincher or piece of shapewear that smoothes your torso and belly bulges. A one piece bodysuit with a built in bra and snap-panty offers lots of control and visually eliminates unsightly rolls.

Don’t: Wear tight fitting camisoles or chemises that accentuate your midsection.


Your bottom half is proportionately bigger than your top half. You may have small, teardrop-shaped breasts, a flat stomach, and a full bottom and hips. Your hips are often wider than your shoulders, and your thighs are curvy. Skinny jeans may be your worst enemy. Pears can create proportion by drawing attention upward with specialty bras or camisoles that are push-up or patterned, colored, or sheer.

Sans clothes: Wear an A-line chemise or gown that hits below the booty to create sleek lines. Pair a sheer camisole or bra with a boyshort. It will draw attention upwards highlighting your upper assets while providing coverage for your curvaceous caboose.

Under clothes: A little padding in your bra can go a long way, Adding some volume and shape to your upper body will create more balance and proportion with your bottom. Invest in some control capris or shorts to smooth any bottom bulges under tight fitting pants, dresses or skirts (some shapewear can take nearly a whole size off your bottom!).

Don’t: Wear ruffles around hips and booty–this will only make those areas appear larger.


You are a lucky lady. You have the much sought after shape: a proportionate top and bottom with a smaller waist. You gain weight evenly and have fewer problems finding well-fitting clothing.
Sans clothes: Show off your curves by wearing bra and panty sets and body-hugging teddies or chemises.
Under clothes: Pay close attention to any pulling or gaping in your clothing. Layer a camisole under your button up shirt (and leave unbuttoned at the top where it gaps) or wear control panties with your snug trousers to eliminate any muffin-top (hip or abdomen spillage).

Don’t: Wear oversized or baggy tops that lack structure and hide your lovely figure–you may look heavier when you don’t show off your waist.


You are typically referred to as having a “sporty” physique. You may be small or large boned, but have a solid torso with little waist definition. Your goal is to create visual curves with your lingerie.

Sans clothes: Wear a two piece set, such as a cropped camisole and thong set in dark or contrasting colors to give you illusion of curves.

Under clothes: Wear a good fitting foundation bra that separates your breasts and creates some curves. Think: push-up and out!

Don’t: Wear a tight fitting nightgown. It will make you look like a sausage, and not in an appetizing way.

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