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“I used to sell underwear a lot to men. Some were embarrassed. Others were direct about it.” For the embarrassed or clueless, Gents, let Dita Von Teese be your guide. She’s an expert – and not just because her work wardrobe consists of bras and briefs. Von Teese got her first Saturday job working in a lingerie boutique when she was 15 and admits that if it wasn’t for burlesque, she’d be “opening her own store” by now. The next best thing? Her own lingerie range, Von Follies, which has just launched at stylebop.com (pictured above, Dita in bra, £32, and briefs, £20).

“The biggest mistake men make is buying something that makes a woman feel uncomfortable,” she says. “My dream would be for a man to bring in his partner’s favourite bra and panty and let me see what she likes to wear. Men get too hung up on what they would like their partner to wear.

“Black lace looks good on everyone and works for all seasons. It’s sexy and seductive, as well as elegant and sophisticated. Red is hard to get right – it depends on the quality of the fabric – but it can be chic,” says Von Teese, who rates French labels Fifi Chachnil and Chantal Thomass.

“I think the men in my life have never dared buy me underwear – I’ve had a lingerie wardrobe since I was 15. And, anyway, they’ve always been pretty impressed with my selection.” Phong Luu



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