1) Check their size, not of any bra and knicker in the drawer but of the pieces they regularly wear. The tags may be faded or removed but keep searching and measure up their favourite  bra against another, hopefully they line up.

2) Take note of the size (example 32D or 10D). Also the brand of lingerie helps. If you can't get access to that information, a dress size can assist but you will be limited in options. Worst case scenario - bring in one of their bras to the shop.

3) If you only have a dress size, the following are safer buys: soft cup bras, bodysuits without an underwire, robes, camisoles and chemises.

4) Try and pick something they would still feel confident in. One way to figure that out is by looking at what they regularly wear. If you pick something too over the top in comparison to their usual style, they may sheepishly come into the room and dive under the covers.

5) If you're buying lingerie for Valentine's Day, I feel you don't have to stick to something too practical. You can mix it up and try something different. But if it's for a birthday then it must be 100% for them.

6) Props and accessories are lovely add-ons to the perfect piece. A whip, soft paddle, gloves or crop can be a lot of fun, especially if it adds to a role play theme created by the lingerie. And stay-up stockings are always appreciated.

7) If you think they might be shy or lacking confidence, a beautiful robe is a great starting point. It offers them a chance to cover up as well and it's practical. A robe + lingerie is the ultimate combo.

Tori's micro blog about lingerie can be found on instagram @bellentina.