12/08/2011 12:31 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

To Be a Lingerie Enthusiast!

Tom Hines

We've all heard of shopaholics and shoeaholics, but what about lingerie-aholics? This special breed of fanaticism has simple beginnings just like any other addiction; all it takes is one, delicate, lacy piece. The rest just falls into place.

First, the allure: Lingerie made from Chantilly lace, French silks accented with crystals, gold threads and moonstones. They are so exquisite!

Then the top form: Snug against your body, helping to extenuate all of your best assets. Locked and loaded!

The self-confidence: The knowledge that you are wearing these beautiful lingerie pieces and no one knows. Or, do they? You cannot help but have that extra bounce in your step (and less bounce where it's less than needed). That's how it happens -- a simple piece of lingerie transforms you. Such is the case with Jess.

Most women dress from the outside in. They choose their attire and then find a piece of lingerie that "will work," but that's not the way Jess works; she selects her lingerie and then her outfit. "Sometimes I'm just in the mood to wear a piece. For example, garters and thigh-highs aren't very practical with pants, but I'll still wear them anyway."

For Jess, the journey began the first time she saw beautiful hand-embroidered bras with silk threads and straps adorned with Swarovski crystals.

"It's about paying attention to the fine details, feeling every bit of fabric before you put it on," she said. "With the texture of the silk and the design of the lace, everything has its own unique qualities and you can even say personalities. Some lingerie pieces are flirty, others are serious, some are even mischievous, and it just all depends on your mood!"

"I was amazed to learn that certain shades of red won't be visible under a white shirt," said Jess. "Why not try a smooth cup with a little lace along the band? The details on the bra shouldn't end in the front and you definitely don't have to be boring to be functional." Obviously, not every bra is meant for every outfit, but every outfit will find its perfect bra-mate. With these instructions, I was ready to explore the world of lingerie!

When asked what to look for in a bra when shopping, Jess answers, "It's about quality and fit, and usually with high quality, you'll get a better fit, not to mention the fabric feels better." Jess reminisced, "I remember as a young girl when I would go shopping for bras, the trend was to pick the cutest one and stuff myself in it. Now when I look back on it, I'm embarrassed; instead of dressing for my body, I was dressing for dressing sake. I ended up with arm-boobies and even worse, the dreaded quara-boob!"

In the world of lingerie, there is much to learn and discover. "Numbers and letters are irrelevant, and a plunge will fit differently than a balconette. Also it's important to not be intimidated, and never fear to ask for help. With so many different bra styles, a lingerie expert can provide the tips and knowledge you are seeking."

Now years later, Jess continues her lingerie-cation with an extreme love of luxurious and sumptuous lingerie. Her enthusiasm radiates as she recalls when she got her last set. "I was bubbling with excitement. It's like that every time a new set comes in to the boutique and I get a call from my lingerie specialist. It's just as electrifying as the first time!" Her passion is contagious and she encourages everyone she encounters to also become a lingerie enthusiast. And, we mean everyone! "I just wish more women paid attention to their undergarments and weren't afraid to approach the subject. Lingerie isn't a taboo; it's to be celebrated, enjoyed and paid attention to. And, I don't mean wearing it only for your significant other; I mean wearing it for yourself, just because you want to look good and feel good."

Anyone and everyone can become a lingerie enthusiast. All it takes is a spark of inspiration and someone special to show you the way (I mean a bra fitter, but perhaps you had someone else in mind? *wink wink*).