Single or taken, there’s one thing we all know about the most romantic day of the year: lingerie shopping and Valentine’s Day go hand-in-hand. And, we get it. There’s something about lacy undergarments that can really get the va-va-voom going in any relationship — even one you haven’t started yet. But, the thing about those super sexy bras and panties, especially around V-Day, is that the designs (and colors) can get a little, well, cheesy. We’re talking tons of reds and pinks, hearts, bows, sequins — the works.
Our solution to the madness? Steer clear of the mass rush at Victoria’s Secret and instead, hit up one of these local New York boutiques for all the support you need.
This East Village boutique has been a mainstay in the neighborhood for over a decade now, and it’s one of the city’s most-trusted spots for a reliable (and hearty) selection of lingerie favorites, like Stella McCartney, Lonely Label, and Eberjey. Owner Cindy Hahn handpicks every piece in the store and takes a modern, somewhat kitschy approach to the store’s inventory. For Valentine’s Day, she’s offering up semi-sheer briefs, heart-shaped nipple pasties, and a (more shocking) body cage garter belt. Plus, the store’s open until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so you still have time to pick up those last-minute goodies you’ve been procrastinating on.
Azaleas, 140 Second Avenue (between East 9th Street and St. Marks Place); 212-228-5842.
A delicate, lady-like bralette.
Very high-fashion, no?
This Nolita hotspot (of Japanese origin) screams luxury, as every piece is crafted with the utmost precision and focus on fit and comfort. Their “III Step Decolletage system” is a life (and breast!) changer, and, they offer free alterations on of all their items. Things they consider essential this Valentine’s Day? Silky camisoles and form-fitting bras for the perfect lift and coverage. Not in the neighborhood? Bradelis also has locations in Flatiron and Flushing, so there’s no excuse not to hit the boutique closest to you.
Bradelis, 211 Elizabeth Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-941-5629.
An LBD for the bedroom.
It’s the little touches that go a long way.
Brooklyn Fox Lingerie
The ultimate cool-girl haven for all things underneath. Not only are we obsessed with this Williamsburg shop’s seriously awesome interior (can’t all stores be inanely sleek and minimalist and topped with a chandelier?), but their selection is on point for every bra and panty we could ever dream of. Leopard L’Agent briefs? Check. Semi-sheer Cosabella bras? Check. Sexy (and a bit #NSFW) lace Maison Close pieces? Check, check, check. We’re particularly in love with their V-Day lingerie gift sets: especially this one in a non-traditional neon green. Go ahead, dare to be different.
Brooklyn Fox Lingerie, 132 North 5th Street (between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), Brooklyn; 718-599-1555.
A non-cheesy way to wear red on February 14th.
This cutesy, Union Square boutique makes the task of finding the perfect-fitting bra seem a little less daunting. When she first opened the doors to Journelle in 2007, founder Claire Chambers created an empire that sparked a cult-like following for its high-end inventory, which includes La Perla, Elle Macpherson Intimates, and Bourdelle, as well as its own eponymous label. Self-described as “a place to shop for lingerie for women who had outgrown Victoria’s Secret,” the shop offers luxe, non-cheesy pieces for any occasion, including V-Day. This year, it’s all about “reinventing the one-piece,” letting just the right amount of skin show, and upping your loungewear game (as they say, you never know who you’ll meet in your dreams!).
Journelle, 3 East 17th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Broadway); 212-255-7800.
Upgrade your pajama selection with these babies.
Who doesn’t love a bold blue?
Pop by the nearly 10-year-old Chelsea store to be greeted by Kodi, the shop’s resident pup, while you browse the exquisite collection of lingerie — it includes designs by everyone from Hanky Panky and Cosabella to Natori and Gossard. The selection boasts a little something for every style, occasion, and price point (although for Valentine’s Day, they suggest going a little naughtier than usual), and owner Susanne offers personalized consultations and tips for finding the perfect piece for you.
Sugar Cookies, 203 West 19th Street (between Seventh and Eighth avenues); 212-242-6963.
Make a statement!
Simple and delicate.
Made right in the heart of New York City, Uye Surana’s namesake label features hand-dyed and crafted products of the highest quality (and sex appeal). The majority of her undergarments feature a mix of material (sheer mesh with lace, for example), lending themselves to an ideal fit and comfort. Not only has her lingerie been spotted on Girls, but they’re also currently in the midst of their January sample sale. We recommend jumping over to their site ASAP.
Uye Surana Studio, 373 Broadway, Space #E20 (between Franklin and White streets); 212-966-6528.
Fancy a flirty little nightie?
Silk and lace?. It’s decadent and comfortable.
It’s no secret here at Refinery29 that we love Valentine. And, if its name wasn’t enough, this friend-run business touches on everything we look for in lingerie: simplicity, style, and comfort. While they don’t have a brick-and-mortar location in New York just yet (consider this our plea for one ASAP!), you can order the little lacy garments (like the signature Shangri-La bra and Josie thong) online for a quick delivery. Plus, if you’re looking for something extra special, splurge on one of their collaborative gift sets.
Oh so feminine!
A little bit of lace goes a long way.
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