Granted, it may not seem like the right time to drop $100 or more on what will (most likely) go unseen by the vast majority of your friends, but trust me on this one: Putting on some hot, steamy lingerie changes your posture. Whether you’re looking for yourself or for your partner (which is, as we all know, really a gift for yourself), here are the must-see purveyors of lace and underwire in the city.
THE BIGGIES La Perla (93 Greene St): The grand empress of lingerie. Every bride-to-be in the world with money to burn heads here for frilly first-night essentials — mostly because the label boasts the most delicate of delicates. Fair warning, though: You pay for what you get — their average lace bras are over $250.
Eres (98 Wooster St): While La Perla might be the most famous, Eres is the favorite of the fashion insiders. Its pieces are clean-lined, flattering, and come in the most versatile of blushing pinks and pale nudes. Again, be ready to drop some dough: bras are often upwards of $300.
Kiki de Montparnasse (79 Greene St): For those of you making semi-frequent pit stops at the new Babeland in Park Slope, may I offer this humble suggestion: Up the stakes for Valentine’s Day. Behind Kiki’s velvet drapes is a world of cut-out bras, panties with bustles, and slinky sets — all rendered in luxurious materials. Oh, and pick up one of their signature gold vibrators while you’re there.
L’Agent Provocateur (133 Mercer St): Known for its dramatic flair and seriously alluring advertisements (Helena Christensen as a pirate? Hello!), Provocateur is the place for statement pieces: lace-up corsets, bras for which the term “push-up” does little justice, and eye-catching prints. If you’re feeling spendthrift, you can have one of their trademark corsets custom-made.
THE INDIES Mixona (262 Mott St): A lot of my friends have walked right past this Nolita boutique (it’s slightly raised about the street so if you miss the ramp you’ll be befuddled) but its rosily lit interior hosts a comprehensive array of lines and selection, from leopard-print bras by Dolce & Gabbana to girly sets by Ravage.
Brooklyn Fox Lingerie (132 N. 5th St, Williamsburg): Recently added to my lingerie rolodex, this chic little shop has a really exemplary stock of ultra-sexy items by labels like Aubade and Carol Malony — and their reputation is bolstered by a friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Deborah Marquit (158 W. 15th St): You’ll often find the illustrious Ms. Marquit herself opening the door for you at this subterranean studio, loaded with the designer’s trademark handmade lace sets in neon purples and pinks, as well as more traditional hues. Whether your ultra-bright bra strap slips down your shoulder or you’re slowly undressing for a certain someone, you’ll have folks asking: “Where’d you get that?”