You can spend beaucoup bucks on intimate apparel that no one else ever sees. But just in case the planets align and angels begin belting out a round of “Hallelujah” during your date or on your anniversary, you’ll be unlocked and loaded with lovely lingerie from any of these fine Chicago-area shops.
1154 W. Lunt Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
Everything from Renegade Lingerie is custom made, from the pattern to the finishing embellishments, and it’s all done by one Mugsie Pike for each individual customer. “As far as I’m aware,” says Pike, “I’m the only custom bra maker not only in Chicago, but in the Midwest.” The experience and finished product you get when going for custom undies are quite different from what you can find in high-end boutiques. Any fit issues, from the girls not being identical twins to having narrow sloping shoulders, are dealt with from the time the pattern is created, right from the start. Because Pike works one on one with clients, expect a safe, friendly, non-judgmental, totally private environment for a bra, corset, shapewear or underwear fitting. Sizes outside of the “normal” range are another specialty and the only thing Renegade lacks is a storefront – so call first.
2131 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
The “G” in G Boutique is for “girlfriend,” a boutique where women help women plan perfect romantic escapades with wonderful lingerie, toys, books and DVDs (screened for female clientele), massage oils and more. Men don’t mind browsing the boutique and getting the expert opinions of women when searching for corsets, bustiers, teddies, chemises, thongs, nightgowns and pjs, bras and bikinis. Pieces can be a little pricey, but the feeling you get in your Cosabella Marlene Balconnet Bra or sexy knickers is priceless. Available brands include Blush, Commando, Eberjey, Hanky Panky, Mary Green and Maison Close.
Corsetiere of Chicago
410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 420
Chicago, IL 60605
They’re not just for Renaissance Faire geeks anymore and you can get a custom corset worthy of Xena the Warrior Princess or Rosalind in “As You Like It.” To be sure, the corsets are pretty enough to not be relegated to “what lies beneath.” Romeo would have loved his little Juliet outfitted in a dramatic waist cincher from the couture boutique that specializes in custom corsets, lingerie and fine apparel. Since the shop just moved into the Fine Arts Building, you can hear hopefuls practicing everything from opera to jazz piano as you wander up to the fourth floor, adding to the ambiance of your made-to-order lingerie experience.
Related: Best Lingerie Stores In Chicago 2010
804 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
The staff at this small Lincoln Park shop with sweet and sexy sets displayed will expertly measure you and bring items to the fitting room that will enhance your girl parts. Expect upscale brands in pastels and brights, but nothing tacky: nighties, thongs, bras and bralettes, camisoles, shapewear, bikinis and boy shorts in an array of fabrics and sizes. Underthings is a key stop on the road to your next bachelorette party, too. Brands include Cosabella, Hanro, Honeydew, Natori and Pleasure State.
Romantika Intimate Luxury
711 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wheeling, IL 60090
Owned by a couple of Eastern European women who wanted to bring the luxe, continental lingerie experience to the Midwest, Romantika offers expert personal fittings, lovely, well-made garments and some fun accessories. There’s something for all sizes and budgets from French hand-embroidered lace and Christian Lacroix items to more affordable lines such as Blush and Mary Green. Bras, panties, chemises, garters, bustiers, sweet loungewear and lots of extras like sleep masks, lingerie wash and bra bags make Romantika a complete lingerie boutique.
Related: Best Swimwear Shops In Chicago
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.