By Jacqueline Runice

Flannel jammies and tee shirts with yoga pants are perfect for a night with Netflix but when you want to turn up the heat, those visually oriented significant others need to see you in something racy, sexy, frilly or feisty. You could probably find something in cotton at Sears but delicate, high quality fabric and design that fits just right is the surest plunge to paradise. And remember – there’s no rest for the wicked.

Department Of Curiosities
3013 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 520-2462

Department of Curiosities is a slow fashion atelier and shop and home to Morúa (designed by Gerry Quinton) and Production Mode (designed by Jamie Hayes). The duo produce a collection of luxury lingerie and nightwear, made of Italian silk, including an exclusive print designed by tattoo artist, Esther Garcia.  Items are made in-house in the beautiful storefront space.  Slow fashion results in beautiful pieces, to be sure, but also makes the design and sewing process transparent. The “Department of Curiosities”  collection of lingerie and nightwear (many wear them as dresses and gowns) is inspired by unforgettable women of the roaring 20s, the Dada and Surrealist art movements as well as the emergence of the working woman. Think self aware women such as  Marlene Dietrich, Arletty, Kiki de Montparnasse and Josephine Baker. The shop offers a line of wedding wear and corsets, Morúa, made individually for each client during the course of several fittings characterized by romantic inspirations and exquisite detailing. A special place, indeed.

G Boutique
2064 N. Damen
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 235-1234

G boutique, built by and for women, is a lifestyle and lingerie store with a strong commitment to women’s health and happiness – which, of course, includes sex. “We are definitely one of a kind,” says co-owner Cheryl Sloane.  “We offer lingerie from top manufacturers like Cosabella, Natori, aubade, etc. and we do bra fittings and bridal lingerie as well.” Transparent panties and lacy bras can be costly, but prices here are not exorbitant and there is a sale rack,  In addition to a full service lingerie store, G Boutique offers a selection of sex toys, lube, condoms, massage oils and other loving paraphernalia. Come in to get outfitted for a night of romance or bring your partner along to browse gorgeous lingerie. There are classes and seminars in the boutique or you can arrange for one to be held right in your home. Go to the web site to learn about the shop’s first online course about dating and sex for women over 40, too.

Bras Galore
3148 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 697-9199

The name doesn’t say it all. Although a lifesaver (or back saver) for women who get sized by professional bra fitters to find just the right fit and style for their body type, Bras Galore offers a lovely selection of lingerie, chemises and negligees —including those that are bra sized and have underwires, offering great shape and support and others in sizes XS-3X. In addition to 40 different brands of bras in cups AA-Q and bands 28-56, the northwest side shop carries an extensive selection of panties in sizes XS-7X –  thongs, cheeky style, boyshorts and panties that match bras for a complete look. How about a basque, a bra and corset in one? There’s also a nice selection of swimwear year-round as well as bra accessory items, such as “sticky boobs” and inserts, fashion tape and extenders.

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Taboo Tabou
843 1/2 W. Belmont

Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 883-1400

According to owner, Alexis Thomas, “Our favorite time of the year is coming up and we are celebrating 14 days of Valentine’s Day with a little surprise for customers every single day starting Feb. 1. The first 100 customers are actually going to get a free gift that they can give to their odd significant other with purchase of $100 more and the first 30 of those also get a vintage love letter that was sent back-and-forth between a couple during World War II. We provide little trinkets for our customers that make us different.” The family owned business provides a body positive environment along with unique, affordable and sexy lingerie as well as pinup and vintage inspired clothing lines. The shop offers monthly workshops and meet ups that focus on topics like self care, body awareness and sensual living.

Chantilly Lace Lingerie, Inc.
1144 Central Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 256-8077

Founded by a French woman around 20 years ago, Chantilly Lace now counts Larisa Olson as chief corset tightener and expert owner. Expect a wide variety of bras with plenty of colorful options and significantly higher quality in all items than your average lingerie shop. Olson says, “I’ve heard many customers say they’ve never been offered such a broad selection of styles in their size, even in New York.”  The same fitter, Bella, has been working for the store since it opened so you’re sure to get an ideal silhouette. The shop is situated in the family-filled North Shore, so there’s a wholesome vibe to go along with the toy box for kids to rummage through while mom or dad locates an exotic or romantic chemise as a sexy surprise during Valentine’s Day or the next couples getaway.

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