There are certain things the French are known for doing very well, such as pastry, couture and skin care. And of course, lingerie! Some even joke that Paris’ most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, resembles a woman’s leg in fishnet stockings and its four feet, a garter belt. I’m sure that is just a coincidence.
The rest, however, is a long and historic affair with lingerie both practical and indulgent. Throughout Europe and America during WWII, lingerie evolved from elaborate corsets and bloomers into what it is today. As men were at war, women went to work, requiring less physically restricting undergarments. Much like makeup with a smoky eye or sultry colored lip, lingerie has since become an asset of seduction, yet another thing the French seem to be known for. In the postwar era, Paris’ fashion houses recognized the desire women had to reconnect with their femininity, and extended their designs into lingerie. A bit of the country’s world-renowned Chantilly lace certainly had a hand in adding a bit of glamour back to the bra and beyond.
Alas, here we are in 2014 and the French have held on to their lingerie legacy, as some of the finest designers and manufacturers hail from Paris just like Lancôme. Their flagship boutiques are among the most beautiful shops to visit in the city, especially when on the lookout for the perfect souvenir. Over the years, I’ve become quite the collector, so if you’re looking for something special I know just where you’ll find it. It’s too close a call to say which is my No. 1 destination, so I’m sharing my two top favorite lingerie shops in Paris with you here!
Step into Fifi’s world of pastel silks and delicate laces. With retro flair and an ultra feminine esthetic, the designer has created a feast for the eyes in all three Paris shops decorated like a fabulous boudoir fit for a movie star.
A household name, Chantal Thomass is sometimes called the Parisian queen of lingerie. The iconic designer’s boutique on the Rue Saint Honoré has become a landmark in its own right over the years. Its beautiful ornate façade alone is alluring, and the delightful collection of corsets, stockings, garters and more does not disappoint either.