The 11 Best Lingerie Shops In Chicago
By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 16, 2015 4:45PM
These aren’t your granny’s panties. Real lingerie is spectacular and available all over Chicago, if you know where to look. Whether you’re looking to spice things up with someone special (or a lot of special someones) or just wanting to feel sexier during the day-to-day drudgery known as working life—and regardless of your budget—these 11 stores will deliver a much-needed kick in the drawers.
Bestselling romance author Jennifer Crusie says, “If you wear white cotton, you’ll feel like white cotton.” Once you visit one, five or all of these shops, you’ll want to swear off plain skivvies in favor of lovely, well-fitting lingerie. —By Lauren Whalen
Egoist Underwear, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
A longstanding favorite among the city’s alternative set, Taboo Tabou is now located within The Alley store on Clark Street but hasn’t lost any of its punky charm. If you’re a first-time guest and find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of wild bras, garter belts and sundry, don’t hesitate to ask the gorgeous and friendly sales staff. Many are active in Chicago’s thriving burlesque community, and will happily share their expertise (or expert-tease) in the art of looking fine while wearing as little as possible. Want to take your newfound confidence to the next level? Like several others on this list, Taboo Tabou offers a fantastic selection of erotic toys, as well as workshops in everything from spanking and submission to applying sparkly eye makeup.
Taboo Tabou is located at 3228 N. Clark St., in The Alley.
G Boutique via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
Step into the foyer of this Bucktown treasure, breathe in the sweet but not cloying air, and immediately feel comfortable with your sensual side. With soft pink walls, lilting music and two colorful birds chirping in their roomy cage, G Boutique has a vibe that’s intimate but not intimidating. Everything, from nighties to lacy panties in fun brands like Cosabella and Hanky Panky, is artfully arranged alongside a selection of “romantica” (romantic erotica) DVDs and high-quality sex toys with a handy staff-penned guide. Bras average around $40 to $50 each, though there’s a sales rack with lovely, less expensive items, and a wide range of cup and band sizes are available. G Boutique also offers monthly “Sexploration Thursdays,” private parties and public classes in refining third-base techniques.
G Boutique is located at 2131 N. Damen Ave.
Skyscraper Heels, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
Anyone who’s ever worn a corset will rave about how breathing is overrated when one looks and feels stunning—but like bubbly or burgers, corsets are all about quality over quantity. Though they are known for specialty heels, Skyscraper also stocks corsets exclusively from Voller, a factory in England that’s made them since 1899. Fittings are available by appointment, and knowledgeable staff will take utmost care to ensure a perfect fit, look and feel for the sexiest of underthings. And should you desire a custom pair of shoes to complete the transformation, you’re in exactly the right place.
Skyscraper Heels is located at 2202 W. Belmont Ave.
Egoist Underwear via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
For the Boys: Egoist Underwear
Male underwear is a growing movement: several stores on this list such as Tulip, Beatnix and G Boutique have small sections devoted to men. However, Egoist exclusively offers male underwear, swimwear and athletic wear. The polar opposite of plain boxers and briefs, this Boystown shop’s goods are lively and bright with varying degrees of coverage, and labels with great names like Addicted, Stud and AussieBum. Attractive and fun but never tacky, Egoist is a prime destination for guys from every walk of life.
Egoist Underwear is located at 3526 N. Halsted St.
Countless articles caution that the majority of women walk around in bras that don’t properly fit. This Michigan Avenue shop takes matters into its own capable hands with personalized fittings and an abundance of cute and comfortable styles in a wide range of band and cup sizes. Soma offers panties in sizes up to XXL and solid deals, like six pairs for $36. After your bra fitting, check out their wonderful selection of lounge- and night-wear. A bit more conservative than Taboo Tabou but just as fashionable, Soma recognizes that luxury and relaxation can beautifully coexist—and that proper fit is the key to having it all.
Soma Intimates is located at 520 N. Michigan Ave., in Water Tower Place.
Beatnix, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
Located in the heart of Boystown, Beatnix boasts lingerie that ranges from the utilitarian (stretchy full-coverage bras in neutral shades like tan and black) to the utterly fabulous (waist cinchers and hot pants with fringe, sequins and enough leather and lace to make Stevie Nicks jealous). Like everything else in the store, styles are queer-friendly and come in a variety of sizes. Have a hankering for stockings? Beatnix has a whole wall of them, with stripes, bows, fishnets and an entire rack for queen-size. With Halloween just around the corner, take a look at the store’s extensive collection of costumes, accessories and wigs. The key to shopping at Beatnix is an open mind: you never know what you’ll leave with
Beatnix is located at 3400 N. Halsted St.
Tulip Toy Gallery, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
Tulip Toy Gallery
According to its website, Tulip’s mission is “pleasure, education and safety.” This considerate, open nature extends to the sex toy store’s small but mighty lingerie section, with sweetly sheer bras, pinup-style panties and leopard-print everything. Tulip’s staff of “sexperts” are open and outgoing, but never pushy, and an array of sizes are available at both Boystown and Andersonville locations. Donation-based workshops at the Boystown store offer complimentary wine, snacks and introductory instruction on rope basics, pole dancing and kink.
Tulip is located at 3459 N. Halsted St. and 1480 W. Berwyn Ave.
Lover's Lane, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
When it comes to sheer volume, Lover’s Lane can’t be beat. Offering petite through plus sizes and excellent sales and discounts, the LGBT community-friendly store has everything a lingerie addict could want or need. Heels high enough to make an exotic dancer jealous? Check. Dreamy yet daring baby doll nighties? Check. Fetishwear, G-strings and body stockings? Check, check and check.
Lover’s Lane is located at 955 W. Diversey in Chicago, with other locations around the Chicago area.
Upon entering Intimacy, I was greeted by a soft-spoken but confident young woman in a black dress who offered me a fitting, answers to my questions, and a small bottle of water from a tray. Though it’s located within the 900 North Michigan Shops, Intimacy has the feel of a cozy standalone boutique and boasts hip European styles in a rainbow of colors. Bra fittings are available by appointment and for walk-ins, and sizes up to 42 (band) and K (cup) can easily be ordered if not readily accessible. Intimacy isn’t cheap (the least expensive item I saw was $70 and bras ran $100 and up), but shoppers will enjoy the focus on quality in everything from product detail and arrangement to customer experience.
Intimacy is located at 900 N. Michigan Ave.
Underthings, via Krysta Williams/Chicagoist
This little but fierce Lincoln Park boutique is a gem in every sense of the word. Somewhat hidden near the busy intersection of Webster Avenue and Halsted Street, it’s worth actively seeking out, and your reward is an abundance of adorable bras, panties and nightgowns from trendy but tasteful labels like Eberjey, Betsey Johnson and Hanky Panky. Whether you’re a bride wanting a cute undergarment that won’t show under the wedding dress, or a young working woman looking to treat yourself, Underthings has the answer, elegant with a little edge.
Underthings is located at 804 W. Webster Ave.
In case the tony location didn’t tip you off, know that for many of us, this high-end international chain is purely aspirational. But for those with fat paychecks, savvy savers looking to treat themselves, and very special occasions, it doesn’t get much better than the refined but utterly naughty Agent Provocateur. Nothing’s coquettish here: every item is risqué and revealing, but never tacky or trashy. Thongs, kimonos, babydolls, and everything in between are a feast of touchable fabric and teasing straps, and a celebration of the pleasure to be had behind closed doors, with the most intimate and carnal of knowledge.
Agent Provocateur is located at 47 E. Oak St.