Guide to Buying Lingerie in Paris, France
Bring Home a Sexy Souvenir - Lingerie from Paris
Parisians take their lingerie seriously. According to a recent poll, 87% of the French public described lingerie as "very important to life."1 Only in Paris, where the mystery of "l' amour" is equal to the thrill of conquest, what you are wearing "underneath" may be more revealing than the clothes you are wearing "on top". Forget miniature Eiffel Towers. If you've fell under the spell of the City of Love, no souvenir is more appropriate to bring home than lingerie from Paris.
In the US, where even upscale department stores are full of "functional designs", visiting a Parisian lingerie boutique can be an eye opening and overwhelming experience. You may be stunned at the sheer size of the lingerie floor at the Galleries Lafayette - an entire department store floor devoted to just lingerie! Where to start?
To help you navigate the Parisian lingerie landscape, figure out the mood or look you're going for, then consult our tips below. For the best service and selection for a specific brand, visit the designers Paris boutiques. To experiment with different designers, try a large department stores, like Galleries Lafayette.
For Romantic and Elegant, try La Perla - La Perla is arguably the most glamorous brand of lingerie in the world. You may have seen La Perla being worn on the popular series, Desperate Housewives, and or being purchased by numerous celebrities for their wedding night. (e.g., Tomcat wedding, Jessica Simpson, etc.).
Beautiful, understated and elegant, La Perla evokes "Romance" with a capital "R". Its classical styling fits all ages and body types. No one looks unattractive when wearing La Perla. However, this type of magic has a price - La Perla is notoriously expensive. Budget around 250€ for a bra, and 75€ for the matching panties.
Locations: Boutiques at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, 8e and 179, Boulevard St. Germain, St. Germain des Prés, 7e. Also at all major department stores.
Parisian Chic, try Chantal Thomass - Before there was Madonna, there was Chantal Thomass. Chantal Thomass is credited for the trend “Dessous Dessus” (innerwear as outerwear) and is famous for cutting-edge, haute couture lingerie. Creative fabrics, bright colors, and fabulous trim (tulle, lace, ribbons, flounces) are her trademarks. Currently, Chantal Thomass is focusing on a layered retro look - bras, bustiers, garters, silk stockings and panties with a bit more coverage (think panties vs. thongs) complete with matching parasols (very retro). For evoking desire along with a whiff of decadence, try Chantal Thomass lingerie.
Location: 211 rue Saint Honoré, 1e.
Playful yet Exotic, try Rien of France- For a playful look with a touch of the exotic, look for Rien of France lingerie. Unique stitching characterize this lingerie line that can be easily worn under casual clothing (no extended frills, ribbons, etc.), but is sexy enough for an after work romance.
Location: Major Parisian department stores like Galleries Lafayette or Printemps.
Beautiful on a Budget, try Monoprix - Want to bring back a sexy souvenir from the City of Love without spending next month's mortgage payment, check out Monoprix. We're not joking. Monoprix, the French department store that is comparable to a Super Target, is a great place to pick up quality lingerie at a bargain price.
The key is that Monoprix lingerie is made in France. French lingerie manufacturers are the world leaders in quality and cutting edge designs. The newest styles and support techniques debut in France before emerging in other countries. For underwear that is beautiful, will stand the test of time, and won't bust your budget (pardon the pun), check out the large lingerie selections at your nearest Monoprix.
Location: Monoprixs are located in most Parisian neighborhoods. To find the closest Monoprix to you, visit the Monoprix website's location finder.
Author: Cheryl Montgomery