Luxury lingerie boutique Journelle recently opened its first Chicago store, located at 1725 North Damen Ave. Known for stocking brands like Chantelle, La Perla and Cosabella, its own signature line of basics (a collection of everyday pieces like unlined demis and t-shirt bras with design embellishments like rigid lace or a racerback with gold hardware), the store's beautifully designed undergarments and other delicate clothing options prove you don't need to reserve lovely lingerie for special occasions.
We caught up with the marketing and brand director of Journelle, Allison Beale, to get the inside scoop on how to spoil a bride-to-be with the perfect gift. Now get busy filling that trousseau!
It is her wedding night, after all. "I think it's fun to get a little racy and select something that's totally unexpected and a bit naughty," says Beale. "Our Journelle Collection features two overt styles that will come in ivory soon, and both Lascivious and Hanky Panky have fun, whimsical, wedding night-worthy pieces."
Keep her personal style in mind.
The last thing you want to do is embarrass your bride or make her feel uncomfortable opening a side-tie thong and garter belt with matching thigh highs when you know there aren't enough tequila shots in Mexico to make her wear it. While Beale encourages you to have fun when shopping, she recommends considering a gorgeous silk chemise or luxe robe for the more conservative brides.
Know the honeymoon destination.
We love that Journelle's website offers a unique way to shop through several inspirational categories such as 'Bridal Shower Winners,' 'Something Blue,' and 'Under the Dress.' The 'Happy Honeymooning' tab arranges pieces based on destinations, separating them into subcategories like 'To the Tropics' and 'To Adventure.' "It's really about the user experience, and if your best friend happens to be taking off on an island getaway or a rustic country retreat, we may have just the right [lingerie] set to set the mood," says Beale.
Know your audience.
Chances are your bride isn't going to display a G-string with as much gusto as she would a set of flatware while opening presents alongside her grandmother at the Waldorf Astoria. Save the super personal gifts for the appropriate affair, such as a pre-bachelorette-party shower or intimate luncheon with the bridesmaids. "I don't necessarily think an open panel thong belongs alongside your china registry, but never say never," says Beale. "Consider not only personal style, but also type of shower (naughty or nice) and the fact that the bride is preparing to spend two weeks living la dolce vita on her honeymoon. Everyone can benefit from a little whimsy and fantasy."
Don't discount the classics.
There are just some pieces every bride should receive for her trousseau, knowing that as years go by and life gets busy, she'll always return to this piece of romance. "A really beautiful robe is a luxury that's often overlooked since robes are functional," says Beale. "But a luxe silk robe in a gorgeous shade or striking print — now that's an incredible gift."