As temperatures drop across New Orleans, Magazine Street heats up with two new lingerie shops, Bonjour Lingerie (4214 Magazine St., 504-309-8014; www.facebook.com/bonjourNOLA) and Trashy Diva Lingerie Boutique (2044 Magazine St., 504-522-5686; www.trashydiva.com).
Bonjour owners Angelique Poppo and Jill Townsend began their collaboration in 2006 while working at House of Lounge. After House of Lounge closed in June 2013, the pair followed their dream of opening their own store. They considered buying the House of Lounge space, but eventually chose a different location on Magazine Street.
"We wanted to do it our way," Poppo says.
At Bonjour Lingerie, women can get properly fitted for bras, which are stocked in sizes from A to G cups. Other sizes are available via special order. "Lots of women not only do not know what size they are, but they also don't know what size they are wearing at that very moment," Poppo says. "We measure them and then give them a range of choices." The store's walls are lined with bras in rich jewel tones and colorful prints. Bonjour Lingerie also stocks racy accessories and gifts, including massagers, riding crops, lavish feather boas and sequined pasties.
The former House of Lounge was perfect for the team at Trashy Diva, who aimed to build on the success of their French Quarter lingerie store by opening a second location near their Magazine Street apparel and shoe shops.
At Trashy Diva Lingerie Boutique, the lingerie has a pin-up vibe. "We like to keep the aesthetic of a retro feel," says manager Brooke Parker. "However, we stay on top of trends when it comes to cut, color and keeping high quality."
The store offers bras studded with spikes and custom steel-boned corsets. There are half-slips and petticoats perfect for peeking out from circle skirts, as well as silk robes and ornately beaded 1920s-style shawls.
Store owners encourage customers to choose pieces that make them feel comfortable and confident, whether that means simple basics or a look fit for a burlesque bombshell.
"You don't have to buy sexy lingerie to feel sexy in lingerie," Poppo says. "Lingerie is not something only meant for viewing in the bedroom. It's what you have on underneath every day."
— MARY CROSS