Silks, Satins and Romance
Last march i took on the most basic of basics: everyday lingerie. At the end of that column, I promised to do another one on slightly more daring lingerie. With this being a month including Valentine’s Day, it seemed like an appropriate time.
I have to make an airport run (I’ve had a house guest, and I don’t like to work when company is here, what with them hanging over my shoulder making fun of my typing) and once I send my friend winging back to frigid Minneapolis, I stop by the Bell Tower Shops.
Soma Intimates seems a perfect way to ease into this, and I am immediately drawn to a white silk, v-neck chemise with roses splashed across the skirt. There’s a simple elegance to it, and I can envision it skimming across the body perfectly, a graceful way to end—or begin—an evening.
Heading to the fitting room, I find another gown, longer but no less tantalizing, in white with black lace and an intriguing keyhole detail. I’m not sure if that little opening is going to be alluring or just look as if I’ve accidentally popped a button, but when I put it on I’m pleased. I am even more so when I see that the name of the gown is the “Silk Seduction Passion Gown.” Really, how do you pass that up?
While I’m feeling all glamorous, the saleswoman slings an orange mesh gown over the door and I gamely give it a try. I’d never have pulled it off the rack, but I’m delighted. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there about trying new things, but I’m too busy pulling out my wallet to pay much attention.
I head back to Naples, determined to find more romantic confections to round out my collection. While decking out my boudoir in new sheets in December, the saleswoman at Gattle’s Fine Linens suggested I visit their lingerie store. I didn’t have time then, but I made a mental note, and, surprisingly enough, it stuck. So it’s my next destination.
A fresh shipment comes in at the same time I do, and, while I’m dying to pull the boxes out of the saleswoman’s hands, I content myself with what’s out. I wanted romantic, and I’ve found it. A Jonquil by Diane Samandi gown with matching robe in ivory is so divine that I check my nails to ensure nothing will snag before I pick it up. The gown features a lace panel bodice and a silk skirt, while the robe is one of the most feminine items I’ve laid eyes on, its bell sleeves gathered at the elbows with lace inserts.
I find several more delightful creations, including another Jonquil chemise with pink flowers that ties in back, a pink nightie with black trim by Josie and an adorable set of silk boy shorts and tank top in white with purple orchids and lace accents.
But it’s my final discovery that seals the deal: a La Perla gown in silk, printed with overlapping circles of muted blue, pink, gold and bronze, with a gold lace insert on the bodice. The Jonquil ivory set is beautiful, but I feel as though I’m playing bridal dress-up in it, while the La Perla
gown looks and feels infinitely more sophisticated.
I scoot over to Fifth Avenue next, to my favorite lingerie store, Femmes Je Vous Aime, where the delightful Christine Cammas greets me with her usual effusive Frenchness. Truly, if you’re in the market for lingerie, why wouldn’t you turn to a French woman for help?
Christine’s rapidly choosing items for me as soon as she finishes up with her double-cheek kisses, and, before I know it, I’m trying on some of the most exquisite bra-and-panty sets this side of the pond. Now you might be saying: She’s already done bras and panties. I thought this was supposed to be fun lingerie?
First of all, stop talking to yourself. Second, when you see Simone Perele bras and panties, you realize that even necessities can be utterly enchanting. The “Coralia” bra and matching brief in ivory with smoke embroidery makes me feel like a princess. But it’s the “Delices” set, white with embroidered purple orchids that I fall in love with.
Christine isn’t finished there. She plies me with an Aubade “Bahia” red bra and matching tanga with heavy embroidery and a cross-tied center bodice perfect for Valentine’s Day, and the pile at the register continues to grow. I still want something in a gown, and she brings me a La Perla “Catherine” nightie in lavender with a matching robe, as well as a fun gown by Ravage, in black with white embroidery and feathers (feathers!) floating off the thin shoulder straps.
I am, at last, silk and satined out. I now have the most gorgeous lingerie drawers in Naples, though nobody might ever see them but me and the always romantic Power Shopper Husband.
There’s still plenty of romance in this world to be found. Don’t you want to be ready when it arrives?
Delighting in the Delicate
Bell Tower Shops, Fort Myers
Vintage rose chemise, $69
Silk Seduction Passion Gown, $89
On Gossamer mesh gown, $68
1250 Third St. S., Naples
Jonquil by Diane Samandi
Ivory tulle short gown, $200
Ivory gown and robe set, $347
Josie Hot pink nightie, $88
Butterflies by Claire “Pettibone” boy short/chemise set, $99
La Perla Silk nightgown, $59
Femmes Je Vous Aime
362 Fifth Ave. S., Naples
“Coralia” bra, $82
“Coralia” brief, $49
“Delices” bra, $105
“Delices” thong, $65
“Bahia” bra, $85
“Bahia” tanga, $59
“Catherine” nightie, $415
“Catherine” robe, $429
Ravage Feathered nightie, $375