Did you know that the majority of lingerie in the world is purchased by women? Claire Chambers, CEO and Founder of Journelle does, which is precisely why she conceived the idea of a lingerie store tailored towards women. The Journelle storefront is elegant and beautiful and that also describes the lingerie sold within, which is personally picked out by Claire herself.
The lingerie here is displayed like works of art, hung along the walls like paintings. And they really are works of art: melty silks that slip through your fingers, finely wrought delicate laces, and the latest colors of the season. The selection is woman’s dream: beautiful, functional, and fashionable, with everything from bra and panty sets, romantic slips and nightgowns, corsets, and bathrobes.
You can see the care and thought put into making the store a haven where women will feel comfortable merely from a visit to the dressing rooms. These spacious rooms are created to look like your bedroom or your best friend’s apartment. Frosted glass sliding doors and comfy couches are inside each room, along with Fiji water, chocolates, and pillowy cotton robes and slipper. Most importantly, the dressing rooms have the most flattering lighting I have ever seen. Dimmers are even located along the walls of each room, so you can adjust to your preference.
I tried on a number of the brands that they featured in the store, ranging from Myla, Chantelle (a personal favorite), Huit, Elle Macpherson intimates, and other undiscovered lingerie treasures that Claire personally finds. I fell in love with the Elle Macpherson Lattice Bra set, which the salesperson told me was equally loved by all their associates for its mutually flattering fit. I wore it the next week to work and it fit perfectly and beautifully, as expected, under all of my conservative button downs.
The other thing I love about Journelle is the packaging; I have an obsession with beautifully packaged shopbags and presentation. The salespeople at Journelle treat each purchase, no matter how small, as if it were a gift. They wrap each customer’s purchase with delicate tissue paper, care instructions, a gorgeous purple satin ribbon, and a luxuriously printed shopping bag.
By the way, in case you are wondering, I found out from Claire that the best way to care for your delicate undergarments as painful as it may be, is to handwash. While even she acknowledges that throwing them in the washing machine can work well in a pinch (but be sure to use a laundry bag), be careful not to use regular laundry detergent as it contains alcohol that can break down the elasticity in undergarments. Handwashing is not as annoying as you may think since you can do it easily while you are in the shower as Claire recommends. Simply:
1. Fill the sink with cold water and a gentle detergent. Try Tocca’s Laundry Delicate.
2. Rub gently and soak.
3. Rinse and very gently squeeze excess water.
4. Line dry.
Be sure to visit Journelle at 3 East 17th Street, between 5th and Broadway, to truly get the most beautiful lingerie buying experience, that just can’t be compared to a mass market Victoria’s Secret. For those of you who unfortunately aren’t in New York, but are lucky enough to live in Miami or Los Angeles, Claire informed me that Journelle stores will soon be expanding there as well, so be on the lookout! A new web store is also going up next week so stay tuned for updates!