The eight best lingerie stores in Toronto
If you know where to look, Toronto is a very naughty town. Here, the best lingerie stores in Toronto—for everything from bustiers to briefs.
2457 Yonge St., 416-484-6402
The front window of this midtown shop displays more flannel nighties than an L. L. Bean catalogue. Inside, however, you’ll find a collection of sultry underthings. The showstopper is a Moulin Rouge–style basque bustier from the French label Passionata, lined with lacy black bra cups, vampy garters and waist-cinching tulle panels with criss-crossing up the sides ($99).
559 Queen St. W., 647-430-0994; 465 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-484-6678
As soon as you step into the change room at Tryst, the staff smilingly accost your bust with a measuring tape to make sure you’re wearing the right bra size. Once that’s taken care of, they’ll tempt you with an impressive range of colourful thongs, black bustiers and crotch-grazing baby dolls for optimal seduction. This is the only place in the city to find designer Mary Green’s retro, Mae West–ish lingerie, including a silk chemise so alluring and slinky you’ll need a cigarette after slipping it on ($99).
Secrets From Your Sister
560 Bloor St. W., 416-538-1234; 2501 Yonge St., 416-482-8007
The clerks at this bra store have a no-fuss, hands-on approach that creates a comfortable mood for indulging in a little kink. The shop carries Bordelle, a U.K. line of designer bondage gear luxe enough to be worn by Lady Gaga and Bérénice Marlohe, the latest Bond girl. The Voyeur harness ($325) is made of satin elastic and spangled with 18-karat-gold-plated rings. It can be worn solo for Gaga-level sauciness, or layered over a bustier, tank or T for entry-level sauce. $325.
50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333
The Holt’s lingerie department brings to mind a French courtesan’s boudoir, with blush-pink walls and gilt mirrors. The selection is just as feminine, offering all manner of frilly unmentionables from brands like La Perla (plunging bras), Cosabella (leopard-print teddies) and La Fée Verte (diaphanous red crepe negligees). Holt’s is also the exclusive Canadian retailer for the luxury British brand Myla, which makes bombshell bra-thong-garter combos in forest-green silk or vampy crimson lace shot with gold ($95–$200). The only thing that’s missing is the feathered mules.
501 Church St., 416-586-9914
In the gay village, Priape is like a general store, carrying a mix of everyday essentials—the locally produced, vegan-friendly lube Fuck Water, for example, as well as dildos, butt plugs and house-made padded leather handcuffs. The extensive underwear selection covers the kinkiness spectrum, from baggy and boyish to skintight latex. The briefs, boxers and jock straps by Montreal brand Pump! are hyper-masculine and styled to look like hockey, baseball or football jerseys, without ever verging into costume territory. The fit, though, is what really sets them apart from the likes of Fruit of the Loom—they’re made with cotton and nylon and tailored precisely so that each pair hugs, hides and embellishes in all the right spots.
586 Yonge St., 416-972-1037
Thanks to Fifty Shades, fetish wear has never been more of the moment. All the models at this venerable boutique are handcrafted and customizable to fit, including $800 wasp-waisted corsets and $500 chaps. But if you have a dream garment in mind—a slinky black jock strap encrusted with shimmering Swarovski crystals, for example—in-house tailors will make it happen. For bashful clients, private, off-hours consultations are available (as is a discreet back-alley entrance).
136 Cumberland St., 416-922-7702
Vasilia Panagakos, the owner and expert bra fitter at this Yorkville boutique, buys a few items—exquisitely detailed lace and silk things destined to be ripped off in mere minutes—from French fashion houses every season. Jean Paul Gaultier, the man responsible for Madonna’s iconic cone bra, designed this va-va-voom La Perla corset bra. The sheer bottom is hand embroidered with a cheek-embracing sunflower, and each cup gathers into a gently pointed rosette, evoking a softer version of the mid-’90s material girl. $1,698.
BABY DOLL NIGHTIE
15 Hazelton Ave., 416-921-4567
Yorkvillian socialites drop by this discreet Hazelton boutique for its selection of exquisite, expensive skivvies. Our favourite items are the least substantial, particularly a Lise Charmel baby doll nightie with embroidered boob-sculpting cups that give way to a gauzy film of chiffon ($396), and a brazenly transparent tulle Crescentini chemise with convenient lacy windows at the breasts ($312). Throw on one of those and you’ll have no trouble sealing the deal.