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Silk Stalking

Sometimes you have to man up and go buy her some underwear.

Rigby & Peller carries a variety of international lines, like Andres Sarda, designed in Barcelona.


YOU MAY NOT have known this, but bralettes are very hot right now. You, like me, may not really even know what a bralette is. But you, like me, may sometime soon find yourself with cause to purchase lingerie—here come the holidays again, followed closely by Valentine’s Day—and thus be confronted with your vast ignorance of the world of women’s unmentionables.

“A lot of men do come in here and shop, and they definitely are a little lost,” says Luz Cuevas, a development specialist with the Rigby & Peller lingerie chain. “At least, at the beginning.” Cuevas, based mainly in the Chicago boutique, travels widely to train other staff. Her manner is confident and direct, like a talented neurosurgeon. She can help you.

“What a woman considers her everyday bra varies from woman to woman,” she says, briskly laying out an assortment of bras in my significant other’s size (note: it turned out, to my wonderment, that if you go into her dresser and look at her underwear, the sizes are right there, on a tag). “We like to ask men questions: What is her personality? What does she typically wear? What does her day look like? What are you wanting to gift her?”

The dim look on my face at that moment is likely what caused her then to propose a gift card, which she described demurely as “another way.”

I did not punt. Somehow my answers to those questions caused Cuevas to curate the selection she had placed on the counter in front of me. And indeed, after a minute, I found myself able to picture them being worn. Swinging the bag a little, I walked out with a Marie Jo L’Aventure Tom bra ($106), which Cuevas described as “an icon,” and a matching bottom ($36), both in charcoal, and, more safely, a Luna di Seta silk chemise in black ($103).

But the exquisite wrappings and the assurances of an excellent salesperson are not everything. In the end, you must evaluate it as you would any gift. Did she like the things you brought to her? Was the time and the fear and the expense worth it?

Gentlemen, she did. It was. 900 N. Michigan Ave.