By Gillian Burdett

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and romance is in the air. Those struck by Cupid’s golden arrow usually express their devotion with gifts of cards, candies and flowers. However, cards gather dust, candy is gone too soon and flowers wilt. Something sheer and lacy, maybe cute, maybe a little naughty, could be the perfect Valentine’s gift for the one you love. Although you may hesitate to enter a lingerie boutique, these five Connecticut shops will ease your discomfort with their helpful employees and wide selections of romance-inspiring intimates.

Irene’s Lingerie Shop
21 Whiting St.
Plainville, CT 06062

Irene’s offers high quality and expertise at affordable prices. The family-run shop has been in business since the end of World War II and is now managed by a second generation that is knowledgeable in the field of corsetry. They offer an extensive line of baby dolls, some modest, some not so modest; robes and wraps, corsets and costumes. Irene’s is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Soleil Toile
14 Post Road E.
Westport, CT

Awarded Best Lingerie three years in a row by Connecticut Magazine, Soleil Toile carries designer fashions for every sized woman from petite to the well endowed.  They specialize in fine European fashions. If a tropical vacation is in your plans, this is the place to find high-end swimwear year round. Soleil Toile is open Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

Princess Corset & Lingerie Shop
102 Grand St.
Waterbury, CT 06702

Princess Corset has been in business since the 1950’s. The current owner specializes in fitting, and the helpful staff will ensure your purchase is the right size. Along with a wide selection of lingerie, Princess offers box sets and pre-made gift bags for a quick gift. They are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Related:  Top Chocolate Shops In Connecticut

Tina’s Fine Lingerie & Swimwear
394 Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457

This Main Street shop has everything from sweet to exotic. Shopping for a plus-sized woman? Tina’s has a large inventory of intimates for big girls, and they are continually adding fresh designs. Tina’s also carries swimwear and sexy shoes. Owner Tina, with her spot0on fashion sense, will personally assist you with your selection. The boutique is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lace Affaire
23 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
(203) 529-3793

Lace Affaire carries top brands focusing on elegance, quality and comfort. In addition to lacy lingerie (a discreet case displays French intimates), Lace Affaire stocks loungewear, pajamas, swimwear, jewelry and accessories. Owner Carline Dean has found the perfect balance of quality and price in this Wilton boutique. The shop is open Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Related: Top Garden Centers In Connecticut


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