Photograph by Devyn Glista
If your plastic five-pack of Target undies doesn’t exactly make you feel like a natural woman, then consider a costume change. And no, you don’t have to go full Victoria’s Secret sexy-angel-baby either, unless you’re into it. Anyone who says otherwise is probably a bro. Disregard. You can wear hella comfy cotton underwear and still feel a little bit saucy if you choose wisely. Start at Swoon, the Over-the-Rhine lingerie boutique that opened in September, and look for names like Pansy (their organic cotton is grown and milled in the U.S., and manufactured in California); Miss Crofton (a ruffle-centric British brand with lots of flowers and polka dots); Toru & Naoko (handmade burlesque-inspired lingerie with strappy, modern lines, from Chile); and Clare Bare (a brand out of Los Angeles made from hand-dyed bamboo jersey). Our personal favorite is Land of Women: There’s not an underwire in sight in their kinda sporty, self-described “super soft” bras.
Swoon’s attitude is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin. To that end, they stock basic and luxe apparel for every shape and size. The home goods and accessories are one big celebration of the female form, including incense burners designed to look like abstract nude statues (and some other more explicit shapes), body care products like Fur grooming oil, and some pretty voluptuous candles. You might giggle a lot during your visit, but you also might leave feeling happy and—oddly—pretty pleased with yourself. There are plenty of gifty items too, like skincare from natural beauty brand Oxalis Apothecary; non-toxic, cruelty-free deodorant from Agent Nateur; and Mater Soap products, which are hand-made without artificial ingredients or fragrance using botanicals and essential oils.
Swoon owner Melissa Lieb is a DAAP grad who doubles as the shop’s jewelry designer; you can spy her behind the counter twisting wires for earrings and hair accessories. Everything—and we mean everything—at her lovely store is sourced or made right on site with thought and intention.
You can’t take it with you, but the shop vibe is pitch perfect: a dreamy boudoir that’s a little moody and a lot cheeky. And it smells good. On our first visit, the soundtrack included songs from Julee Cruise, of Twin Peaks fame. We just like hanging out there, whether or not we slip into something more comfortable.
Swoon, 1421 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 404-8541, facebook.com/swoon.otr