Since 2007, the name Journelle has been synonymous with lingerie. Founded by Claire Chambers — a former management consultant who realized there wasn’t a lingerie store in the city that she actually enjoyed shopping at.Chambers’ goal was to create a shop that would inspire women to wear lingerie every day. (Hence the store’s name, which is inspired by the archaic French word journellement, which means “daily”).
Earlier this month, Chambers opened her second NYC location — an 1,800 square-foot SoHo space with girlishly luxe accents (white oak floors, mod Danish chairs, antique mirrors and silk curtains). The store is thoughtfully curated, with brands ranging from the ubiquitous Hanky Panky and La Perla to New York-based designers such as The Lake and Stars and Ari Dein. We caught up with Chambers to talk lingerie.
What’s the best way to approach shopping for lingerie?
Go with your first instinct and then try something a little out of the ordinary. You’ll be surprised by the results. Also, ask for help. Our lingerie-obsessive associates are skilled fitters.
Who is your target customer?
Currently, we offer a range of styles in sizes 28AA to 38G from basic T-shirt bras to crotchless undies. Our customers know they can find a simple cotton bra just as quickly as a head-to-toe outfit to take a special date to the next level. Journelle is lingerie for the thinking woman.
What types of underpinnings should every woman own?
A set that makes her feel like she can take on the world. Like your best suit, there is nothing more empowering than wearing something out of this world under clothes that may be a little more down to earth. You’ll be surprised by the extra spring in your step created by a little bit of lace.
Any advice to men looking for a gift for their gals?
Sneak a peek! Your lady’s lingerie drawer provides the clues to proven success in the lingerie department. Check a few of her bras for size; they all run differently so a general idea is better than a static number. Women love getting lingerie as a gift — but they love it best when it’s in their size.
A few of Claire's favorite things ...
Matters of Leisure Townhouse Robe, $168
“Lush doesn’t even begin to describe this glamorous robe. Shawl collar, inverted pleat in the back to assure range of motion without bulk and (our favorite thing!) big roomy pockets. This robe is a morning essential for the justifiably decadent.”
Chemises by Eberjey, $70
“The first thing you want to put on when you get home from work. They’re always soft and feminine, with lace and an empire waist that gives a bit of oomph without you even realizing it. It’s perfect for sleeping in or rocking out in the living room.”
Timpa Duet Lace Underwire Bra, $33
“This classic from Dutch company Timpa has been around forever. Very sexy and low, the bra is soft, flexible and lightweight — a great everyday pick for almost everyone who tries it.”
Elle Macpherson Dentelle Underwire Bra, $65
“This is one of the first bras we ever carried in our first New York store. Equally perfect under a T-shirt (seriously) or silk, the Dentelle lace is structured by five panel boning, offering incredible life without sacrificing prettiness.”
125 Mercer St., 212-255-7801
Mon.–Fri., 11 a.m.– 8 p.m., Sat.,11 a.m .– 7 p.m., Sun., noon–7 p.m.