Underneath It All

At one point during my life in New York, I lived around the corner from a tiny lingerie shop. It came at a time when I was ready to embrace some beautiful undergarments, not as a way to be provocative to the opposite sex, but to make myself feel good. I was tired of the function before form, utilitarian fare that I'd been sporting for years and had read somewhere that women from other countries spend a larger portion of their clothing budget on lingerie than American women. They are on to something. It's so much more fun to get dressed in the morning from the skin out, when everything you put on is beautiful and something you genuinely like. I also previously had the misconception that beautiful bras and panties are either uncomfortable or tacky, something "nice" girls wouldn't wear a la Frederick's of Hollywood. Well they don't have to be. And as more and more shops stock well made, gorgeous items that are comfortable, it comes around to just taking some "me" time to find the brands and cuts that fit you best and love yourself and body enough to want to decorate it with beautiful things. A perfect place to do just that is Amoureuse, a store in Santa Cruz.

A well-appointed lingerie boutique filled with myriad bras, panties, sets, nighties, and shapewear from well known and loved brands such as Cossabella, Eberjey and Cass Shapewear, Amoureuse also offers a small selection of some of the prettiest maternity and nursing bras, as well as a surprisingly large selection of body products and even some jewelry and handbags. It's a shop you can't take in all at once and you should be prepared to find treasures in every corner. The staff is attentive and friendly and the dressing rooms large, sumptuous and the lighting is kind. If you are expanding your own lingerie drawer or need a tasteful bachelorette party gift that she'll actually wear, you'll find everything you need, and probably more, at Amoureuse.

Amoureuse is located at 1119 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, (831) 423-7363.

Photos by Jose Estevez