When you dressed this morning, did you take care to select your underwear or was your mindset "No one cares but me?" If it was the latter, you cheated yourself.
In 1998, Desiree Petitbon and Juliet Hainkel Holton opened Basics Underneath Fine Lingerie in Uptown New Orleans predicated on the belief that dressing well begins with pleasing oneself.
"Everybody is beautiful," Juliet says. "Every body deserves to be celebrated. In fact, our motto is every body is beautiful."
The friends started the business on a whim after a shopping trip to Paris inspired them.
"There were centuries-old shops devoted entirely to graceful lingerie and fine hosiery," Desiree said. "New Orleans had no privately-owned lingerie shops at the time."
They opened the shop two months after conceiving of the idea and quickly became experts in how to fit undergarments to body shape and which basics are needed as wardrobe staples.
"We understand the value of the perfect foundation," Juliet says. "A poorly-fitting bra or panty can ruin your day and definitely your look. We help our customers feel good about themselves every day, from the inside out."
What began as a small boutique offering only black, white, and beige undergarments has grown into a regional brand offering American and European designers in lingerie, sleepwear, shapewear, swimwear, and activewear in a rainbow of hues and patterns. With a friendly approach and open displays of merchandise, the partners strive to take the secrecy out of underpinnings.
Currently Basics Underneath is offering in-store, online, and shopping by appointment. Delivery is available in the New Orleans area. Also on offer are private lingerie shopping parties for up to seven guests after hours. Parties are two hours long and guests and staff are required to wear face masks, a selection of which are also carried at the store. Guests enjoy champagne and light snacks as well as the attention of the professional staff to help is selecting the right items with the right fit.
"It is a happy business. We're like good friends who just happen to know a lot about bras."
5513-5515 Magazine Street