Lingerie can be “a skimpy little layer of armor” and a confidence booster, according to Linda Ellison, Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. If that’s the case, then Forty Winks, an eco-friendly lingerie store that opened on JFK Street last Friday, is a well-stocked armory.
Owner Rachel A. Wentworth and her close friend and business partner, Meredith W. Donaldson—both of whom used to work at Church Street’s Mint Julep—are looking to run a business that is kind to both the earth and to the customer.
The bright, airy, French country-themed boutique is stocked with thongs made of scraps of recycled silk and panties in organic cotton and bamboo.
“Our vision was to create a cozy environment where people would feel comfortable trying on intimate things,” said Wentworth. “It’s not a sexpot store. We’re not going for va va voom, boobs up to your chin. We want to work with real women who want quality, pretty lingerie.”
The store also carries some intricate, lacy sets that seem to register sex, and where there is supply there is inevitably demand. So whom do women wear lingerie for?
“Do it for yourself,” said Wentworth. “If you have a beautiful bra on underneath your outfit, it’s a powerful feeling.”
Ellison thinks that women wear lingerie not to be more attractive to a partner, but to feel sexy.
“I have a lot of it, and I don’t feel like it’s objectifying in the sense that we usually think of objectification,” she said. “I am an object of my own volition. I’m being respected, adored, sometimes loved.”
Ellison stressed that in the end, it’s our confidence, character, and charisma that keep us sexy to someone else.
“That’s why if you were to call a man back an hour after seeing him and ask him what you were wearing, he’ll say, ‘I can’t quite remember, but you were beautiful,’” she said. “What he’s recalling is your confidence, that extra layer of confidence that might have come from the fantastic bra you’re wearing.”