BEST LINGERIE - 2006
Victoria's Secret is what it is—reliable, limited, and increasingly boring (not quite vanilla-utilitarian Maidenform, but getting there). Sixty-year-old Frederick's of Hollywood is lingerie without shame (one bra is named "Hollywood Extreme Cleavage"), and more accommodating to a range of sizes. This chain's stores are more relaxed, too. In the Rosedale outlet (near JCPenney), clerks are helpful, not brittle. Sheer variety sells itself: A rainbow of hot pants hangs near a wall of all-white bridal naughtywear. Satin corsets and Brazilian lace boy shorts share leopard-patterned floor space with Marabou slippers, body chocolate, dangly earrings, and other frivolities. You can't get everything in one store—for ramped-up kink, support your mom and pops in St. Paul (Sensual, the Love Doctor) and Minneapolis (Wild Rose, Venus), or explore online (Trashylingerie.com). But Frederick's is the rare family-friendly, dressing-room-ready establishment that sells unabashedly sexy nightwear in the shopping mall equivalent of broad daylight.