Nestled snugly into the heart of historic downtown Mystic, Conn. is Fripperies Lingerie, a specialty lingerie boutique that caters to the professional, working class women of the area. Fifteen years ago the store was purchased by Deb Jaccarino and converted from a department store look a-like to the specialty boutique that it is today.
"We changed over the inventory and went with more higher end brands," she said, "We do carry a range for everyone. Young girls want pretty things too but can't afford the high end so we carry moderate brands as well."
Among the brands that grace the shelves and racks of Fripperies are Chantelle, Aubade and Lise de Charmel. Moderate labels include Felina and Jezebel.
"We do a lot of customer service, that's what really holds the store together," said Jaccarino. "We go out of our way for our customers."
One such service includes listening to customer requests and following through by adjusting inventory accordingly. "The T-shirt bra is our most requested item," she said. "I still have the ones that want lace, but for everyday wear its smooth, molded cups. They want comfort."
Store manager, Barbara Ibrahim can usually tell what a customer is looking for upon entering the store and, armed with 16 years of experience, can quickly guide them to the right product. Most frequently, Ibrahim greets women looking for a bra fitting or women looking for fashion lingerie. Wacoal is usually recommended for fit, while the latter are directed towards the European designers. "If she goes right to something pretty, she wants a european line that is very elegant and high-end, that she won't find in a department stores," said Ibrahim.
Another growing trend Jaccarino has noticed among her customers is a demand for eco-friendly and organic cottons. While Fripperies is currently expanding upon it's organic offerings, one hundred percent cotton styles from Oscar de la Renta, Hanro and Thea are doing well.
Quality is important to the crowd at Fripperies as customers will only settle for cotton or silk fabrications, said Jaccarino. "You go with the trends," she said. "If the customers are asking for it, and I don't have a lot of it then I have to go out and find it."