A trousseau, according to Old French, refers to a collection of linens, nightgowns and underwear accumulated by a bride during her engagement period. For those in the intimate apparel industry, the term takes on a very modern meaning in the heart of northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., where intimate apparel retailer Trousseau has made its home.
When the 1,500-square-foot boutique first opened its doors in 1999, owners Sarah and Michael Wiener filled their shelves with bridal accessories and lingerie. Since then merchandise has been rethought, and the business has been reorganized to suit the everyday needs of its customers.
"Over the years, we have listened to our customers' needs and realized that there was a great demand for fine lingerie and sleepwear, not just for special occasions but also for every day," said Wiener. "We refined our plan accordingly. We want to help women feel comfortable, confident and beautiful every day, from sizes 30AA to 56K."
While special occasion lingerie - complete with all the trappings - is in high demand at Trousseau, Wiener noted that the core of her business is very straightforward.
"Our most requested item is simply a great fitting bra," she said.
Employees are trained to properly fit bras and senior members of the staff are always on hand to answer questions and find solutions, she said.
According to Wiener, Trousseau customers shop for great fitting bras that are comfortable and well made. With this in mind, the most popular brands at the store have quickly become Chantelle, Eveden, Simone Perele and Panache. The T-shirt bra may be in large demand at Trousseau, but Wiener can't help but recommend something a bit more.
"Perhaps she hadn't considered how much the gorgeous aubergine Chantilly lace bra with the matching Brazilian might enhance her spirit and her life," she said. "Whether she prefers silk or cotton, every woman needs to feel beautiful. We truly enjoy supporting that need."