The top spots to grab pretty presents for the ladies this Valentine's
Agent Provocateur: As a brand, Agent Provocateur is a well-executed and well-oiled machine from the packaging and perfume to the lingerie itself, which manages to be saucy without descending into sleaze. You’ll also find multi-purpose crystal handcuffs with matching locks, jewellery, silk negligees and matching stilettos. Dubai Mall (04 339 9570; www.agentprovocateur.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 4pm-10pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Inside Saks, BurJuman (04 351 5551).
Bendon:This New Zealand company sells a range of good quality and good-looking lingerie. Several lines are stocked from Fayreform, which provides a fashionable selection of bras for the fuller bust (from 32C to 46G) to Hey Sister! which will have teenagers queuing up to spend their allowance. We particularly like the Elle Macpherson range of smalls, some of which are made from silk and handmade Italian lace. Elle’s line is surprisingly affordable, with bras starting at Dhs75. Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3373; www.bendon.co.nz). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards. Other location: Dubai Festival City (04 232 6636).
Calvin Klein Underwear: Customers can expect to find a small, but well-chosen selection encompassing subtly stylish and free-of-fuss knickers and bras in every colour of the rainbow. Other brands stocked include BodySlimmers, which give quick-fix solutions to sagging bums and tums; and the Princess Tim Tam range, which supports the fuller figure. All in all, there’s little not to like about Calvin Klein undies, although if you’re after sex appeal you might be in for a disappointment. Deira City Centre (04 295 0627). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Sat-Thu 10am-midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Al Ghurair City (04 227 7780); Mall of the Emirates (04 340 3448).
Etam: This French lingerie and sleepwear store is a cut above others offering intimate wear stuck in the teenage domain: pink ‘n polka dots and prints of bears. It’s not cutesy – but more elegant, and most importantly – has agreeable prices. The Dubai Mall (04 330 8512). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards.
La Vie En Rose: Packed with silk lingerie, comfortable mix-and-match bras and pants, cotton pyjamas, and other leisure and loungewear, this is a great shop if you’re hunting for a cute pyjama set and slippers or relatively inexpensive lingerie, with regular in-store specials like three lacy briefs for Dh49. The Dubai Mall (050 360 7022; www.lavieenrose.com). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards.
La Perla: Underwear, swimwear, nightwear, a clothing line and accessories are what this Italian luxury label is world-renowned for. In the summer months, look out for the exquisite bikinis. But, while the fit and quality is good, we can’t help the feeling that La Perla’s prices are a tad steep when compared with the competition – not that La Perla’s loyal customers seem to have a problem with it. BurJuman (04 355 1251). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-11pm. All major credit cards. Other location: Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3070).
La Senza: The underwear on sale at La Senza is probably the best investment a woman can make. Bras, silk sets and comfy dressing gowns are already well priced, but those on a tight budget would do well to watch out for the regular promotions. There’s also a selection of nightwear (both cartoon emblazoned and more palatable pieces). Huge changing rooms are another plus, so no embarrassing flashing moments. Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5240). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards. Other locations: Al Ghurair City (04 228 8781); BurJuman (04 351 1791); Deira City Centre (04 295 3988); Dubai Festival City (04 232 6273); Lamcy Plaza (04 335 3580); Mall of the Emirates (04 340 7004); Uptown Mirdif (04 288 3376); Wafi (04 324 4233); Marina Mall (04 399 7365); Oasis Centre (04 339 7577).
Secret’s Boutique: Big-busted women can rejoice. Secret’s Boutique specialises in sexy and substantial bras for the well endowed, with cup sizes extending all the way up to JJ. Its unlikely location in Bin Sougat Mall doesn’t seem to have dented the lingerie supplier’s success, and the friendly, down-to-earth approach of the sisters who own the store certainly doesn’t hurt either. Bin Sougat Mall, Rashidiya (04 285 6602). Open Sat-Thu 10am-1pm, 4pm-10pm; Fri 5pm-10pm. All major credit cards.
Women’Secret: This Spanish shop stocks an affordable range of patterned swimsuits and afterwear – as in something to lounge around in after work. However, Women’secret’s speciality has to be girlie underwear. A word of warning: don’t go expecting a plunging cleavage and full-on sex appeal, or many options if you’re well endowed. Useful styles include strapless and halter neck (a snip at Dhs100) for those who love barely-there clothes but don’t want to go braless. Perfect. Deira City Centre (04 295 9665). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards. Other location: Dubai Festival City (04 232 6167).
Yamamay: This Italian lingerie brand has silk bras, knickers and pyjamas in different varieties. The playful bikinis are perfect for the beach, and you can also pick up a few items from J.Lo’s lingerie range. Marina Mall (04 399 7566; www.yamamay.com). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. All major credit cards.