Have you ever found yourself stuffed into a garish corset that looked great on the mannequin but makes you feel like an overstuffed Oktoberfest sausage?

This fall, lingerie boutique Stole My Heart (1504 Dundas Street West) is going to make you have the OPPOSITE of that experience. Stole My Heart welcomes women of all shapes and sizes to relish in the body they were born with. Their pieces are chosen precisely to make you feel sexy AND comfortable (what a concept!).

Stole My Heart was founded by long-time friends Amy Pearson and Ashley Holden, who are passionate about ushering in the new era of sexually liberated (well-clad) women. We caught up with the pair this week.

SDTC: Lingerie is such a double-edge sword – it can make us feel sexy but buying it can make us feel shitty. Why do you think that is? 

We totally agree with you! The lingerie shopping experience isn’t something most women look forward to. It can be a pretty discouraging process that we all suffer through and is made (somewhat) worth it when we finally find something that makes us feel like the queens we are! Women’s bodies are all so different and, for a long time, that difference hasn’t been something that mainstream fashion has represented, let alone celebrated. So, depending on where you’re shopping, you’re likely to be bombarded with images of photoshopped ladies with a very specific body type and if you don’t identify, relate or fit that one definition of “sexy,” it’s not an enjoyable experience. At Stole My Heart, we want to encourage women to embrace their own definition of sexy rather than trying to fit someone else’s.

The purpose of lingerie should be to make the wearer feel beautiful and confident in their body, so we’ve partnered with brands that are designed by women for women. The styles range from minimalist athleisure to soft pink lace. Beyond the product offering, which we are SO excited to share with the ladies of Toronto, we have designed an environment that’s modelled after your best friend’s home in order to create a warm, judgement-free atmosphere.

What can we expect at Stole My Heart?

Upon entering Stole My Heart’s Dundas West storefront, visitors will feel as though they’ve arrived at a girlfriend’s home. We’ve really tried to veer away from typical retail and have filled the space with rich wood antiques, plush seating and vintage mirrors. The back half of the store has been designed to accommodate private fittings, walk-ins, and small events. The design has been inspired by vintage boudoir decor. It’s a sophisticated space that doesn’t hit you over the head with its femininity.

You mention you’ve struggled in the past with body image issues. How can buying lingerie help those of us who struggle similarly?

Standing naked in a change room with ill-fitting or unflattering items is frustrating for all of us, regardless of body image issues. That’s something just about every woman has experienced! But honestly, getting to place where I could love my body wasn’t an easy process. I started by focusing on one thing I liked about my body, and I learned to appreciate and eventually love that part. Then I moved on to the next and the next. I spent some time (and money) finding pieces that fit well and were beautiful. I learned what looks good on me and what doesn’t. I learned what makes me feel excited to put on. For me, lingerie has become something indulgent – like a treat for my body.

What are some of your favourite pieces that we can look forward to snapping up when you open?

Umm…all of them! Seriously, we are so in love with the collection and are lucky enough to be the exclusive retailer of Hopeless Lingerie and Le Petit Trou. We’ll also be the first in the city to carry Third Love, Pour Les Femmes, Fleur of England and Sloane & Tate. But, if we really have to choose, here are each of our top three must-haves:

Ashley’s Must-Haves:
Colette Bodysuit by Le Petit Trou
Lux High Waist Brief by Mary Young
Sofia Bodysuit by Fleur of England

Amy’s Must-Haves:
Malla Shelf Bra by Clo Intimo
Abbie Harness by Hopeless Lingerie
Natalya Silk Pyjamas by Julianna Rae