Scanties, unmentionables and other girdles of loins: from the $117 Cosabella chemise to the undergarments donated to women who’d suffered through Hurricane Katrina, Jen Abercrombie’s cozy clearing-house of frilly support has weathered everything from literal panty raids to the factory-fed allure of manufacturers like Victoria’s Secret and L’Eggs. Says Abercrombie, former guitarist for sneer-pop duo Rizzo: “For years, I’d lived and shopped in Silver Lake, yet I still had to drive far out of my way to get the kind of lingerie I wanted to wear. Great restaurants, clothing stores and gift shops were opening all around me, but still no lingerie. In 2002, I took the plunge and opened Panty Raid. Soon after we opened, the store was burglarized, and thieves made off with a large amount of merchandise, leaving the rest of the store untouched. As a fledgling store, losing so much of our inventory made it tough to recover, but the panties prevailed.” Within a few months of the break-in, store manager Jessica Hlavac was hired. This August, she will have been with the store for three years. The friendly neighborhood atmosphere and helpful, knowledgeable staff distinguish a trip to Panty Raid from a typical mall shopping experience. Panty Raid carries Cosabella (Italy), Huit (France), Hanky Panky, Mary Green and Eberjey panties. A runaway best seller is the Commando brand of panties, which boasts a no-line silhouette and the tag line “better than nothing.” Panty Raid is a popular destination for bridal-shower gifts and maternity bras. There’s even a “boyfriend corner,” bedecked with video games and the latest issues of Maxim, Teen Vogue and Thrasher, for those significant others dying to fade into beige insignificance because of tasteful, attractive, color-coordinated women trying on panties in the immediate vicinity.
Panty Raid 2378½ Glendale Blvd., ?(323) 668-1888 or www.pantyraidshop.com