After watching her best friend open a fancy (and pricey) lingerie gift from her boyfriend, then-single Galyna Nitsetska had a thought: Why shouldn’t women be able to have the same feeling of indulgence when unwrapping beautiful intimates — just without the painful price tag and the partner to give it to them? With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we couldn’t agree more, which is why we were thrilled to discover Empress Mimi Lingerie. Designed by women for women, it’s the answer to the lingerie subscription box.

Empress Mimi incorporates a more personalized approach that makes every customer feel like “they’re opening a love letter,” according to its founder. “One thing that sets us apart is we do not buy our stock on a wholesale basis or resell pieces from other suppliers and designers — something which is the norm in this business,” Nitsetska explains in an email to Brit + Co. “With customers giving us feedback on a monthly basis, it felt only right to actually take this into account and let them guide our designs, rather than relying on what is already out there.” Be it a piece of poetry or a custom hand-drawn illustration, you’re not going to get a boring cardboard box with this order. And the best part about the monthly subscription service (besides its multiple box styles and price points)? You can try everything on in the privacy of your own bedroom and exchange or return whatever you don’t like.

What’s In each box

While lingerie subscription boxes are a dime a dozen these days (as are other thematic boxes filled with beauty, fashion, and food finds), there are a few reasons to go with Empress Mimi. Unlike some companies that send you a few thongs or a designer mix of underwear for a monthly rate, EM’s offerings have more bells and whistles. For starters, they send custom matching sets that change from season to season (like The Queen box for $50/month), and if you upgrade to the The Empress, you’ll receive flirty accessories with your intimates like kimonos and negligees — even nipple tassels and whips — for $152 a month.

Sizing and Pricing

As someone who easily goes from a C-cup one month to a D-cup the next, I wanted to make sure our pieces stayed comfortable even when your weight may be fluctuating,” says Nitsetska. “That’s why all of our bras are non-wired, but our high-performance materials are suitable for a wide range of sizes from XS to XXL.” Empress Mimi also uses adjustable straps and elasticated designs, so you can say good-bye to the days of underwire digging into your ribcage. They recently added a S+ range for those endowed with narrow bands and large cups as well. And if you’re unsure of your size, use Nitsetska’s recommendation and just select your clothing size. “This can always be adjusted after you get your first box,” she adds.

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