lingerie briefs | may 4, 2022

forty winks x kilo brava - a strategic collaboration

My first encounter with Forty Winks located in Cambridge Massachusetts was when I visited my son during his college tenure in Boston. I hadn’t met owners Meredith Amenkhienan or Rachel Wentworth at the time, but it was immediately clear that they had a lingerie retail gold mine at their fingertips. Positioned in Harvard Square, the store embraces all the cardinal rules upon which my own career was weaned: location, location, location. They have managed, very successfully to not only create a joyful shopping environment for their customers but also to interface that experience with a very dynamic e-commerce site. The balance of brick and mortar with online shopping supported by excellent social media content, has established Forty Winks as a 2022 paradigm of retail success. I love their lingerie vision, the Middle Layer Project, in which they focus on women doing everyday things wearing their “middle layer”.

So, it’s my pleasure to introduce their newest initiative, a collaboration with the Kilo Brava brand whose own desire to foster inclusivity at a value is symbiotic with the Forty Winks attitude. Taking advantage of the artistic expertise of Kilo Brava’s owner and design director Kristin Bear, they have created a one-of-a-kind digital print that captures the classic beauty of a New England Garden. This partnership will be front and center this week as Forty Winks launches their exclusive Botanical PJ set. Constructed in a silky satin with a modicum of stretch, this shorty pajama fits sizes S-3X.

Kilo Brava X Forty Winks is not the store’s first collaboration but follows a private label strategy they began in 2021. The amazing success story of every one of these programs has set a course for the store’s future.

By Ellen Lewis Principal partner of Lingerie Briefs


Selling Love and Romance in the time of COVID-19

Retailers and matchmakers adjust to the strangeness of this Valentine’s Day

...For businesses that have seen a slowdown already this year, a dip in V-day sales will be an additional sting. “There are people who are like, I can’t handle the idea of romance right now, I don’t want to be near my partner at all,” said Rachel Wentworth, co-owner of Forty Winks, a lingerie store in Cambridge. Another subset, she added, are “not in a long-term relationship or are not dating” because of the pandemic.

So she’s adapting the store’s outreach this year to fit the times we’re in. “We’re trying to be really consistent with our marketing and messaging, saying, ‘We know that we’re stuck at home, let’s have fun, either by yourself or with a partner. However you want to indulge during this season, we’re here for you,’ ” she said.

And Wentworth has also been noticing an eyebrow-raising trend.

“There are so many people who are like, ‘I have to spice things up, I’m so bored,’ ” she said. “We’ve been selling way more pieces that are over-the-top. There’s this element of ‘we’re home anyway, let’s go all out.’ ” Plunging necklines, bodysuits, and open gussets are big sellers. The more risqué, she said, the better…

By Janelle Nanos Globe Staff

Rachel Wentworth, owner of Forty Winks, arranged lingerie at her shop in Harvard Square. JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF


2020 Best Lingerie

Forty Winks

Handsome, flirty, and extremely supportive: No, we’re not talking about our latest flame, we’re talking about the underpinnings from this one-stop Cambridge shop. Situated outside the store, Forty Winks’ new walk-up bra bar is an easy, safe way to upgrade your lingerie drawer—or opt for a gratis 30-minute virtual fitting and browsing session with a sales associate and pick up curbside.

56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617-492-9100,


Victoria’s Secret is out; women want comfortable underwear that fits

...Meredith Amenkhienan and Rachel Wentworth, owners of the Forty Winks boutique in Harvard Square, will celebrate a decade in the lingerie business in April, and say they had their strongest year in 2019. The “better fit” messaging that ThirdLove promotes is actually driving shoppers into their store. You can’t get one-on-one fittings when you’re getting a bra in the mail, Amenkhienan joked.

“It’s good for the industry, it’s pushing a lot of people to rethink what lingerie means,” she said. “But we have had customers who come in who tried ThirdLove and it didn’t work for them. They want to come in and touch and feel. It’s helping us.”...

By Janelle Nanos Globe Staff

Rachel Wentworth (left) and Meredith Amenkhienan prepared for the opening of a pop-up underwear event for two local brands, Uwila Warrior and Forty Winks, held on Charles Street in Boston.JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF


Meet Forty Winks

Forty Winks is dedicated to blending beauty and luxury into effortless everyday practicality. By catering to different shapes, sizes, and styles, they have thoughtfully handpicked lingerie and loungewear from designers across the globe. Forty Winks works one-on-one with clients until they’re happy with the look, feel, and fit of their underthings. Whether you need sizing assistance, help to find the perfect special occasion piece, or just feel like browsing through some pretty lingerie, Forty Winks is committed to providing you with a warm shopping experience.

Favorite Cosabella collection and why?

Our best selling pieces from Cosabella come from the always colorful Never Say Never collection. Especially popular are the Sweetie Bralette and the Hottie Lace Hotpant. The Sweetie’s stretchy lace cups fit a wide range of body types, from smaller chests looking for an everyday bralette to bustier people looking for weekend support. This bra makes so many people happy and comfortable. The Hottie makes everyone’s butt look good and who doesn’t want that?

Meet the Team

Co-owners Rachel Wentworth and Meredith Amenkhienan opened Forty Winks to provide people with a knowledgeable and fun lingerie shopping experience. Hailing from Maine and Vermont, these lingerie lovers met while working at a local dress shop and started dreaming of opening a shop someday. Dreams became a reality in April of 2010 when Forty Winks opened its doors to the Harvard Square community. Now 6 years later, Rachel and Meredith enjoy a loyal clientele, an amazing staff and weekends off.

If you live in the Cambridge area we definitely encourage you to pay Forty Winks a visit. You can find them at 56 JFK St Cambridge, MA 02138, or you can visit the site for their lingerie boutique.

If you don’t live nearby, you can still show them some love on social media:


Pretty Little Things

Here’s our quick guide to the city’s most heart-stopping lingerie, tailor-made for that special thing that makes your sweetheart sweet (or saucy). ’Cause when it comes to lingerie, one-style-fits-all is not an option.

The Flirt

Recital Sexy Mask, $56 at Forty Winks; Elle MacPherson Dune Sunflower Underwire Bra, $66 at Forty Winks; Empreinte ludmila thong, $95 at Intimacy

The Girly Girl

Stella McCartney Cherie Sneezing balcony Bra, $70 at Forty Winks; Aerie silky chiffon boxers, $25 at American Eagle Outfitters; Valentino Valentina Eau de Parfum Spray, $82 at Saks Fifth Avenue

The Vintage Vixen

Eberjey Theodora Boy Thong, $92 (sold as a set with bralette) at Sedurre; La Perla Baby Doll Chemise, $528 at Saks Fifth Avenue; Loleata Mules, $390 at Agent Provocateur

Where to Buy It?

Agent Provocateur | 123 Newbury St., Boston | 617-267-0229 |

American Eagle Outfitters | Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave., Boston | 617-266-1871 |

Forty Winks | 56 JFK St., Cambridge | 617-492-9100 |

Intimacy | Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave., Boston | 857-277-7887 |

Saks Fifth Avenue | the shops at prudential, 800 Boylston St., Boston | 617-262-8500 |

Sedurre | 28 Prince St., Boston | 617-720-4400 |

By Alexis Child, Photo Credit: Holly Rike


2014 Best Lingerie

Forty Winks

Feeling sexy begins with what’s underneath your clothes. Let this four-year-old Harvard Square outfitter help you build a beautiful foundation with its fine selection of intimates from Elle MacPherson, Chantelle, Claudette, Hanky Panky, and other luxe lines. In addition to underpinnings and unmentionables, Forty Winks has you covered—literally—for all four seasons with sophisticated hosiery, flirty swimwear, and soft cotton pajamas.

56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617-492-9100,


Forty Winks S/S 2013 Photoshoot

I am loving this trend of lingerie boutiques doing their own, editorial-style, lingerie photoshoots. Not only does it allow for more diversity in the kinds of lingerie and fashion images we see, it also frequently lends a different perspective or take on lingerie... one that may be a better fit with the way many women actually wear it. I'm incredibly pleased to share the images from the Forty Winks lingerie fashion shoot today on The Lingerie Addict. Here's what Rachel and Meredith, the owners of Forty Winks, had to say:

"As we state on our blog, it is our intention to highlight the ways everyday luxuries (like beautiful lingerie) can inspire and cultivate one’s personal confidence and inner beauty. Our model is a friend of Meredith's sister and although she is not a professional, she thought a shoot like ours would be a source of confidence to her. At the beginning of the shoot, Ariele was a little nervous, but with each outfit change she became more and more poised, relaxed, and in control. Our belief in the confidence lingerie brings to an individual was beautifully conveyed throughout this process."


2013 Best Lingerie

Forty Winks

Need we spell it out for you flashy underwear shopkeepers? They’re called unmentionables for a reason. At Forty Winks, you select from the neatly and thoughtfully organized undies, demis, bralettes, pajamas, and swimwear, and attendants provide discreet guidance on fit and garment care. Bonus: Most styles are available in rare sizes at both ends of the spectrum.

56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617-492-9100,


Featuring Forty Winks

We decided to open Forty Winks after several disheartening experiences when shopping for lingerie. While neither of us have especially large busts, it seemed impossible to find a bra with a fit that was just right. Meredith was wearing a 36A (she’s a 32B/34A) and I was wearing a 34B (I’m a 32D). No one had ever told us differently and we continued to fumble in fitting rooms without a clue.

After one too many failed bra shopping trips, we started to seriously discuss opening our own store. We had a shared vision for the “ideal lingerie shop;” we wanted a place where lingerie lovers could browse for beautiful things, but also where women could learn their size through a knowledgeable bra fitting.

Forty Winks, which opened in 2010, is now our pride and joy. Our goal is for our customers to have an experience that makes them love shopping for lingerie when they may have once dreaded the process. We carry a wide range of styles and sizes from designers like Chantelle, Marlies Dekkers, Cosabella, and The Little Bra Company. Whether a woman comes in for a saucy little thong or a basic t-shirt bra, if she leaves with a smile on her face we know we have done our job

Forty Winks is located at 56 JFK Street, Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA

Submitted by Rachel Wentworth and Meredith Donaldson, owners of Forty Winks Lingerie in Cambridge, MA


2011 Best Lingerie

Forty Winks

We know they mean well, but we’ve had it up to here with overzealous lingerie consultants treating us like long-lost members of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood. Enter Forty Winks, a year-old Harvard Square spot that knows precisely when to offer help (love those walk-in fittings!) and when to back off. With a highly browsable stock of Cosabella push-ups, Eberjey swimwear, Spanx body shapers, and other pretty little pieces, this store targets those who celebrate lingerie but don’t need their hands held to choose it.

56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617-492-9100,