|Town Shop moved across Broadway in July 2013.|
If you’ve strolled along the east side of Broadway over the past six months, you’ve probably discovered a brighter block between West 81st and West 82nd.
With wide, colorful windows and a dazzling, hot pink sign hanging vertically above the storefront, Town Shop has a new home after 76 years in a much tighter space across the street. The sprawling new digs opened last July, and with mannequins adorned in lacy brassieres and sexy bedclothes, the lingerie boutique has dramatically changed the streetscape, and become the focal point of the Upper West Side block.
|Sexy, colorful windows at Town Shop|
|Town Shop has changed the streetscape.|
Founded in 1888 by Sam Koch, the original shop’s home was on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Although the family established several locations around town, the Upper West Side store has become an institution –– thriving since 1937.
Bras and panties may seem like an odd business to stand the test of time, especially over four generations. However, daughter-in-law Selma Koch gave the undergarment shop its reputation for superior service and the “art of fitting,” for which the store has become known all over town. Selma never used a tape measure, but could suggest every woman’s perfect bra size at first look. And even today, the same holds true for Town Shop’s staff of expert fitters. Despite the lack of measuring tapes, the seasoned sales force manages to recommend band and cup sizes for the masses, and with precision each time.
|Town Shop is known to be “the place” for a bra fitting.|
Now managed by Koch’s great grandson, Danny Koch, along with Danny’s father, Peter Koch, the store’s colorful interior attracts women of all ages, as well as the men who shop for them. According to Danny, who is also the buyer for the store and spends a good amount of his time “combing the globe to find the best merchandise,” it’s likely patrons will buy their very first bra at Town Shop, and remain customers for life. “From the first bra to the last bra,” he said, when we met recently.
Bras may be their specialty, but the store is filled with other practical and seductive finds. I was amazed at the choices; from sexy teddies, thongs, and camisoles, to terry robes, loungewear, housecoats (remember those?), and activewear, not to mention hosiery, socks, swimwear, and of course, bras and panties in every color. Top brands you can find include Simone Pérèle, Felina, Calvin Klein, and Natori. Town Shop isn’t for just small women or skinny girls either, but prides itself in stocking unmentionables for ladies of all shapes and sizes. “We have cup sizes that go up to K,” Danny assured me.
|Town Shop is filled with practical and seductive finds.|
|Find unmentionables in all sizes.|
Let’s not forget about the boys, who aren’t left out. You’ll find plush, comfy robes and shapewear from Spanx, (yes, men need to appear slim too) as well as socks and slippers for the male in your life.
Shop for your girlfriend, wife, sister, father, husband, or friend. From negligees to nightgowns and boy shorts to body stockings, Town Shop is a destination to purchase your wedding trousseau, that special something for your special someone, or an alluring Valentine’s Day present for a secret lover.
Personally, I’m fond of the new, spacious location, and Danny seems pleased with his decision to venture across the street, despite a warning he received years ago. The previous store was ideally nestled between Zabar’s and Barnes & Noble, both of which draw heavy foot traffic at all hours of the day. “My grandmother [Selma Koch] always said ‘never go to the other side of Broadway,'” Danny explained. “But 76 years across the street was long enough.”
|Bras, panties, hosiery, sleepwear –– Town Shop has it all.|
|Town Shop is an Upper West Side destination.|