Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Town Shop: Where the NYC Man Can Get a Lift

By Mitch Broder

If you’re looking for that special kind of support that every active man needs, you can now find it at a properly intimate place:

New York City’s most famous bra store.

The most famous bra store is The Town Shop, the flagship of a family business that dates to 1888.  It’s the place where a bra-fitter gives the eye to a patron and instantly knows her bra size, because “Finding a Perfect Bra is an Art, Not a Science.”

That’s the store motto. “Your Support is Our Business” is the slogan. Both used to refer to women,  but the sexist reign is over. The Town Shop has begun carrying the Spanx Zoned Performance Crew, which — depending on the wearer’s needs — is, in fact, a man bra.

“It’s a control undershirt,” clarifies Danny Koch, who runs the store with his father, Peter Koch, who’s the son of the late Selma Koch, who made the store famous with her uplifting attitude. “It’s a powerful, squeezing undershirt that enables you to button the jacket that you couldn’t button before you put it on.”

He acknowledges that in this example he is referring to himself. The Spanx can control any part of the torso. But it appears to be uniquely useful for the man with a bosom. Or, as the package copy prefers: “Firms and tones chest.”

Danny says that Peter insisted that the Spanx would never sell. It is selling. A man bought one while I was standing at the counter. The buyer already owned one and professed that it cures his problem. “Now,” he said, “I can eat anything I want.”

For that privilege, he pays $78 a Spanx. That’s pretty high compared with regular undershirts. But regular undershirts don’t firm and tone.

“People buy things that they need,” Danny Koch says. “If you need it, it’s not high.”


  1. Frank Costanza and Kramer are going to be thrilled that their idea for the bro/manzire has finally come to fruition!

  2. We'll know these have "really arrived" when male performers start wearing them outside their clothes a-la Madonna!