Sunday, December 31, 2006

Orchard Street Corset Center - Lower East Side

It's easy for those with small perky breasts to buy cute bras. From Victoria's Secret to JCPenneys, to La Perla, every mall and high street is brimming with them. Likewise for buxom gals built like prison matrons, with big proletarian backs and large motherly bosoms. They can find the appropriate Cross Your Hearts at any Mervyns, KMart or JCPenneys. But what about those of us who have normal size backs but larger-than-usual fronts? Even Nordstrom doesn't special order anymore.

Orchard Street Corset Center to the rescue. It's one of two places I can find bras in my size, the other being M&S. This old fashioned merchant is not for those who like slick merchandising and a leisurely browse to see what styles are in. The bras are hidden in boxes, in shelves lining the walls. The fitting room is a curtain, strung up across the stock room. All is overseen by Ralph, the king of customer service, and his wife the chief fitter.

When customers walk into his shop, Ralph sizes them up and tells them if they are wearing the wrong size brassier. One one shopping trip, I dragged my modest sister-in-law, Angel, in. As she was mumbling her size, Ralph stopped her and said. "No, this is the size you are." She tried to disagree but he countered with an authoritarian "I see everything," held a suitable size up and called for his wife to sweep Angel off to try on the proper bra. He was right. While she has not ventured back to the shop, Angel does admit that the bra she bought that day is the most comfortable one she owns.

One thing I should mention: The owners are Hasidic, so the shop is closed on Saturdays.

157 Orchard St., Between Stanton Street and Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002-2214


Irina said...

I'm going there tomorrow for a corset, can they measure me?

Rachella said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Rachella, one quick correction, the address is
157 (not 57). I just called them.

Elaine said...

Hi there,

This is webmaster from Orchard Corset, I would like to ask your permit to copy your image, we will put that picture in our new website *we are developing right now* I will put your link also :)

Let me know what do you think ok!!
Thanks so much!


Rachella said...


I can't find an email address for you, so I'll just answer here. Feel free to use the image and link away.

elaine said...

Hey Rachella, our website already up now: Please check: We put more articles there, your link under "Our Store" at the bottom page. Thank you once again and enjoy!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, they have a website too, but don't know if ralph will be much help online :D

mlee526 said...

What an absolutely wonderful experience it was to make purchases at this store. I walked in with my mother and Ralph asked what we were looking for. I explained that I needed something to wear under my wedding gown. He told me to talk to Peggy (Faegie in Yiddish). She asked to see a picture of my dress. After commenting that it was beautiful, she said, Ok." I quickly added that I was looking for a corset and she said, "I know mumula." (Mumula is a Yiddish term of endearment.)

In minutes I was back behind a curtain removing my shirt and bra and she came in and quickly fitted me into a light colored corset that was fastened with hooks. It was beautiful and fit me like a glove. It was exactly what I needed, not to mention very sexy and slimming. She knew just from a quick peek at the picture on my phone how the dress would lay on me and the right garments that I would need under my gown. She was incredible!

I asked what else she had, and she came into the dressing area with a number of items, all beautiful.

By the time I was ready to pay, I had amassed several items including corsets, a bra, three sexy pieces of lingerie, and other various foundation garments. My mother also made some purchases.

When I stood at the counter, I asked Ralph for a waist cincher. He asked me to turn around, and without even touching me, he got me a perfectly-sized garment. I was amazed.

It was a lovely experience. I plan to return and have already sent them several customers. Such wonderful people! Such a pleasant experience!