Brazen for all
Story and photos by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer
A mother might well delight in flowers or chocolates.
She might be pleased by a nice piece of jewelry or a leisurely brunch on the occasion that commemorates her role as primary caregiver.
She might also be glad for some support – of the frontal kind.
If so, local shop Brazen Lingerie is fully stocked, and also boasts a selection of hard-to-find forms, shapes and sizes.
Many women more familiar with the bra-shopping paradigm of electronic music, a long wait for fluorescent lit changing rooms, and hurried bra fitters will be happily surprised by the coziness of Brazen Lingerie.
With natural light shining in through the window, dozens of bras hanging comfortably from the racks and underwear laid on top of dressers, the experience might feel more like raiding a female relative’s closet.
And the City Gym Boys calendar featuring a well-muscled man for May adds a nice touch.
As you explore, you’ll find no better accomplice than proprietor Anina Young.
Young expertly guides you through the underwear selection—which includes thongs printed by the late Will Teez—the specialty bras, and the naughty drawer.
Everything is open for discussion, and Young won’t share your secrets.
“What happens in Brazen, stays in Brazen,” said Young and she bustled about her shop organizing breast pumps, nursing pillows, crotchless underwear and size K bras.
Brazen Lingerie is no ordinary lingerie purveyor.
While Brazen Lingerie sold A to C cup sizes at its former location on Dyckman, once Young relocated to 5000 Broadway last fall, she decided to specialize in nursing bras, mastectomy bras, and hard-to-find sizes.
“Department stores don’t go to K and many women are squeezed into bras that don’t fit them.”
Young says that when a woman who is 34 G, or bigger, she will often be put into a 38 DD. Young explained that the foundation of bra support is in the band, not the straps. A band that is too loose could result in back problems.
Young also decided to carry mastectomy bras due to a high demand from customers.
After doing some research, she found that many places that carry mastectomy bras offer fittings by appointment only, in places that carried mostly medical supplies.
“People have told me that they like coming here because it doesn’t scream, ‘You had cancer’,” said Young. “It’s just a lingerie store that also has mastectomy bras.”
And there is always enough room for strollers.
“People will bring them into the fitting room,” said Young.
While customers can feel comfortable being in Brazen Lingerie, so can their brood.
Young keeps a collection of baby-safe toys outside the fitting room for fidgety young ones.
And she will gladly offer her own arms.
“It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. Sure, I’ll hold your baby. If I had something like that when my son was tiny, I would have loved it.”
Brazen Lingerie is located at 5000 Broadway, down the hall from Uptown Driving School. For more information, call 212.567.5563 or visit www.brazenlingerie.com, where you can order merchandise online. If you see an item that you like, and it is not in your size, Young will gladly order it for you.