Petticoat Lane on Greenwich Avenue is a wonderful local place to find a new summer swimsuit, as well as beautiful lingerie, sleepwear and accessories. If you’ve been striking out online during the pandemic, the experienced fitters at Petticoat Lane can help you find a perfect fit. Owner Jason Palmer and his team, Suzy and Julie, have over 70 years of lingerie experience between them. With locations in NYC and Greenwich (and yes, online shopping available as well), this is a must-try shop in town. We spoke to Jason about his business, being a dad of two, and more.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 47-year-old, divorced father of two boys, 11 and 13. My youngest son is autistic and my oldest was diagnosed with autism as a child but is now classified as only LD (Learning Disabled) and was just accepted into York Prep in the city for his freshman year! Autism has had a profound impact on my life. I am very open about my children’s autism, as many locals know, and I stand for supporting parents of autistic children as they need our help just as much. I also donate my time to the board of The Hawthorne Foundation for individuals with autism.
Congratulations Petticoat Lane’s 25 year anniversary! What has been your favorite part of owning a small business for a quarter century?
It does not feel like 25 years…My favorite part of owning a local business has been the relationships I have made with my customers. They are my friends, and they support me and my business to the point that I am now a Greenwich institution.
What has changed or stayed the same about Petticoat Lane over the past 25 years?
Nothing is the same—not even the name. I started as a pure handbag store at the top of the Avenue called Fifty One, but I have constantly changed with the times and matured into something new every year. The only thing that has been consistent is that I still like to chat with my customers, help them pick out the perfect pieces from my store and grab a glass of rosé next door during summertime.
Love that! What separates it from other lingerie or swimwear stores?
Selection, Service and Style. The core of the Petticoat Lane family is me, Suzy who owned Patricia Gourley, and Julie who worked with Suzy for 14 years. No one knows more about lingerie and proper fitting and styling then we do. We choose only the best brands which are mostly European. We are particular about every style we choose and materials they are made from. We know what to buy for our clientele, because we know them intimately for years.
What is the key to finding comfortable, flattering lingerie that fits?
First is Quality. The companies we carry such as Marie Jo, Chantelle and Simone Perele are 100 years old and are made in their own factories in Europe with the best material. They are not a 5-year start-up with a gimmick. The most important thing is to get fit by a professional fitter. Just because you are a certain size (or think you are) does not mean that each bra is cut the same. Our best seller for instance, the Marie Jo Tom bra usually needs to be fitted either a band or cup size up because that is how it is cut. Demi bras sometimes need to be fitted a cup size down to get the right form and let’s not even get into strapless bras…Let’s face it, this is a job for a professional.
Ha, got it! So what are some swimwear trends you’ll be carrying in your store, that will be popular this summer?
Since the Pandemic hit, we have tripled our swimwear business and are on track to increase it even more. Our customers love our three main lines, Melissa Odabash, Karla Colletto and Camilla. Each of these companies offers something different in styling and fit. Knowing what to buy in each one of these lines has made our store a huge hit in Greenwich. I personally love the elegant yet fun patterns of the Camilla swimwear and clothing. Their playsuits are the best!
What are your best tips for finding a flattering swimsuit – always a battle for moms, especially newer moms!
We have all types of swimwear from beautiful bikinis to one-pieces that make you look much thinner which is useful when most of us are still trying to lose the ‘Covid 19’ . Our Karla Colletto swimwear in particular sells extremely well for these needs. Her suits with the rouching makes everyone look so much slimmer! (Think of it as a sexier, better quality Miracle suit.)
What surprises people when they come in your store?
That we are so much more than just a lingerie store. The front half of the store shows off a vast selection of swimwear and cover-ups, Sleepwear from Eberjey and PJ Salvage to soft cottons and patterned silks. We have cashmere toppers in every color and the largest selection of Eric Javits hats and Wolford hosiery you have ever seen. The back half has all the bras and panties you will ever need. You’ll find Hanky Panky in just about every color and pattern to fabulous lace European demi cup bras in fun colors to the best T-shirt bra you will ever wear fitted, by our top bra fitters.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Besides this being our 25th anniversary on Greenwich Ave, we have been nominated as Best Lingerie Store in the US! I hope we win!!! This has been a challenging year for everyone but the support from our customers and the town made us feel so fortunate and blessed and because of them, I have been able to purchase new lines such as athleisure form Alo, Koral and Monrow, clothing from Cami NYC, Miguelina and Skin, plus custom silk pajamas by Cocoon. We still are the largest independent sellers of Eric Javits hats in the country and one of the top 5 sellers of both Wolford and Eberjey too. Once you come to Petticoat Lane, you will always come to Petticoat Lane.
This story is sponsored by Petticoat Lane.
Photos: Alexandra Blair