Orchard Street has long been known as an underwear hub. People have been shopping there for deals on bras, panties, girdles, briefs, boxers, and all other manner of underthings for decades.
You can still buy your underwear here, in shops, like at the wonderful Orchard Corset Center, and from tables on the street.
As new uber-high-end boutiques come in, however, the old underwear is vanishing--and new underwear is taking its place. Like everything else, it seems, the new stuff costs a bit more than the old.
Like the underwear at No. 8b, a boutique that recently replaced a Chinese signmaker's shop, and about which Mike Albo said: "doesn’t quite fit into the immigrant aesthetic. It looks like a minimal Swedish architecture firm beamed down from the near future. Inside is a selection of beautiful, crazily priced men’s fashion, which on first sight would send the entire dumbstruck Gumpertz clan into an insane asylum."
The Gumpertz clan lived in what is now the Tenement Museum. The wife was a seamstress and the husband sold dresses. But you don't have to be a schmatta dealer from the old country to be struck dumb by the sight of a single pair of underwear sporting a $98 price tag.