shopping 03.17.14

Underneath It All
Old New York

A beneficent spirit seems to imbue Underneath It All, 320 5th Ave. [32nd] 212.717.1976, a shop created by survivors of breast cancer for other survivors of breast cancer.

What Carol Art Keane found after cancer therapy was that there were few places catering to her specific needs and none with the kind of clothes or service that she wanted. A friend of Ms. Keane's, who had also had breast surgery, echoed her sentiment: "There's nothing pretty out there," her friend said.

Underneath It All opened in 1993 on the Upper East Side—a lovely, supportive environment to buy clothes and accessories to this day, now in a midtown location (open Mondays through Thursdays). They sell breast prostheses, wigs, headwear, bathing suits and intimate apparel. They're certified mastectomy fitters.

Ms. Keane says, "Twenty-one years later I am still helping women going through post breast cancer problems. Whenever I think I am ready to retire and move on I worry about where the women will go. We are one of the very few left in the city doing what we do. I really feel what I do is my give-back for being in good health 23 years after my own breast cancer diagnosis."

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