White Plains Resident Jessica Pfister, New York Director of Le Mystère, on Choosing the Right Bra Size

As New York Director of Le Mystère, the luxe intimate-apparel brand favored by Oprah, White Plains resident Jessica Pfister knows bras—and the importance of wearing the right one. “Women should feel wonderful about their bodies, and the correct, proper-fitting bra can do that,” she says. “But research has shown that eighty-five percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra.” How can you make sure you’re in the happy 15 percent? Read on.



How often should you have your size re-measured?
Once a year, or sooner if you: lose or gain ten pounds or more, have a baby, change your fitness routine, or start menopause—all these things can affect the size of your breasts.  

How can you be sure your bra fits properly?
Get professional help. Every major department store and lingerie boutique has people on staff who understand the art of fitting.

What are some keys for determining if a bra fits correctly?
First, make sure the cup encompasses the whole breast without cutting into it and, thus, too tight. Second, make sure that the back-band lies horizontally across your back. Your breasts should be directly in between your shoulders and elbows; if the back-band is too loose, your breasts end up closer to your elbow and you’re not getting the necessary support. And, finally, a major faux pas is slipping bra straps. Do a thumb test—there should be room for only one thumb between your shoulder and strap. Otherwise, your straps are too loose, and your breasts are not being properly supported.

How should a bra be washed?
Bras are expensive—ours run from sixty-two to eighty-four dollars—so taking good care of them is really wise. We recommend hand-washing—any detergent is fine—and never placing them in the dryer. If you can’t hand-wash them, place them in a lingerie bag on a gentle cycle, and hook the hooks closed so that they don’t snag on any other garments.

How long should a bra last?
With proper care, six to eight months, depending on how often you wear it. When you find a good bra, buy at least three of them—one to wear, one to rest, one to wash. Because a bra’s fibers and elastics are stretched out of shape during wearing, this gives them time to shrink back to the correct size.

What style should every woman have in her bra wardrobe?
The number-one go-to style is a seamless contour or T-shirt bra. You can wear it under anything.