In Alphabet City, a Girdle Guru Boosts Lingerie as Way to Healthier Life

photo-29Daniel Maurer

“The better you take care of your breasts, the less stress and more confidence you will have,” promises Pearl Chan.

Ms. Chan, a self-proclaimed “body-slimming lingerie specialist,” opened Healthier Life to help put some pride in the chests of East Village women. The rail-thin Fashion Institute of Technology grad isn’t shy when talking about the beauty of brassieres: a recent interview turned into an episode of “Shopkeepers Gone Wild” when she lifted up her shirt to show how well her own bra fit.

“See, no double boob!” she proclaimed, referring to the fold of fat that forms between the breast and armpit due to an ill-fitting bra.

You may or may not have noticed Ms. Chan’s shop, a sparse cinder-block space tucked just below street level at 291 East Fourth Street. “Lose 10 lbs in 5 days” promises a sign outside of the brassiere bunker.

photo 1-1Jessica Lee

The sign actually promotes Nutrimeal, a meal replacement. But when women are enticed into the shop, Ms. Chan, a rail-thin Fashion Institute of Technology grad, swoops in to help them pick out the perfect bra for their body size.

The mass-market bras most women wear are unhealthy because they promote poor posture and are made of low-quality fabrics, said Ms. Chan. On the other hand, “these bras give immediate gratification because they increase cleavage and are made of a light, breathable material,” she said.

For those with a smaller chest, Ms. Chan suggests a bra with silicon inserts that doubles cup size. And for the well endowed, she has a bra with five hooks in the back to ensure full support.

“We have to fight gravity to enhance confidence,” she exclaimed.

The shop also stocks a girdle that the shopkeeper claims slims the body down two dress sizes by containing belly fat. This may sound restrictive, but Ms. Chan insists the mesh material is breathable and comfortable.

The underground location between Avenues B and C may seem odd for a lingerie shop, but Ms. Chan hopes to eventually relocate to an area with more foot traffic.

Until then, you can schedule a consultation with her by calling 917-806-5587. Just don’t be surprised if she demonstrates a bra’s merits by jumping up and down.