In August, Bethenny Frankel sent her Real Housewives of New York fans spiraling when she announced that she was leaving the show (again) after eight seasons. But your favorite tell-it-like-it-is star doesn’t need a TV show to dish out great advice to her fans, which is exactly what she’s doing.
On Tuesday, the business woman made an appearance at a “Find Your Fit” panel discussion for the lingerie brand, Le Mystère, at Bloomingdale’s in New York City, and caught up with PEOPLE before the event.
“I’ve been wearing Le Mystère for over a decade,” Frankel says, recalling that she got her first proper bra fitting with a Le Mystère expert 11 years ago. “Most people are wearing the wrong bra. Most people do not buy their own size, because they find out their own size, they either feel weird about the letter being too high, they don’t see themselves as that size, or the number’s too low.”
To raise awareness, Frankel, 49, teamed with the brand for a moderated talk with shoppers about how important it is to “Find Your Fit” whether it be in their bra size, their career or their personal life.
“I did not feel like I fit in when I was doing the talk show [Bethenny],” Frankel tells PEOPLE when asked if there was ever a time she didn’t “find her fit.”
“I felt like I wasn’t able to have the circus of emotions that I do as a woman. I felt like I had to be cheery 24 hours a day, and just be in a good mood every minute and pretend that everything was perfect and that the sun was shining all day instead of saying that I was going through something difficult at the time. I felt a little confined.”
One place she does feel her most comfortable? When she’s being her real (sometimes less glamorous) self. “I’m in sweat pants and pajamas 95.8% of the time. So if I get my hair and makeup done, and my clothes are on, I’m like, ‘Let’s take a picture of me today. Because this is really like an eclipse, like a lunar eclipse.'”
But joking aside, Frankel says she doesn’t actually feel any better when she gets all dressed up than when she’s in her PJs. “I feel good when I feel healthy,” she says. “I don’t feel good when I have 95 filters on my face and I’m pretending I’m somebody I’m not. I feel good when like last weekend my hair was flying, I looked like a crazy person from the Hobbit.“
“I am really reaching my limit with people putting out just the perfect version of themselves. I think we all are, we just don’t really want to say it, but I think for having a daughter, I’m not really interested in her thinking that everybody has a perfect body, perfect skin, perfect lashes, perfect hair. I’m kind of reaching my limit.”
Another thing she sticks to feel her best is a simple one: getting adequate sleep.
“I think that we as women have emotional highs and lows, and for me sleep is the number one priority,” she shares. “People are all fixated on potions, and solutions, and filters, and pretending we’re having the best life. For me, truthfully, working hard and getting a good night’s sleep and spending time with your kids is really the key to a happy, healthy lifestyle, honestly. It’s not being at a boot camp, at gym class. It’s not drinking your weight in wheat grass, and it’s not about getting a magical $200 cream. It’s basically just love, and sleep, and loving what you do.”
These days, in addition to the great support from her Le Mystère bras, she has a supportive inner circle to keep her life balanced, including her boyfriend, real estate developer and film producer Paul Bernon, and her 9-year-old daughter, whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, Bryn.
“I’m surrounded by really amazing people in particular right now in my life, says Frankel. “I have a very supportive, loving, patient, funny, boyfriend. My daughter and I are glued to each other every minute that we are together.”
She continues: “Bryn and I take special vacations all the time. I never, ever, go out when I have her, unless it’s some extenuating circumstance. We’re just always together, and I just feel like kids, you get out what you put in. So I have an amazing, beautiful, sweet, fun daughter. So just like I said, I really do put my time into the things that are important, and I prioritize. And I don’t try to squeeze too much in, and I do want to have a good balance in my life.”