I’ve been meaning to tackle this topic for some time. It’s a tough one. I see so many women wearing an ill-fitting bra. Oprah addressed this years ago and made great strides with the female population. There is still work to be done, but finally women understand that the proper fitting garments underneath your clothes make all the difference to completing a polished look.
I see lots of lumps and bumps. I have them too. We could call these “situations”. Let’s talk shapewear. In general, I feel it is fair to say that a certain percentage of women are against support garments or they have misconceptions about them. Ladies, this is not your mother’s girdle! Every week I meet women at the boutique where I work who complain about that little area above the waistband of their jeans. Women think that if they lose a little more weight, or work out a little more it will all go away. It might and then again it might NOT.
I’m convinced that the term “muffin top” came about with low rise jeans. I recall the first time I heard it. I stopped “dead in my tracks” because it described perfectly what I was experiencing around the middle. It wasn’t a pretty picture! When my clients complain about a muffin top I am honest about the 3 options they have.
1. Wear a support garment/shaper.
2. Wear a mid-to high rise jeans which help “reign in” that excess weight. (I am NOT talking “Mom” jeans. Let me clarify that Mom jeans were high waisted, pleated, and tapered.
3. Plastic Surgery
The last suggestion usually gets a laugh and I say it for that reason. #1 and #2 are reasonable and affordable.
SPANX, created by Sara Blakely, have become a household word. Sara created SPANX by simply cutting off the feet of a pair of pantyhose. She wanted the smooth look created by hosiery, but did not want the “feet” when wearing her strappy heels with pants. Now, a decade later, Sara has expanded the line and had made millions with this novel idea. If you’ve never read Sara’s story, do so; it’s inspiring!
I recall the first time I saw the SPANX concept on a mini TV in the hosiery department of Nordstrom nearly a decade ago. I was intrigued. At the time, another passing customer remarked that she did NOT need any such thing. After she left, the sales associate and I chuckled together at her rash statement. Back then I was just beginning to struggle a little with some excess middle weight. I was seeking out all the options to smooth those lumps and bumps.
One of the reasons SPANX were created was to reduce VPL (visible panty lines) I’m going to be blunt here. As much as women think that thong underwear is the way to go, you can still see the outline through some outfits. Sorry, but it is just not a good look.
I first began wearing Spanx for that reason–smoothing AND reducing VPL. Years later they came out with the “Higher Power” version which helped my upper middle. Spanx work for me in many situations. Take a look at this video and you’ll see that I’m not alone! Watch it all–highly educational and entertaining!
I do NOT wear SPANX seven days a week. I’m also fully aware that there are drawbacks. Comfort is the top concern followed closely by the fact that they simply are too warm for some women and in some climates!
If you carry your weight in your middle, but do not feel like you need the support in your thighs/hips, let me suggest these options.
I first discovered Yummie Tummie in a magazine several years ago. The top part works like a camisole. The middle is a panel that smooths and “sucks”, the bottom piece is like a tee so when layered, it can hang below another top. Yummie Tummie has come a long way since I discovered them. Oh the choices!
Next, Spanx has several top half options that could do the trick.
The first shown may be a little difficult to wear with certain sleeveless or low cut back tops, but it will work with many garments. The 2nd photo shows an example of Spanx APPAREL, thus alleviating another layer. This one in particular works on shaping the upper arms. Check out the SPANX website for many more options.
Last year I discovered a shaper by TC FINE, available at Nordstrom. Women complain that tank shapers squash the chest. This is the ticket if you’re worried about that. In addition one of my clients who was a nursing mom pointed out the benefits of this style!
I prefer the shaper in View #1,yet it limits you when it comes to some sleeveless tops. I tried the shaper in View #2 and it just wasn’t that comfortable for me. I’m still on the hunt for something to go under certain tops that gives the same support maximum support.
Next up: Part 2 on Shapers I’ll discuss smoothing the bottom half, cooler options if you live in heat/humidty and the support level of popular shapers.
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Over to you. What do you think? If you’ve written off shapewear, are you willing to give it another try? Questions? Jot me a note so I can address it in Part 2.