I am like every other woman in this universe when it comes to NOT loving my body in fitted clothing. I see the chubs EVERYWHERE and want them to GO! But there is a temporary remedy for us ladies and gentlemen, yes I said gentlemen. Years ago they started squeezing our bodies to shape us into unnatural forms and the trend was later let go, but the trend did however continue to a lesser extreme.
I have been a fluffy gal for the majority of my life, so I feel like I have a pretty good understanding on this subject. I think I can safely say, I am an expert on shapewear. I can tell you what is going to help a 400 pound woman feel a bit contained, because I have been there, and a 160 pound post-bariatric surgery woman what shapewear to buy and tuck her loose skin, because I have been there too. I have purchased brand name to non-brand name, from the Flea Market to Neiman Marcus. I am going to talk about my experiences with a few brands and their fit. I hope this is helpful.
SPANX – This is probably one of my favorite COMFORTABLE everyday wear shapewear. These babies are super stretchy, they come in nude and black AND they have a cotton crotch that is open/breathable. I feel that you do need to be careful with them if you have nails, I have put my nails through them a few times when pulling them up (or maybe I just have a crazy strong grip?). I like that you can pull them all the way up and that you can pull them down to your knees. It covers the back “chubbies” and since they are long, you can wear them with pants/jeans.
When I was pregnant, I ALSO wore a Spanx, it functioned like a support for me. I found it very helpful and comfortable to wear it. I tried a band and did not like it. This worked much better for me. I would suggest giving this a try if you are pregnant and need a little support. I was able to find these at Nordstrom.
Spanx also carries bra’s, multiple types of shapewear in MANY sizes and hosiery. They also carry SPANX FOR MEN, check it out and share it with a friend! Men love to look great too and are just as concerned about their appearances, they just may not share it as much as we do.
KYMARO SHAPER – Oh my goodness! We all saw the infomercial and thought we NEEDED to have this! Especially when they said they would throw in the free shorts! “SOLD!” Well, I have to tell ya, this was an interesting purchase that was tried and tested a couple of times, and then collected dust in my drawer. I finally decided to toss the torso shaper, as it will do no body any justice. Although, the shorts did serve function for wearing under skirts so my thighs would not rub together on hot summer days!
This garment does not have much shaping power. It makes you look like a sausage, or as my father used to say, “You look like a Tamale that needs to be unwrapped, now go take it off!” The Torso Shaper: The upper portion of the back part of it pucker because it is so taught. The arm holes are not proportionate. The pattern is off scale. The garment also did not sit on the right place on my torso. The Bottom Shaper: Does not have strong enough compression. Very light hold, almost like tights. In fact, you might as well cut a pair of tights into biker shorts and call it a day!
Overall, it was not a good fit for me. I would not recommend purchasing this. I have seen them for $12.99 at Wal-Mart and $5 at Ross.
FLEXEES by MAIDENFORM – The cult favorite. The grandmother of the girdle. I remember seeing this brand of shapewear as a child. I think every aunt of mine owned one, including my nanny. This is the snap crotch girdle that most women, if you are over 35 or older, you have probably worn one of these bad gals in your life at one point or another and experienced the pointy breasts if you are a C cup or larger. I know I have!
This girdle is a great one because it is price friendly to everyone. It is ALWAYS on sale, it is available at local retailers like Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart & JC Penny and other online merchants in a variety of price ranges.
This brand runs a little large! Another cool thing about this brand is that the silicone on the hem of skirt lasts forever! I’ve had one for YEARS and it is still alive and kicking! No riding up and still holds in place.
The jump suits are wonderful for ladies that have the extra skin. You can tuck with this baby! It is very forgiving. It goes up high in the back and you can wear your own bra with it. I wore one of these before I had plastic surgery to remove excess skin. It is great for ladies that just had a baby as well!
ASSETS – Awesome sister company of Spanx, created by Sara Blakely. This is the more affordable version of Spanx, that are being sold at lower end retailers like Target, Kohl’s and you can even find them on Amazon.com. They are just as strong, hold you in just as well and cost half the price! I have BOTH Spanx and Assets in my drawers and honestly, cannot tell the difference. I love their tights. These really hold you in and you really get the bang for your buck.
FAJAS COLOMBIANAS – Post Surgical Tummy Compression – This is probably the BEST shaper I have worn. You can ALSO have this shaper altered. It is VERY firm, has a hook & eye with zipper closure, bra support and open crotch. I have worn these compression girdles after surgical procedures and even FAR after the procedures because they really hold you in! I originally purchased mine in Colombia, but you can purchase the shapers on Amazon.com if you click on the link above. Well worth spending the money on this one! The ladies at the factory suggest you purchase the garment a size down, so you get the result you want. I thought that was NUTS!
CORSETS Are a whole other world of body shaping. I will LIGHTLY touch on this subject, because many people train their waist/shape their body with these for many different reasons. Some women & men for weight, others for appearance, others for control, sometimes to be sexy and the list can go on…
Corsets (not this particular style that I am depicting here) are what we originally used to shape our bodies. I find it a bit unconventional, as you need a partner to put this on, unless you are some sort of crazy master at the craft of putting on a traditional laced corset alone. Corsets are beautiful works of art and they do however, give a woman an unrealistic figure that we have all been conditioned to love and aspire to want, “The perfect hour-glass.”
BALI SHAPER Bali does not make this style anymore. Medium/light control, great support on the bust and the back is high. The tank goes down to the naval. The back has a breathable panel in the middle (I guess they knew women get sweaty with control garments!) and the straps do not dig in, which is very nice! NOT my favorite control garment, but it works for light control under a slightly t-shirt you’re feeling a little self-conscious about. It’s kinda more of a cami with the power bra.
If you click on the link, I have posted a similar style with firm control. I ordered one, I will review it and let you know how it goes.
VICTORIA’S SECRET I love that they are trying… Just stop.
They are great at making pretty things. They make pretty bra’s and panties. They don’t make shapers that serve function, leave that to the companies that are out there to make changes in shaping women’s bodies. (Don’t worry, they are probably wearing your panties under the other company’s shape wear!) I own two shaping garments of theirs and the garments are a joke. The shorts serve as something to wear under my skirt on a hot day so my thighs don’t rub together. I know, it’s a product meant for a really thin gal that wants to “smooth” the lumps out, but I think that honestly it should be a product that works across the board.
FREDERICKS OF HOLLYWOOD – This shapewear is the type of shapewear that is really meant to enhance your body in the sense of giving you what you don’t have and adding “junk in your trunk and curve you don’t have” while slimming you in all the right places. Fredericks also makes a great bridal corset that has great shaping qualities for an affordable price. I highly recommend it.
SO MY DEARS – Always shop around and be open to trying something new. If it doesn’t work out for you, find out what the store policy is and take the shaper back! You do not have to get stuck with a garment that didn’t do it’s job. Also remember, you can’t expect miracles either.