Support Your Shape
By Nina Ashe, SexyPlus Clothing Blogger Ladies... what's with the jiggle? What’s more, what about those horrid panty lines or worse - egad! - the bright colourful granny panties shining through thin material? I'm not just pointing at the sexy plus sized ladies, but the slimmies too. Now, don't you dare give me any excuses: “I feel constricted.” “It makes me sweaty.” “I don't really need it.” Uh-huh. Can you ladies just picture my I’m-not-buying-it look? Shapewear is no longer a dirty word. This is neither our grannies’ girdle nor our Victorian ancestors' corsets. This is modern, breathable, flexible, hold-you-up, tuck-you-in goodness! I will always remember the salesgirl who sold me on my very first pair (Spanx at the time). The Numero Uno selling point to me was not that it would flatten my stomach, take me in a size or even holster my jiggle... it was its promise that it would almost eradicate a serious problem that most women, big and small, suffer from: summer thighs. You all know about sweaty summer days and thighs that rub together... the rashes, the acne, the discoloration... oy vei! We've all tried baby powder (dries up eventually), baby oil or vaseline (works great but eww to the slippery feel), and every acne over-the-counter medication that simply does not stop the problem. Shapewear has made that a thing of the past. Now, I have soft pink inner thighs and I brazenly say to summer heat: Bring it on! But I mostly sing the praise of its jiggle-stopping powers. How many women complain how a certain dress would almost fit like a glove if it weren’t for the visible panty line… or how a particularly fetching top only seems to accent their belly roll… or that they simply “look fat” in everything! Fat or not (or “traditionally built” as my favorite heroine would said) there is no reason you cannot look and especially FEEL like a goddess in everything you wear… even last year’s sparkly pantsuit… smoothed out, tucked in and flawlessly supported! Mamitas, let’s be frank, even if you were to start doing 500 crunches every morning, you will not get this feeling. On the other hand, the right shapewear will do this for you. Even my lovely friend Hélène, Miss Natural Size 2, swears by her own shapewear when going out on the town in her favourite slinky dress. All the beautiful plus size women who have tried one on after some careful prodding have all agreed that their original misgivings were baseless. I've yet to encounter anyone who has survived the first gruelling and arduous attempt to put one on who did not leave with it... and possibly a second pair in black! But… I can already hear a few of you humming… “…it’s all good for every day or under that napkin-colored bridesmaid dress I have to wear… but what if I’m on a date… a sexy date no less?” Well my dear naughty ones, whatever happened to excusing yourself to go the ladies room to powder your nose? Women throughout the ages have used that excuse for a myriad of reasons: to push the girls back up in their holsters, to make sure nothing is stuck in their teeth, to reapply some lipstick and a strategic dab of perfume, to rearrange their hair and give themselves a pep talk or even because they actually had to go! Personally, I am a big fan of the old “change into something more comfortable”. After ensuring that nothing is indeed stuck in my teeth, I simply remove my shapewear and either slip on a naughty little piece of floss (aka a thong) or nothing at all. It doesn't make you less of a modern feminist to harness your shape nor does it relegate you being a fake let’s-try-Botox-next kinda gal. This is not a total transformational sham... this is just figure flattery. We all pluck, shave, wax, blow-dry, make-up, cream and whatnot? So why not start with the basic? And last but not least... not only will you look better in whatever you chose to wear but you really will FEEL better. We all remember what feeling better leads to, yes? You feel good about yourself, you start standing up straighter (remember posture), you might smile a bit more, be a tad less self-conscious… and the world around you will feel that way about you too! Ooh and let me tell you... they don't just come in the short format anymore! They make the panty one too with elongated torso (perfect to really cover all our bellies and not roll down unseemingly), that can be tucked in under our bra wire as I do. I've also been lobbying the company who makes my favorite pair (the BodyWrap) to also make a thong one as they do in the regular sizes. In the meantime, I've been cutting mine out in the shape I want... nothing sexier than being fully supported and knowing your sweet buttcheeks are poking out (they're allowed to jiggle). Oh… and ladies… no man will be the wiser! No man ever is! Quick Basic Intructions - Put them on like you would stockings and not like they are a pair of shorts. - Rub a dab of cream into your skin prior to putting them on; it will keep your skin softened all day long. - Wash them like you would your favourite bra: either by hand or in the delicate cycle. - Do not machine dry.
My dear Claire… forgive my delay…
So the perfect shapewear… depends on your shape.
I am a big big fan of the BodyWrap by Christina. It comes in various cuts – high-waisted panty, long leggings, bodysuits, and my favorite the high-waisted shorts.
They stop just above the knee (and can sit higher if you wish to while wearing a shorter skirt) and go up under your bra where tucking it under its wire will hold it in place all day. I kid you not.
There is the “magical” slit at the bottom for a quick pee… and perfect “butt pockets” that will mold, lift and separate your cheeks into that lovely ass you never thought you had!
The material is also very breathable and comfy. Unless you have a serious sweat-gland disorder, you will not overheat or dry up for wearing a full day.
I find mine at Addition-Elle. I usually buy two sizes: the recommended size for those days I have my period or just feel bloated… and the size down for every other day when I’m not.
I also buy both colors with my skin tone: the nude is a close-enough match that should my blouse or sweater ride over the belt of my skirt, it really just looks like flawless (read stretchmark-less) belly skin. Hey, it fooled that hoyty-toyty saleslady at that fancy no-bras-under-$100 store! And I often wear the black ones as they just look like bicycle shorts should the wind blow up my black dress… or best of all, paired with a strapless black, looks like a bustier. Shimmy into a sleek black skirt and a gauzy see-through off-the-shoulder top, slap on some pearls… and vavavoom!
The Maximum Woman store, aka the home of SexyPlus Clothing, also carries the BodyWrap brand.
And of course, depending on how luscious your curves are, you can find a plethora of options and models at any Winners now. One of my friends gets hers there all the time.
Try a few on if you get the chance… then stick with what works.
I will respond on Nina’s behalf: these are sold inside our store at 2120 Eglinton. Are you in the Toronto area? We have a few different styles in stock.
Can you tell us where to buy or order. I’ve always found that what I need to most are long shorts with a regular waist and I haven’t found 1 that I’m happy with. I need shorts that go to just above my knees. Do you happen to know of anything like that?
Thank you for your blog and have a great day.