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.