I thought it would be interesting to talk to a shapewear enthusiast. My own feeling about shapewear has always been that it's designed to force a woman's body into a shape that isn't natural for her, which is not an idea that appeals to me. But maybe I need to give it more of a chance. In this interview, fellow blogger Miss M of Lingerie for Every Day attempts to help me see the light at the end of the nylon compression tunnel.
Bras Outside the Box: I'm curious about why you're such a fan of shapewear. What does it do for you?
Miss M: Curious as to why I like shapewear? Girl, all you have to do is look at the before and after photos on my blog! You lose a dress size, you smooth out any lumps or bumps, and you look hot in all your outfits! And oftentimes, with the right shapewear, you look extra-hot wearing it all on its own (you know, in the bedroom, with your husband, partner, wife, love-interest). I go for items that smooth everything out, but still look good all on their own.
BOTB: Do you look for the same things in a bra that you are seeking in shapewear?
MM: I am so lucky that at age 39, I still have a great shape when it comes to my breasts. The issue I have, and have always had, is the back rolls that generally come with having naturally large breasts. So, in shapewear, I do love something that smooths out my back, but I also love that many of the items will also target the tummy, or the bum, or the thighs. This is key if you're wearing a body-con dress (which I often like to do!).
BOTB: Is a supportive bra more important to you now than it was in your teens and twenties, or were you always primarily looking for good support?
MM: Since I'm a 38DD, I've always needed supportive bras. I don't ever want to be saggy (I'm sure as I age it'll eventually happen), but having a strong foundation is key to staving off the sag. I think all of the sports bras I buy are in the $100 range, because I really like to be active and run, but it can be painful without the right support in place. My favorite sports bra brand is Panache.
BOTB: Do you ever find shapewear uncomfortable? Like, do you ever just want to rip it off and be free?
MM: So, the thing about shapewear is there are so many kinds. On my blog, I point out the kinds that are functional - items you can wear all day, look great, and feel great, without sacrificing your circulatory function.
Shapewear isn't all grandma panties and shorts up to your ears. It can be sexy, and for curvy gals like me, it can help you feel more confident in wearing something a little bit tighter than you'd normally wear.
Personally, I stay away from things I want to rip off. I like being comfortable. I went to a wedding a few months ago, and every single woman in the bathroom was complaining about their Spanx. Spanx shorts can be hardcore, depending on the shaping power.
If you get the high-power shapers, you probably will only want to wear them to an event that's two to four hours long. And then rip them off. And then probably never wear them again until the emotional trauma wears off. The point of my blog is to show people the good, the bad, and the ugly of shapewear -- but mostly the good and the sexy side of it.
BOTB: Do you have any advice for other women with a figure similar to yours?
MM: For women with figures similar to mine, I'd say to wear shaping slips under your dresses. I own about eleven of them. It just gives you a smooth silhouette. I'd advise a naturally large-busted person to be prepared to spend a lot of money on good bras - and to get fitted by a professional! And, finally, I'd say always get at least two pairs of panties that match your expensive bra. A thong and a full-coverage panty, or maybe just two thongs.