Shapewear is meant to “Create A Shape”
By John Festa
Recently, I conducted an unscientific survey on women’s thoughts on shapewear; just a bunch of questions on the topic. I was happily surprised by the quantity and quality of the responses. It was spectacularly enlightening and actually very entertaining. Some of you broads are funny! (Can I say that?) My sincere gratitude to all respondents for their time, their forthcoming and for sharing intimate information.
Shapewear is a wonderful tool to facilitate a polished, confident look. As with any other tool, knowing how to use it is key. It is my deep desire that something in this post will be enlightening and add a bit of light to your life.
First the results. Fantastically interesting. And the survey says:
How often do you wear any kind of shapewear?
- 45% — With certain outfits
- 44% — Special occasion
- 7% — Every day
What is your expectation of a shapewear garment?
- 62% — For a smoother look
- 25% — To look smaller
- 13% — To create a shape
Did you receive any instruction on putting the garment on or what it can do and can not do?
- 75% — No
- 13% — Yes
The comment section of the survey saw some insightful observations:
- Shapewear often creates more bulges, just in different places
- Rarely fits petites
- Limited color options
- And my favorite: Ease of Use — getting in and out of the garment. (Two unrelated respondents told of taking a scissor in the ladies’ room and cutting the garment off! It’s like a scene out of Bridesmaids).
I chose this ambitious topic for my first blog post because I think there to be a small amount of charlatanism in the billion dollar shapewear industry. The next post will cover how best to use shapewear to get the desired result, getting in and out of it with ease, and more.
While there is no more noble purpose than a smooth, composed look, the best use of shapewear is to create a shape. Hence, SHAPEwear. It is the shape that is important, not the size of the shape. (only 13% chose this reason)
Know your strengths and highlight them
The first and most important aspect of dressing from the inside out is to assess where you are right now. You must know your strengths in order to highlight them. This is the most difficult aspect of all. Our tendency to be critical of ourselves often obliterates any objectivity. No innerwear is as strong as an inner glow. Be as compassionate with yourself as you are with your loved ones. Believe me, nothing you wear could be more beautiful.
To create a shape, bring the eye to the smallest part of you. If you don’t have one, create one! Remember, the size of the shape does not matter. It is the shape itself.
In most cases, the waist is the smallest. This creates the classic hourglass. Use both innerwear and outerwear to draw focus to this area. Most women are self-conscious about their hips and backsides, often trying to simply cover these parts. This only makes you look bigger and shapeless. Rather, bring the eye to the smaller part, your waist, thus defining a shape. From the outside, that could mean fitted jackets, belts & belted clothing, dresses with fitted bodices and flared skirts, wrap dresses, etc. From the inside, it could mean a corselette (all-in-one), high-waisted control brief, or a longline bra — all depending on the outfit it supports. Notice each garment helps create a waist.
Most of today’s modern shapewear uses a circular knit technology, most likely Santoni. This provides a seamless or near-seamless garment. The garment’s shaping ability relies on compression. The more compression, the tighter the garment, the harder to put on and take off. Try a garment with either a zipper or hook & eye closure. You’ll have a much easier time getting in and out and during bathroom breaks.
In days past, shapewear was worn daily as the foundation for dressing. Today’s woman is more relaxed and can choose shaping garments as a tool at her disposal. One can reduce their size with shaping garments, but know that such compression will come with a price. Namely, you may be in the restroom with a pair of scissors cutting yourself out so you may breathe again. Best to make sensible decisions for your outer layer as well as your inner. Use your innerwear to enhance shaping and, as your clothes do the same, you will bring more beauty to the world. Do not strive to be invisible. It is your birthright to be beautiful.