Long gone are the days of Bridget Jones’ big support knickers and shapewear so tight you thought you might pass out. Thankfully today’s control underwear is a sassy celebration of technological advances blended with varying degrees of compression, support and control, designed to support your posture and give you a streamlined silhouette. To save you from making expensive shapewear shopping mistakes, we’ve road-tested the leading brands.
Mummy tummy solutions
Photo credit: Flexees boyshort
Great posture begins with tight abdominal muscles but, as most new mothers know, the process of pregnancy and childbirth can lead to a slackening in this area. Most brands offer garments with different degrees of support so that you can choose from light, medium or firm control.
Try on a pair of boy shorts (from £12). The tummy-flattening hidden panel helps to smooth whilst eliminating VPL.
Another great alternative is a high waist brief (£26). This one from Maidenform reaches up to just under the breastbone and has silicone strips to keep it in place, saving it from rolling down. Not only does it cinch in the waist and support the stomach area, it makes for a great supporting undergarment to wear during strenuous gym activities, allowing you to look great whilst getting back in shape.
While most brands focus on promoting pants to firm and control the tummy area, a leading high-tech German manufacturer, Medi, have launched compression tights (£60) which smooth and revitalize the body all the way from the ankles to the waist. These magical tights blend a combination of Medi compression technology and principles of traditional Chinese medicine to promote a sense of well-being through carefully targeted medically tested compression zones. The result? A smooth silhouette and amazingly light feeling legs.
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Photo credit: Sassybax Bralette
There are a multitude of products on the market which promise to trim, tone and uplift the torso area. Sassybax were one of the first companies to tackle the problem of an unsightly bulging back caused by badly fitting underwear. The owner, Amanda Horan Kennedy, a former Calvin Klein model and actress, happened upon a unique solution to tackle this problem and so the Sassybax was invented. The Sassybax seamfree stretch material is a super smooth microfibre that hugs your body like a second skin and, with no hooks or eyes or annoying hardware to adjust, the result is a slimmer, trimmer and more toned silhouette. When questioned about the amazing success of the Bralette (£36), worn by Kim Kardashian, Demi Moore and Sharon Stone, Amanda says, “The underlying popularity of the Bralette is due to the amazing comfort. It’s been called the most comfortable bra in the world by magazines, customers and even some women who swear they can wear no other bra.” Once you’ve tried one, there’s no turning back.
Another interesting accessory is Lucky Back by Cass, an everyday clothing accessory which gently pulls the shoulders back whilst preventing you from succumbing to the dreaded computer slouch. The Lucky Back (£29), made from anti-bacterial copper fabric, helps you stand taller and look thinner whilst improving that all important posture.
LBD secret weapon
There’s no time like LBD time for shapewear to come into its own. Choosing the correct undergarment has the potential to transform your outfit from the everyday to red carpet fabulous but, here’s a tip, take your chosen outfit with you when you go to buy your undergarments.
Popular right now are W.Y.O.B. Romper Suits (£38).The option of wearing your own bra in conjunction with the romper suit allows you to benefit from the support of your best-fitting bra and the targeted hourglass shaping of the romper suit. If you prefer the slip version of the W.Y.O.B, then you might like to try this one (£38), which has a 2-ply comfort cuff under the bust area for extra support.
Supporting you through pregnancy
Shapewear designers have realised that mums-to-be who continue to exercise throughout their pregnancies have a need for undergarments that will support their bump through this time. This High Support Top (£50) has a unique panel at the back that helps lift the weight of your bump on to the back and shoulders whilst helping to hold the spine upright.