|All images courtesy of Spanx.com|
Shapewear, specifically the magic of Spanx, is a huge part of my daily wardrobe. There is rarely an outfit I don't wear a pair, and the style I choose is dependent upon the amount and, well, location, of support I need. Spanx are, simply, the best, most comfortable, most dependable shapewear out there. (And they haven't, nor do they need to, provide me with any kind of remuneration for such a statement.) I've been wearing them ever since they first came to the Lane Bryant store I worked in years ago, and I've practically become a Spanx missionary since then.
They fit very snug, so much so that the first wearing will likely take some work getting on, but it's always worth it and they won't move an inch until you take them off. And yet they're completely breathable and flexible! They claim to make you look a size smaller, but I prefer to keep it real and say they make you look better in the size you are.They do NOT make you feel like stuffed sausage. They smooth out all bumps and wobbles, highlighting only the best parts of all your curves. I completely swear by them.
In-Power™ Line Super Higher Power ($38) is probably the style I wear most often. It's perfect for all my pencil skirt needs, taking care of my hips, outer thighs, butt, belly, and waist. I will say that it may roll down if not placed over the rib cage properly, so I make sure to secure it under my bra - just be sure to put the Spanx on before your bra. Works like a charm. This updated, stronger version of the classic Spanx is made of a slicker material that prevents catching on skirts and such like tights do - and the original version did. They're kind of like amped up silky pantyhose in that respect.
The Higher Power® Brief ($36) is my second most-worn pair, best worn with pants and jeans. The longer thigh line of the regular Higher Power will show through any pants I wear, and that just won't do! So I turn to these to give me the control I need in the midsection wihout the telltale lines on the the thigh. However, the line of the brief will show through thinner fabrics, so I'll mainly wear them with denim and similarly thick materials. I need to secure this one under my bra to prevent the rollage as well.
When all else fails, or if I'm feeling particularly lazy, I turn to the Slimplicity® Open-Bust Camisole ($52, but I got mine - new, of course - on eBay for much cheaper). I find it doesn't offer as much shaping strength as the Higher Power styles, but it's a nice top-only option (the most convenient, if you know what I mean) and, as you can see, you can wear your own bra. I always like this feature because many shapewear tops go over the bra and, as a result, smoosh the girls into awkward oblivion. This one does sometimes roll up - the opposite direction of the Higher Power - but I work around that by tucking it into my underwear. A little tuck, and no roll! (And a very little joke. Sorry...) I'll wear this style with dress pants that are too thin for either of the Higher Power styles. When I really need more shaping with dress pants, I'll go all out with the In-Power™ Line Super High Footless Shaper ($28), which prevents any lines on the lower hip or thigh. But, to be honest, they're my least favorite because of how much they catch on the material of the pants and - I think as a result - they make my legs look thicker than they are.
I'll not deny it, I will always wear sheers in the colder months. Thanks to Duchess Catherine, they're less of a fashion crime than they used to be, but I don't see any reason why they should be in the first place. They can offer modest color in the dead of winter and, bottom line, can make your legs look and feel great. For such occasions, I wear the In-Power™ Line Super High Shaping Sheers ($28). I know, that's some pricey pantyhouse, but it's both amazing shapewear (no muffin-tops here!) AND sheers. If that's not a big DUH, I don't know what is.
You might note that I'm really only wearing the Higher Power styles, but there really is nothing better to combat the dreaded muffin top. The basic styles, such as the Power Panties, just don't do that. I don't want to make the rolling problem seem like a deal-breaker, either, because it's really rather minor (and I can't say the same for the Power Panties), and my work-arounds haven't failed me yet. I mostly attribute it to how snugly they fit, which in the end is why they work so well. In all aspects, these products are superior to anything I've ever worn. From bombshell formal wear to skinnies and a blazer, I won't wear anything else when I need some firming up.
Okay, Sara Blakely, I'm ready for my lifetime supply now...*
Helpful hint: Spanx never seem to go on sale and are almost always excluded from coupons and promos at major retailers. You can maybe find a coupon or two for the official website, but your best bet for a deal is Real Women Dollars from Lane Bryant, which is the one coupon that is good on everything, including these babies. For $50 I can get all three of the Higher Power styles in one go!
*But seriously, this write-up is purely out of my own love for and allegiance to these things - and to answer your burning questions! If Ms. Blakely is reading this, though, I shan't refuse.... ; )