Shapewear is not new. Padded and push-up bras have been a course in miracles youtube a long time. The corset has changed its name to the step-ins of our Baby Boomer youth, then to the tummy-control pantihose and now its latest re-invention, shapewear.
As the threat of massive global obesity looms larger and Baby Boomer Women want to be more visible and active, so the shapewear industry is growing.
Today’s shapewear is definitely more comfortable than step-ins. The fabric is lighter. The options have expanded. They come in more colours. They’re cheaper than plastic surgery and all of us succumb to vanity at least once.
Advances in technology and fabrics like Elastane and Lycra mean that shapewear is lighter and it can be worn with or without undies. Designers are building in features to keep them securely in place – like removable straps on shapewear leggings to ensure they don’t fall down, added vinyl-like edges that stick to your midriff or thighs so they do not bunch up and styles like the Nancy Ganz under-bust bodysuit with bra straps to keep them up. Today’s beige or nude-tone colours are invisible under most clothes. Black is the other alternative and some brands offer a dark grape as well.
There are shapewear briefs, leggings, modern step-ins, camisoles, slips or petticoats and arm sleeves as well as shapewear built into swimsuits, jeans, tops, jackets and dresses. I particularly like ones that cover your midriff as this is an area that expands with age.
You can choose your price point because shapewear is available from name brands like Nancy Ganz and Spanx to cheaper discount chains and online retailers. They come in all sizes from very small to very large. Online store Chicos gives you a size and height chart to help you choose the best one for you.