Marks & Spencer Invisible Panty Line Pants
Dhs50, at Wafi (04 324 4555)
Targeted area: Belly, waist and thighs
First impression: If I ignore the granny-inspired fleshy hue of this body stocking, I do look decidedly svelte. My bum is cupped, waist cinched and there’s not a panty line in sight. The only distressing moment occurred when a comrade took a flash photo and they shone through in all their glory. They’re not that flesh coloured.
Four hours later: I’m sweating like a post marathon runner, even in the AC, but I’m mostly comfortable, aside from the odd hoist every so often.
Yummie Tummie black tank
Dhs300, at www.saksfifththavenue.com
Targeted area: Love handles, belly and back fat
First impression: This feels just like any other tank top, I think as I slip on a long-sleeve T-shirt over it. Almost magically, I look like I have a real waistline with sexy, curvy hips instead of my normal boxy shape. I’m in love.
Four hours later: I’m in pain. Sure, it’s keeping me as svelte as Kate Moss post detox, but no amount of spandex can comfortably contain a muffin top while sitting down. My love handles are suffocating, and I’m dreaming of ripping it off in a Hulk-like frenzy.
Lipo-in-a-Box capri-length bodysuit
Dhs400, at www.lipoinabox.com
Targeted area: Thighs, butt, love handles and belly
First impression: It’s hideously ugly – I feel like a leotarded-wearing acrobat from Cirque du Soleil. I appear slightly smoother after putting it on, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the results rival surgical lipo. Four hours later: It’s surprisingly comfortable; the only thing I don’t enjoy is having to take off everything to relieve myself. There’s a hole in the crotch for this purpose, but I’m far too frightened to go there.
Dhs360, at www.shapeez.com
Targeted area: Belly and back fat
First impression: I’m a horror show. The flesh-coloured body-shaper clashes with my sun-shy skin and I look like a grilled salmon. Getting dressed makes for an even sorrier story: the squashing contraption turns me from Jayne Mansfield into James Manboobs.
Four hours later: My chest is still two-dimensional, and my bulge-camouflaging girdle has rolled itself into a bra. It’s simply not meant to be.
Hanes Smooth Illusions Go Figure Seamless Waist Smoother
Dhs95, at www.hanes.com
Targeted area: Thighs, butt and hips
First impression: If control-top panty hose mated with footless leggings, the offspring would be these slinky shorts. I feel tucked in, but not noticeably more svelte, with hardly a panty line in sight.
Four hours later: I’m paranoid that the nude-coloured shorts are constantly peeking out. They’re not uncomfortable, per se, but it’ll be a relief to shed them.
Spanx Reversible Tight-End Tights
Dhs115, at www.saksfifthavenue.com
Targeted area: Belly, butt, hips and thighs
First impression: My bargain-shopper self already loves these – they can be worn inside out, showing either black or brown. Plus, the ‘CoolMax’ fabric actually lets me breathe during a night at Chi.
Four hours later: They haven’t shed 10 pounds, but they definitely suck in my gut enough to ease my guilt about scoffing down falafel at 1am (until I get home and take them off).
Le Mystère Evening Seduction bustier
Shs600, at www.saksfifthavenue.com
Targeted area: Belly and waist
First impression: Aside from making me look like I’d stepped out of a witch’s dungeon, I don’t see much of a difference in my silhouette. It’s all a bit too try-hard to be honest, and gets the occasional comment from friends who have noticed I’m looking a little uncomfortable.
Four hours later: I’m sweating profusely, even in the arctic AC, but, aside from the odd dig from the corset’s wire structure, I’m mostly comfortable.