With the silhouette of skin tone undergarments increasingly spotted peeking through the slits of form-fitting ensembles on celebrities including Kim Kardashian and sister Khloe, shapewear is no longer considered passé. Just a few months ago, the Kardashian clan launched their own Kardashian Essentials shapewear line, proving that deep down they’re just like the rest of us and that anyone can fake a flawless figure. Here, we spend three days in Spanx shapewear to see if they really do live up to the hype.
It’s a mid-thigh bodysuit that extends to just under the bust area and the material is second-skin thin.
Getting into the garment is the first challenge. The trick is to roll this as you would tights and step into each leg. A rubber lining helps it sit in place. At this point, you must leave gracefulness at the door and do whatever you need to get into this bad boy. We found jumping helps, as does the jig Paula Abdul coined as two-steps forward, two-steps back. Now, with a creepy lower body that resembles a mannequin, we slip on a figure-hugging pencil skirt and immediately notice that everything seems just a little more nipped and tucked. We’re on the petite side, so we’re not expecting anything drastic, but our tummy area is more streamlined and even our derrière and thighs appear super smooth and bump-free. We thought getting into the garment was going to be the trickiest part, but toilet breaks are even worse. We find we spend at least double the time for each lavatory stop, wearing a skirt and a top will make you wish you had the bladder control of a camel. You’ll need to fully remove the skirt to get the garment back up to the bust where it should be. Towards the end of the day we feel like our internal organs, now mingling in closer quarters than ever before, are wanting out.
The skinny effect
This style is best reserved for brief events or occasions where you’re standing up most of the day. It’s quite uncomfortable sitting in for long periods of time. The high reach of the garment means it’s almost impossible to make toilet stops without completely undressing.
The black capris are high-waisted and made of incredibly lightweight material, while the tank features an in-built support and is both stretchy and form-fitting.
We have much more joy getting into the capris, they’re particularly comfy and contour our thighs to perfection. Those undertaking high-impact sports or who prefer extra support can wear a sports bra underneath the tank – we’re a firm believer in doubling up. We cruise through our dance class with no issues at all.
The skinny effect
We’re much more impressed with the active wear and could see it becoming a regular on our dancewear roster. Our only criticism is that because the high-waisted capris expertly tucks in your tummy and the tank is less slimming, you’ll likely notice the odd muffin top when you’re doing exercises that require you to sit down or straddle. The shapewear compacts our body and curves, but as we’re on the petite side, we can’t help but feel we lose some of our roundness.
Dhs355 (top), Dhs415 (capris)
An evening out
This thigh-to-shoulder ‘shape suit’ looks a little like retro 20s swimwear, and wait for it: it’s crotchless. We go a size up in this style, as it’s quite tricky to get on.
Going a size up proves smart, the shapewear feels less restrictive under a form-fitting nude dress and we’re able to function quite normally. You’ll need to buy an adjustable bra strap to bring in the straps of the shapewear to a racerback, as being a full-body suit, it’s harder to conceal.
The skinny effect
Ideal for two hours of party time or events, it hides bumps and dents. Just be sure it’s properly concealed to avoid flashing your undergarments a la Khloe Kardashian.
Dhs515. Spanx, available at K-Lynn, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (050 650 5354).
Three shapewear providers in Dubai
The local online e-boutique stocks slimming undergarments from H. Nathalie and Fashion Forms.
Blush and Bloom
Head here for belly bands and form-fitting slips from labels including Wink and Yummie Tummie.
Slim down in shapewear brands including Bamboo.