'How Does My Butt Look in This?'
Get a better body in an instant with the new shapewear
You can diet. You can exercise. You can even try to pray away the pounds.
But when it comes to smoothing and shaping your curves, nothing does it faster
than the newest generation of shapewear.
From control-top "power panties" to minimizer bras to shaping
swimsuits, these "diet-in-a-box" garments are a far cry from your
mother's girdle. Whether you've got a lot of extra pounds to get under control
or just want a little less waddle in your wiggle, you can do it without feeling
like 10 pounds of sausage stuffed into a 5-pound bag.
"I'm a baby boomer and I grew up before pantyhose, so I know how
uncomfortable girdles used to be," says Colette Wong, assistant professor
of intimate apparel at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
"What's important about this new generation of shapewear is that they not
only fit, but they control without sacrificing comfort."
What makes them special is both the fabric and the construction, says Wong,
who is also assistant chairwoman of the fashion design department at FIT. Their
designers use plenty of ultra-stretchy Lycra and engineer the garments to put
control just where you need it. "Most garments carry hang tags that clearly
spell out where the control is concentrated -- like upper or lower tummy, rear
end, thighs, or waist -- and paying attention to those tags can help you select
garments that net you the exact result you're seeking," says Wong.
Just as important is getting the right fit for your body type.
"If the garment is made correctly and it fits correctly, you won't get
those "ripples" of flesh overflow that can occur in the upper stomach,
or the thighs, or even the midriff," says swimwear and lingerie designer
Carol Wior. She should know. Her legendary Slimsuits practically revolutionized
swimwear for women by incorporating shapewear techniques and fabrics into
"Part of the new shapewear revolution has to do with how the fabric
feels next to your body," says Wior. "If it's comfortable to wear,
you're less bothered by the control, even if it's significant control."
Wior uses a 22% Lycra fabric, which, she says, is powerful enough to lift
the butt and suck in the tummy, but does so without leaving an imprint around
your waist or thighs.