Help Your Clients Look and Feel Great
“It’s not about making you thinner, it’s about no lines!” Khloe Kardashian
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a shapewear revolution sweeping the country. Around for thousands of years, shapewear has suddenly become the new hot item of the day and has moved from the back of our collective lingerie drawer to its new place of honor, front and center. This is a revolution you don’t want to miss out on.
Why shapewear, why now?
By late 2015, baby boomers, people between the age of 44 and 62, were the largest portion of the workforce (41.5 percent). And what are boomers obsessed with? Looking and staying young and fit. Though fifty may be the new forty or even the new thirty, nature and gravity will still have their way. Regardless of how young in spirit you are, your body will eventually give you away. One delightfully simple strategy for recapturing a more youthful silhouette and renewed sense of vigor is to slip into one of today’s shapewear creations. Instantly the years melt away. Your butt is lifted, the girls are perkier and your tummy is flatter. What could be better! Baby boomers while not alone in their interest in shapewear are certainly driving this trend.
The renewed interest in shapewear may also reflect a healthy rejection of the recent trend toward slovenliness. For some time, we’ve all been subjected to a seemingly endless stream of muffin tops, back fat and belly rolls. Everywhere you look, at the mall, the grocery store or driving down the street, you are visually assaulted by unruly mounds of flesh spilling over and out. When did it become OK to, literally, let it all hang out!? Judging by the growing shapewear industry sales statistics, fewer and fewer women are comfortable being quite so relaxed!
It helps that today’s shapewear is, in every way, not your grandma’s girdle. In fact, most manufacturers don’t even use the term girdle today, preferring instead terms like panty shaper or body re-shaper (even the brand name Spanx has now become the generic noun for all things body shaping)!. Today it’s possible to look sleek, trim and curvy without giving up the comfort you’ve grow to expect.
And don’t think shapewear is only for the plus size woman or the over 40 crowd. Compression shapewear is very popular among young women who want a little extra smoothing out. Young and trim does not necessarily mean fit and as a friend who lives in New York said, ‘Thin is never thin enough.’ Shapewear can be any woman’s secret for looking great in their clothes. With more women than ever wearing shapewear and more choices than ever to consider, it’s a great time to take another look at your options.
Are You Red Carpet Ready?
If you’ve ever looked in wonder and amazement at the Hollywood glitterati on Oscar or Emmy night, understand that beneath all the finery, there is very likely more than a perfectly toned body. Wardrobe stylists work closely with the stars and know what’s underneath.
“[Shapewear] is their armor on the red carpet,” says celebrity stylist Tara Swennen, whose celebrity clients include Kristen Stewart, Emily Ratajkowski, and Modern Family’s Julie Bowen. “It makes them feel locked and loaded. It makes them feel solid. They’re jiggle-proof and wardrobe-malfunction-proof. It gives them an air of confidence.”
We are all influenced by the hip and glossy style that originates in Hollywood and is popularized in the media. The truth is, we all have red carpet moments in our lives, times when we want to dazzle and to create an illusion of perfection. Take a tip from the stylist and let shapewear work its magic.
Shapewear Isn’t New
Over the centuries, men, women and even children as young as seven or eight years old have regularly worn garments for the sole purpose of coaxing their body into the socially desirable silhouette of the day. The history of shapewear reflects the history of fashion, the ever changing ideals of beauty and the social attitudes of the day.
Shapewear has always had a lot to do with women’s breasts, at some times glorifying and at others diminishing their importance. Some of the earliest known examples date back roughly 4000 years to the ancient Minoans who lived on what is today the Greek island of Crete. This was a time when a woman wore their corset on the outside rather than underneath her clothes. If you thought Madonna started the trend, think again. Not only did the Minoans beat her to it, they also out did her. Minoan corsets cinched in the waist, raised the breasts and left them fully exposed for all to see. What today would be considered pornographic seemed natural in a culture that worshiped female divinities.
Now you see them, now you don’t. During the Middle Ages the spread of Christianity and the idea of original sin, redefined attitudes about the human body. The body became something to be distrusted rather than glorified and this attitude was reflected in the shapewear of the day. By the 1300’s, French high society was wearing a form of corset designed to straighten and tame the figure. Still worn over a woman’s outwear, the goal now was to minimize a woman’s curves, especially her breasts. The word corset itself derives from the French word cors, a diminutive meaning body.
By the 1500s, corsets were widespread throughout Europe. Since then, styles have evolved and changed to reflect the fashion of the day but one thing remained constant. With few exceptions; a brief period following the French revolution, the heyday of the flat-chested 1920’s and the feminist bra burning 1960’s; shapewear has continued in vogue.
A Shapewear Revolution
So if shapewear has been around for thousands of years, what sets the shapewear of today apart from those earlier versions? Well, quite a lot actually.
Shapewear was originally fashioned using generally unsympathetic materials. When women first stepped into something like a corset, probably during the Bronze Age, the garments were been made of Bronze Age materials. Wood, bronze, and stiff animal hide were likely the materials of choice and you can bet, comfort was not top of mind. Later corsets relied on cane, whalebone, iron, stiff canvas and paste to provide the requisite rigidity. It’s not surprising that by the 1870’s, corsets were seen as having a disciplinary function as well as a fashion role. By holding the body in a constrained and upright position the corset was believed to encourage restrained and upright social behavior.
Luckily for us, everything began to change in 1939 when Polyamide (aka nylon), the first commercial synthetic fabric, hit the scene. Suddenly there was this new material that was both lightweight and strong. In 1959 another giant leap forward occurred with the introduction of Elastane (aka Spandex or Lycra). As the name suggests, it has extraordinary elasticity. It can stretch up to 500 percent, and has a recovery rate of 95 percent. Shapewear designers began to combine Polyamide and Elastane, modern shapewear was born and its slow and steady rise in popularity began.
Comfort is the mantra of our day. Of course you want to look good but are you willing to give up comfort in the process? Most women want to have it all and why shouldn’t they? But when forced to make a choice, comfort almost always wins out. Luckily, you no longer have to choose. Compression garments made of Elastane and Polyamide have largely replaced more traditional corsetry. They deliver figure flattering results and they do it with maximum comfort.
If, however, you’re after the ultimate va-va-va-voom experience, then a corset or corset inspired garment is still your best choice. Even today’s corsets deliver a brand new level of comfort due to the new materials and fabrications now available.
Health & Fitness Benefits
Increased awareness around issues of health and fitness is another factor driving the shapewear revolution. Manufacturers advertise that shapewear can improve your posture, help you lose pounds and inches, drop dress sizes, improve your general health and wellness and even boost your athletic performance. While some of these claims may be inflated, it’s also clear that shapewear can have positive health benefits.
Orthopedic specialists have collaborated on many new shapewear designs with the express goal of creating garments that provide increased back support. If you’ve ever put on a corset, a panty reshaper designed for lumbar support or even a well designed compression garment, you know that your back immediately feels more supported. Some shapewear garments, for example, the Body Magic and Men’s Abdomen Shirt by Ardyss International, are recognized by the insurance industry as reimbursable when prescribed by your doctor. If you suffer from back pain, experiment with various shapewear options. Back pain relief may be only a shapewear garment away.
Look Younger & Thinner Instantly!
As years pass, muscle tone is lost and posture suffers. Additionally, women must often deal with the effects of osteoporosis which weakens bones. The result is a stooped silhouette in which the distance between the bustline and waistline is reduced. This creates a very matronly stance. As soon as the girls start pointing at the floor, you are certain to be offered the senior discount when go to pay the check. I’m all for a discount but if you’re not ready to flash your AARP card just yet, shapewear can save the day!
As you add years and life experience, you’re also likely to add pounds. I know it’s not fair. A few of you will even manage to avoid those dreaded extra pounds but for most of us, the ticking of the clock, childbirth and menopause eventually result in an increase and a redistribution of weight. You’ll start to look in the mirror and wonder where you went and where this slightly chunky evil twin came from.
Not to worry. You won’t have to look hard to find body cinching shapewear that can actually take you down in inches and dress sizes. You can recapture your former waistline. ‘How much can I lose,’ you ask? The answer, ‘More than you imagined.’ Ardyss International is one manufacturer that advertizes an instant reduction of between two to three dress sizes. You will of course give up something in comfort if you want to achieve such dramatic results but seeing yourself so utterly transformed can make it all worthwhile, especially if there is a red carpet event in the near future.
It can be a challenge to look in the mirror when you’re 30, 40, 50, 60 or more years old and like what you see. As the decades pass things start going south. Your butt, your breasts, everything really, starts shifting as gravity has its way. What was up is, if not down, at least headed in that direction. So what’s a girl to do? If you’re not ready to become invisible, and I hope you’re not, you’re probably already looking for ways to inject new life and vigor into your style. Today’s new shapewear is an affordable, effective and noninvasive strategy for reclaiming your sassy former self.
Say Yes to the Shapewear!
For over 4000 years’ women have been saying yes to shapewear. It’s been how women have re-define their silhouette, boosted their confidence, expressed their personal style and fashion sense. But never before have there been so many options to choose from and never before has shapewear been so comfortable to wear.
Today there is a shapewear option for every ‘body’ and every figure challenge. There are corsets that will give you an hourglass figure to rival the most voluptuous Hollywood hottie and there are light weight compression garments that will ‘oh so gently’ smooth out offending bumps and bulges. Whether you want to achieve dramatic results or subtle changes, there’s a product that’s right for you.
So what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to stock your lingerie drawer with shapewear. Try on styles you’ve never worn before. Step out of your comfort zone and be adventurous. As a reward, you’ll be ready for your next red carpet moment. Just as importantly, you’ll be prepared to look and feel your personal best every day of the week.