Shapewear And Surprises

I know some of you were expecting the results of my Shapewear Poll on Friday.  Well, an unexpected surprise derailed my plans to make that post, but I’m bringing it to you today with two posts in one:  Shapewear AND Surprises.

This is my very own pair of Spanx.  It’s a bicycle short shaper.  I treasure it.  It has a high waist that is comfortable over my tummy and ribs.  It has no elastic or silicone at the leg openings, so it gives a smooth line under skirts, dresses, and most pants.  It tones down my hips and rear and overall gives a little firmness to everything.

There’s a very nice little article that explains shapewear on Wikipedia (article here.)  As the article says, historically women have worn foundation garments of one type or another for hundreds of years.

The proof, they say, is in the pudding.  So in order to give you an idea of a “real person” getting transformed by shapewear, I took before and after pictures of myself from my biggest (no pun intended) figure problem: my backside.  These photos have only been edited to crop and resize; there’s no airbrushing here.

This first photo is of my dark blue knit dress.  I have a regular bra and briefs underneath it.  Thin knits like this love to hug and emphasize every body bulge and ripple.  Note the wrinkles at my waist, emphasizing my swayback.

Now I have on a shaping tank top and those Spanx briefs.  Notice the swayback wrinkles are gone.  The knit skims over the surface of my torso, thanks to the bump smoothing that the shapewear provides.  There’s a gentle compression and it allows for a little more definition to my waist.

For me personally, I see these things as wardrobe aids that I wear with a fair amount of frequency.  Yes, it depends on the outfit and the occasion.  I don’t wear them daily.  However, they are comfortable enough that I could, if I chose to.

I was interested to see what the results of my informal shapewear poll would be.   I think it’s actually a pretty fair representation of our culture’s view of foundation garments and the reputation that undergarments like them have gained.





I’d like to hear your thoughts about the poll, and share any feelings you have about your own foundation garments, if you have any.


NEXT: The surprise!

On Thursday I received a phone call from Phil, our son who is at Fort Gordon in Georgia.  He and his wife, Jewel, were making an impromptu trip home for the weekend, and wanted to let me know.  They also wanted me to keep it a secret from the rest of the family, even as I gave them bogus reasons to show up at my house on Saturday.

The two lumps underneath the pink blanket are Phil and Jewel.  They’d arrived about 5am Saturday morning, after driving straight through for 15 hours.

First thing Phil does when he wakes up is cook.  He’s an excellent amateur chef and has a great nose for combining spices.  Next thing you know, his younger brother, Mark, is hamming it up for the camera and gave him a … well, I wasn’t sure what it was.  Didn’t look like a man-hug to me.  Must be an Army secret handshake or something.  :^D

We went to dinner that night at Jewel’s house.  Her mom, April, made a feast of ribs and chicken.  She’s a great cook and it was delicious.  Everyone from our side of the family was invited, and at one point there were 17 people crammed into April and Mike’s’ living room.  From the left are Ryan, Margo’s husband; Hilary, Jewel’s best friend, Jewel herself, and her daddy, Mike.

  Our oldest son, Steve and his wife, Heather, had just driven home that day from Toronto, Canada.  Coincidentally another 15 hour drive.  They were exhausted but wanted to see Phil and Jewel.  From the left are John,  Steve’s best friend; Phil; and Phi’s best friend, Josiah.  (By the way, John… love the “Professional Russian” t-shirt.  I want one.)

About 9pm we all went over to Jillian’s to play games.  April and Mike played pool with Allen and I, while the kids all hung out in the arcade.  We had such a good time!  We don’t get to do many things with Jewel’s folks, even though we get along quite well, so this was a treat.  And talking to Phil, he and Jewel had a blast in the arcade, and won so many tickets that they were able to get her the zebra striped electric guitar.  Wow, what a night!

Phil and Jewel left early this morning to have breakfast at Margo and Ryan’s before driving back to Georgia.  We really enjoyed their surprise visit and are looking forward to seeing them again over the holidays.




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. notquiteold
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 17:39:24

    I was just about to write that I have never worn shapewear, when I just realized that I have a pair of what you might call a semi-girdle. And I wear my semi-girdle when I’m all dressed up. I guess I have repressed it.


    • Charlene
      Sep 04, 2011 @ 22:45:20

      Nancy, welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your comment. It’s very much appreciated! I know exactly what you mean by a semi-girdle and yes, they do help the dressing up, don’t they.

      I went to your blog. And I loved it! The way you write, the things that come out of your head. Even cat puke (I can sooooo relate to that!) I’m going to add a link to your blog in my sidebar so I (and other readers) can go and visit you and read what you’re up to. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Pam
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:31:48

    I got to give Phil a quick hug at the store! He was being a surprise I guess. grin.


    • Charlene
      Sep 04, 2011 @ 22:46:55

      Hi Pam,
      Yes, Phil told me that last night! Yes he was being a surprise, and he sure enjoyed getting the expressions of people when they saw him. It was a great visit, even though it was really only about 24 hours’ worth.


  3. Angela
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 14:09:29

    What an awesome surprise! And a great family weekend. Hugs!


  4. Trackback: Lucy’s Corsetry | Fimo Fanatic: Charlene's Blog

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