• Mon, Jul 25 2011

Do You Wear Shapewear? (Chances Are, Yes)

Illustration by Tyler Resty for WWD

WWD posted an interesting trend piece this morning on the (apparently massive) shapewear industry. Shapewear does business to the tune of $812.5 billion and it would seem a lot of that business is coming from younger women in smaller sizes:

The shapewear segment is especially popular in two age groups: women 40 and older who have purchased basic pieces in the past and are now buying a variety of specialty products, and teens and young women who are learning about the options and benefits of shapers that they wear as fashion items, such as camis with built-in support.

WWD spoke with celebristylist Phillip Bloch who (nonsensically) attributes the boom to starfucking:

“I think many people live their lives vicariously through celebrities and the public knows they wear shapers because the celebrities say they do all the time,” Bloch said. “People want that movie-star look. It’s affordable and there isn’t the stigma of cosmetic surgery and the paranoia. It’s like, ‘I put on my lipstick, my perfume and my shaper, and I can take it off whenever I want.’ “

I don’t find Bloch’s argument very compelling (when was the last time “celebrity culture” was a meaningful response to anything?) but I am curious as to the pervasiveness of the trend.

So, is shapewear something you own? If so, is it a special occasion thing or is it for the office/every day?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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  • Jamie Peck

    I tried one of those shaper things under a clingy AmAppy dress a while back. As soon as I got to the party, I took it off. I’d rather have my little tummy show than feel sweaty and suffocated and like I constantly have to pee. Free the chub!

  • Magda

    I used yo wear it anytime I was wearing a dress, but I hated how it would roll down and how I’d practically have to get naked if I wanted to pee. And the ones that have the shorts/thigh suffocaters you cant wear with short dresses or even a fitted dress that is a satiny material because it will ride up and your Spanx will show.

  • Kelly

    I bought it for the first time while trying to fit into an old high school dress as part of a costume (I figured buying a shaper was cheaper than a new dress in my actual size). And I was kind of blown away at how awesome it was. I tried on a bunch of brands and styles, up to a $90 Wacoal thing, but the absolute best I found was a Miraclesuit suck-your-gut-in thing for $20. I couldn’t believe how it flattened me out. I have since worn it on very special occasions, like weddings and fancy parties. It is super unattractive, but makes me look tons better in clothes. My boyfriend very nicely makes very few comments when I’m running around in it while getting ready to go out.

    I’m trying to get down to the point where I don’t have such a beer belly and don’t need to wear it….but until then, it will remain in my arsenal. In fact I just bought a second one in a lighter color for a wedding this past weekend.

    Also – I do not mean to be a jerk but if it’s rolling down or squeezing you too hard, maybe you are in the wrong size? I had to buy my shapers a size larger than most of my underwear.

  • Joe

    You mean million. Three orders of magnitude off. Trust me.