A love-hate relationship with one’s mirror is fairly common, especially when the city heats up and tiny tops, skinny jeans and summer dresses become the fashion norm. Looking at your reflection and trying to pull off an outfit as seamlessly as possible can be quite a challenge when all your eyes can do is zero in (especially in my case) on those un-lovely little bumps, which unforgiveable fabric will not conceal. I’ve often envied women who effortlessly prevent panty lines, muffin-top spillage and even the dreaded bra-fat from appearing as they bend, twist and turn in their ensemble of choice. Most times, I find myself pulling, tugging, and tucking while looking at the dreaded mirror during a workday—or worse, during an evening out—to make sure I look the way I would like to.
I finally got the nerve to ask one of my friends what she does to keep trim. She just laughed and drew my hand down to her side where I felt what seemed like hardened silk. “It’s like a girdle” she explained. “It just keeps everything…” and she made a sucking motion with her mouth and hands, leaving me to imagine she was wearing a fat hoover around her waist. But I got what she meant.
Girdles, binders and corsets are things I am familiar with, as I’ve even had one of these sewn into a gown during a time when I was out of shape and needed a little trimming. Although I looked great in it, I was so uncomfortable the whole night. Plus, when I got home, the “bone” used in the corset had left deep marks in my skin; some even developed into small wounds. I didn’t think the silhouette was worth the sting I felt for the next few weeks every time I showered and the water hit the slowly healing wounds. I then tried less rigid fabrics, which were okay if I stayed in an air-conditioned environment, but in no way would I have been able to carry off those extra layers when out on a sunny afternoon or at an outdoor wedding.
The roadtest was also going to be a heat-test as I donned the Definer on the day that signaled the beginning of summer: the hottest day for 2012. I pulled it on and did some gentle adjustments for fit, then threw on a shirt-dress and off I went. All throughout the day, I didn’t have to re-adjust the Definer, didn’t feel any added heat brought on by wearing it, and best of all, no ugly marks or wounds once I took it off in the evening. It’s important when choosing a body-shaper to determine the purity of the material: the purer the fabric, the more comfortable you’ll be throughout the day, especially with this country’s humidity. It’s also important to find one that fits well and doesn’t dig into the skin. A gentle bodyshaper such as the Definer may not give as dramatic results as something made of a more restrictive fabric, though, so it’s up to every women to determine how much discomfort they could take in order to look good; like they say, no pain, no gain. I enjoyed the way these particular shapers smoothed me out and allowed me to get into clothes that I had avoided wearing. I felt less as if I were being squeezed into them and more of merely slipping into them. Whether you’re going for a little or a lot of help underneath your clothes, invest in shapewear that supports you without making you sweat.
Bella Bodies Shapewear is available in Chocolate Clothing located at 2nd Level of TriNoma, The Runway at Robinson’s Manila, all Rustan’s Department Stores and Ayala Mall in Cebu.