Having kids isn’t exactly kind on the body. Luckily, there’s shapewear on the market that offers a quick fix for the poochy bellies and jiggly bits we’re often left with — and it’s a lot cheaper than getting a tummy tuck.
Fashion stylist and mother Rachel Matthews Burton, says that while you should only count on a body shaper to reduce your girth by half a dress size, a shaper that fits well pushes everything proportionately to where it’s supposed to be — creating confidence-boosting curves.
The shaper undergarments that work best are those with the highest Lycra content, Matthews Burton says, so you probably won’t want to wear them all day. “By definition, Lycra isn’t breathable, so you can get very hot and uncomfortable,” she warns.
Keeping that in mind, we tried and tested a stack of shapewear to find out which are comfy enough for a casual outing, which make you look great at work, and which will help you make a “wow” party appearance.
(1) Sassybax All in One Body Shaper (freshpair.com, $79 US) looks a bit like a wrestler’s outfit, but is comfy and gives sleek lines.
(2) Playtex All in One Girdle (find it in the boxed lingerie section at Sears, $72) has a built-in wire-free bra and is comfortable enough to wear all day long.
(3) Yummie Tummie Romie Slip (The Bay, $98) slims while looking lingerie-gorgeous.
(1) Sassybax’s Cigarette Pant (freshpair.com, $76 US) can be worn in place of leggings, shapes your legs all the way to your ankles and gives great butt lift.
(2) Spanx Power Pant (The Bay, $118) makes your tummy taut.
(3) Glamourmom’s Tummy Control Long Tank (at maternity stores or glamourmom.com, $54) flattens your post-baby belly while allowing you to nurse.
(1) Spanx’s Slimmer & Shine Mid-Thigh Bodysuit (The Bay, $82) gives superior shaping all around your midsection, butt and thighs (and comes with “butt-lets” — extra padding for your butt should you want to add curves there).
(2) Triumph’s Pure Sensation High Waist Panty (triumphwebstore.com, $55) gives a great flattening effect.
(3) Yummie Tummie Thong (at specialty stores and yummielife.com, $42) cinches and smoothes with no VPL.
If you’re tempted to slip on a pair of Spanx so you can squeeze into a pre-pregnancy dress, you don’t need to worry about harming the baby. Mark H. Yudin, an associate professor of obstetrics at the University of Toronto, says, “It would be reasonable to wear them in the first trimester, but after 12 weeks, when the uterus comes up out of the pelvis, I think they could be uncomfortable. Even so, the external compression of body-shaping undergarments likely isn’t strong enough to cause any serious problems, no matter where you are in your pregnancy.”
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