‘Compression not suppression’: fashion’s growing addiction to shapewear


hapewear, with all its sucking, tucking witchcraft, has been a part of my wardrobe since I was 14. Family weddings, birthday parties, leavers’ prom – you name it. Whether I actually needed it is, of course, up for debate. And yet the confidence that came with that first pair from M&S, bought with guidance (though not insistence) from my mother, convinced me to keep wriggling into them long before anyone came up with the idea that shapewear didn’t need to be ugly or – worse – uncomfortable. Back then, it was both – but somehow it made me feel more comfortable with my blossoming frame.

Now, I wear it on a weekly basis. When I’m shopping for a dress, I’ll even pick something with the understanding that shapewear will help “finesse” things. And by that, I mean smoothing – not sucking, or making me smaller. Instead, the idea is to even out lumps and bumps to offer up a more “precise” silhouette.

It’s not just me. Charlotte’s Spanx appear in the new season of And Just Like That… And though much was written about Shiv Roy’s Succession “stealth wealth” wardrobe, I was more interested in the taupe body that she wore in the final season, like a badge of honour.

Skims, which is described by Kardashian as “solution wear” – and was recently valued at $4bn – shows no signs of slowing down. “Our goal was to challenge the outdated conventions of wearing shapewear to slim [the body],” says Jens Grede, the CEO and co-founder of Skims. “It was also with the intention of reinvigorating a tired industry.”

SOURCE: The Guardian

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