I recently came across this article on Racked: Modern-Day Shapewear Sucks, but Vintage Shapewear Rules. After spending the day in shapewear, the writers there discover their colleague has had a fantastic experience with vintage shapewear : « these items were designed to take in the shape of the woman wearing it and accentuate her best feature. A longline bra will pick up a perky chest, a girdle will draw eyes to curvaceous hips, a corset will highlight a slim waist. They make you look good and feel good, and they come with the weight of history of those items. None of this is the same as the beige tons of stretch material that make up modern shapewear. »
This made me wonder, is vintage shapewear really that much better than our current modern options? We’ve all heard of Kim Kardashian layering on 2 sets of Spanx, but is wearing a corset better?
According to this interview from Mrs. Ivy Leaf of www.corsetiere.net, the answer is yes. She says: “Modern underwear is so flimsy, but going in the right direction. I have posted several times, photos of girdles from the past that literally stand up by themselves. I know of several women who achieve quite a svelte shape by wearing two or even three layers of elastic garments, but if the garments were properly built, you would only need one layer.” Although she also goes on to explain that she is quite heavy breasted, and that structured foundations are not for everybody.
We’ve spoken recently about the damages too tight shapewear can do to a woman’s body, both long term and short term. However these problems can be easily avoided by opting for some softer, more comfortable shapewear that lightly sculpts instead of compressing. While Racked writer Annemarie had it right, some modern shapewear can be rather unattractive, it does provide much more choice in the style, cuts, and levels of intensity. Not to mention progress in fabric development has allowed us to develop breathable fabrics that can be worn comfortably in any weather. Finally, some clothing comes with shapewear already built-in, allowing you to avoid having to layer on your clothes.
So overall, we’d say that the shapewear you chose depends on your needs. What do you think?