From corsets to step-ins to shapewear – a little bit of help can go a long way to looking good.
The newest word today is Shapeology®. The very savvy people at Marisota in the UK have got in first and trademarked the word. (More on them later.) Shapeology® refers to clothes and footwear designed to disguise your body challenges, tuck you in and lift you up. Retailers are slowly grasping this as the new trend because Baby Boomer women who have the money and the attitude want to keep looking good. Plus size women are exerting their financial muscles also as they want more stylish options available to them.
Here’s a quick tour of the art of Shapeology® around the world from Australia to the USA to the UK and back to Image Consultants.
As far as I have found, Diana Ferrari is the only Australian retailer with a dedicated line of shape-enhancing clothes. Their ‘SSShh’ Collection is described by them as ‘Shapes. Supports. Smooths. Highlights natural curves. Helps firm & flatter’. The collection at has 4 dresses, 7 jeans and 1 leggings. I have one of their dresses. It has built-in shapewear down the body. It is a bit hot in a tropical and sub-tropical climate. Stay in the air-conditioning = fine.
I had to search hard for this Grace Hill dress on the right from Ezibuy, which trades in Australia & New Zealand. It has powermesh lining, clever diagonals to slim your body and ¾ sleeves. Comes in black too. The 5 reviews are all good. No length is given. Not for petites as too hard to alter the length.
Birdsnest has a ‘shop by body shape’ section & covers big boobs, a tummy and cankles etc. Search this site carefully as most styles are for a younger age group. Other retailers, websites and Avon, Intimo & Undercover Wear have one or two shape-enhancing styles.
I cannot find anyone with a dedicated Shapeology® section.
Chicos so-slimming section concentrates on pants, jeans and shorts.
Nordstrom has bodycon clothes. These are tight-fitting mid-thigh length dresses suited to hourglass shapes. Also included in this category are bandage-style dresses like this one on the right from Nordstrom. The dress on the left is one of the few knee length dresses. It is a stretch jersey with spandex which is not as tight-fitting as powermesh. Note the scooped back neckline – always an interesting feature to consider.
Marisota has the largest section devoted to Shapeology® (their trademarked term). They are a plus-size website that caters for sizes 12 – 32 (some up to size 38) with fashion, lingerie, footwear and swimwear items ‘cleverly-cut for can wear confidence’. I won’t agree with that with all their styles. Their fashions cover problems with arms, boobs, bum and tummy. Click on the problem area you want to minimise and search. There are buyer reviews to help you. The site does not show the back view of items which is not good. Shapeology® footwear is interesting as in this loafer shoe which includes 2 pairs of specially designed insoles for different sized feet or when your feet swell during the day.
I have searched Selfridges and Marks and Spencer without success. Topshop has 57 bodycon dress, not many of which are knee-length.
What the retailers and websites are doing is what Image Consultants have been doing since the beginning ie showing you which styles look great or good on you. Our goal is to accentuate your positives rather than obsessing over your negatives. These above give you snippets of great dressing whereas an Image Consultant looks at your whole body, your personality and your lifestyle. You can do it personally with me or online (as . Soon to be released is ‘Pret-a-Styler’, a mobile version which is always on hand when you shop.
Shapeology®, I predict, will be a growing market. You will be at the forefront with my Ezine and personal advice.
PS: Shapewear is Tip No 10.