Friday, 15 April 2011

The magic of knickers? A review

If blogging my fridge contents and the place I write aren't enough, I'm now going to talk about magic knickers. I have to be honest and say that I've never bothered with such things ever in my life. They are, to me, reminiscent of girdles worn by middle-aged women when I was small - restricting and uncomfortable.

When I heard about an opportunity to review some, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked if I could have a go. The range on offer was Trinny and Susannah's Original Magic Knickers Shapewear. Looking at the range, it struck me they looked very uncomfortable and I decided that I didn't really want the actual "knickers" because I didn't really fancy the practicalities of gussets etc so I asked for the All-in-One Body Smoother. However, what actually turned up was the All-in-One Body Shaper - that's right, with shorts! Hey ho.

The packaging claims that it will help you drop a dress size. It has various features that I won't list mostly, but it's designed to have no visible seams and has an "easy-to open gusset with double flaps that close automatically". The mind was already boggling.

I decided to do a comparative exercise with an outfit that could look a bit better. I have a lovely purple dress that I wear (Gok style) with an elasticated belt so that I have a waist. The dress is of a style and material that hides very little. I tend to wear it with a jacket etc to cover the nasty bits. I'm generally pear-shaped so anything from my waist to my knees could always do with some improvement.

Putting the shaper on was quite some fun. I reckon it took me about 3-5 minutes before I was totally happy with it! It felt like the band that should be accentuating your waist needs to be higher - but looking at the photos, it doesn't sit as high as that. I thought it was me as I'm quite long in the body. Once it's on, it doesn't feel restrictive at all and didn't cut into me anywhere. But still, it's shorts. I didn't like the gusset and I really wouldn't like to have to go to the toilet whilst wearing it. I would much prefer the body smoother for wearing under dresses for that reason. I realise the shaper would have its uses under jeans etc. I like the shoulder straps and the fact that it allowed you to wear your own bra. A built in bra would have just squashed my boobs and made me look ridiculous.

So here's my comparative photos. Please excuse the wet hair - I'd not long got out of the shower and was trying to get the photos done quickly whilst the children were out playing with friends which usually last 10 minutes!

So, I'm smoother with the body shaper on. The relative sizes are hard to gauge because I don't think I've stood the same distance from the camera and I used my phone on self-timer to take the shots. It certainly doesn't look like I've dropped a dress size - which is how it felt. I remained pretty much the size I was before (14), just smoother. It didn't remove all the bumps completely. There's only so much magic they can perform. 

Would I buy these? Unlikely. I think if it was really important to look perfect, it would be better to find a more flattering dress, or if you had THE dress that needed a few unwanted bumps addressing, it might be better to try and lose a small amount of weight in the weeks before an event. I can see it might be useful in an emergency - but how often do you get invited to emergency events? Ah well, only me then. It certainly would not be regulation underwear on a date if you thought your luck was in - it would be something like the big pants scene from Bridget Jones, they would be serious passion killers. In terms of price, they seem similar or cheaper to other brands so I guess they are fairly priced. I just know I wouldn't pay £41 for them. 

Maybe this would be a different review if I'd been sent the body smoother to try out. Thinking back, the shorts issue is the biggest one for me and the main reason I wouldn't buy this. However, I certainly wouldn't recommend this for dropping a dress size as I don't feel I did. If you do buy some, go for a style that works on your problem areas and consider practicalities with the outfit you want to wear. The natural colour looks best under white or light coloured clothes as it disappears whereas the black looks best under dark colours. 

The Trinny and Susannah Original Magic Knicker range cost between £26 and £41. 

(I was provided with a Trinny and Susannah All-in-One Body Shaper to review and have received no other compensation. The opinions stated are my own and not affected by any compensation. I have not been told what to write and I retain full editorial control.)
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