What lies beneath: The underlying facts about women’s undergarments

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Women have been known to have some wacky beauty tricks up their sleeves, but the undergarments have caused the most controversy by surrendering to the fashion of the times and using all sorts of contraptions to alter the underlying physic. Thankfully, the modern woman has technology on her side. With the right fit, she can find the shape, style and support she wishes.

All sorts of opinions have been raised about corsets, lacing and girdles of past eras. Health was the biggest factor in all of the commotion. Torturous bones or metal restricting and confining in the most unbreathable fabrics bound tight against the body. Attaining ridiculous waist measurements of 14 or so inches by discipline of a foundation garment would certainly raise a brow. The effects of indigestion, restriction of blood flow, complications with pregnancy and poor development were considered. Today’s advanced technology provides much safer ways to problem solve and achieve a more desired silhouette. If it is form or function, with modern foundations, we have the luxury to smooth and support with lightweight fabrics such as microfiber, Lycra and cotton blends.

Foundations of today are far more comfortable and breathable than those of the past. These days, we are blessed with shapewear (basically, the corset killer) that is designed to shape up, not to show off. If you want to look slimmer and achieve the perfect look under any garment, go the way of shapewear. Find the right fit and style for your unmentionables. You can even layer multiple pieces of shapewear for the most drastic looks. Major shapewear brands such as Spanx and Yummie Tummie can be found in department stores such as Nordstrom or a local boutique for fittings or direct to you online if you’re shy. In 2000, Sara Blakely founded the billion-dollar shapewear company Spanx with $5,000 startup cost from her apartment in Atlanta. Spanx is now known worldwide for slimming apparel and swimsuits, to bras, active wear and men’s undershirts with retail shops across the United States.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, quoted in Vogue magazine, said: “Shapewear is the canvas, and the clothes are the art.”

The modern woman also has the advantage to show off with brands such as Victoria’s Secret, who allow you to be sexy with the desired level of support you need and are available for fittings in store or direct purchase online. Major Department stores such as Nordstrom and local lingerie boutiques offer great fitting and styling suggestions. They carry both shapewear and lingerie with a nice range in sizes.

For countless years, women have found materials to bind, tuck, boost and separate to alter their silhouette. Women will forever be accentuating some parts and flattening others that might never change. We can rest assured compared to the controversial foundations of yesterday we’ve got it made.

BY CHARLIE HARRINGTON