20 Mar 2010

Shapewear - Which One To Use?

I have dozens of patterns, I am dying to start sewing but one thing's holding me back. My size.

I am a size 8-10 UK, short (5'3" ... barely) and slim. I have an incredibly high waist and approximately a 30" inside leg. So why am I complaining?

With a bust of 34", a waist measurement of 30" when relaxed and hips measuring 36" there's not much in the way of definition when it comes to my curves. I've taken to wearing very low cut jeans to balance out my high waist but that just adds to the lack of shape. When I started seriously considering vintage fashions it was because of the shapes. I want that shape! But without help (or surgery) that's just not going to happen.

But what help to get? I'm after foundation garments that'll give my curves a little push in the right direction. It was a shock to me to learn that women's shapes have been changing over the last 50-60 years or so, becoming more straight-up-and-down and less hourglass, and here I thought it was just me. With a size 10 bust and hips but a size 15 waist (!) modern day clothes are hard enough to fit, let alone the vintage built for a woman with curves I don't have. Imagine how amazed I was to learn that the women of the 50's still used foundation garments such as girdles and other shaping underwear to achieve that curvy look. Couture Allure says it much better and with more research than I ever could but basically, unless you already have a perfect hourglass figure, if you're going to wear vintage then give some thought to wearing the proper foundation garments too.

I don't want bullet bras, I'm not a fan of that particular fashion quirk and my own are pointy enough without any additional help thankyouverymuch. I'm not sure a girdle is what I'm after or if I should be looking at waist cinchers. I definitely don't want a corset, not only would the lacing be too visible under my clothing but I'm worried the boning would give too ridged an appearance to my abdomen and be a total giveaway. I want something natural looking ... well, as natural looking as possible when squeezed into what is essentially a cinching garment.

{ Source: What Katie Did }

My favourite I've found so far: It's from What Katie Did's Glamorous range and is not only functional but beautiful. WKD are definitely amongst the best in the field when it comes to reproduction vintage lingerie and whilst there are several of their collections that don't suit my tastes there are some rather lovely pieces available that will hopefully be discretely hidden by my clothes whilst still being feminine and pretty and hopefully making me feel the same. Shapewear doesn't have to be ugly so I don't understand why so much of it is. Better yet, WKD is a British company, and I'm all about supporting local industry (it could only be better if it was Welsh!)

I'm not 100% certain that this is the right garment for me, and with prices steeper than I can afford (as in anything that costs anything is out of my price range at the moment!), I want to make sure that what I get is going to work for me. I've emailed WKD in the hope that they can point me in the right direction. Let's hope they've got something that'll do it because until I know what size my waist will be in my foundation garments I can't start sewing!

Thanks for stopping by,


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