I have an adorable, mysterious, and very tight dress I reserve for days when I am feeling beautiful and confident, and don't plan on sitting or walking around much. I've never felt the need to throw on shapewear underneath, but after 22 years without support, I wore Spanx for the first time. And boy, was it an adventure.
I was first introduced to Spanx a few years ago when my mother began wearing them. Even as a tiny-framed woman who, by society's standards, certainly didn't "need" shapewear, I saw the difference it made in her confidence when she wore A-line dresses. Like my mother, I don't necessarily feel the need to ever wear slimming undergarments but after experimenting over the weekend, I learned to appreciate Spanx for so many other reasons. I still don't think anyone needs to wear Spanx for the advertised "shaping" purposes, but it turns out there are many unrelated benefits to rocking a pair.
Over the weekend of my Spanx-periment, my boyfriend and I attended a wedding. I opted for a dress that was super tight from the neckline to the hips, where it then flowed out. The Spanx absolutely saved my life. No, not because of their slimming nature, but because they acted as protective shorts when the wind took over control of my dress.
Pay less attention to our adorableness and more attention to the amazing fit of my dress. As you can see, it's not a crazy tight ensemble, so I really relied on the Spanx more for keeping my underwear hidden in the face of an enthusiastic twirl on the dance floor. My specific Spanx were the Highliner Power Shorts, which ran from right below my underwire all the way down to mid-thigh.
Aside from the freedom of movement, the best part of wearing Spanx how easy they made it to use the bathroom. It was an outdoor wedding, so Port-A-Potties were the only option. With how tight the underwear was around my legs and waist, I had no idea how I was going to shimmy them down without completely knocking the potty-house over. And I had to go bad. When I finally could not hold it anymore, I enclosed myself in the small, awful-smelling hot box and discovered there was a hole on the bottom of my Spanx, purposefully put there for bathroom purposes! Founder Sara Blakely truly thought of everything.
Except, maybe, for a long night of dancing. My boyfriend grabbed me as soon as the first slow song came on. Then, because he thought it was funny, he tried to dip me and felt the rim of the Spanx, to which he seemed concerned. I had to explain the Spanx situation to him — which led me to ramble on about how I could, at this point in the evening, slowly feel them bruising and stabbing into my rib cage because he moved them as he was trying to prove his strength.
When a Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" played, the pain seemed to decrease, perhaps because of all the vigorous booty shaking I was doing. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but I busted out every move I could think of to loosen up the Spanx that were working their way into my stomach. And it worked! At least for a little.
It wasn't until the tenth hour that I started to feel a little uncomfortable in the tight undergarments again. Having been in the Spanx since 1:30 p.m., they began to feel quite snug as we made our way to the after party — but it was nothing I couldn't live with. But as soon as we returned home, I took the Spanx off and found a large ring around my upper stomach. It kind of looked like a bruise, but didn't hurt and faded away after about an hour.
Besides my boyfriend, my friends didn't seem to notice that I was wearing Spanx. No one mentioned that I looked thinner or felt tighter when we hugged. No one asked if I had been working out more or starting a new diet. Though it was just a one time thing, this leads me to believe that wearing Spanx is something you do for only yourself — which means you can also choose not to wear Spanx and no one will notice.
I have worn the Spanx just one other time since the wedding. It was for a bachelorette party, underneath the same dress. Once again, I was thankful for the freedom of movement these Spanx allowed, but haven't quite made up my mind about how worth it they are considering how snug they are by the end of the evening — though that sneaky bathroom hole is pretty magnificent.
Images: Hayli Goode (2); Courtesy Brands