You get to a certain time in life where support pants actually start to look like a sensible option. I’ve had an on-off relationship with them for a few years now, anxious to ensure that when I move there isn’t a ripple effect with every step. On the one hand, I cannot deny that the right ones give you delicious curves, eliminate butt wobble (especially useful for a straight t-shirt style maxi dress) and nip your waist into an enviable hourglass. On the other, I loathe the intense heat they generate, I despise how they look in my underwear drawer – sad, deflated and distinctly middle-aged – and for such a sturdy article it seems wrong that they can only have one wear at a time before needing washing.
But, my biggest bug-bear about support pants is Phat-Phan. While they hold and hug every single potential wobble by bulking all your fat into one solid, immovable lump, the squashing inevitability of the material means that you become oddly densified in the Phan area. So, wearing a smooth and tightly fitting dress gives you an unseemly lump where there, er, just shouldn’t be one. The worst lingerie criminals for Phat-Phan are boy short style supports. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to gender reassignment. So, eliminating Phat-Phan is a fashion mission that I’ve put hours (and £££s) of research into and here are the results.
Marks & Spencers High Rise Lace Shorts Light Control, £12.
The worst, worst Phat-Phan I’ve ever had in my life; pants with the exceptional ability to turn a triangle into a square. Plus, unless you are exceptionally well groomed, lace and hair aren’t a good mix. On the plus, they don’t make you so hot you want to run outside and pull your knickers down to stop you fainting.
Spanx Slimcognito Seamless Mid-Thigh Shaper, £63.
These are the actual pants that did make me have to leave an event to pull them down before passing out from over-heating. Fact. Your lady-bits will quite literally boil and there is a high risk of Phat-Phan. And despite the fact that they only go up to waist height, this is where all your food will stop. Don’t even think that a sliver of canape will get past these industrial shapers; you’ll be lucky to get a sip of wine past your navel. That said, you will be ‘shaped’ within an inch of your life; your waist whittled and thighs slenderized to make otherwise impossibly tight dresses look nothing short of wonderful. Perfect for a slinky look in Alaska.
Uniqlo Body Shaper Half Shorts, £8.90.
A million times the out-right Phat-Phan busters. There is no Phat-Phan at all. And, remarkably, you won’t cook your ovaries in these mid to light controllers as despite their heft, the fabric allows you to breath. The gusset is made of slightly different material to the rest of the pant and your Phan is allowed to sit quietly instead of being bundled up with the rest of you. The price is amazing, too.
Instant Slimmer Hi-Waist Half Slip by Flexees, £27.
There are so many wrongs to this contraption that I just can’t imagine ever pulling them out of my underwear drawer again. A high-waist slip with integral ‘panties’ (and optional straps) they give you immediate Phat-Phan. Worse still, the integral panties have a hook and eye device to allow you to pee that is a battle to get to given that your lower half is swathed in bondage. The plus is that this garment isn’t the only one in the range, and the lightweight fabric is absolutely superior so you’ll stay cool. Just don’t drink anything diuretic such as tea or coffee while wearing them otherwise you’ll spend a criminal amount of time faffing with your Phan, hooks and eyes and a skirt that doesn’t want you to get there.
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LOL! I was reading this feeling quite afraid with a bush post drafted up in readiness.
I still haven’t tried on my M&S ones to check this out… I may do it at bedtime tonight and report. It will serve a dual purpose of (if I leave them on) keeping the Mr’s wandering hands away.
2 czars later and I can totally relate to your plight. I have ended up using a marks and spencer control vests that hold you in at the waist, stops the ‘overhang’ and the ‘folding over’ when you sit down and gives me a nice smoothness all the way down my stomach. They dont go with every outfit as they are vests but I wear mines most days and find them excellent.
Very useful and very funny! I totally needed a laugh today, thanks!
I was laughing so hard at this blog I had to read the whole thing out to my fella. He was so curious about what was making me wheeze like an asthmatic. Oh, I am one, that explains it all.
THANK YOU for commenting on the inevitable flange-frying that goes on with support underwear. The only way I’ve managed to stave off the feeling of having peed myself slightly then having to walk around like it is to take a large container of talc around with me and fling copious amounts towards where the sun doth not shine.
This leads to great wafts of white powder emanating from my downstairs places when I move about, almost like I’m a human fog machine.
Men have no idea what torture we go through!
Wow, a whole other world. You have definitely put me off. I came over from In the Powder Room and very glad I did!
I know this is an oldie but am lmao reading it! It brings back memories of my first night out after my son was born, when I had to retire to the ladies to remove said restriction! I too felt like I was going to faint!