I worked a short stint in a Victoria’s Secret store at a mall when I was younger. I’m fairly certain I made absolutely zero income from that job as I was constantly buying the merchandise, in bulk. Just out of high school, it was just about the only lingerie brand I knew. I had matching bra and panty sets in about every color and pattern you could imagine. I know I’m going to drop a bomb here, but I was not the girl always wearing a sports bra and t-shirt to school. I liked planning out my undergarments along with the rest of my ensemble. I also couldn’t stand plain old boring nude anything unless the outfit required it.
I learned the no panty line rule early on as a dancer, we were not allowed to wear anything under our leotard except for tights.
I used to think that all I needed for special undergarments was a strapless bra and thong underwear in a nude shade, done. I have never been a very busty girl so that combo usually worked out perfectly.
Now I am not going to say that getting older changed my body composition, let’s just say no longer participating in regular athletic events has led to an acute awareness of my weaker areas. When body shapers, i.e. Spanx, became all the rage my first thought was, I don’t need these and why would anyone wear these? My philosophy was that if I was wearing something tight enough to see my cellulite then I shouldn’t be wearing it in the first place. I still pretty much stand by that today, but there are exceptions when you don’t have a choice in what you are wearing, like being a bridesmaid. Or just falling in love with a dress that you didn’t realize was somewhat more revealing than you thought.
Since Spanx are most often used when getting dressed up, I thought why go through all that effort to look amazing and then get home to strip down to a sausage casing or granny panties (think Bridget Jones’ Diary).
My first go at Spanx was sort of for a different reason. I had a dress I wanted to wear to a wedding in the Fall and needed to wear some sort of pantyhose or tights with it. I found the perfect pair, a pair of nude fishnets. Unfortunately the fishnets under the dress made my butt look like a weird grid or cellulite, neither a good look. I wasn’t going to compromise on the fishnets so I figured I would try Spanx. I wore a thick pair of nude Spanx biker shorts over the fishnets to smooth out the appearance on my backside. It worked for the most part, but I actually felt thicker and it was super uncomfortable and using the restroom was like an athletic event. Also, pretty sure I had the indention of those fishnets embossed from my waist to my knees the next couple of days. Awesome.
After that I went through a long drought of body shapers, until recently.
I was attending my nephew’s baptism in Washington, DC last Spring and found a cute coral dress with ruffled details. It was sort of a shift and was lined so I thought I was in the clear. While packing I tried on the dress so I could pick out which shoes to bring. I also thought I should take a picture of the back of the dress since I most likely would be standing at the front of the church with my back facing the crowd since I am his Godmother. Ugh, things weren’t looking so smooth so I decided I needed to pack reinforcements, my nude thong just wasn’t going to do the trick. I tossed in some ‘seamless’ nude boy shorts and a nude Spanx skirt (resembling a tube top for a child). I can’t even remember when I bought this, but it was there deep in my underwear drawer so I tossed it in the suitcase and thought well, one of these will work. My brother and sister-in-law’s house has multiple spare bedrooms, but with both families in attendance, and me being the only single adult, I was the lucky winner of sleeping on the couch. Awesome. Therefore I had to share the bathroom that was in my parent’s bedroom. Just after I got out of the shower and dried my hair, my Dad knocked on the door as he still needed to shower and get ready. So I was rushing around and still hadn’t figured out which undergarment to wear. I started with the boy shorts…nope..not so seamless after all. So then I tried on the Spanx over the boy shorts. It worked but then I thought I don’t also need to be wearing boy shorts under the Spanx, so I took them off and left the Spanx skirt on. I intended on putting the thong underwear back on but didn’t in the rush to get out of the room.
Now as this story goes on I’m not going to completely blame the Spanx as there is another player in the game, new Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps.
It was an overcast and rainy morning in DC and just as we arrived to the church the sun started to peek out, the perfect combination for a nice humid day. Somehow we made it to the church an hour early (this never happens in my family, we are notoriously late). We stand around at the back of the church and then realize we are there in time for the short mass service that was taking place before the baptism. So of course we attend. After standing in my new Loubs for awhile I realize they are actually quite tight, especially on my right foot. (I never realized how much larger my right foot was than my left until this day.) I had a cute cape trench coat on over my dress and as we began kneeling and standing for mass I was getting a little warm. Now at this point my right foot is becoming quite uncomfortable and I am getting nervous about walking up the aisle to get communion. Again I feel a little warm and I’m getting a little sweaty, not all over though, my makeup wasn’t dripping down my face or anything.
As we stood to walk up to communion I felt something running down my leg and then a drip on the floor. My first thought was, OMG did I just pee myself?! And then I quickly realized it was sweat trickling down from under my Spanx skirt. I thought great and I’m not wearing any underwear to help slow this down, God is definitely punishing me for not wearing any underwear to church, you know the quote. So I rub my legs together to try and soak up the drips running down my legs before walking to communion. All the while my right foot is throbbing so I can’t really put any weight on it and I can’t take my coat off because I’m afraid there is a huge sweat stain on my butt from all of this!! So as we are coming back to return to our seats, I lean over and tell my Mom I’m going to go to the restroom and she asked if I was ok, I said yes but I’m sure my face said otherwise. I make it all the way to the back of the church and down the stairs (all marble of course, so I wasn’t going unnoticed in my stilettos). I first checked the back of my dress for sweat stains, all good! Victory number one! I then take toilet paper and try and dry up as much as I can. I freshen up a bit and hope that I’ve waited long enough for mass to be over. Shoes still tight as f#$% but I refuse to take them off even though I brought flat sandals with me in my purse. I thought, I’ve made it this far, I can do this. Plus my brother, sister-in-law and William’s Godfather are all very tall and I of course could not be the short one in all of the pictures! So I was committed to the painful pumps, at least for now.
Once I made it back upstairs, mass was over and everyone for the baptism was waiting at the back of the church. Shortly after the priest made his way back and started the baptism, unfortunately everyone had to stand. He was talking for about 15 minutes or so and did some crosses on the forehead and I thought, yes, this is short and sweet. Nope, not but two seconds later he invites everyone to walk to the front of the church and then begins the actual baptism. I guess that was just a warm up. Crap. The parents and Godparents have to sit in the front, and what seems like another mass begins. We start sitting, kneeling, standing again; and then the sweat slowly starts streaming down my legs again. WTF?! I also feel as if I’m losing toes on my right foot. I then make a judgement call and decide I need to alleviate one of the issues. I thought this priest is long winded and I would have time to switch to my sandals. Just as I took my Loubs off and we sat down, we were called to approach the alter. Shit. Now you are thinking what’s the big deal, you have flats…well of course I couldn’t bring simple slip on sandals I brought gold gladiator sandals, each with two buckles, and if they are not buckled they make a jingling noise and you have to shuffle your feet just to keep them on. Way to go, Jenn. So I’m fully bent over in the front pew buckling my sandals and now the embarrassment of sitting there is causing me to sweat even more and I no longer have a coat to cover any possible sweat stains! Thank goodness the priest did not wait on me to walk to the alter and just proceeded with the ceremony. Also, I think my Mom thought I was puking or something when I was bent over while sitting to buckle my sandals, and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one. Awesome. Now I am standing in front of everyone, 5 inches shorter, and hunched down with bad posture to try and keep my dress from laying flat to avoid showing any possible sweat stains and rubbing my legs together to try and absorb the sweat. Disaster.
The moment we arrived back at house for lunch I immediately ran upstairs ripped off the spanx and put on a comfortable cotton maxi dress, with underwear!! I haven’t touched a Spanx since! There were multiple lessons learned here:
- Spanx are actually sauna suits, so instead of smoothing imperfections, you just sweat yourself smaller.
- Always wear underwear to church.
- Always buy Louboutins to fit your larger foot.
Below is a picture of the players in the game, the dress, the Loubs, and the Spanx.
Spanx has redeemed itself for me, as I actually love their tights, they don’t snag very easily and provide good support for circulation, especially if you are on your feet all day! I have also pictured my absolute favorite thong underwear by Hanky Panky. I’m currently on the search for a slip that is not form fitting but that provides more of a lining to a somewhat sheer dress, like the two pictured. I’ll let you know how it goes! You can shop my favorites below at the end of the post!