I became familiar with shapewear specialist Squeem years ago, and really on a bit of a lark. While engaged in some serious research (a.k.a shopping) at Atlanta’s Lingerie Mart, I tried on the Magic Panty, yanked the price tag off in the fitting room, kept them on and paid on the way out. For the first time in my life I had a real-head turning, loud and proud, yes-I-am-all-that backside. Being of a rather flat and low body fat disposition I just felt so … extra, having more fullness around the rear. My heels clicked louder that day, and do still today every time I wear them. They are my go-to knickers when the snug bandage skirt is the fashion order of the night.
I thought therefore of Squeem as a Lingerie brand that added something I lacked. Recently, the nice people at Squeem helped me think of them as a Lingerie brand that could subtract something I had too much of.
You see I have naturally added some shape in the intervening years, and all of it has wound up in the wrong place. At my waist. I think the fatty cells are using MapQuest and just getting the directions wrong. I am fighting back, being a little more conscious about diet and actively thinking about being more active. I am dedicated to tightening things back up naturally, but in the meantime I will quietly be thankful for a little help from my friends, including friends at Squeem.
Hailing from Brazil, and in the shapewear business for more than 40 years now, Squeem pioneered the Faja style of shape shifting foundation styling that is a common feature of the Latin American fashion-scape. Faja referred originally to a centuries old fashion look, a colorful, cinched belt worn about waists to add a little swash to buckles, and a little sash to the sashay. I think the boys from Duran Duran even wore them in completely cheezie 80’s videos. But I digress.
And so did Squeem! Garments that were in past years strict and argumentative about shoving one’s shape about with uncomfy rubber have been updated and made persuasive about shifting the body more gently and comfortably into svelte new silhouettes. Squeem shapers are all-cotton fabric bases that are topped with an elastic, rubberized component which breath, give and still provide shocking changes in dimension.
Now darlings, about my dimensions. I wear a 4 skirt. My Squeem cinchers knocked an amazing 4 inches from my waist. Some of it went up, some down, some just disappeared, but all of it wound up in a better place. It is fair to say that a correctly fitted Squeem cincher will reduce the muffin top by 10-15%. Your results may vary.
Just a little more math here now darlings. With help from Squeem, I am able to bring roughly $700 worth of dresses and skirts back into service. Dresses and skirts I still love, that look great and will still in five years. Garments that help me feel beautiful. We all have pieces that just don’t fall so well as they once did. A small investment that gets them out of the closet or saves them from the consignment shop is a great investment.
Choices abound. The Miracle Vest and the Perfect Waist cinchers are front-fastening, corset-style foundation pieces. The Miracle Vest does all the tummy-tightening, waist-pinching work that the Perfect Waist does, and adds a little oomph to the bust by encouraging your bra to bring the girls together, up and out for a little fresh air. The Fashion Cincher, pretty in pink and lavish in lace adds a little visual interest to the new shape.
There are a few claims that are made about this style of garment that I cannot make, largely because I am not a physician. A Faja style garment may contribute to weight loss or help relieve back pain. My weigh scale is broken (must be, really, I simply cannot trust the thing) and I do not have any back issues. I will therefore not offer an opinion on these matters. I can say that anything that helps us sit more upright and throw our shoulders back when walking is a good thing, and Squeem certainly bring those good outcomes about. It is lovely to feel more conscious about one’s movement, posture and stature. These things too help us feel beautiful, and feeling that way makes everything easier, yes?
I think as well that Squeem is a great step to take before making an investment in grown up corsetry. Unlike low cost, flimsy/sexy boudoir corsets, your Squeem will help you determine whether you will be happy with your venture into this special, seductive fashion category. Squeem is designed to be worn all day. Try it. If you are refreshed, naturally and lovingly surprised at your shape 8 or 10 hours into a Squeem day, you are a perfect candidate for serious corsetry. Moreover, your Squeem will remain a really useful training garment as you break in that new beauty from What Katie Did or Agent Provocateur.
Here are a few Petra tips on wearing Squeem. Powder liberally before dressing. Have your bra on first. Fasten from the bottom up. And if you plan on wearing a dress or top that is super-clingy, wear a smoothing slip over your Squeem to gloss over the faint outlines of supporting stays and fastening hardware. This last tip was what cinched Squeem (dreadful pun yes, forgive me please…) for me. I have an investment dress from Wolford, a genuine stunner guaranteed to attract looks of lust and thinly veiled envy on a perfect figure. On a less than perfect figure (hello!) this dress would be more likely to attract tut-tuts and “who-is-she-fooling” commentary.
Which is not the sort of commentary I want to start up at my springtime 30-something High School Reunion. Lust and envy is really all I ask. Why not look that way, even if only for the odd special night. Perhaps you have a special night in your future. A family get together, cocktails with old coworkers, a Las Vegas spree, maybe even a court proceeding with a soon to be regretful ex. Perfect environments to bring a both a little less and a little more of the beautiful you to.
Use the handy store finder on the Squeem web site to find a familiar online venue, or better yet a local boutique you can visit to get your hands on and the rest of you into a truly effective, well-made shape shifter from my new, old friends at Squeem.