Let's throw this tale of wedding shapewear way back, shall we? Let me take you back, about ten years ago now. When the range of sizes was sad, and the designs were about torture, restraint, not comfort. And I, a naive, chubby and cheerful 25-year-old was about to MC her first wedding. The coveted position of sort of bridesmaid, sort of guest that would see me preside over almost 200 guests with charm, wit, elegance and grace.
Or that was the plan anyway.
My shapewear had other plans. Plans that would leave me somewhat pantless navigating a stage and stairs and a dancefloor in front of 200 people.
It all started with a dress, as these things usually do. I had committed to a dress that was a little firm, but I knew it would be perfect with the right shapewear. I hadn't considered that at a size AU20/22, finding shapewear that would fit, comfortably, and give me a decent shape without causing indigestion would be pretty much impossible.
So the search for the perfect wedding shapewear began.
Months passed, and before I knew it the wedding was a week away, and my search had been fruitless. I had to find a different dress or make something else work. Panic set in one night as I put the finishing touches on my toast. I was ready in every possible way except I had nothing to wear.
Now, my friend, let's remember this was ten years ago, and plus size clothing options – especially in formal-ish wear – was limited to the occasional Mother of the Bride look. As it turned out, a new dress wasn't a viable option. So the hunt for shapewear continued until finally, I found a beige all in one piece that was a size too small, rounded my stomach out (common when you can't be 'sucked in'), and was virtually impossible to go to the bathroom, sit, or even move in.
Questionable success. I was ready to roll.
The day of the wedding came, and it occurred to me as I walked down the aisle to take my seat that I would now have to take my seat. Ummm, a major oversight. But take my seat I did, as close to last as possible, and that's when my organs started protesting their new position somewhere under my ribs.
As the day progressed the pressure increased, I was feeling worse and worse. On a trip to the bathroom, I decided I needed to take them off. Right then. That very second. I would not suffer through the squishing any longer. I would be free!
I would also be without underwear.
But that's an even longer story. Another time maybe. Leaving the bathroom, shapewear in hand, I quickly found my husband and made a rather unusual request. Firstly, that he burn the devil things and secondly, that he promptly duck home to grab my underwear. Now, my Kel is a pretty accommodating guy, but I've always appreciated the way he didn't even bat an eyelid that night. Quickly, I shouted after him; the speeches are soon.
He went quickly. He sped home, luckily close by, and back. He did everything possible to ensure I wouldn't be standing in front of a room of people without underwear. But my name was called and that's precisely what I had to do. Don't ask me if my performance was impacted by an underlying fear of falling off my shoes and baring all. Maybe it was. But not being able to breathe was undoubtedly worse. And hell, people go commando to weddings all the time, right?
So, there you go. That is the tale of why I will never wear 'normal' shapewear to a wedding again. Even though, technically, I only wore it briefly.
Fortunately, the times have changed. Intimates finally come in every imaginable shape, size, and fit. And shapewear isn’t what it was. Sonsee's shapewear is the anthesis of the gut crushing, suck-me-in torture of the past. It’s breathable, comfortable and designed to smooth not squeeze. The high, full band doesn't roll, creep or cut in. That would have been nice all those years ago.
I know now that it’s vastly more important to be comfortable, physically and emotionally. I know that the wellbeing of my body is a thousand times more important than the shape it takes. It matters to me that I inhabit my body entirely, that I can move, breathe, and be my strongest, most magnificent self.
No more torture.