>THE LINGERIE WARS – and the winner is…WACOAL!

17 Jan

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TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY-VAN ZUTPHEN

Thinking about the upcoming Lingerie Shows at the MET Pavilion, and the presence of LA PERLA on the NY Show Calendar got us thinking about this category. If that weren’t enough, the card companies are bombarding us with images of women in lingerie on Valentine’s Day Cards.

There’s a big divide between swanky La Perla bits of lace and “shape wear” – or is there?
We were surprised to learn that even lean and mean celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow allegedly wear what used to be called “girdles”. Until quite recently, they were about as comfortable as the chastity belts Medieval Princesses used to wear to keep them faithful in the Middle Ages.
These days, it’s acceptable to say that you wear “shape wear”.
You hear, “Spanx this, Spanx that, but they’re hardly the only game in town. Being fans of the underdog, we decided to check the market and see what else is out there.
When friend, Leslie Stevens of PR Powerhouse firm, LAFORCE & STEVENS took on WACOAL as a client, and suggested we try out the latest shape wear, we took her up on it.
Admittedly, we don’t need shape wear but as a size 2 we’re cold from March – November and wondered if like the UNDER ARMOUR tops we live in, could provide a comfy extra ultra thin layer to get us through the brutal CT. winter. Another thought was that maybe we could even use it to go jogging in with a pair of sweatpants over it.
THE TEST
We tested the market, from moderate to high-end and below, the results.

At Kohl’s – MAIDENFORM’S CONTOUR FIT ™
FIRM CONTROL – HI-WAIST THIGH SLIMMER.
Style #12425
PRICE: $35
RESULTS: If you find the sensation of wearing a giant rubber band from your navel down to your knees comfy, then your search is over. We lasted 1 ½ hours in this one, and it wasn’t all that warm.
No way you’re jogging in this one.

THE WINNER: WACOAL® SHAPE HOPE ON A HANGER – long leg shaper
PRICE: $55
Available at WACOAL AMERICA
This Capri-style pant/short was so thin we wondered if it would feel elastic at all.
We were able to teach a class and sit at our desk for 2 hours before the desire to take it off hit. We kind of wish we hadn’t as they add a nice layer of warmth.
FUN FACT: Women lose the most heat in 3 places – head, hands, lower back. This little short keeps that third area nice and toasty.

At MACY’s we tried 2 brands, one inexpensive, one higher priced.
THE RUNNER-UP: LULEH CAPRI short –
1st impression – like Wacoal, they’re thin. They’re tight, but it’s entirely possible to move around in them.
PRICE: $24

MIRACLE SUIT HI WAIST THIGH SLIMMER – style#2709
Looks too much like a girdle, even in the fashionable nude color. The paneling was bulky and overall, very uncomfortable.
PRICE: $40

THE VERDICT:
Both WACOAL and LULEH put out good products. If you can spare the money, go with the WACOAL. In the end, it’s better made & will last you longer. Take a page from www.WMagazinecom‘s “The Countess Louise Esterhazy” and go with all things quality, whenever possible.

To learn more about Wacoal visit the website, www.wacoal-america.com

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