On Spanx, in which I make mistakes so you don’t have to


Spanx - a pact with the devil in pant form.

This one’s for the ladies only.

Here, I bravely present the results of my investigations into the shapewear known as Spanx, so that you may be forewarned and forearmed.

Obviously I have no idea about slimming underwear, thank to my natural sylph-like looks and not having inherited my father’s stumpy legs and fat arse at all. Oh no, not me.

  1. Yes. They are basically cycling shorts. Very tight, slightly uncomfortable, peculiarly constructed cycling shorts.
  2. Yes, they do make a difference. Not a massive one, but enough. Nothing’s ever going to turn me into Stana Katic, but they hold it all in long enough for a girl to dream.
  3. Ignore the name. Also ignore the tagline “Power Panties”.  Eyes on the prize, ladies, eyes on the prize.
  4. Do not try to put them on when you’ve just got out of a shower. That way lies pain, mildly abrading skin removal, and public (and possibly pubic) humiliation in the gym changing rooms. You’ll also spend the next two hours surreptitiously plucking at your crotch trying to straighten the godawful mess out.
  5. Ditto for moisturising.
  6. They will make you uncomfortably warm. Don’t over-dress.
  7. Avoid deep vein thrombosis. Stand up regularly and stretch.  Don’t drink too much water though – every trip to the toilet is like starting again from step 4.
  8. Do not combine Spanx with control top tights. Like multiplying two negative numbers together (remember that from GCSE maths?) they cancel each other out and start inexorably rolling downwards together, making it look like you have more spare tyre issues than the Michelin man.
  9. Get black ones. The nude ones are horrid. Also, you can buy them on Amazon. Just don’t get them delivered to your work address, in order to avoid “Oooh I’ve got a parcel!” “What is it?” “Errrrr… enormous pants!” conversation with your workmates.
  10. Never EVER tell someone you are wearing Spanx. Especially not a man.  And especially not after you’ve drunk a bottle of wine, in the course of having a lovely evening. Trust me on this one. The conversation is uncomfortable and curiously probing at best, and elevates you to the status of “Women in the same bracket as my mother” at worst.

11 responses to “On Spanx, in which I make mistakes so you don’t have to

  1. They make ’em for men too, you know! I wonder if the same rules apply?

  2. This is excellent advice. I have often considered making a purchase. Maybe I will get around to it eventually.

  3. I find cycling shorts uncomfortable enough., Spanks for men would be horrific.

    • AS an aside, I bought some padded cycling shorts last year, but I actually find them more uncomfortable than my normal cycling leggings. Perhaps I have enough natural padding already…

  4. I’ll lend you my triathlon shorts (a combination of swimming shorts and cycing shorts). Maybe the perfect amount of padding!

  5. I’m deeply offended…. 😉

  6. You wore Spanx in this weather?!

    • Not today! Though I have worn them in hot weather and thought I was going to have a full-on Victorian style fainting fit

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