Spanx productsLet me start by telling you I am a huge fan of some Spanx products ever since I found them through a British website. I thought the idea of stay-put underwear, no VPL, and thigh control (saddlebags here) was just genius. I wasn't surprised when I learned that the creator of the brand is a woman, Sarah Blakely, who started her business being just someone with a great idea and lots of entrepeneurship, but no money. She's now the head of an empire, listed among the 100 most influential women in the world in 2012 in Time and Forbes magazines.
Spanx was one of the first brands to arrive to Europe, together with Body Wrap, but now the market is wider and more sophisticated.
My experienceSpanx products have complicated names, which can make them a bit tricky to find in their web page. You can search by line (Slimplicity, In-Power, etc.) or you can go with type of item (bodysuit, leggings, slips, half-slips, etc.) or with the part of the body you're interested in shaping (bottom, waist, thighs, full body). The names and messages are often absurd and, although it's all in good humour, sometimes you have to try hard not to read them.
In the last couple of years they have developed a line of high-end products with somewhat prohibitive prices.
Spanx by Caroline Grant. These are some of the products I own from Spanx. [From left to right and top to bottom: Higher Power, Tight-End Tights High-Waisted, In-Power Line Super Higher Power, and Power Panties]. At the beginning, it was difficult to get access to shapewear in Europe, at least in some countries, and then the number of models was limited. Now the range of brands and products has expanded, and there are many more choices and in different price ranges to choose, but Spanx remains a reference brand and still good quality.
Pros and ConsPros:
- They provide a smooth line under skirts and dresses, especially the high-waisted ones.
- They add an extra-layer of warmth for those of us who like feeling cosy in the cold in spite of wearing a full skirt (lots of breeze, you can imagine).
- They come in black and nude, wich covers most basic needs. Additionally, the tights come in several grown-up, wearable colours.
- They're all good quality, I have had my Tight-end Tights for years and used them daily before they started peeling, and then only slightly.
- These specific ones, albeit my favourites, are not OK with trousers, as they give you uni-bottom, which is not flattering at all, so it is better to use them exclusively under skirts and dresses.
- The high-waisted models keep up... mostly. To be fair, it's an almost impossible task to keep something below the breast line when your torso is slimmer all the way down (body type B). They may slide down somewhat, that's why I have added bra straps to mine.
- They are incredibly hot in good weather (over 20°C). You can faint wearing these, so choose lighter models
- If you have extra weight in your upper body, you will do better with the high-waisted models, the others dig in.
- There are often problems of stock, and items can be unavailable for months, not only through the webpage, but through their distributors as well. In a conversation I had in summer 2012 with a Harrod's employee in charge of Spanx products, "they are just not that interested in Europe". Hey, Spanx, we feel mistreated here: this market provides more than double the amount of the American customers.
- The service in Europe (from Germany) is VERY deficient: they ship late, they don't tell if they do not have something in your purchase until it doesn't arrive and then you see it in the bill, although you are allowed to select it and pay for it on the web page!!
- The prices in euros are just ridiculous, especially accounting for the change euro to dollar.
- The P&P from the US is a joke, too. In case you thought you could benefit from choosing at spanx.com instead of spanx.fr, .co.uk, etc., think again.
- Forbes The World's Most Powerful Women 2013
- Sara Blakely's profile at Forbes.
- Sara Blakely's profile at Time magazine.
This post was revised and updated 20th November 2013.
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