On Underwear, Undergarments, Shapewear and Going Commando!

While enjoying my morning coffee in bed, like the princess poor slob that I am, and being thoroughly disgusted with the phoniness of the morning news show that I was viewing, (I mean really how many times can you show concern over the same stories about Celine Dion’s explaining her time off) I started to channel surf. I stopped at HSN. They had me at Heather Thompson! She’s not only one of my favorite Housewives of NYC (“Holla”!), but she has a company called “Yummie Tummie”. This company makes underwear, undergarments “Shapewear”.


Is shapewear REALLY made for the woman who is modeling it????? Let’s get real!

Shapewear helps to disguise our lady lumps and bumps, muffin tops and thunder thighs,and sucks our jelly belly in so that we appear to be either ten pounds lighter or we just look like chopped human meat in sausage casings!

I’ll tell ya, I was so drawn by Heather’s shilling of the products that I ordered HSN’s “Today’s Special”—a Yummie Tummie 5-pack of basic shapewear essentials.

5 pack yummie tummyGiven my past track record with shapewear, I cannot believe I ordered this. Heather–this better be good or I will come to NYC to find you and “Holla” at you!

While I’m “transitioning” from the extra pounds this winter has mysteriously bestowed upon me (The weight couldn’t possibly be from all the food I’ve shoved in my mouth, as though I were a human Hoover vacuum cleaner, from Halloween until a few days ago!), I figured I could use some assistance in smoothing out the cottage cheese thighs, muffin sheet cake top, fat gut, and saggy boobs!

*CAVEAT—HSN’s “Today’s Special” is not to be confused with the great children’s show of the 1980’s “Today’s Special”—a truly epic show about the madcap adventures of Jodie, a department store worker; Jeff, a mannequin who comes to life with the words “Hocus pocus alimagocus” and placement of his hat; and Sam, the store’s security guard who just happens to be a puppet! A real puppet—not a corporate puppet!

todays special hocus pocus allimigocus

Early Nickelodeon version of “Today’s Special”!

Hopefully, these basics will be as comfy as Heather Thompson promised! Hopefully, my lady lumps and ripples and ridges will be smoothed out! And—hopefully, the tops of both the high-waisted panty and the mid-rise panty will NOT roll down and cause me the tremendous discomfort that Spanx has caused me in the past!

Spanx size guide.  The guide is more of a blow to self-esteem than the difficulty of wearing the actual items!

Seriously. I can’t wear Spanx brand—nor can I wear the Spanx “Asset’s” Brand that is sold at Target. My experience with both has been horrific at best. I spent a lot of money on a Spanx thigh/waist shaper. I wore it once—to work, under a form fitting dress that I thought would look better had I worn the Spanx underneath. It took me ten minutes just to get the darn Spanx on. OK? My normal size 8 (which is now in between an 8 and 10) thighs and ass obviously needed a Spanx plus size. Who fits into this stuff (aptly named) anyway?????? While the dress fit slightly better in the thigh/backside area, there appeared to be a spillage of fat surrounding my waist. It gets better. Hardly able to breathe, I made my way to my car and as soon as I sat down, the waist band of the worn Spanx started rolling downward. At each red light I stopped, I had to take my hand and try to pull the shapewear back up. If a police officer had been in a car next to me, I am telling you, I would have been arrested for carrying through some very naughty acts! Very naughty. Like “9 1/2 Weeks, Kim Bassinger” naughty!

As if the car ride wasn’t bad enough, going to the ladies room was worse. Peeling the Spanx down was a feat in itself—then having to pull them back up left me sweaty and my hair a wet mess from the strain I went through just handle this one undergarment. I ended up going to Walmart and purchasing cotton, old lady, high waisted granny panties—and spent the rest of the day gloriously comfortable!


I know, I know–they are super ugly, but were a lot more comfortable than the Spanx. My work day was much more productive wearing granny pants!

Not learning my lesson, I next purchased “Assets” shapewear, also by Spanx. While the fabric was a bit more stretchy, the top still rolled down. In fact, I just found this pair in my drawer today. They are now in the trash.

Assets as bad as SPanx

Another failed item–now in the trash.

Still searching for comfortable shapewear that promises on its word, I found some inexpensive brands at TJ Maxx. They are not bad—pretty comfortable and the high waist does suck a bit of fat in without the  spillage of the more expensive brands. I also like these panties with the butt-shaper; it holds the flab together well enough.

All inexpensive, relatively comfortable and does an ok job. You will NOT look like you’ve lost 20 pounds but a few of the bumps will be smoother.

Left: Without shapewear I have a gut but I have no spillage of fat. Right: Wearing shapewear. Below the waist is smooth, but look at the spillage of fat at the waist. Truly unattractive!

When wearing leggings or my stretchy Jacrew Pixie Pants or Gigi pants, my preferred undergarment is a thong. Thongs are better than the shapewear because the shapewear just seems to redistribute the bulgy fat. While the tummy fat is being sucked in, the upper thigh fat and waist fat is oozing out like lava from a volcano.   I find good posture and sucking your tummy muscles in with your breath more effective than shapewear.

However—this old lady rather prefers to go commando in jeans. There ya go! I said it! I hate wearing underwear when I’m wearing jeans. Skinny jeans, if you get the proper fit, will suck that fat in all the right places without any bulges from panties and will smooth those thighs and lift the butt while remaining incredibly comfortable!

Now for the top of the body.   Where do I begin? The only tried and true and valid shapewear for the top of the body, short of a boob job, is a well-padded push up bra!   My new favorite bras are these “Marilyn Monroe” brand bras I picked up at TJ Maxx. Listen—I’ve spent up to $75.00 on bras and as little as $5.99 for the Marilyn Monroe’s and the less expensive ones are more comfortable, more flattering and fit far better! There is no “gapping” with the MM bras either.

Marilyn Monroe Bras from TJ Maxx. At 5.99 each my new favorite bras

These “Marilyn Monroe” bras are fantastic–and a bargain at $5.99 each. Oh, I’ll be going back for more! The fit is excellent too!

For the added benefit of more cleavage with a lower cut shirt, I like these chicken cutlets.

Chicken Cutlets My verision of a boob job

Keep these in your drawer. God forbid they end up in the kitchen. It could be a disaster of a dinner!

If you use them, beware though. Make sure they are secured well in place. I had one fall out while at work upon receiving the daily mail from the mail man. He very politely pointed out my cutlet that fell on the floor at his foot. What could I do except to pick it up and put it back in my bra? The next day we had a new mail man. I think he was deeply traumatized by the incident!

“Activewear” shirts that are supposed to shape—unless you have a set of double-d’s, the spandex will flatten your breasts out like pancakes upon your chest. Look at the pic of me in my Lululemon shirt.

side view lululemon shirt WITH their flimsy inserts

Side view. I’m squished and trussed and that awful “shelf” bra. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Uh!

This was a purchase I made in order to make myself appear more human when I was working out. Instead, the shirt was so tight and uncomfortable, I couldn’t move. To make me appear more of a dope, I ended up purchasing this in white as well. I figured it would look good with maxi skirts. What. Was. I. Thinking? In the first place, this shirt is so tight that I had to go up a size. Putting it on was the upper body equivalent of Spanx. It took forever to squeeze into this. The “shelf” bra that is sewn in is a complete waste. The bottom of the bra, if not pulled down over the girls, pops up to the neckline. Lululemon also adds their own “padded” inserts. The inserts do nothing!

The Lululemon shirt is actually quite pretty and CAN be flattering–but at a level of discomfort.  The shelf bra needs to go. It serves no purpose.

Loft Leggings shapewear panties. Notice the bulge hanging out around my waist

The length of the shirt is nice, but it’s just way too cumbersome!

In order to get a decent feminine shape with this shirt, a padded razorback bra plus the cutlets are needed. After an hour of wearing a razorback bra, the “back headaches” begin. Am I right ladies?? Please do not let me think I am the only person who goes through this with shapewear!!!!

With a padded bra AND cutlets added–finally gives some well-needed feminine shape!

Wow! Now I’m almost sorry that I ordered the Yummie Tummie shapewear. Oh well, I can use the shirts that come in the package. I love a nice form fitting shirt under a sweater!

Which brings me to this OOTD. I’m keeping the Loft leggings on because I’m too lazy to change. I’m wearing a nice cotton/spandex sleeveless tee shirt by Uniqlo worn backwards. Over it is a looser fitting cotton sweater from Loft. Under the clothing—a comfy thong and a padded push up bra. My kinda shapewear!

Definitely more comfy in these leggings, white shirt and looser cotton sweater. I wish Cole -Haan would bring this Air Nike Ballet flat back. They are years old and just don’t wear out. They are super comfy too!

Sorry but I had to sneak this “cute blogger” pose into the post. It’s more of an homage to all the bloggers who are able to get great photos of themselves. Who follows them around to take their pictures? I’m fascinated and envious at the same time! My pics are so unprofessional! Oh well!

Couldn't resist. Cute Blogger Pose!

The pic is also blurry as all get out too!

My OOTD is truly wrong on so many levels—and Fran Lebowitz will attest to that. Here’s a link to a great interview with the witty Ms. Lebowitz. Her personal fashion taste may not be to everyone’s liking, but, by god, the woman speaks the truth about the subject in this interview! She is so spot on in so many ways: Fran Lebowitz Style Interview

Please forgive my rant about shapewear,  I realize I sound like a complete pain-in-the-ass, but don’t you think most shapewear to be confining and uncomfortable?

Chippy decided to guard a lone sport sock–what a rascal!

Somebody is guarding a sports sock and wont give it up

He’s so cute! Rescue dogs rule!

My friend Dorothy Quinn tagged me in this little hair washing cartoon? It’s so….me! I get my roots done tomorrow and it’ll be two weeks since my hair has been washed. Yeah. I know. I’m disgusting and gross—but my hair is so porous that it doesn’t get dirty. If the roots weren’t skunk white, I could go another few days!


undergarments and commando 047

Nope! Not today!

Today’s little song is the “Today’s Special” theme. This show was one of the “Old School Nickelodeon” shows—back when Nickelodeon was in the infancy stages. My kids and I loved it. Here’s a throwback –the Today’s Special theme song! Does anyone remember this show?

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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