There is one very easy trick to making all your clothes look good (even when you're wearing your own 34-year-old Duran Duran t-shirt - the oldest piece of clothing I own by a very, very long way).That number 1 trick? Get your underwear right. Oh, I can't tell you how many years I spent wearing the wrong kind of underwear. The wrong size bra, ill-fitting knickers, the wrong shape bras... I've learnt a new trick just recently - but first, that t-shirt!
My original Duran Duran Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour t-shirt is mine - from 1983. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be wearing my most treasured t-shirt and oldest item in my wardrobe, an item I thought until recently was most probably lost. I knew I hadn't deliberately got rid of it, I just knew I'd put it somewhere 'safe' (that old chestnut!) and I'd been looking for it for years. In the end it was in a small storage box I'd forgotten about, found during a clearout of the spare room. Crisis averted.
SHOP THE LOOK:
To celebrate the rediscovery of this piece of memorabilia featuring my childhood idols I decided to actually wear it out, which I hadn't done in an incredibly long time. And as the founder of the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike, I will wear an 11 year old's t-shirt if I want to...!
The history of my Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour t-shirtMy dad took me aged just 11 to Wembley Arena to see them (goes without saying that I was a die-hard Duranie) and I can clearly remember looking up at the board at the back of the merchandise area and choosing which t-shirt I wanted. And yes, I know I haven't addressed this yet but OMG IT STILL FITS ME, PEOPLE! A t-shirt I had from age 11 still fits this 44-year-old body, and, more amazingly, this 44-year-old bust. Yet I can't fit into some things I bought last year... Makes no sense whatsoever.
Obviously it's a snug fit, but when you treat it like any other graphic tee and style it with your fave combo of a longline black boyfriend blazer (similar), lightweight peg leg trousers and the funkiest boots ever (already seen in this post), you'd really never know it was a kid's top.
The trick that makes this t-shirt look goodSo, onto the trick I mentioned. Getting underwear that fits properly and is the right style and fit for what you're wearing is fundamental to making clothes look good - it doesn't matter what size or shape you are, get the foundations right and everything will hang beautifully and smooth over you properly.
However, something I'd never considered before was the fit of the back of my bras - more specifically the dreaded back fat from tight straps. Now, as someone who's got an incredibly small (and pretty bony) back and then large boobs, my back is not an area where I put on weight - all my weight goes to my hips and thighs.
Therefore when Shapeez contacted me to see if would test one of their smoothing and shaping bras, I was doubtful as to how much difference they could make to me personally because although I'm busty, back fat is not something I've ever worried about before. They say "they’re a second skin and provide a fit like no other" - time to put it to the test!
I was gifted the Silkee Long (a back-smoothing minimizer bra and body shaper) - I often wear a bra with a shaping vest top mostly because I'm always cold around my middle so the long version was perfect for me. Firstly we photographed me wearing my normal (correctly fitting, I've been measured) minimizer bra under the t-shirt, and then we photographed me wearing the Shapeez under it...
... Just look at that difference! To say I was stunned when I saw the two pictures is a massive understatement - I was SHOCKED to see that, despite having a very small, bony back, I still had pockets of 'fat' bulging over the top of my bra, and that it was clearly visible in the slim-fitting t-shirt (that's the picture above left, in case it wasn't clear...)
Then compare it to the image above right where I'm wearing the Shapeez.
Totally smooth. No pockets of fat, not even a line of a bra strap. And in case you think I've not been clear enough about exactly how smooth, here's a shot with my shoulders rounded to show you there is nothing visible:
It honestly looks like I'm not even wearing a bra from the back... that's nothing short of incredible for someone who absolutely cannot, under ANY circumstances EVER, go without a bra.
(Above: the Silkee Long)
This is what Shapeez have to say about the product (and my response to each statement):
- Four-way-stretch provides ultimate support and freedom of movement [Me: it's very body-hugging but not at all restrictive]
- Disperses weight evenly across the torso to relieve excessive pressure from the back, neck and shoulders and improve overall posture [Me: there's none of that desperation to take your bra off at the end of the day when it's been pressing on your rib cage]
- Patented design and plush fabric provides ultimate comfort [Me: I'd agree that yes, the fabric is smooth and overall it's very comfortable - and the vest part doesn't ride up at all]
The beauty of this product is that you don't have to rule out certain tops when out shopping - silky and "hangy" fabrics (I know that's not a word, but you know what I mean) especially will not be a problem. I know that busty girls particularly need a lot of support with the right fitting bra - it's almost impossible to then avoid the industrial strapping digging into you and creating bulges. My bras obviously do (previously unbeknownst to me) and I'm pretty fat-free in that area.
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Would I recommend Shapeez?The Shapeez range includes minimizers, push up bras, slips and sport bras, the bras coming in short and long (i.e. all-in-one bra and vest tops) and more. They have a unique sizing system which is explained on their website - but this was my only criticism: they don't produce quite the right size for me, which is a very small back with a very large cup size. I'm a 30F, and once I'd selected the right back size the cup size options didn't go up to quite big enough. Under the t-shirt my boobs look perfectly fine in the photos and in real life, but I could have done with some extra cuppage room for them. So larger cup size options for us tiny-backed girls please, Shapeez!
Otherwise, this product is 100% spot-on. They've done really well to produce something that I wasn't expecting to make much of a difference to me, when in actual fact I was shocked and ultimately delighted at the results. My treasured DD tour t-shirt lives on.
DO YOU FIND BULGES FROM YOUR BRA A PROBLEM? (OR WERE YOU A DURANIE LIKE ME?!) TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!
T-shirt: Vintage (I like this one) | Trousers: Topshop | Blazer: F&F Clothing (similar) | Boots: Finery c/o | Sunglasses: Lulus c/o (similar)
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Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with Shapeez (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.