It would be wrong to write this post without acknowledging the very real and very worrying situation developing around the world today. Whole countries shutting down, holidays cancelled, small businesses with no business, and no income for their owners, older people likely to feel very isolated ... stock piling of food and toilet rolls meaning the vulnerable will be left with none. And so it goes on. You have all seen the news. I am beginning to feel quite worried and a bit uneasy. I saw my elderly parents today to plan a few things for them. But life has to continue and we should try and keep as close to normal routine as possible. So I thought I would still share my outing last week. Do let me know how Covid-19 is affecting you, are you worried? Comment below.
A couple of months ago I was asked to save the day for an event in London with Maidenform, the shapewear brand. They had organised such a fun and gorgeous event, held in the penthouse suite at the ME Hotel in the Strand. I was so looking forward to it. A chance to try on the shapewear (it is so difficult to know what will work when looking online), a make-up refresh with a make-up artist, fizz, canapés and an opportunity to have some photographs taken by a professional photographer. I admit I did hesitate about going. But in the end I decided to drive into London and not take the train/tube. I felt with no official advice to stop my day to day life I was best to 'keep calm and carry on' but take sensible precautions. Hence my decision to drive. Usually when I meet friends we kiss and hug and welcome each other so it felt really odd not to be able to do this.
The penthouse suite is well - stunning! With the most breathtaking views across the Thames and London. One of my motivators for still going was the weather that day. Clear blue skies, a little milder and sunny. Which of course meant the view was even better. There are balconies off the bedroom and bathroom where you can sit and relax with a glass of champagne and enjoy the view (if you are rich enough to afford the penthouse of course). Then there is a lounge area with floor to ceiling windows commanding a fabulous backdrop over the Strand, the Thames, Somerset House, Waterloo Bridge, the National Theatre and the South Bank. Stairs lead up to a curved room with 360 degree views of the London skyline, there is some serious luxury going on! Yes I would love to stay there, but at £2,500 per night I doubt I ever well, but a girl can dream.
And I discovered that the ME Hotel has a cool rooftop bar called RADIO which enjoys the same views as the penthouse suite so I am definitely going back in the summer (coronavirus permitting) to enjoy that! And I get the views at an affordable price, I love a rooftop bar, I have been twice to the John Lewis one in Oxford Street and I have special memories of the rooftop bar in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
So you can see why I decided to go! But what about the shapewear?! Well Maidenform offers three options. Smooth - for everyday subtle smoothing. Shaping - to provide a firm foundation for your outfit for a sleek look and Sculpting - the ultimate in smoothing and controlling to show off your curves.
I am not a big fan of shapewear, although i do wear it occasionally and I can see the benefits for certain outfits. But for me it has to be comfortable, pretty and still matching. Because I am fairly slim I don't need much but I admit if you can find the right shapewear it can shape and flatter any figure and can really add extra confidence. However, it has to be easy to put on and comfortable to wear, it also has to be easy access for loo visits!
I explained all this to Martina who who helping me choose. She told me about the different styles and options. I told her I have the Endlessly Smooth Plunge Bodybriefer already and that I really loved the shape it gave me but I did struggle with the hook and eye fastening (rather than press studs), Martina said that the hook and eye is designed to be less bulky and that press studs can rub (I've experienced this too). There is a a bodybriefer that has a cotton gusset and no fastening but of course it would depend on your outfit as to whether you are happy to get undressed to use the toilet.
Bearing all this in mind, I decided to try on the Cover Your Bases Slip, the Sleek Smoothers Thigh Slimmer Shorts, the Ultimate Slimmer WYOB Slip and the Waistline Shaping Hi-Waist Brief.
My favourite and the two items I was gifted* were the Cover Your Bases Slip (Smooth) because this was easy to get on, I could wear my own bra and panties but it would give me a lovely smooth shape under a more fitted dress. All their fabrics are really light with cool comfort technology to avoid overheating. The slip comes in Black or Nude and is quite tight fitting, but easy to get on and off. I also chose the Waistline Shaping Hi-Waist Brief (new range, coming soon - similar here), these are designed to shape the tummy, waist, rear and thighs. For me it was the tummy bit that was important and they seemed comfortable and not too restrictive. I could wear these under the slip if I needed extra shaping. I also have a pair of the Maidenform Body Shaper Tights to try.
Of the other two items I tried, the Ultimate Slimmer WYOB Slip (Wear Your Own Bra) was too much trouble to get on, it has built-in panties with hook and eye fastening. I can however see that if you need the extra shape then it really is a very flattering garment that still looks attractive on. The Sleek Smoothers Thigh Slimmer Shorts were very lightweight, soft, easy to get on and comfortable.
The other item to consider would be the Fitsense Thigh Slimmer, this is a short with targeted panels where you need them so tummy, rear, sides, and inner thighs. Martina explained this is new technology that it is more comfortable as the panels are exactly where you need them but allowing for movement and comfort.
Maidenform was founded in 1922 and their first product was a bandeau with top cups separated by a centre piece of elastic sewn into dresses! In 1925 it was the Maidenform Brasserie Company that filed the first patent for the prototype of the modern seamed uplift bra and in 1945 the patent for the adjustable bra strap fastener, a design still used today. More recently they have just launched backless bodies in light and medium control and Pure Comfort which is a leisurewear bra range.
Maidenform offer so many options for a seamless look, to shape, flatter and give confidence. A good stylist will always advise starting underneath first with the right fitting bra, the right underwear and some shapewear.
What do you think? Do you wear shapewear?
Other blogs you may have missed and find useful:
The best shapewear for your party outfits
Understanding your own unique body shape | a style consultation with the positive image coach
How a colour stylist can help with your confidence
Check my instagram stories for a few more pics and a video of the view!
Disclaimer: this post does not use affiliate links. I was gifted two items of shapewear from Maidenform. I was under no obligation to post on my blog or social media.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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