Saturday, 14 January 2012

Sexy in shapewear: The Charnos 'Corselette'

    When you think of shapewear, what first comes to mind? 

   Shapewear is often thought of as being a rather 'basic' item in our underwear drawer and you can probably be forgiven for not seeing it as synonymous with 'sexy'!  Shapewear generally comes in plain shades, such as nude or black and tends to lack the aestheticism of other lingerie - it is a primarily functional underwear item.

   Although shapewear does the job of smoothing out lumps and bumps, why can't it also be elegant and sexy? The stigma with shapewear, is that too many people associate it with 'granny pants' or as being a secret 'figure fixer' that is just a reminder that we over-indulged at Christmas and need to hit the gym!  

   Luckily, shapewear has seen a much-needed makeover over the years and thanks to trends such as 'Underwear as outerwear' and 'Mad Men', it has become fashionable again! High-waisted knickers, patterned slips and bodysuits have made a real come back, leading many lingerie designers to build on these classic shapes, adding a modern twist!

   A brand whose shapewear really stands out for me, is Charnos. Charnos lingerie, which was created in 1958, offers elegant and luxurious designs from 30-42 backs and cup sizes up to a G. On browsing the Charnos site, I came across the 'Hourglass' range and its gorgeous shapewear products, which set my heart a-flutter immediately! The product which had me weak at the knees, was the eye-wateringly sexy 'Hourglass Corselette', which comes in Black, Blush and Gold...

   I particularly liked the gold version, which just oozes old Hollywood Glamour! Although I was disappointed to find out that the smallest band size in the 'Corselette' was a 32, I was so enamoured with it, that Charnos kindly offered to send me a 32E to try (the equivalent cup volume to my usual 28FF bra size). 

   As predicted, the Charnos 'Corselette' was everything that I had hoped for and more in the flesh. The 'Corselette' is rather like a corset, girdle, bra and slip all-in-one, giving all over shaping and support.

   Made from stunning nude-gold satin and floral-print black lace overlay, the 'Corselette' is a luxurious and elegant piece that is sure to make any lady look and feel a million dollars...

   The bra cups are 3-sectioned and the fuller cup style flatters your bust, keeping you looking sultry yet demure. The cups are lightly padded, apart from the semi-sheer scalloped lace panels at the top, which give a cheeky peek of skin underneath. The cups are fully under-wired, to keep you feeling fully supported and comfortable.

   The beauty of the 'Corselette', above all, lies in the attention to detail: zig-zag stitching, an ornate central panel, vintage floral print lace, subtle frill-edged straps and a beautiful bow ribbon and bead motif at the centre of the cups...

The back of the 'Corselette' is plain gold satin with black zig-zag stitching down the panels... 

   The back features ten hooks and eyes, which give firm support and help to keep everything securely in place. The only disadvantage with this type of fastening, is that it is quite difficult to do up and undo (and therefore get the 'Corselette' on and off), but such is the nature of shapewear... 

So, I hear you ask, what does the 'Corselette' look like on and how did it fit? 

   As you can see, the fit of the 'Hourglass Corselette' is rather fabulous. The 'Corselette' pulled me in subtly, whilst smoothing and streamlining my curves, thanks to the inner panels. I also loved the centre lace panel, which adds a 'trompe l'oeil' effect, defining your waist and giving you the 'hourglass' figure that its name suggests!

   Due to the nature of shapewear/ controlwear, the materials used tend to make the fit slightly tighter, which really worked to my advantage with the fit of the bra cups and 'band'! I was pleasantly surprised by the 32E cups, which felt perfect on my 28FF's and gave good lift and support. The back felt nice and firm, the wires sat flush against my chest and the cups encased my bust perfectly. I also really liked the shape that the bra cups gave me and there was no empty space or wrinkling on the lace panels at the top of the cups. 

   Another added bonus of the Charnos 'Corselette', is that it comes with detachable suspenders, to further ramp up the sex appeal! 

Together with some black lace stockings, the 'Corselette' gives a glamorous and seductive look that would appeal to all ages. Charnos definitely proves that shapewear can be worn in the bedroom and the 'Corselette' is almost too gorgeous to stay hidden!

   The last question that remains, is whether the Charnos 'Corselette' works underneath clothes...

    I tried the 'Corselette' on under one of my body-con dresses and was delighted with the overall silhouette and support. In the picture below, you can see a cheeky little peek of lace from the 'Corselette' at the bust, which I think is rather lovely!

   I was really thrilled with my first experience of Charnos. The 'Hourglass Corselette' has definitely changed my views towards controlwear, proving that shapewear can be seductive and stylish, as well as figure-enhancing and functional. The 'Corselette' really is 'sexy' defined, with its luxurious satin and lace trims, fashionable yet classic colour combination of black and gold-nude and, of course, its stunning fit. 

   I feel that shapewear is streamlining and flattering to all shapes and sizes. The 'Corselette' gives an hourglass shape to those with less curvier frames, whilst flattering the lines of a curvier figure. Thanks to the inner corsetry, panels and underwiring, the 'Corselette' delivers a silhouette that is truly sultry, providing great support and shape to any figure. Charnos is a brand that prides itself on creating 'the perfect fit' and I felt that the 'Corselette' was a real testimony to this philosophy. 

  The Charnos 'Hourglass Corselette' comes in back sizes 32-38 and cup sizes from B-F and is priced at £50, available from their website: As I mentioned earlier, as a 28FF, I found the 32E a really good fit, so this is great news for smaller band sizes!

   I am looking forward to trying more from Charnos and already have my eye on the other beautiful products from the 'Hourglass' collection, such as the waist cincher, waist nipper and stunning long line bra. I am also keen to try out their lingerie, to see how it comes up for fit. 

   One thing that is for sure, is that Charnos is definitely a brand to watch - their lingerie and shapewear is luxurious and elegant, but affordable and great quality. 

   To find out more about Charnos, take a look at their website to see their current collections.

Kitty xo

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

"What I look for from a lingerie boutique" - Guest blog for Lingerie Buyer

To kick start 2012, I am excited to share with you my guest blog for Lingerie Buyer!

Titled: "What I look for from a lingerie boutique", my article covers a consumer's stance towards lingerie retailing. To read my tips for independent lingerie businesses and find out more about what makes a brand really stand out, click 

Kitty xo