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


  1. I've always loved the designs of Charnos' products - but I can't say I've looked much into their shapewear [which is strange because I live for girdles and corselettes!].

    It's gorgeous, though! How is the hook and eye back, though? Extremely difficult to deal with, or only slightly?
    I'm looking to half-replace my What Katie Did Glamour corselette, as it's backless and I'm pretty big in the back and it makes me somewhat self conscious...

  2. Hi Melody,

    Thanks for your comment. I had never tried Charnos until now, but I am so glad that I did, as they have some gorgeous products..I really love the Charnos 'Corselette'!

    I don't think that the hook and eye back is too difficult to deal with - it is just that there are 10 hooks and eyes, so it's helpful to have someone there to do them up for you. It is possible to do them up yourself though..

    I would recommend trying it, as it really is a beauty and so flattering on :)

    Let me know how you get on!

    Kitty xo

  3. I'm glad classic Shapewear has become fashionable again. Classic lingerie looks fab!

  4. Wow! That is such an amazing piece of lingerie! I absolutely love it
    I think it suits you perfectly :)
    I will definetaly check them out!


    1. Hi Ligeia,

      Thank you so much! I'm glad that you like it. It is such a pretty piece and def a current favourite in my underwear drawer! I'd recommend trying Charnos - I think you'll love them.

      I enjoyed your recent Kiss Me Deadly post by the way :)

      Kitty xo

  5. adoro los corses y estos de sujeccion hacen que los vestidos se vean perfectos

    1. Hola Monica,

      Gracias por tu comentario y estoy de acuerdo. Un corsé y sujetador todo en uno es muy buena idea - este corsé de Charnos es la perfecta combinación - estético mientras moldea el cuerpo! Ideal para los vestidos ajustados!

      Un beso,
      Kitty x

  6. gracias por unirte a mi blog ,muaaaaaaac

  7. Lovely blog post and a lovely corselette! Shape wear can be so boring but this one is so pretty it can be worn even if you don't need any shaping lol. Am definitely considering buying this one :)

    1. Hi Sexy Underwear,

      Thanks for your comment - really glad that you enjoyed the review! I agree - the Charnos 'Hourglass' corselette is great for any occasion..whether you want it to be shapewear or a pretty bedroom piece. It's a real favourite in my underwear drawer at the moment! :)

      Kitty xo

  8. Can i just say how awesomely minimized your bust appears?! There's nothing worse for myself than walking into a room and feeling like the only thing everyone see's are my breasts. Your girls don't at all look like FF's in these pictures. Nicely done, Kitty! :)
    ....I wonder what size might be a good try for my 28H's?

    1. Hi Candace,

      I would agree - the Charnos Corselette keeps your chest looking very natural, so it's ideal for someone who isn't keen on getting a very 'pushed up', busty look!

      Sadly, the Corselette only goes up to a 32F and you would probably need a 32G. The equivalent volume would be a 34FF or 36F, but if you tried the 36F, you would most likely find the body and back too loose.

      I know that Charnos make 32G's in some of their bras, but I've not yet tried the bras for fit and I have a feeling that the 32's will come up too loose for a 28 back.

      My suggestion would be to wear one of your 28H bras (perhaps a lacy black one) with the Charnos Hourglass Waist Nipper, which comes in sizes 10-18:

      You'd get a very similar look to the Corselette, but in two pieces :)

      Kitty xo

  9. Anna from Paris21 June 2012 at 07:38

    I hesitated to order this corselette (as a bedroom piece) for months, and your review finally convinced me to give it a try. While I agree with everything you wrote, unfortunately it didn't work for me.

    On the positive side, I liked how it looked from my underbust down to the top of my bum. Flattened my tummy nicely (no, it didn't magically make it disappear, but then again I doubt anything would) and followed my curves well, including the smallest part of my back and waist. So it's great if you already have an hourglass figure and trouble finding shapewear that follows your curves. Not sure that it would on its own create a small waist in a square-cut woman, though, as it has no tightening device like a corset.

    Now on to the negative (for me). The full cups were not flattering at all on my chest (too wide, high and shallow, the 32E fitted my 30F bust, but made my breasts look flat, not uplifted and facing forward as I like them).

    I also had an issue at the bottom of my bottom : The corselette being very short (and I'm only 5'2) and tight (and I'm anything but toned…), it created a dent in my butt. Attaching stockings to the suspenders might have helped solve the issue by keeping the garnment from riding up to my flabby parts. But as I don't wear shapewear and only wanted a sexy-in-a-vintage-kind-of-way-without-being-grannyesque bedroom dress, and this didn't look sexy on me at all, I didn't bother and returned it.

    Thanks for the accurate review, though, otherwise I'd still be hesitating and wondering what size to rder to try it on.

    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear that the Charnos Corselette didn't work as well for you. Glad to hear that the sizing was right though!

      The cups are possibly a little minimising - I'd probably prefer a little more padding, but the nature of the garment is quite elegant and vintage-y, so I can understand why they were designed like that.

      Yes, you make a really good point - I also think the corselette works best with suspenders to stop it from rolling up or bunching.

      Thanks for your feedback! :)

      Kitty xo

  10. Found a hardly worn Black Silk Suspender Belt wrapped in tissue amongst Mothers things after she died, on looking at it closer i was amazed because one of the suspenders is covered in diamonds set in gold complete with a hallmark !

    The tag says Charnos.

    It took Mum years to get Dad to buy her a humble washing machine we just cant see him buying something like this for her.

    We are left wandering who did..

    If anyone can provide info on this Charnos range and when it was made we would be most grateful xx

    1. Hi anon,

      I did some research myself and didn't find anything unfortunately but when I contacted Charnos, they said:

      "All we can think of is the AW12 Bouquet Suspender in black however that featured pearls not diamonds."

      If it is not that suspender, it could be possible that somebody embellished/customised a Charnos suspender with the diamonds?

      Sorry I couldn't solve the mystery for you, but perhaps this info will help?

      Kitty xo


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