By Adam Welsch
Philosophers have mused about it. Artists have sketched it. Poets have written verse about it, and musicians have sung its praises. But most fail to do it justice. Is it a work by Socrates, Michelangelo, or Homer? Is it one of the natural wonders of the world? Is it an elegantly simple, unifying, scientific principle? Nope. It’s the foundation of foundations; the classic piece of intimate apparel that should be a part of every woman’s wardrobe. It’s the bodybriefer. Though you’re undoubtedly acquainted with it, and may have heard it referred to by one of its many aliases – all-in-one, body shaper, body slimmer, bodysuit, or body glove – you’ve probably never worn one. As we enter that time of the year (Halloween through New Year’s Day) when most people put on at least a few pounds, it’s not a bad idea to keep the bodybriefer in mind. Why? Because it allows you to continue to wear all of your favorite outfits, and look fabulous in them, until your New Year’s resolutions kick in and warm weather once again accommodates a regular exercise routine.
So what exactly is it about the bodybriefer that makes it so great? What really sets it apart from other shapewear silhouettes is its simplifying nature. A bodybriefer allows its wearer to don only one item of underwear. As an all-in-one silhouette, it obviously takes the place of both a bra and a lower-torso shaper. But having a cotton crotch, it also allows the wearer to choose to leave her panties in her dresser drawer. One layer of intimates makes for a cooler, more comfortable fashion ensemble.
But, as those infomercial salespeople hawking specialty knives and juicers like to proclaim, “Wait, there’s more!” First, bodybriefers are made in a variety of styles. They may be strapped or strapless, and the latter versions may include attachable, matching straps that give the wearer fashion flexibility; they may be designed with classic brief legs, legs that extend to the middle of the thighs, or legs that descend to the calves; and they may have soft cups, molded cups, or underwires. Second, bodybriefers are made in a variety of fabrics. Though these usually incorporate nylon and spandex fibers, they can vary greatly in their feel. In addition, the main body fabric may include adornments such as lace trim, satin panels, or delustered printing.
Third, bodybriefers are available in a variety of colors. Of course, you can find them in black, ecru, and white, but did you also know that they’re made in other colors like red, pink, and exotic animal prints? Fourth, they’re available in a range of control levels that can smooth, shape, or transform an entire body. You can choose from Comfortable Firm®, firm, and extra firm control styles, as well as those that do and do not incorporate panels for targeted control of common problem areas. Worried about panels causing visible panty lines on the front of your outfits? No problem. Some of the newest styles available are made with stitch-free panels that are bonded to the fabric in ways that won’t show through your clothes.
Many women won’t consider wearing a bodybriefer because they think it’ll cause complications in the bathroom. However, adjustable hook-and-eye or snap crotch closures on standard bodybriefers, as well as open crotches on thigh-slimmer versions (similar to those on men’s briefs), eliminate the need to completely disrobe when nature calls.
And the advantages of bodybriefers don’t stop there. Styles are available today that are made with a silicone finish around their leg openings. These not only eliminate rear VPLs; they ensure against wedgies. Finally, regardless of your budget, there’s a bodybriefer out there that’s right for you. Prices range from $15 to $125 depending on whether you shop at discount stores, mid-level department stores, higher-end department stores, or intimates websites.
Before concluding, one note of caution should be mentioned. Bodybriefers are sized according to bra size. This can make fit problematic if one’s upper and lower torsos are not in proportion to each other. It’s therefore especially important to try on any bodybriefer before buying it. You may need to take advantage of the variability in sizing that can exist across manufacturers. For example, the combination of your bust, waist, and hip measurements may mean that only one 38C in your favorite store’s lingerie department may fit you comfortably.
So if you’re after that classic figure, and want the solution to be as simple as possible, look no further than the bodybriefer. It’s sure to fill your mind with happy thoughts, enhance the beauty of your everyday wardrobe, and add a song to your heart.