By Adam Welsch
When you hear the word “shapewear,” what do you think about? Images of waistline or hi-waist briefs, thigh slimmers, or bodybriefers might come to mind. Or, you might think of more specialized silhouettes like waist cinchers, torsettes, or body-shaping camis. Chances are, however, that you won’t envision the pantliner. Available since the 1960’s, when pants and pant suits started to be widely worn by women, the pantliner has experienced a waxing and waning of popularity throughout the past five decades, due in a large part to continual changes in outerwear fashions. Known alternatively as “leggings” or “long legs,” the pantliner continues, however, to serve as a great addition to any shapewear wearer’s wardrobe.
“What’s so great about the pantliner?” you ask. Good question. A pantliner is a shapewear silhouette for the lower body that runs from the waist to the middle of the calves. It’s designed to not only shape and smooth the hips, tummy, and tush, but address the thighs and the upper calves as well. This makes it the ideal piece of shapewear to wear with any form-fitting pair of pants. And since its length does end at the calves, it can also be discreetly worn with full-length dresses and skirts. The pantliner can also be found in a level of control that fits anyone’s needs. If, for example, you’re only looking for a garment to smooth out some bumps here and there, a light control style might be just the ticket. If, however, you’re seeking greater control of your tummy or hips, you might try a firm or extra firm control model. Finally, pantliners are available in a variety of price points, ranging from $30 to $60 per pair.
The pantliner will likely surprise you with its versatility. Like thermal underwear, it delivers an extra layer of warmth for your lower torso and legs. Not only will it help you stay warm and look great on your way to the office, it’ll make you look fabulous under the tightest-fitting ski outfits. The pantliner can also be worn in place of a pair of exercise leggings. Its fabric, made from nylon and spandex fibers, provides flexibility and comfort that all athletes like; however, it also delivers the smoothing and shaping many find desirable when on display at the gym. And made with a cotton crotch, the pantliner may be worn with or without an accompanying pair of panties.
Certain pantliner styles have bonus features. Some are constructed with leg edges finished with silicone. Applied directly to the fabric, the silicone prevents the garment from riding up during the day and ensures that the edges remain undetectable beneath pants. Other styles are designed to provide lift to the tush. Still others are designed with an adjustable rise, allowing the wearer to place the silicone-finished waistband exactly where it feels most comfortable. Such styles are boons to those with unusually long or short torsos. Finally, even though a pantliner provides no greater inconvenience in the restroom than, say, a thigh slimmer, some styles are made with split crotches that eliminate the need for any potty pull-downs.
So, when looking to expand your shapewear wardrobe, make sure to remember the pantliner. Even if you don’t live in North or South Carolina, nothing could be finer than to slip on a new pantliner in the morning.