What Is a Muffin Top?

6 Jul

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By Marcy Montgomery Jones
Miraclesuit® Shapewear

“Muffin Top” is the cute name for the nasty midriff bulge that can appear when women wear waistline panties or shapewear garments.  Today’s post is dedicated to those among us who  live with a bountiful muffin.

Show Me the Muffin!

This photo dramatically depicts how waistline garments affect differently-sized bodies in very different ways.  The woman on the right has a muffin top, while the woman on the left has never eaten a muffin.

But what causes a muffin top?  A wise man I know who’s lived his entire life in the foundation industry has often told me, “The business of shapewear is the business of controlling stretch.  In some places you restrict stretch, and in other places you add in stretch for adjustability.”  Establishing the proper yin and yang balance in this restriction-and-release relationship distinguishes well-fitting, high-performing shapewear from the rest of the crowd.  But it’s precisely this relationship that leads to our problem, even with the highest quality shapewear available.  The waistline garment on the right is restricting stretch in the tummy using multiple panels and stitching on its front.  It’s releasing some of the tension to the back of the garment where there’s only one ply of fabric.  Unfortunately, at the same time, the wearer’s excess flesh is migrating to those places of least resistance, causing – alas – her cup to runneth over.  The result is a muffin top.

It’s a common misconception that a muffin top only develops when one is overweight.  It’s true that being overweight greatly increases your chances of experiencing this phenomenon; however, a muffin top can appear on a woman occupying the “healthy” BMI range as well.  A lack of body firmness may also contribute to the appearance of a muffin top.  If your skin’s elasticity has degraded from age, childbirth, weight loss, or menopause, you’ll be susceptible to spillage.  And don’t forget the importance of body type.  Depending on your shape, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with every kind of intimate apparel.  For those of us whose figures would best be described as oranges walking on toothpicks, experiencing a muffin top of some sort when wearing shapewear is likely unavoidable.  But, hey, we look fantastic in our mini-skirts!

So what are some good ways to avoid seeing that muffin top when wearing shapewear?   First, look for a garment with an adjustable rise or a high waist.  As seen in the picture on the right above, an adjustable waist garment is designed to be placed approximately 1” to 3” above your natural muffin, ahem, waist.  In bypassing the central danger zone, the garment rests on one of the leanest parts of your torso, giving you a smooth appearance.  What really makes this style function so well is a breathable silicone edge applied around its top that ensures it won’t slip or roll down.  Alternatively, a high-waist garment encases your tummy, waist, and stomach, and leaves you with a firm and toned midriff.  Second, look for total-body-shaping options when choosing shapewear.  Such options include bodybriefers, thigh-slimmer bodybriefers, and full slips.  These garments compress the entire body, rather than placing stress and tension directly on the waistline.  And finally, consider pairing a waistline garment with a shaping camisole.  I prefer to tuck my camisoles into my waistline briefs, as this placement confuses the muffin and puts it in check, preventing spillage.

With a little knowledge and a few good strategic choices, you’ll be sure to deflate that muffin top in no time flat.

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CC Image courtesy of celebdu on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/celebdu/ / CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy of yomi955 on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/yomi955// CC BY 2.0
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