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Cooler, lighter options for shape wear. Women are often thought to be full of mystery, but lucky for us, determining what we can wear under our clothing to look smashing doesn’t have to be such a secret. And now that the heat is on and the season is full of more body-conscious clothing, most women welcome the benefits of a little magic-fix shaping. Julian Gold lingerie buyer Danielle Cuellar says in the 10 years she’s been buying, shapewear has had lots of improvements across all brands. “The new shapewear is about comfort and lighter fabric control versus the suck-you-in-you-can’t-breathe control,” she says. Colleague and foundation fit expert Linda Klein concurs: “Technology gets fabric thinner every year.” While you can still get the longline, thick-fabric, full-compression products from the past, Cuellar says they are more suitable for special occasions under evening wear, but for everyday there are many alternative options with new technology. New whisper-thin fabrics are especially comfortable for the San Antonio climate. Spanx is one of Julian Gold’s best-sellers and offers many style options. Younger women really like the shaping and smoothing mid-thigh Skinny Britches with crisscross strips that target the tummy and laser-cut edges that prevent them from showing through clothing.

The Trust your Thinstincts, another mid-thigh short style by Spanx, is less about shaping and more about smoothing, something that is ideal to wear under skirts or pants. Wacoal makes a lighter-control mid-thigh style, Smooth Complexion, which is popular, says Cuellar and ideal to wear under spring and summer fashions. Ultra-thin microfiber gives a firm appearance, and Klein says the alterations department can cut the length and adjust to your preference.
Slips, says Cuellar, are necessary to wear with many spring fashions: “Maxi dresses are really in fashion, and so we sell long slips as well as full and half-slips.” Bodysuits in thinner, silky microfiber are available in many brands and styles — strapless convertible, built-in underwire bras, thong bottoms and even full compression. A customer favorite, says Cuellar, is Spanx’s Boostie Yay. She also says some women prefer alternative styles that are smaller, with less fabric and thus cooler. Spanx’s new Undetectable in thong or brief styles affords a lower midriff control panel and a comfortable cotton gusset. There are shaping briefs like the ones made by Chantelle that have a ruched rear that gives a nice shape and, says Klein, prevents “pancake bottom.”

Beauty1On the rise again, thanks to Kate Middleton’s example, are pantyhose. Great for a more finished look, Hanes Silk Reflections are best-sellers, as are toeless Donna Karan hosiery, which women like to wear with sandals or open-toed shoes. “You get a perfect leg and can let your pedicure show,” says Klein. There’s no denying a good bra can make a real difference. “It affects the way your clothes fit and how you feel,” says Cuellar. Klein agrees, adding, “it can even improve your posture.” A professional fitting is key because, says Cuellar, “no bra fits the same on every person.” Citing the differences between breasts with fullness at the bottom versus more fullness at the top, Cuellar says each requires different structure and construction, adding, “For instance, a two-part cup gives more coverage and accommodates a breast with fullness underneath.” Klein says

the three-part cups of Chantelle’s Cashmire accommodate women with wider-set breasts. Both agree the best-selling bra is the Wacoal Awareness bra that supports breast cancer causes. “It can’t be beat, it’s so comfortable,” says Cuellar. The demi-cup style by Natori is well loved by Alamo City women. “It’s fabulous for the heat because it has less fabric,” says Klein. The importance of fit is important regardless of bust size, small or large. Klein emphasizes the preventive nature of wearing bras, explaining, “The importance of supporting the breast with good-fitting bras at every age will help ensure you won’t have problems later.” Cuellar says their lingerie customers start at “the age of prom.” One aspect of Klein’s work is the joy of seeing multi-generational lingerie shopping: “It’s like the grandmothers and moms are passing down knowledge to the girls on being a woman and taking care of yourself.”

By CHERYL VAN TUYL JIVIDEN