Tag Archives: Spanx

Fall Fashion 2011: InStyle v. MyStyle

7 Sep September Fashion Mag Covers

Labor Day has come and gone. Time to pack away the eyelet and espadrilles and get ready for fall clothes. But as an almost-40-mom, InStyle isn’t always MyStyle. So here’s the fall fashion issue of Instyle v. MyStyle.

InStyle: Faux-Fur Vest … It’s cozy, it’s glamorous, you’ll wear it this fall

MyStyle: Fleece Vest … It’s cozy, it’s androgynous, you and your husband can match!

InStyle: Layering Style … Dress or skirt over pants

MyStyle: I can barely get one outfit on in the mornings – now you want me to wear two!

InStyle: The Tunic. What’s more forgiving or easier to pack?

MyStyle: The Tunic. What’s more likely to make you look pregnant?

InStyle: The Cape. They were always guaranteed to make drama.

MyStyle: The Cape. Great for Halloween. Does it have an “S” on the back?

InStyle: Boot season is here … which style will you shop for? Flat riding, tall stacked heels, slouchy suede

MyStyle: Boot season is here … which style will you shop for? Rubber rain boots, snow boots, hiking boots

InStyle: What’s your favorite French food?

MyStyle: Do French fries count?

InStyle: We’re loving … Rihanna’s white suit

MyStyle: I’m hoping … she has a Clorox pen

InStyle: Are sheer black or nude pantyhose an option again?

MyStyle: Are support hose an option (ever)? How about Spanx?

InStyle: What to wear for casual Friday

MyStyle: What about casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?

InStyle: Time Traveler …’80s … Take the best of it and don’t look back

MyStyle: Time Traveler … ‘80s … Take the Hammer pants and don’t look back

InStyle: Emerald. This gorgeous jewel tone will definitely add richness to your wardrobe

MyStyle: Great. I’ve always wanted to look like Kermit the Frog

InStyle: Does it really work? Neutorgena Rapid Wrinkle Repair night moisturizer

MyStyle: One word: No

InStyle: Missoni ZigZags into Target.

MyStyle: Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Happy retail therapy everyone!

Saying Sayonara to Swimsuit Season

31 Aug

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. To mark the last big beach weekend of the season, here’s a rerun of June’s “Swimsuit Issues” essay. Enjoy!

It’s easy to feel good about my figure in the winter because I stay covered from head to toe. I go along happily during the cold months zipping my skinny jeans with no problem. There are body shapers for cocktail dresses, stockings for white legs, push up bras for less-than-perky bust lines. Sure I know I need to exercise and tone up, but I can do that in March – plenty of time to get ready for summer. March comes and goes, and still no exercise.  Sometime near the end of May I have to face the white, flabby truth because swimsuit season has arrived.

Most women my age have swimsuit issues. Not the Sports Illustrated kind either. These are the kind of issues that come after having kids, dropping your gym membership and convincing yourself that housework is really enough exercise. There is nothing I dread more about the return of warm weather than standing in the unforgiving glare of dressing room lights and getting a good view of my backside thanks to a three-way mirror. (Really, do retailers want me to buy a swimsuit or antidepressants?)

Women with older kids are the lucky ones. They can sit under an umbrella, and sip a fruity drink. If they have to leave their lounge chair, they can step into their stylish cover up, concealing all bulges and ripples from the midday sun.  Not me.  I have two boys under four. I don’t even bother to get a lounge chair at the pool because I never sit down. I must walk, bend, chase, splash and be fully exposed to all the other pool goers for my entire visit.

Bathing suit makers are aware of the body issues of women like me, but they have yet to find a good solution. Not that they haven’t tried. There are swim skirts, boy shorts, tankinis — all intended to help disguise and conceal our problem areas. Truly, I think all of these options just make my problems worse. Skirts hide cheeks, but not thighs, and all of that flouncey material makes hips look wider. Boy shorts should not be worn by anyone over the age of 12. And tankinis can make you look like you are in the early stages of pregnancy.

Women are not alone. Men have swim suit issues too. Tufts of hair sprout like weeds on shoulders, lower backs and big toes.  And for the unlucky gentlemen who lose hair on their heads, it seems to all relocate to their backs and chests. They begin to look like bald grizzly bears.  Guts expand and sag.  Men develop weird sock tans and shirt tans from golf and yard work. And of course there is always the unlucky guy at the beach who has a Phil Mickelson-esque chest and is in need of what Kramer and Frank Costanza referred to as the “the bro.”

For all these woes of the aging flesh – for men and women — I think I have found a solution. I was inspired by a four-year-old boy who was a very enthusiastic member of my son’s swimming class at the local YMCA. Instead of Hawaiian and pirate motif swim trunks like the other boys wore, this child wore a spring wet suit each week. It’s a brilliant solution for middle-aged folks. It only exposes your calves and forearms, so unless you have terrible varicose veins, how bad can you look? Maybe a company like Spanx could make wet suits with padding in the tush and bust, compression in the thighs and tummy. Lose inches and tone up instantly without any exercise or surgery, and protect yourself from the sun at the same time.  However, when I mentioned my inventive idea to a friend she pointed out that it would be like going back to bathing suits in the 1920s. Not a new idea at all.

Well it may not be new, but it’s sure a better solution than a swim dress. I have at least four more summers to go before I join the ranks of moms who actually sit on lounge chairs in cover ups, so I need a fix. Of course, maybe I will start exercising next March, just in time for the 2012 swim season and my 40th birthday.

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