Modern spin on shapewear

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12Ever since the industrial revolution and the consequent boom of plastics, the creativity of the human population expanded the extent of undergarments that can be described as shapewear, with recent addition of synthetic fibers, such a nylon, polyester, acryl and polyolefin and elastane, just to name the most popular few. Elastane is also known as Spandex. In more recent history, synthetic rubber has become increasingly popular, most prominently in form of Latex, a largely fetish oriented apparel form, but nowadays often used as shapewear.

All these improvements led to the introduction of sculpting shapewear, which did not only use what was there by nature to put it in shape, but added missing curvature to the body, resulting into garments that went as far as providing a whole new body shape. Such apparel is now marketed, for instance, as Celebrity ‘Miracle’ Solutions – by Ultimo, or Celebrity promoted ResultWear by dMondaine, just to name a few.

In terms of Latex, the most popular products are within the sex und fetish industries, more precisely within the BDSM communities, but regular people have embraced such shapewear like latex leggings, latex bodices, latex stockings, latex pantyhose, latex underwear and so on. Generally such latex clothes are worn underneath conventional clothing. Some of most popular brands are Simon O., a relative newcomer, who gained popularity quickly; Armory, which is in business already since 1983, Denber Rubber, in business since 1973 and Skin Two, now owned by Honour of London, naming just a little fraction of popular latex manufacturers.

Spandex, perhaps even more widespread than latex, is definitely more acceptable by the broad public, mainly because of the BDSM connection. Spandex also started with the garment production earlier, mainly within sports, where many of the sports apparel manufacturers recognized the material for the perfect elasticity it provides. Nowadays it is everywhere, from spandex leggings in casual wear to swimsuits, exercise apparel, competitive swimwear, cycling apparel and similar. The most popular spandex application in shaping garment industry would include bra cups, support hose, women’s volleyballs shorts and most interestingly – superhero outfits. Superhero cosplay, a part of the recent popularity boom of superhero merchandise and movies, became a regular sight at comic conventions, but is nowadays a vital part of Halloween costume selections.

In recent times, the extensive popularity of exercise, aerobic, yoga and Pilates programmes, the so-called Yoga-Pants have become not only acceptable during the exercise, but as casual wear, being worn as regular shapewear, sometimes even without additional garments, like pants or skirts. The material used for these yoga pants vary, cotton is less popular because it retains sweat too much, so more sports-oriented fabrics are being used, like spandex or luon.

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