Undies Mondays: Ann Summers 'In Control' sexy shapewear
If there's one thing Ann Summers doesn't do, it's frumpy underwear, so when they decided to launch a range of shapewear, a lot of thought was put into making it as sexy as possible.
The result is the In Control range, a set of five pieces (bra, suspender cami, shorts, thong and high-waisted knickers) in a silver sparkle-shot black powermesh that'll sculpt and smooth your body for maximum curves.
First up, the cami (which is essentially a suspender dress with built-in bra). This is the hero of the range, a seriously supportive powermesh number that really pulls everything up and in. It's definitely got the looks - the front panel is embroidered in a spiderweb of silver thread while the back is mesh with a 'sling' support around the bum to give a lift (it works - wow). The cups come with removable 'inflator' pads which you can pump up for an extra lift. My bust is big enough already so I promptly removed these, but for A - C cups it's a nice addition. The idea of the shapewear is to take you down a dress size and up a cup size, and the combined powermesh and cup boost definitely work towards this goal.
Sadly, I didn't look properly at the sizing advice before I ordered this, and blithely went for my usual band size of 34. Because this is very strong powermesh, it just doesn't stretch and fit like a bra, so while I could get the dress on, I couldn't get the back zip up at all no matter how much I breathed in and yanked!
This is my own fault. As it turns out, Ann Summers does have very detailed sizing advice on the website that suggests you pick a band size to coincide with your dress size and adjust the cup to suit, rather than just picking your usual bra size. So as a size 14 ish I would need this product two band sizes larger and a couple of cup sizes smaller to fit perfectly. As far as I'm concerned, this is quite a big design error - surely the sizing shouldn't have to be explained in such detail and it should fit like everything else? However I only have myself to blame for not reading up before I ordered. If I had a bigger size, I have no doubt this would now be a wardrobe staple, as from what I could tell trying on, the shapewear gives an amazing shape whilst looking great, and the bra section is supportive and lifting. The suspender straps are detachable, and the dress has rubber around the hem to stop it riding up - a big problem with a lot of shapewear dresses I've tried.
The bottoms fared nuch better - I went for a 14 which fit well, though they're snug because of the heavy elastic waistband. Overall, they run true to size, so I think the high-waisted briefs would be the same. However, if you're between sizes I would definitely recommend going up, not down.
Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of the shapewear - the mesh is strong and supportive and it really does smooth and lift, creating a killer hourglass figure. I just strongly advise anyone purchasing takes heed of the sizing advice - if in doubt, go up 1 or 2 band sizes and down a cup!
Here's a vid of Ann Summers' models giving the cami suspender and high-waisted briefs a go...