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"Smarter" Shapewear

Shapewear innovations include moisturizing fabrics and anti-cellulite styles.

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Wacoal's iPant Anti-Cellulite Long Leg Shaper

Wacoal's iPant Anti-Cellulite Long Leg Shaper

Photo courtesy of BareNecessities.com
Women are expecting a lot from undergarments these days -- and shapewear brands are delivering. The trend was very popular in 2011, and is continuing. Recent innovations in fabric technologies have enabled manufacturers and designers to develop new types of "smarter" shapewear -- and these undergarments claim to provide many unexpected benefits.

Why Care About Shapewear Trends?

  • Improve Your Assets: Even if you're thin, shapewear helps your clothes look better by providing a smooth foundation -- free of bumps and bulges.

  • Not Like Grandma's Girdle: In the past, shapewear made women feel like a stuffed sausage. Due to recent innovations in fabric technologies, shapewear fits better -- and some fabrics are even infused with aloe-vera, to feel softer against your skin.

  • Beauty Benefits: New types of shapewear claims to do so much more than simply smooth your curves. Unexpected benefits that some brands claim include cellulite reduction and improved muscle tone.

Three Innovative Brands...

Wacoal's Anti-Cellulite iPant

Wacoal's iPant, shown above, is a collection of pants and shorts that are designed to deliver anti-cellulite benefits to the skin.

How is this possible?
The iPant is made from Lycra and nylon microfibers, embedded with microcapsules, which contain a cocktail of beauty ingredients. These ingredients are released onto the skin as you are wearing the pants. The beauty ingredients include: caffeine, to promote fat destruction; vitamin E, that is said to help protect the skin from the signs of aging; ceramides, which promotes smoothness; aloe vera for moisturizing; and retinol to increase the skin's firmness.

The iPant is also designed to feel comfortable. It has thin, laser cut edges that lie flat against your body, so it won't add bulk under clothing. It provides moderate control for your tummy and thighs -- and that means just the right amount of holding power, without feeling too constricted.

What happens when you wash the pants?
The active ingredients were still present after 100 washes, according to Wacoal's internal tests. Regardless of whether or not you completely believe in its anti-cellulite claim, Warcoal's iPant will help your curves look sleek and smooth -- even under the most clingy dress.

Simone Pérèle's Caressence Control Bodysuit

Simone Pérèle's Caressence collection shows that shapewear can be both functional and pretty. The brand's 'Caressence' bodysuit is designed to slim and smooth your curves -- but its innovative feature is its aloe-vera infused lace, which feels ultra-soft against your skin. The lace panels are attached to the bodysuit's high-cut legs, which gives the bottom a boy-short shape.

This bodysuit, which is shown above in the second photo, also has a supportive center panel for extra tummy control, and a built-in plunge-cut underwire bra with molded cups. The aloe-infused lace is also used to trim the bra straps.

A Shaper That Can Help Burn Calories & Tone Muscles?

The folks at ShaToBu call their new innovative shapers "the workout you wear." The shapewear collection includes full length tights and capri styles. ShaToBu shapers deliver low-intensity strengthening and toning benefits, according to the company.

ShaToBu's design is based on the principle of resistance training. The nylon and Lycra tights have built-in seamless resistance bands that help your muscles to work harder while you are walking.

Dr. Denise Perron, a board-certified chiropractor, came up with the idea for ShaToBu when she wanted to find a product to help her patients who weren't following her recommended exercises consistently. ShaToBu was developed and tested by doctors and exercise physiologists at the University of Virginia and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. According to the company, a study conducted by the University of Virginia showed that women who wore the tights during daily activities burned up to 12% more calories.

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