A Myriad of Stripes and the Ups and Downs of Shapewear

I was going to write a 4th of July post for today, but frankly I’m kind of over all of the red, white, and blue outfits…I personally have been wearing some version of red, white, and blue for the past 5 days! I love the color combination, but now we are entering overkill territory. So here is some black and tan for you all! Happy Independence Day, America!

I bought this striped maxi dress about a year ago from Cato Fashions and this is the first time I am wearing it…because it required some serious shapewear and I have been somewhat shapewear-averse. Until recently. A good friend of mine swears by corsets and waist trainers and I finally caved and asked her to explain the ups and downs of this waist training endeavor. She has had tremendous success with a latex waist trainer; however, I am allergic to latex, so this was not option for me. Plus I just get too dang hot and refuse to wear this kind of shapewear daily. But, she did introduce me to the wonder and joy of a simple shapewear corset for certain outfits.


Previously, I had tried shaping underwear and Spanx type shorts, but they always seem to roll back down under my belly. You all know what I’m talking about, right? Then not only is it not doing what I want it to do, it’s making me uncomfortable with that rolled up piece of fabric sitting just beneath my gut! And then I spend the entire day pulling and tugging at my shapewear. Fail!


So I decided to try this corset idea. I headed out to Kohl’s a few months back to try on some corsets for shaping not for waist training. I discovered this Maidenform Shapewear Instant Slimmer Waist Nipper. It sits just beneath the lower underwire of my bra, so absolutely no rolling down occurs. Plus it has boning which also keeps it in place all day long. No more tugging and pulling. It is fairly lightweight and breathable so I don’t get incredibly hot. And it has front hook and eye closures for easy on and off. Those are the ups.


Now the downs of this corset…while it squeezes in all that belly flab that can make me appear 7 months pregnant, that flab has to go somewhere else, right? The laws of physics dictate that. So where does it go? Well, for me, it goes out the bottom and out the top. So I end up with unflattering saddle bags just below my hips and a giant roll of back fat pouring out the top! So now this needs to be rectified with more shapewear!


To smooth out the saddle bags, I then need to add shapewear shorts. Which doesn’t bother me so much because I prefer to wear shorts under dresses and skirts anyway…to prevent thigh chafe (you thick-thighed ladies know what I’m talking about) and also to prevent unexpected flashing of what’s under my skirt or dress (you ladies with small children know what I’m talking about)! So saddle bag problem solved! But what about rolling back fat?


This particular dress, while it is very flowing at the bottom, it is super fitted at the top. So when I tell you there was back fat, I am telling you there was a gigantic flabby roll of unflattering cellulite busting out of the top of the corset to the point that it appeared as if I had some sort of back deformity.


So I needed a way to resolve this back issue. Enter this striped sleeveless cardigan. I was amazed at how the stripes on the cardigan were the exact same stripes as the dress especially since these two pieces were purchased from different retailers. And I wasn’t sure about pairing them together for a super stripey look, but I went for it anyway! And I kind of liked it. Plus the cardigan has that cool Aztec pattern on the back to break up the stripes a bit.


Outfit details:
Dress:Cato Fashions (from last year, but check out the adorable maxi dresses they have this year here). You can also check out some of the cute maxi dresses I have for sale at Shop Shelbee Lane!
Cardigan: MUDD from Kohl’s (from last year)
Sandals: American Eagle Shaylee Crochet Flat in Natural from Payless
Necklace: I have had these two strands of mini seashells probably since high school. Here I knotted them around my neck because they kept getting caught on my boobs when I wore them the traditional way!
Corset: Maidenform Shapewear Instant Slimmer Waist Nipper from Kohl’s


Would you pair this many stripes together? Also, what are your experiences with shapewear? Do you wear it or not? Have you ever put on an outfit and looked in the mirror and thought, “Hmm. That looks really cute. If I were 7 months pregnant!”? That has happened to me too many times!

Shaping up on the edge,


Linking up with: These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

*This is not a sponsored post. I found this Maidenform corset on my own and purchased it with my own money. I am just sharing my experience with this particular type of shapewear.

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

58 Responses

  1. Lauriepop

    I’ll have to check out that corset. Didn’t know they called it that anymore. Gotta wait for my 30% haha.

    • Yes, definitely wait for your 30% off, Laurie. I think I had 30% off and Kohl’s cash when I bought mine and ended paying around $20 for it. I bought it in black and I may get another one in nude.


  2. I am obsessed with your beauty in this dress and shoes.

  3. I’ve not tried corsets; they intimidate me, although you are right about shapers and control top hose always rolling down and bunching up beneath the belly – I hate that!

    • Alexis, I find an actual corset to be quite intimidating, too. My husband and I picked out 2 really pretty corsets from Adore Me that we like to just have fun with, but in all honesty, they are not that comfortable or practical and if tied too tight I do get a little faint! (I am planning a fun post with those in the future, when the weather cools down enough for me to tolerate them!)


  4. The stripes on stripes work really well, I really like that striped maxi dress! 🙂

    My mum gave me a dress a while back and when I tried to wear it post-baby I wasn’t too impressed, it was quite bodycon! Luckily one of my maternity singlets had a tummy control panel in it so I could wear that under it and not worry about the post-baby bulge too much! That’s my only experience with shapewear really!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Thank you, Mica! I don’t mind wearing shapewear as long as it’s not too hot out. And by too hot, I mean warmer than 70 degrees! And I don’t think my post baby bulge is leaving any time soon…seeing as my youngest is almost 3 1/2 and that baby bulge is still hanging around. So shapewear will be sticking around, too!


  5. What a fantastic outfit! The cardigan fits perfectly with the dress. And the sandals and necklace are so beautiful! This look is very pretty ShelBee! I bought a few months ago my first shapewear underwear. But it looks great when I am wearing a shapewear rightover it but not when I wear it alone. It makes my but more flat than it already is!

    • Thank you, Nancy! And I have no butt either. I wish I could take some of the belly fat and inject into my butt! One problem I have with no butt is that I always have to wear a belt with my jeans because no matter how tight they may fit in the waist, they still fall down because I have no butt to keep them up. These are real woman problems!


  6. Hi Shelbee, terrific outfit, I actually like the way you layered the stripes. It creates an interesting pattern and distracts the eye from your rolls you are so worried about. Mission accomplished!!!

  7. Wonderful dress! I’d love to see it without all the foundation wear too, as your own shape is just lovely! Thanks for sharing, xo


    • Oh thank you, Patti! Without the shapewear, I look to be about 7 months pregnant! Very cute, actually, if I wear 7 months pregnant! Ha! Just the way the dress hugs the midsection, not very flattering…I need a little looser cut to not don shapewear!


  8. I like the pattern mix here S – nicely done.
    For good keeping my back smooth I purchased a tank that pretty much holds it all in place, however the layering you did works white well.

  9. I’ve been debating a waist trainer for a while but couldn’t decide on what type to get. I might have to check this one out. I’m actually a huge fan of the Spanx and Target brand spanx that look like bike shorts. I wear them under my skirts all summer long. I also have a full body spanx one for more form fitting dresses but it kinda creeps me out because you can’t take it off to go to the bathroom and instead there’s a pee hole.


    • There are so many different options out there, Lara, that it can be overwhelming. I definitely could not tolerate a full body shaper with a pee hole. Oh No Way!!! It’s kind of funny though. There would be a scene every time I had to use the bathroom, for sure. And I most definitely would pee on myself! Maybe I will ask if my friend, the waist trainer expert, to draft a more detailed post about this topic for me! Thanks for stopping by!


  10. Love a great striped dress!
    Happy 4th!
    Stylin In St. Louis

  11. Love your dress, looks so floaty , cool and stylish 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Creative Mondays ..

  12. That looks like such a comfortable and fabulous outfit. And I’m right there with you on all the red, white and blue. Phew!


  13. Great article! I love the outfit!

    For summer, I have to leave the latex shaper in the drawer and put on something like this http://assets.charmingshoppes.com/is/image/LaneBryant/rc_196154_1X-1?$product_main$&wid=354&hei=460&op_sharpen=1&iv=VaCf-2&wid=1416&hei=1840&fit=fit,1

    But I do usually pee all over myself when I wear it 🙁

    • Jane, you slay me! And I am glad you read the post! I seriously think you should write a guest post for my blog all about waist trainers and other shapewear options. (You know, in your “free” time!) And I cannot believe you wear that thing on a hot summer day. Then add pee all over to the sweaty mix and don’t you have a giant sticky, urine mess? Ugh. The joys of being a woman!


  14. A beautiful dress. The combination of stripes, and ethnic boho style is wonderful.

  15. looking fashionable ~ and the mix of the strips works here. Ahhh shape wear – I have found spanx to work well – they offer a variety of pieces and full body options. Hope you had a great 4th of July.

    • Thanks so much, Celia! I can’t get myself to spend the money on the Spanx brand because I don’t wear shapewear all that often. But I may have to just take the plunge because I have a drawer of cheap shapewear that just doesn’t cut it for me!


  16. Love your maxi but I will never be a fan and user of shapewear – it’s just too restricting for me!

    Check out my boho/70s inspired look this week at the blog – Happy Tuesday!


    • Will do, Rebecca! I wish I didn’t need to wear shapewear. But some things just require it for my body! I probably only wear it once a week or every other week anyway because of feeling restricted. Thanks for stopping by!


  17. Love your whole look! Beautiful!


  18. I’ve totally gotten out of the habit of shapewear, but my stepmom was telling me the same thing about hers (that it rolls on her). Yet some women love it?
    I like the striped squared!! It looks absolutely intentional!!

  19. Love the dress on you! I hate how spanx always rolls down, I will definitely check out Maidenform!

  20. Interesting! I don’t really know much about shapewear, but there are some dresses I have that I have thought about adding some just to smooth it all out. I really liked your review and the ups and downs of the one you bought!

    • Thanks, Laura! Definitely certain dresses look way better on me with shapewear. Actually, there were dresses in my closet that I never wore because I didn’t feel confident in the front protruding belly curves. Shapewear made these dresses wearable again! Thanks for stopping by.


  21. WOw – cool print mixing! For a second I thought it was one crazy printed piece 🙂


  22. I personally love all the stripes together. It flows well. My mom says the same thing about Spanx being annoying. Now she wears Jockey shapewear from Macy’s, which she loves. Hope you had a great holiday!

    P.S. I didn’t wear red, white or blue yesterday either. 🙂


    • Thanks, Candace! Maybe I will try some Jockey shapewear, too! I actually wore blue and white yesterday without the red. This dress I wore a few weeks ago, it was too hot for it this weekend! Thanks for stopping by.


  23. Any experience I have with shape wear has been a bad one, haha! So uncomfortable! But I do love all the stripes together, it’s really flattering!

    pumps & push-ups

  24. Thanks shelbee for an interesting blog to read. I love the stripy outfit, it looks fabulous on you. Jacqui

  25. I use a different style, but the same brand, when I’m looking for some slimming. Mine isn’t the most comfortable thing, but it also isn’t terrible. I can deal with it for a few hours if I want to look a little smoother. You’re lookin’ beautiful, Shelbs. I love your dress! I also love the vest/cardigan you added to it, I actually thought the two came together. They make a fun, cute outfit :).


    • Thank you, Jane! Your comments are always so kind and make my day! I thought it was kind of cool the way these stripes were so perfectly matched! Yeah, I don’t mind my shapewear so much for most of the day, but now that we are hitting the 90’s for the next few weeks, my shapewear is not coming any where near my body!


  26. Nice dress. I have a body shape wear that is a headache (and got from Walmart on clearance) so I may be on the lookout for a new one. Looking good!
    Thank you for linking up to “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me”
    Rachel xo

    • Thanks, Rachel. I think all shapewear is a headache in its own way! Ha! I recently bought of pair of shapewear shorts from Walmart that aren’t too bad, they only sometimes end up rolling down on me. And they have a cute little lace trim along the hem! I hate paying full price for anything, but with shapewear I sometimes have to make an exception…mostly because I find it rarely goes on clearance and you need it to fit right no matter the price tag. I hope you find your perfect shapewear!

      Have a fabulous weekend.


  27. Hi Shelbee,
    I love the tan and black stripes and the multi directional way the stripes are on the dress and vest. What cute sandals too, love the crochet look. I am getting into maxi dresses more this year. I cant comment on shape wear as I have never worn it, but it just sounds uncomfortable to me. Also, it is so hot, I cant imagine adding something that is that close to the body layered underneath. Have you tried the dress without? I bet it would look great!
    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads tuesday!
    jess xx

    • Thanks so much, Jess! I definitely try to avoid shapewear if I can, but there are some things in my closet that really just need it. When I put on this dress without shapewear I literally look 7 months pregnant! Which is great if I were 7 months pregnant! The shapewear just pulls in that belly enough to avoid the pregnant look. I probably wouldn’t wear this dress if it was too hot anyway even without shapewear because there is so much fabric to it. It’s all good, theough, it is what it is. And shapewear has allowed me to feel comfortable in pieces that I was not happy with before.


  28. Getting to this party late, I see. Anyway, I feel shapewear is good if you’ve got just a little bit to shape. Honestly, after a certain size no amount of spandex is going to rein a body in. I feel like a sausage in shapewear b/c as you pointed out “it has to go somewhere”, so true! I only wear a light camisole spandex so no one can see my stretch marks from my two daughters which show up on thin fabric, everything else is going to have a roll or curve. I’m well-fed! Loved the outfit though!


    • I am well fed, too, Julia! Haha! This is a great comment! Often, I am better just finding clothes that are figure flattering without shapewear, but every now and then it feels good to have a nipped in waist! Thanks for reading!


  29. Wow the dress the is gorgeous! Very original! Would love if you can link up to http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2016/07/11/summer-essentials-to-survive/

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