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Shapewear Sucks: 14 Spanx Horror Stories

Jewel Toned Shapewear Lingerie

Spanx. When you think about shapewear, (or even more rarely, talk about shapewear) Spanx is the name that comes up. It’s the brand that brought shapewear out of the dark ages. But have Spanx caught up to modern day body attitudes? Because thankfully, it’s no longer about squeezing yourself into a size zero if you’re really a size four. Or squeezing into an eight if you’re a twelve, and so on. It’s more about being healthy, comfortable and confident at whatever size you are. After all, healthy is the new skinny.

While there are plenty of pro’s to wearing Spanx, there are also plenty of cons. They're all over the internet. And when we talk to our friends and customers about Jewel Toned, they always have plenty of Spanx horror stories to share. They’re like these deep dark confessions that bubble up to the surface whenever shapewear is mentioned. And most of them begin, “This one time, I wore Spanx…”

So what exactly is wrong with Spanx? It’s all about the squeeze. Not all Spanx garments are designed to squeeze you into a smaller size, but a lot of them are. And when you have to wrestle, shimmy and suck yourself into a pair of Spanx, it can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. Being confident, sexy and attractive can be difficult when you feel like you’re the wrong size, or have the wrong body.

And there’s that whole thing where you’re supposed to avoid really tight clothing. Did you know about that? Apparently, restrictive shapewear like Spanx can cause a lot of pressure on the stomach. By increasing pressure on the stomach, food and acid may reflux up through a weak LES. Not pleasant, and not conducive to a good time.

The reason our founder Rachael McCrary started Jewel Toned was because she felt the world was ready for the next step beyond Spanx – ready for a new generation of shapewear. In the past few years there has been a huge (and welcome) shift in the attitude women have towards their bodies. For example, the big revolt against the Victoria's Secret 'Perfect Body' Campaign. But still, after talking to friends and focus groups, Rachael noticed all the women had something in common. They all seemed a little ashamed when they talked about “needing” Spanx. 

Enter Jewel Toned. A new kind of shapewear that helps create a smooth line and eliminate the need for a bra, but it doesn't squeeze or compress your body in the same way that traditional shapewear does. It also allows you to eat, breathe and move freely and comfortable. The best part? There's no shame. So many of our customers wear their Jewel Toned out, either as their entire outfit or layered with other pieces. Would you ever do that with your Spanx? Probably not.

We’re all familiar with Melissa McCarthy’s Spanx Horror Story. (If you’re not, go watch it, it’ll have you rolling on the ground.) Here are a few of the stories we’ve heard and collecting as we talk about shapewear.

  1. It happened to me, the dreaded Spanx roll down. In a meeting as I stood up to present I took a deep breath and my Spanx rolled from under my bra to my belly button. There was no way to discreetly yank them back up so I just stood there, feeling like I was slowly being cut in half by the waistband of my Spanx. It was so uncomfortable, I'm pretty sure everyone else saw something weird happening around my midsection. I wanted to disappear!
  1. I usually stay away from Spanx because I find them uncomfortable. The last time I made an exception was for my wedding. Every bride has to have the proper support garments, right? The day went by in a blur, but what I remember about the Spanx is when we were in the honeymoon suite afterwards and my husband was helping me out of my dress. When he saw the flesh colored sausage casing squeezing my body, he said, "What the hell? What happened to you? What is that?"
  1. I wore Spanx one time. I did feel like they made me look hot, but when the dress came off they had quite the opposite effect. The Spanx effect! I was a little too drunk to remember I was wearing them. That poor guy did not appreciate my big reveal.
  1. I wore Spanx on a super hot date with a guy. We were dancing and making eye contact and getting so into each other. Until he got a little handsy and started grabbing me around my waist. All I could think was that he was feeling my Spanx. He actually said something about how I felt “like a mannequin.” Needless to say, I didn’t get any that night. I would have had to ditch my Spanx in the bathroom and then come up for an excuse for suddenly feeling like an actual human woman. It was easier to just go home alone.
  1. I wore Spanx to an interview once. It would have been a big promotion for me at the time but I went in with no confidence. I felt like I couldn’t move without the Spanx rolling up or down, and I was so hot with the extra layer, it felt like I was sweating buckets. Didn’t get the job, can’t say I blame them.
  1. I wear Spanx every now and then. Usually on a date if I really, really want to impress the guy. If it looks like the date will be a success, I run into the bathroom ASAP to ditch my Spanx before the night is over. Because even if you sneak them off without the guy figuring it out, you’re still left with red lines and marks on your body. And yes, I learned that the hard way.
  1. I’ve had exactly one pair of Spanx in my life. One pair was enough! I got them to wear to a party, under a really tight dress. Halfway through, the top kept rolling down and the thigh legs rolling up. I kept fighting this thing all night and my friends kept asking what was wrong with me. So, finally I just went to the bathroom, took off the Spanx and threw them away. What a waste of money! I came out and absolutely NO ONE noticed a difference.
  1. I ditched a pair of Spanx halfway through prom, but didn’t want to throw them away because they were so expensive. Instead, I put them in my clutch. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done because of course they fell out when we were all outside waiting for our limo. I grabbed my phone without thinking and out came this hideous nude blob. I dropped the Spanx and kicked them into the bushes as fast as I could. Only one of my friends saw. Thank God she didn’t say anything.
  1. In college, pretty much everyone in my sorority would wear Spanx underneath certain outfits for recruitment. It was pretty common to find us helping each other peel our Spanx off at the end of the evening. You couldn’t just take them off, you had to peel and roll them down, and you needed help.

  2. I needed Spanx to fit into a super tight, non-stretchy pencil skirt. While I'm thinking of it, those same recruitment outfits were these really tight fitting pencil skirt things that some of the girls would say they literally couldn't fit into without their Spanx. What about some anecdote of a girl who ditches her Spanx when she goes home with a guy and then is struggling to fit into her skirt/dress/whatever the next morning as she's getting dressed over at the dudes place?

  3. Spanx were a one time deal for me. Once was enough! I was a guest at a wedding and I had such a miserable time. My husband and I went home after the ceremony, missing the reception. I wouldn’t have been able to eat a thing, or dance with my friends. I only needed one Spanx experience to learn my lesson. No more shapewear, ever.

  4. Every time I've ever tried to pee through the Spanx pee hole the only thing I managed to do was pee all over myself, and my Spanx. But getting them off and on again in a tiny toilet stall is impossible. After throwing away my second pair of Spanx halfway through a night and having to go commando, I learned it's easier just to stop wearing Spanx. If any woman has the precision to go through the hole without getting a drop on her, she deserves some sort of a trophy. Or at least a cookie!

  5. Ever since having a baby I’ll try Spanx every now and then, but they never make it out of the bedroom. I’d just rather look like myself and be able to enjoy my dinner then stress myself out and be uncomfortable all night. Once my poor hubby walked in on me in the middle of a deep lunge, trying to yank the Spanx up my body. I think he’s still scared of walking into the bedroom without knocking.

  6. I foolishly decided to wear a pair of Spanx to class. I made it almost all the way through the day, and then something happened. I’m way too young to have hot flashes, but there’s no other way to describe it. Out of nowhere I had this Spanx induced hot flash and had to drag myself to the bathroom to rip them off. Never. Again.

It seems like women were taught that looking good has to come at a price. Contouring your face beyond recognition. Wearing Spanx and being uncomfortable. Not eating dinner. Definitely not eating dessert. Not being able to pull your best dance moves without fear of erupting out of your dress when your Spanx rolls from underneath your bra to your belly button in one swift motion. Well, those days are coming to an end. Jewel Toned is here to stay.

Jewel Toned
Jewel Toned


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