Going Commando at the Work Holiday Party?

Santa Hat Lady

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s face it. Ladies undergarments were not designed with comfort in mind. Not much has changed since the invention of the corset that was meant to give a woman an 18-inch waist.

But the undergarment I am going to rant about is Spanx or shape wear, like the old fashioned girdle. They tout the motto, “No matter the occasion or season, we’ve got a shape to keep you looking great from all angles!”

But at what price?

I heard of a case where the mother of the bride was stuck inside a full body Spanx for five hours. If Spanx’s motto is, “Spanx is here on your big day,” where were they? It slims and lifts, but is it worth it?

Holiday Party

Christmas party

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My big moment came to prove the claims made by Spanx. My husband’s work holiday party approached and I needed a little tightening in some places, especially the tummy. At Nordstrom, I purchased a pair of  “Trust Your Thinstincts Mid-Thigh Control Panel Shapers” for $58. Size: Large.  Slimming level: Medium. Unfortunately, I did not try them on in the dressing room before purchase.

Dress ironed, shoes polished, hair coiffed, face painted, it was time to get on the undies. Unwrapping the package, I realized I had made a terrible mistake.  Straight out of the envelope, the pair dropped into my palm as small as a mustard seed. Were these for children?

The instructions or “warnings” stated that putting on Spanx was “moderately challenging.” An understatement. Don’t use after a shower. Use with baby powder. When all else fails, go up a size. Take your time. For additional assistance, call the Spanx hotline. Yeesh.

I stepped into them right foot first, trying to pull up to the waistline on the first try. Major mistake. I was knocked to the ground.

Next, I entered the left foot. Starting from my ankle, I rolled a tiny bit upward.  A combination of yanking, jumping, and holding my breath got them past my knees.

At mid-thigh, like a tourniquet, it was constricting and compressing my extremities.  As they climbed higher, I felt light headed and sweaty. I panicked. Losing circulation fast.

It was time to call in the reinforcements. Or 911.

“Mike, help!  I can’t get up.”

Rushing into the bathroom, he took one look at me on the ground, Spanx half on, legs askew, and blanched.

“Avert your eyes,” I said.

“Grab my arm. I’ll try not to look.”

I reached for his hand with a clammy palm. I realized as he pulled me upright that he may never look at me in the same light again.

“I’ll be waiting downstairs,” he said, blasting down the staircase.

Ping! One final yank moved the Spanx into place. But Spanx couldn’t contain my fat any longer. It started to roll out the bottom and my knees grew as huge as my butt.  Fat bulged above my waistline, yet not high enough to enhance the bust line. What do I do now Spanx?  Huh.

I threw on my clothes after molding the fat into the right places and then headed down the steps. Dear God, if this wrap-around dress comes undone, my husband will be lucky to keep his job.

It’s Show Time

At dinner, my stomach was compressed so tightly that I could only eat tiny portions of food. And drinking? Forget about that.

After three hours, I was eager to use the restroom. Twisting and turning in the confines of a bathroom stall, I made as much ruckus as a rugby player. I could dislocate a shoulder pulling my Spanx down.

“Are you okay?” asked the lady in the next stall.

“Just a little out of breath. I’ll be fine.”

After we left the restaurant, my husband said, “You seem happy. Did you have a good time?”

“Yep, it was fun.”

Bottom line, stuffing Spanx into my purse and going commando was the only option. I value breathing and eating over beauty. My advice, save the money and do sit ups.

How about you?  Have you had a similar experience with Spanx you’d like to share?  If so, leave me a comment so I know I am not alone!

This article was previously published in the Pleasanton Patch.

Want to share your own holiday disaster story? Leave a comment!

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About staceygustafson


  1. Jean Gustafson-Mannen says

    This article made me laugh out loud !!! Love it…

  2. Neva Hodges says

    No experience with Spanx but I went to a party last night and wore control top panty hose. First of all it hurt to put the stupid thing on. Second of all they wanted to slip down all evening. I had to resist the urge to pull them up. Sliding into the car after the party they fell to the gut level. As soon as I got home I practically tore them off. No more slimmer body for me.

    • staceygustafson says

      I hear you. I am in between sizes. If I get the larger size, the waist band goes under my armpits. The smaller size is too uncomfortable. What to do?

  3. Hilarious! And so relatable! I’ve given up on all that, too! Besides, isn’t the muffin top the best part of the muffin?!

  4. Ha! Sorry, I love my Spanx. I get the full-length black hose and they make my palazzo pants look amazing. Since I got down to normal weight, my figure looks fine, but a little smoothing helps with the details. After working so hard to get to normal weight, I don’t each much at parties, anyway, and the Spanx are a good reminder to follow my plan.

    • staceygustafson says

      I agree, your body looks great in the Spanx. Wish they weren’t so dang uncomfortable. Maybe I need a larger size? Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your parties!

  5. Very funny, Stacy! Love it! I’ve been blogging about 2 years, along the same subject matter. I”d love for you to guest post if you have time. 🙂 However, NOTHING could keep me from a drink at a company party! Oooooh, maybe you didn’t mean alcohol? Don’t know you that well yet!


    • staceygustafson says

      Thanks for stopping by. Sounds like you agree, nothing is more frustrating than the holiday party. Can’t wait to blog about this year’s party. And I would be thrilled to Guest Blog. Let’s set a date and I would like to invite you to be my Guest Blogger as well. Celebrate this season with laughter.

  6. Lol!!! I feel your pain! See Fifty Year Old Woman vs the Sweater Dress on my blog- bottom line: Spanks are good for hilarity!! But bad at comfort!

  7. Ha ha ha! This story really made be cackle out loud. I remember being in a similar situation when I was dressing to go to a wedding on an extremely hot and humid. I could not for the life of me pull those Spanx panties up above my pudgy thighs and I had to enlist my husband’s help. Needless to say, he told everyone at the wedding reception about his experience and likened it to “squeezing a chicko roll – with all the filling overflowing at the top”! Very embarrassing!

    • staceygustafson says

      I cannot imagine being able to pull Spanx up if you were hot and sweaty. As it was, I added baby powder and it helps a little. Chicko roll! Funny.

  8. This is why I try to avoid holiday parties and only attend events where I can wear jeans! Hilarious!

  9. I think I may give up on spanx. If I get the size I want (medium) my experience is just like yours. If I get the size I have a chance of getting into (XXL if they make that size) I can’t face it. Either way, it’s a bad thing. I guess I’ll just have to go commando like you! Great post! Virginia- FirstClassWoman

    • staceygustafson says

      I am still wondering what type of woman needs a small pair of Spanx. Definitely not the target market. Thanks for sharing. Go get your funny on!

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