Woman Ditches Spanx – Goes Commando

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. Stacey Gustafson

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

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 in Stoneridge Mall, 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 Hap’s Original Steakhouse, my stomach was compressed so tightly that I could only eat tiny portions of food. And drinking? Forget about that.

Stacey Gustafson, writer

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!

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About staceygustafson


  1. There’s always something new that someone is selling to make us perfect. Better to work on self-acceptance. I’ll pass on the Spanx.

  2. I think this is my favorite of all. I continue to laugh everytime I read it. You are so talented, Stacey, and I love reading your blog.

    • staceygustafson says

      Thanks for being so supportive. Your feedback is important to me. I aim to please so if you hear of a funny true life story, pass it on. Go get your funny on!

  3. What fun! What woman doesn’t feel ridiculous squeezing into Spanx? Great story.

  4. I am laughing so hard that I’m crying. I HATE Spanx but I love how they make my stomach flat. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • staceygustafson says

      Thanks for reading. Haven’t worn Spanx since the party. Will save them for emergency purposes only. Go get your funny on!

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