I take a deep breath. Except – shit – I forgot, I can’t.
‘I’m fine,’ I gasp. ‘I’m laughing at Twitter.’
‘You sound very odd.’
‘Yeah, well that’s because I can’t breathe properly.’
Let’s retrace our steps a little eh? Got an email from a PR asking if I wanted to check out the Trinny & Susannah range of 'Original Magic Knickers' Remember Trinny and Susannah? The two fashion journalists infamous for kneading women’s breasts on makeover TV? They used to rattle on about ‘Magic Knickers’ all the time. About the need for the 'right foundation garments' - hmm. Turns out they have a whole range of the things - if you've got a 'problem area' they have something to squeeze it into submission.
‘Oh, go on then,’ I said. I’ve lost three stone lately and am exercising like a demon but, hey, a bit of extra firming never hurt. I’d tried variations on the ‘magic knicker’ bit before and, frankly, they were a joke. The damn things just rolled down into a thick uncomfortable expensive wodge.
The Magic Tummy Tucker Vest (‘reduces fat rolls and smoothes out the silhouette’) and the All in One Body Shaper (‘creates a slimming effect for buttocks and tummy’).
I was chatting (um, doing business) on Twitter at the time. So, what the heck, I thought I’d try them out live.
They are tight, darn tight. It took me about four minutes to wriggle into the Vest and, once on, I had a moment of total panic. The damn thing was so snug it felt like an iron lung (or how I imagine an iron lung might feel). I was hyperventilating within minutes and going quite light-headed. But after a bit, it actually felt quite nice – sort of like being hugged on an ongoing basis. Okay, that sounds a bit sad and needy, doesn’t it? More pragmatically it was warm. Definite plus.
Onto the Body Shaper. The descriptions for this one had me weeping with laughter all over again.
• ‘Allows you to wear your own bra whilst keeping the breasts in place.’
• ‘Banishes saddlebags and lifts the bottom.’
• And, my favourite....‘Easy-to-open gusset with double flaps that close automatically’
Okay, so now it was sounding like a very strange kind of sex outfit. I told Twitter about it.
@JDRevene: Good lord, now I'm going to have to Google that.
@keatsbabe – but where does all the stuff you push around actually go? It has to ooze out somewhere
@belle_lulu: You have automatic double gusset flaps? You whore! ;)
@BigFashionista: Shudder. Although could be handy with unwanted advances. Get too fresh and it cuts your hand off.
@PolFreeman: Oh the visuals
@vwallop: can you wee in it?
I told them that the gusset is a unique concept apparently; ‘created especially for T&S’. See #3 on the image - handily highlighted in red. They didn’t give a toss.
@JDRevene: do you have a camera?
@belle_lulu: you know what’s coming don’t you? TWITPIC
@milla64: oh come on, get the camera out.
@JDRevene That’s a no on the camera, I take it!
Got it in one, JD!
@PolFreeman: You’re serving drinks? Cool
Okay, so my attempt at serious on-line real-time journalism had descended into a spectator sport - with popcorn.
@ShoutyDad: Gusset is the most detumescent word in the dictionary. If a woman ever wanted to cool a man's ardour, just whisper it in his ear
Detumescent? Really? I thought I looked quite hot in it actually. I wandered into the kitchen where Adrian was making coffee. ‘What you reckon?’
‘Oh My God.’
‘Oh My God in a good way?’
‘Um, no. No. Just no.’
‘I dunno. It’s like girdles. Your mother’s girdles.’
‘My mother didn’t wear a girdle.’
‘No, not YOUR mother. My mother.’
‘Right.’ So not going there in my imagination. ‘So you’re not into the idea of the easy-to-open gusset with double flaps?’
He shuddered. I swear to God the man shuddered. ‘It’s....it’s.....detumescent.’
That not being a word that tinkles readily off my husband’s lips, I wrinkled my eyes in suspicion. ‘You been following my Twitter feed?’
He looked abashed. ‘Yeah, well.’
So. There you have it. The Body Shaper is not a sexy turn-on (not in this house anyway). What? What? Oh, it’s not meant to be? My bad. Okay, so the serious review.
To answer the questions, no you don’t get bits popping out. Does it ‘pull you in’? Sort of. Put it this way, my leggings are baggier than usual. Is it comfortable? Actually and surprisingly, yes. Though I wouldn’t wear it for yoga. Nor, come to think of it, for a hot date. Yes, it might smooth out your figure but, trust me, you couldn’t shimmy out of this bugger in one sultry move. And, as we’ve already ascertained, the gusset issue is a no-goer. ;)
Original Magic Knickers come in 9 different styles, in a range of colours, starting from £26.
Trinny and Susannah website is down right now but you can buy from Debenhams