Best supporting act

Slim CognitoCalling all nonstopmamas who didn’t quite get around to those daily tummy crunches (or dusting off that Pilates DVD, ahem) before the party dress season. We’re right there with you (and, anyway, the New Year wouldn’t be the same without a goal to aim for). Until then, we thought a little timely ‘shapewear’ (or ‘scaffolding’, as I’ve taken to calling it) research was called for. A case of ‘in emergency, break into the M&S pull-you-in-knickers department’ (well, not literally, but you know what we mean).

We’re now spoilt for choice when it comes to state-of-the-art ‘mummy-tummy’-smoothing and general wobble-controlling gear, such as Spanx’s cutely-named Slim Cognito Shaping Mid-Thigh Bodysuit (£67, left, picture definitely not posed by a nonstopmama!). Completely seamless, it makes you feel seriously supported and features removable clasps which you can attach to your chosen bra (clever). For stockists in UK and Ireland, tel: 01580 241111. Similarly, Marks & Spencer’s Ultimate Magic Secret Support Firm Control Waist & Thigh Clincher (£35) aims to create a smoother look under a little black dress/evening number that’s a bit more snug than it once was (hello). Meanwhile, we particularly loved the lighter but sufficiently supportive Light Control Thigh Slimmer (£16) – impressively line-free, even under a pair of skinny jeans – which is lighter but sufficiently supportive and smoothing.

Nonstopmama’s verdict is that these ‘under-wonders’ are best at smoothing areas that make mamas feel self-conscious, so you feel a bit more pulled-in (without having to think about it), rather than mysteriously reshaping your figure. It’s well worth braving the changing room and seeing how a particular style works for you, checking it doesn’t create an unintended ‘overspill’ mid-back or elsewhere (it happened to us. Not a good look). Or that it feels a little too restrictive. An unexpected bonus: a pair of tummy-and-thigh-shaping shorts will keep you extra cosy until the weather warms up (and you break out the Pilates DVD).

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    Jenni Baden HowardNonstopmama is edited by Jenni Baden Howard, who has written for and worked on a wide range of British glossies, newspapers and online.

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