Control pants: which are the best and the worst on the market? (2023)

Trinny and Susannah popularized Control Pants in their What Not to Wear series earlier this decade. When they weren't arguing with a half-naked woman in front of the 360° mirror, they were cramming their cellulite into a constricting "magic panty." Lo and behold, the woman was suddenly two sizes too small and very self-confident. But a little voice in my head kept whispering, "It's just clever studio lighting and a little bit of makeup."

I've never been ashamed of being wrong, and with the prospect of several great Christmas meals on the horizon, I decided to find out the truth about control pants. Would they give me a smooth silhouette? Would my flabby stomach go away? Would the party dress from 1996 still fit? Trinny, Susannah and Gok said yes; common sense said no.

the markings

I tried on six different brands of control clothing: Charnos, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Trinny and Susannah G-String, Spanx and Gok Wan.

First things first: how are they?

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Most disturbing, unsurprisingly, is theThong Trinny and Susannah, which comes in hideous packaging, showing the couple's faces and a bulging belly. The bracelet itself looks appropriately crude: a cheese string attached to a meaty belt. I don't feel like wearing it.

Braguita Super Slicker by Gamble WanIt comes in purple, which is unlike any other and quite exciting. It has boning at the waist and something called powermesh (well, that's itsonseffective) front. Himbody CharnosIt has a definite vintage feel, with light foam padding in the framed cups. It also comes with detachable keys and keys.

Juan LewisThe high waisted version looks like regular panties with a super wide waistband. HimSpanxjEMThe pants resemble stockings, cut at the knee and reaching to the chest.

You've chosen a pair of pants, but can you sit in them?

All Control pants let you sit straighter. Look for ligaments starting at the rib cage; They will gradually go down to the waist. Before you know it, you'll have your very own Fern Britton Gastric Band. Your ass will slowly swell a la Violet Beauregarde, Charlie's gum-chewing human blueberry, and the chocolate factory, except, and this is an important point, you're wrapped up so the gas has nowhere to go. He stays down there, moving and making loud, awkward noises. HimEMjJuan LewisVersions were 100% guilty of this painful crime.

The other thing to watch out for is the boning at the waistgok-wanPanties. One wrong move and you could have, if not a lung puncture, then an uncomfortable needle stick under your breasts.

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Now that you've successfully sat down, is it possible to have turkey with all the trimmings?

It's pretty obvious that you can't eat a four-course meal in some sort of control underwear without experiencing some very uncomfortable results. However, some performed better than others. After a "controlled" experiment (at home, within reach of a private bathroom) with a boiled potato and theSpanx, I didn't even try to eat a normal meal like a tiger in the straitsEMsome. However, theTrinny and SusannahTanga allowed a decent handful of Brussels sprouts and maybe even a little. as long as you stoodCieloThe surprisingly flexible trousers were also cool.

Can you drink lemonade in it or risk embarrassing outbursts?

Trapped wind is a serious consideration. So serious that I thought it too dangerous to trySpanxÖEMafter the potato experiment. HimCharnosThe jumpsuit was the surprise of the group's track record: a glass or two of champagne enhances the fabulous Dita-style sensations you get when you wear it, and the flare-up can escape your system because there's no waistband to cut into your stomach.

The night has been going well so far, but now you feel a twinge in your bladder. How difficult will going to the toilet be?

This is an essential question considering how much alcohol you are likely to drink on New Year's Eve. Let's start with theSpanx. In short, they are crotchless, saving you the trouble of having to pull anything down.gok-wanThe by's, on the other hand, have a weird bra-like hook-and-eye closure at the crotch. It's hard to undo and even harder to back up. Even with Haken there is a risk that… well, use your imagination. HimJuan LewisYou're fine as long as your dress is loose enough to pull up and allow access to the high waist.

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With great difficulty you have managed to rebutton, pull up or unravel the control pants, but something is wrong. Do you have bad lumps?

Eliminating bulges controls the pantsreason to be. That's probably the biggest question of the whole game. The first is the worst culprit: theTrinny and SusannahBelt. My boyfriend's reaction pretty much sums up those extraordinarily ugly pants: "What did you do to your ass? He looks like a shelf. Can I put my cup of tea on it?” Not exactly the answer I wanted.

HimSpanxjEMThe pants hit the chest and go a little over the legs so there are no seams or bulges in the middle (like a sausage).CharnosIt's good for those with smaller butts and big tummies as it tends to cut out the cheeks but leaves the rest of the body sucked in. The other benefit is that you can wear it with strapless dresses and still feel fully supported thanks to the integrated design. in a bra

The night went so well that only one question remains unanswered: How quickly can you take off your control pants in the bedroom?

It's more than possible that you'll find yourself in a bedroom scene wearing control pants. I tested how quickly the different versions could be removed in the dark, with "hilarious" results (if you think heavy bruising is fun). Pitfalls include tangling control pants and socks, resulting in senseless tugging, jumping, and eventual collapse. Many ThanksJuan LewisjEM.

HimCorreaIt comes off easily enough, which is great unless your lover has a cheese wire fetish. as forCharnosIn fact, in a swimsuit catalog from the 1950s, they're quite the showstopperit coulddecide you don't want to take them off at all...

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The verdict: winners and losers

Best all-rounder: Spanx- probably as comfortable as a control pant and gives a good shape, keeping you where you want without adding bulk.
Most beautiful: Charnos/Gok Wan- When you wear them you know that underneath the dress you look a bit like Dita von Teese.
Worst Aspect: Trinny and Susannah- When you use it, you know it feels like an Edam ball on a cheese board.

product details

Tough Spanx, 26lbs
They look like flesh-colored stockings and reach from the thighs to the chest.

Trinny und Susannah Control Tanga, £ 29,34
Terrible packaging, disgusting thong.

Gamble Wans Super Slicker Knicker, £ 30
Available in purple. It has a vintage feel and flappy parts that reduce NPV potential.

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M&S Magic Firm Control waist and thigh belt, £35
It also extends from mid-thigh to bust, creating a bulge-free silhouette. A thicker fabric than Spanx.

Charnos Superfit Amelia Control Body, £ 36
A 1950s inspired bodysuit with light foam padding in the underwired cups, detachable shoulder straps and suspenders.

John Lewis high waist shaper briefs, £13.50
Essentially a pair of tight, high-waisted panties.


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