To obtain Kim Kardashian's figure you would need to follow all her workouts, diets, and abstain from alcohol amongst other things (that's a no from me—I need my wine). If any of these are deal breakers for you, too, there might be a tiny way to cheat the system: SKIMS. Kim's highly-anticipated, and not without drama, shapewear line finally launched today. The collection features 36 pieces in sizes XXS/XS to 4XL/5XL and nine different shades, with prices ranging from $18 to $98.
So, what's special about SKIMS? And is there a difference between this and other shapewear on the market? We wanted to find out. That's why the MarieClaire.com team volunteered as tribute and gave a few skews a test run. We were all intrigued by the undergarments and curious whether or not they would actually lift, flatten, or flatter our bodies. Read our didn't-hold-back, honest answers, below.
[Editor's note: Per SKIMS, "sculpting" is for smoothing and uses one layer of compression fabric, designed to enhance and tone curves, while "core control" targets the stomach, using two layers of compression fabric at the midsection for an extra hold.]
The Sculpting Bra
"I tried out the "sand" shade in a small/medium, and it was small. I'm very petite—I usually wear S or XS shirts—but this was so tiny, it was hard to even pull over my shoulders. The material was soft, and the straps and support were fine, but the sculpting band was so tight that it left marks on my chest. However. When I wore a tank top over it, the effect was great—I looked like I'd gone up two bra sizes, but also like I wasn't wearing a bra at all!—and I strutted around feeling stellar for about three minutes, which is when I remembered how uncomfortable I was and took it off. I also tried wearing it with T-shirts and Oxford shirts, but there wasn't much point—the bra's material is so sheer, you might as well not be wearing a bra at all.
If you were really committed to looking busty that day, this might be a good piece to use—but, for me, the band was just too tight and I felt too uncomfortable. There isn't a situation in which I'd be willing to put up with that level of discomfort for the sake of my breasts looking perky as hell." —Jenny Hollander, Deputy Editor
The Core Control Short Mid-Thigh
"Honestly, I don't think SKIMS is worth the hype. I ordered a small/medium and large/extra large in the color mica, not sure which one would fit, because I'm a medium in bottoms. As soon as I saw the sculpting shorts, I was shocked at how insanely small they are, so I went straight for the large/extra large. Highly doubtful they would even fit, I somehow managed to get them all the way up past my belly button and was…not impressed. They did not shape my body, but rather highlighted every insecurity I have with my stomach and thighs. Perhaps I would have felt differently if I picked a different color than mica, but I own biker shorts I got for half the price that sculpt my body better. I will say my butt did look good, but I wouldn't wear these on their own, let alone underneath another pair of shorts." —Rachel Epstein, Assistant Digital Editor
The Solution Short With Side Slit
"I don't plan on parting from high-slit dresses, ever. High slits accentuate my thighs in all the right places, and make me feel like a lady with great legs. The fit and material of high slit dresses, however, makes things get tricky. I've avoided snug slit dresses and usually stick to silk or satin because the texture is more forgiving. I immediately gravitated towards the solution short because of its innovative structure and shape.
I slipped on the cocoa shade, which didn't exactly match my deep skin tone. It did hug my tummy in the right places. I don't normally wear shapewear because comfortability is number one for me when it comes to style, and I hate the stiff feeling of the traditional options on the market; I can barely breath in them and feel like I’m going to explode after one meal. SKIMS, on the other hand, felt incredibly breathable and stretchy (I'm a size large) but still gave me a super-snatched waist. I love how high it rests on my torso too, so no part of my stomach was left behind and my shape looked like a literal Coke bottle. It's basically Facetune IRL. Will I wear these all of the time? Probably not. But I will wear them with tighter-fitting slit dresses." —Maya Allen, Beauty Editor
A second take on these shorts...
"I got my first faja (a.k.a. a waist trainer) sometime around my Quinceañera. I don't remember what occasion it was for, exactly, but I do remember going shopping for it with my grandma in Mexico before I came back to the U.S. from summer break. It was white lace and had whale bone and everything! Latinxs take their shapewear seriously. So I was obviously excited to try Kim's new line. Would it live up to the hype? And, could it really work for a girl my size? (I'm about a size 8 and consider myself curvy.) I tried the solution short in clay with the slit on the left. I got both small/medium and large/extra large sizes to test.
I started with the small/medium, which was tighter than I would have liked for an entire day, but could totally work for a quick event. However, around my thigh (on the side with the slit) you could see a major line where the garment ended. My midsection could wear the small/medium, but my thighs were a whole other deal. The large/extra large gave me an overall smoothing effect and I was able to wear it with no issues. I even wore a skirt with a crop top and it didn't bunch up my belly roll at the top. I will say, you could still notice the shift from garment to leg, but there may not be much to do about that." —Krystyna Chavez, Social Media Editor
The Core Control Brief
"I tried on the core control brief in clay, size large/extra large because the small/medium cut mid butt and left a weird line. (My waist was f*cking insane in the small/medium, though.) All I have to say is wow. The compression that starts above your belly after the underwear is crazy. It is tight and secure, but not overwhelmingly tight and suffocating. Your waist will look significantly smaller, think "the waist training look" without the painful waist training contraption. Overall, not bad Kimmy. I approve." —K.C.
Sculpting Bodysuit Mid-Thigh
"I've never worn a sculpting bodysuit before, and this one was a great place to start. I got a size large/extra large in mica. The fabric around the core is thicker and tighter, which gave me more of an hourglass figure than I naturally have. Meanwhile, the fabric right on top of where your butt cheeks go is a little looser, so you don't lose any volume in the back. I have a small, flat butt, and the sculpting bodysuit helped perk it up a ton. I couldn't stop looking at it in the mirror!
The one problem I had with the bodysuit, though, is that every time I needed to use the bathroom, the undressing process took forever. There's no slit or buttons in the crotch, so you have to take off the entire piece every time you want to pee. I wore it with a short sleeved dress, so instead of taking off the dress entirely, I slipped the straps of the bodysuit off my arms and pulled it down underneath my dress. While a good hack, it still took me about five minutes longer than usual to take the suit off and get it back on. The next iteration of this should definitely include clasps." —Morgan McMullen, Visual Designer
The Sculpting Short Mid-Thigh
"I have never worn any kind of shapewear, mostly because I'm kind of a "curveless creature." Because there isn't much to "shape" up top, I opted to try the sculpting mid-thigh short in sand. It looked like it was designed for a toddler, with two little "pockets" to accommodate my derriere without squashing it. This was initially the most exciting proposition these biker shorts posed to me, to pile all the plenty of my ass into the ideal spots. The fabric seemed breathable and not the least bit itchy or irritating. The shorts went on easily enough and the rubberized waistband was comfortable and really kept the garment in place. The two little butt pockets, however, were a bit high for my extremely long torso and left a dimple that wasn't attractive. They ended up squashing rather than rounding my rear end.
What I did appreciate was the compression of the little saddlebags on my thighs. It gave the false sense of having exercised for the past few months. I tried these for a day under a pair of viscose pants that have always been a bit tight. I liked the cinched sensation around my waist and felt I had more of a waist/hip contour and enjoyed that it did smooth my lower half. I also felt that if one was prone to camel toe, these shorts would put an end to that.
I felt like a sausage all day and it felt like a splurge to eat a slice of pizza, though I never feel guilt about enjoying food. At the end of the day, I was so happy to undress and was surprised to note that discomfort I felt all day was actually the viscose pants and not the shapewear. I will be wearing these thigh-sculpting shorts again, this time under a less constricting garment." —Bridget Burns, Photo Editor
A second take on these shorts...
"When I first received the mid-thigh sculpting shorts in umber, I was skeptical to say the least. My exact words upon seeing them were 'Kimberly, girl…are you for real?' The shorts looked impossibly tiny for a small/medium, and even as a person who is decidedly a smedium (I can go either way depending on the day, really), I was intimidated by how little the product was. Nonetheless, I pushed forward and was pleasantly surprised to find that the shorts fit me perfectly. Not only did they fit, but the shapewear actually gave me shape! The sculpting shorts cinched in my mid-section to give me the "what waist?" snatch that Kim is known for. I wore the shapewear with a few different outfits (including a sexy slip dress to a friend's wedding, a body-hugging co-ord set, and a fun jumpsuit for brunch), and with each look, I was serving hourglass realness.
The sculpting shorts are comfortable and functional, so I definitely think that Kim made some real points there. My only deduction would be for the ashy "nude" colors, which I don't think are flattering on darker skin tones. Still, I'd for sure recommend these." —Ineye Komonibo, Editorial Fellow
Sculpting Mid-Waist Brief
"I like to wear shapewear when I'm feeling bloated or to hide my underwear lines when I'm wearing a sheer dress. I don't have a curvy figure, so I never expect these undergarments to really "shape" me; I just treat them like an extra pair of pants.
When I read that Kim was launching SKIMS, I was interested in trying all the different styles. Initially, I was most excited to try on the solution short with a side slit, but on a second thought I decided to try the briefs. They looked like comfortable granny panties. I guessed my color, mica, and ordered a small/medium. When I received them I was like, holy shit, these are tiny. The undergarment looked like it had shrunk in the wash, but I could tell they were also super stretchy. I washed and wore them the next day underneath a summer dress with a thigh-high slit. The briefs stayed hidden and did not pinch my sides or ride up my butt. They stayed in place all day.
Though the bottoms weren't uncomfortable, I was aware that I had them on all day (unlike say my delicate, finer lace underwear). I don't think these shorts noticeably made my waist or butt smoother or tighter (again, lack of curves), but I did like how they hid my underwear line and also seemed to flatten out my stomach, just a little, after I had a burger for lunch. My overall verdict? Neutral." —Marina Liao, Fashion Editor
The Core Control Thong
"I thought the idea of a compression thong would be great. I hate getting panty lines, and when I've tried legless shape wear in the past, it has always given me the appearance of four butt cheeks instead of two. I figured trying the core control thong in mica in a large/extra large would help me bypass this problem. Unfortunately, I neglected to think about what putting a teeny-tiny piece of fabric between my cheeks might actually be like. It rode so far up I got concerned that it might blister if I wore it for the whole day. When I pulled the strip down, the waistband wouldn't sit high up enough to give me the sculpting effect I was looking for. If I were to give the core control thong another shot, I'd try sizing up to see if both the thong and waistband would fit right." —M.M.
Now that you've heard what our editors have to say, shop some of the shapewear we love, plus other options, below.
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Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.
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