Magic Knickers: advice from the shop floor

By Aisling | December 5 2011 | 43 Comments

horrible pants

“If you don’t mind me saying so…” said the girl behind the department store counter ” no one under the age of 80 buys these knickers.”

“Hah!” I was laughing “Are they no good?  Is there no er magic?”

“Not only are they no good,” she explained, “they were invented in the last century – and they look it.  In fact I think we’ve had that pair here since the 1900s. And this,” she said dismissively holding up a slip which was supposed to squash everything into place. “is crap too.  Unless you actually want to look like you’ve no boobs?”

“Em no” I agreed, crestfallen.  “No, I definitely don’t want that.”

“Well then I’ll  get you a better pair,” and she vanished off into the maze of shelves and displays of millions of types of control knickers.  Some with legs, some without.  Some high-waisted, others thong trouser knickers.  Some with built-in slips; some with  built-in bras.  Some with some of these things; some with all.  Some with firm control; some with medium and some with light.

All with one uniting feature however.  That of supreme ugliness.  Oh it’s all so bloody confusing.

“Now then,” she said returning triumphantly.  “These are high-waisted, they go up to your bra which means there’s no muffin top.  They squish your stomach and they’re made so that there’s no VPL.  And you’ll be able to breathe and stuff- they’re the very latest technology.”

“That’s great, thanks for your help,” I said happily handing over forty quid “Gok Wan has nothing on you.”

“Gok Wan?” (here she uttered a sarcastic laugh) “we taught him everything he knows.”

There was only one problem though.  My very latest design ultra modern magic knickers didn’t work in the slightest.  Nothing was squished.  I just had an uncomfortable pair of big knickers on for the night – they were just too big and too user friendly to work.  They should HURT to work. (Super higher power Spanx: I’d rather go commando).  And leave you exhausted with the struggle to lever them up and be practically impossible to remove. (The untold perils of magic knickers)  These weren’t.

And just as Kirstie found years ago (Spanx for nothing) sometimes taking the advice of the shop assistant on the subject of magic knickers just doesn’t work

Sorry er Barks and Parks*, you need to go back to the drawing board on this one.  They were more Brendan Courtney than Gok Wan.   I would have been better off with the old lady knickers.

*In the spirit of Testy Broader names have been changed to render store name unguessable.

Underwear , , ,

43 Replies to "Magic Knickers: advice from the shop floor"

  • Kirstie says:

    spanx are only good for smoothing your silhouette – no good for de-fattening. You need corsetry!

  • bwhahaha barks and sparks hehe my mam had the same problem, she went to buy a pair of these in B A Jaxx (ahem) and got ones that were way too big for her and they just added bulk. Of course, I didn’t know she was going shopping for these kinda bits and told her afterwards that they’re supposed to be bet on to you hehe

  • Twinkletoes says:

    I think I may have bought the same ones as you on Saturday Aisling! They were Barks & Parks “latest technology” 40 euro big knickers. I wore them to an evint on Sat night and they were crap. And sore.

  • Lorrrrrraine says:

    Bruised my ribs in a pair of these, never again!

  • Arlene says:

    Pennys have a DAZZLING array of magic underwear, and none of it particuarly expensive.

  • lyonsie says:

    I recently went to buy an all in 1 magic knicker type thing recently, the sizing was a bit wierd and as the shop wouldnt let me either try it on or exchange it I asked a sales assistant for info on the sizing. She infromed me in a VERY smug tone that she “didnt know anything about them as she doesnt need to wear anything like that” I had to be dragged out of the place as I wanted to test their ability to strangle her.

  • Fiona says:

    I have Barks & Parks light control wans (shorts-shaped) which promise to smooth my tum and lift my bum, which they do just fine. However they also squish my thighs until said thighs emerge out of the legs – resulting in reverse muffin-top, if you will.

  • lainey316 says:

    Barks & Parks do underwear very badly. For somewhere that has reputation of being decent in this area, they are horrific. I do not understand it at all. Or their random bra sizing – different to every proper lingerie brand I’ve ever tried – or their crap support, or their poor recommendations and fittings… Um. Pet peeve.

  • blondie says:

    lol Barks & Parks…as soon as I started reading this post I though, ah I bet Testy wears these :D

    Aisling, you hit the nail on the head, they DO have to hurt to work…and not matter how good they work the fat still has to go somewhere! They will work on you Aisling you haven’t a pick on you but for those of us with a bit more…erm..padding (and I’m well padded)there’s only so much they can do.

    Last time I wore anything like this was to a wedding. It was a body suit. I was so squashed I couldnt eat much (unheard of for me) and I realised they COULD make me skinnier…if I wore them each day during meals, I’d barely be able to eat..voila!
    After a few post dinner drinks I though my stomach would explode & I was rapidly losing the dexterity required to undo (and especially to re-do) the popper fastenings in the crotch area! So I hit the hotel room & removed it.

    These days I just couldnt be arsed with stuff like this.

  • blondie says:

    lyonsie…oh my god the cow!

  • Sabrina says:

    I bought a control panel in debenhams, and it’s the business. It comes up to your bra so no muffin top. It was €20 i think (might be a bit less).

  • Sandy Beach says:

    I went in one day with a measuring tape and tried on all sorts of magic pants to see how many inches/cms they’d squash me by. All measurements came back the same – no change. Left all behind and with wallet unharmed.

  • Aisling says:

    Oh gawd the phone just rang a second ago – and it was BARKS AND PARKS!!
    No messing, I nearly dropped the phone in guilt.
    Turns out they’re delivering a chair I ordered next week and it had nothing to do with underwear – phew!

  • Jeannie says:

    Lyonsie, lol!
    You should have asked her if she had ever tried doing anything about her moustache. Think it was India Knight’s (bitchy) mother’s technique for perturbing snooty SAs… I’ve never tried it but the occasion will arise.

  • sevda says:

    Well thank god they rang cos I had no idea what it stood for. Thought it was a fancy underwear shop in dublin.

    Bought a pair of spanx years ago and found them useless. Tried another brand from tk maxx and spent half the night pulling them up so half way through the night I whipped them off.

  • Fiona says:

    Off topic: Aisling, I am jealous! So much lovely furniture in said shop at the mo. Lusting after the Godwin and Bainbridge chairs (I have a serious thing for chairs) SO MUCH.

  • Trillian says:

    I’m with lainey316 on this – their bras are completely different sizes to everywhere else. I tried to buy a nursing bra from them – oh my god, the hassle! The SA measured me and informed me I was a 36B & brought some for me to try on. I thought it was odd as I was a 32DD pre baby but thought it was a post baby thing. But even though it obviously fitted really badly- was ridiculously loose on the back and too tight & small everywhere else, she insisted that it was the right size as that’s what the tape said. She very grudgingly got me the other sizes I wanted and ignored me as I was leaving. This was in the Grafton St shop, though maybe I just got a bad SA on a bad day.

    I did get a pair of light control shorts in their one day which are terrific for no VPL. Not Bridget Jones-y, more like boy shorts.

  • Aisling says:

    Haha these comments are gold!

    Arlene – thanks for the tip, will have a goo in Penneys – now that I come to think of it people have recommended their “control” underwear a good few times in comments

    Lyonsie – good slap – what the hell was her problem!?! But Jeannie I LOVE the comeback!

    Blondie – I had one of those body suits with poppers too – after two drinks I couldn’t do up the poppers any more either – I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to get the damn thing done up

  • blondie says:

    Aisling laughing my ass off, I thought for a second they had internet surveillance on you hehe

    They do have lovely furniture Fiona. And if I was at home in Dublin now i’d be in there buying my cosy new pjs for Christmas lol.

  • Aisling says:

    Fiona – they do don’t they! And a 30% sale on lots of stuff, which is how I got my chair

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