Shapewear has been around in the lingerie space for years, thriving despite the preconceived notions about it. It is often associated with weight loss, but there’s so much more to it! Entrepreneur Kamakshi Agarwala comes to our rescue with a wealth of information about it, helping us make the right choices. She is the founder of Butt-Chique, a label that encourages women to embrace shapewear and feel empowered. Body tapes, nipple pasties, seamless solutions and the works—Kamakshi knows it all. Finding intimate apparel to match your physical needs is an underrated thrill; Kamakshi takes us through the basics:
ELLE: What does shapewear actually do?
Kamakshi Agarwala: It helps you stand taller and corrects your posture making you feel empowered. Besides, of course, accentuating your curves.
ELLE: What do we bear in mind while shopping for shapewear?
KA: It’s important to know what you want the shapewear to do for you, and accordingly, pick the right one. I personally advocate not to use it as a tool for slimming the body but to feel more confident and allow your clothing to fall better over it. Most people believe that that you should go for a size smaller to look slimmer. But the size does not matter! The compression panel that is inside the shapewear contributes to shaping, not the size. So, always pick the correct size as recommended by the label. If you go for a size smaller than yours, you’ll be uncomfortable, restricted and won’t be able to breathe properly.
ELLE: How did your label Butt-Chique come about?
(KA): I’m a lingerie enthusiast since my teenage years, and my curiosity about the industry made me research peculiar things! For example, the whole industry is so male-dominated and most lingerie companies are led by men. I wanted to break this because lingerie is something that is very personal for women. Further research pointed out that there is a dearth of quality, and a lack of a relevant size chart catered specifically to our region. And that is why Butt-Chique doesn’t follow the UK or the US size chart.
ELLE: Interesting! How did you define the size chart then?
KA: We went door-to-door during our sampling process and tested the shapewear on several different body types. We asked approximately 150 women to try on all sizes as our material is very thin and stretchable. We discovered that if you’re generally an L, you could fit into a shapewear M. Through this process, we were able to standardise our shapewear and give it a size chart.
ELLE: Any special wash-and-care instructions to keep in mind?
KA: As a general rule, products made from stretchable material should only be washed by hand in cold water, because hot water breaks the elasticity of the material.
Here’s more about shapewear as Kamakshi debunks some of the most common myths around it:
#1 Shapewear is bad for your body and causes health problems
Not all, but products like waist trainers and neoprene fabric shapewear that cause excessive sweating can be harmful to the body.
2. Shapewear is only for plus-size women
False! It is equally loved by women of all sizes. Loose skin is a very normal experience post-partum and shapewear really helps with the tummy tuck.
3. Wearing two shapewear pieces will give you double the result
It depends on the shapewear; at Butt-Chique, we recommend clubbing two different styles rather than using the same style together. It also depends on the comfort level of the person wearing it. Many people tend to feel restricted with two shapewear pieces worn at once.
4. You can’t wear it every day
If you find the perfect size, you can definitely wear it every day and substitute your regular underwear with it.
5. Shapewear is only for women
Nope. When I was launching the brand, my father and uncles tested the shapewear and they loved it. Once our collection was live, two male influencers wanted to shop for shapewear from us because they wanted their kurta to fall better. So it’s not gender-specific at all. It’s a personal choice and depends on how you want to carry it.