These Sexy Dresses Have Shapewear Built-In

Finding the perfect holiday party dress is tricky. Finding the perfect dress that also keeps you sleek, sexy and “sucked in” after two trips to the buffet and an army of gingerbread men? It’s enough to make you want to throw on an ugly Christmas sweater and call it a night. Luckily, Santa’s come early this year.

A number of NYC-based fashion lines are introducing dresses with slimming shapewear built right in — so you can skip the Spanx and get straight to the holiday cheer.

“It’s like Botox for your body,” says Shani Grosz, founder of the shaping dress line NUE by Shani. “It makes you look a size smaller and it’s all built-in, so you don’t have to think about it.”

TV diva Wendy Williams loves NUE by Shani dresses.
Since the launch of her company in NYC three years ago, celebrities like Chelsea Handler, Wendy Williams, Amber Riley and “Orange Is the New Black” cast members Dascha Polanco (who plays Dayanara) and Selenis Leyva (Gloria) have sported NUE by Shani dresses. They boast shapewear (disguised as a lining matched to the shade of the dress), along with clever seaming and color-blocking to create slenderizing silhouettes. Grosz notes that her dresses, which cost between $179 and $340, are selling out in size 2 just as fast as size 14. Part of the wide appeal? Avoiding the dreaded granny-panty reveal at the end of a romantic evening.

“When you unzip these dresses at night, you’re not standing in scuba gear,” she deadpans. “You can pretend it was all you.”

Project Gravitas founder Lisa Sun, whose dresses were featured in Oprah’s November “O” magazine, says camouflage is crucial when you have a hot date for your holiday party — or hope to meet one.

“You don’t want to have the ‘Bridget Jones’ moment of, ‘Oh my God, I’m wearing absolutely enormous panties!’ ” she laughs.

Priced from $195 to $450, Project Gravitas frocks are made in New York from luxe Italian moisture-wicking fabrics, with custom shapewear.

“We build the dresses inside out,” she explains. “And you won’t get muffin top because the support band comes right below your bra.”

The company just launched a special holiday capsule collection and is offering same-day delivery in NYC for a few peak party days in December.

Sun, a former consultant for McKinsey & Company, says she was inspired to create a shaping dress line after spending an average of 300 days a year on the road, where it was imperative that she look professional.

MSNBC “The Cycle” co-host Abby Huntsman favors frocks by Project Gravitas.
“I love Spanx,” she says, “but you can only wear them for three or four hours. With these dresses, you can actually exhale.”

East Village resident Dina Nayeri, author of “A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea,” says part of the trouble with traditional shapewear is the constant “Is-it-going-to-show?” fear. Her most mortifying Spanx crisis happened a few years ago while she was rushing to get ready for a friend’s wedding in Bruges, Belgium.

“I put on the Spanx, I put on the dress, and you could see everything, all the lines,” she recalls.

“Then I thought, ‘I’ll go commando,’ but it was obvious I was naked underneath. So I drove all around this tiny town trying to find a lingerie shop, and when I finally found something, I still had to [adjust it] so it would fit.”

Since then, Nayeri, 34, has snagged two Project Gravitas dresses, which she wore throughout her global book tour last month.

“They make life easier and packing much simpler,” she says.

Rachel Rudman, a Lawrence, LI, occupational therapist and creator of the educational toy line Grasshopper Kits, also ditched her Spanx after discovering NUE by Shani dresses a few years ago.

“I love the idea that I can put something on that holds everything in the right way,” she says.

“And I’ll get more compliments wearing these dresses [than] I do wearing a Hervé Léger dress.”

Rudman, 43, plans on wearing the dresses to at least two holiday parties this year, noting that they have an added bonus of improving her posture: “That support forces you to stand up straighter — they squeeze you in a comfortable way.”

Another bonus? Devotees say these dresses are much easier to wrangle on and off in the bathroom than traditional Spanx. And, unless you have the body of an Olympian, notes the founder of Yummie by Heather Thomson, you probably need a little squeezage beneath most clingy holiday dresses.

The “Super Simone” ($395 at Project Gravitas) has tonal paneling, which slims through the midsection.
“The knit fabrics we love to wear because they’re so comfortable also show every lump and bump,” says Thomson, who’s a star of “The Real Housewives of New York” and whose shapewear collection has been worn by everyone from Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson to Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. “With my dresses, you’re tight and right.”

Her frocks come with removable, interchangeable compression slips — a less engineered approach that she says makes getting the dresses on and off much easier.

“It’s a slip — on steroids,” says Thomson. “You can indulge in some holiday cheer and not feel like a sausage casing in your dress.”

Even mainstream retailers like Chico’s and White House Black Market are jumping on the shaping dress wagon.

“Our customers love these dresses,” says Donna Noce, brand president of White House Black Market, where “Instantly Slimming” dresses sell for $160. “They can be dressed up or down for different kinds of holiday parties — we love to make them extra glam with a beautiful statement necklace or pair them with a jacket to go from day to night.”

But perhaps the best reason to wear a shaping dress to your next holiday soiree? “They’re as comfortable as your favorite yoga pants,” says Sun. “But a whole lot sexier.”

And exhale...


Written by Carrie Seim. Source: New York Post

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