Are We All Compressed? It's Not Just A Girl Thing
A few days ago, I went out to get some under garments at my favorite store. I told the woman that I was looking for the latest in compression garments. She rushed me back to that part of the store and asked what level I’d like to have. Hum…..level? I had no idea. I said, “the last time I wore a compression garment was in 2007." She got excited for a minute and said “oh, they’ve come a long way since then”.
Apparently, there are "levels" of compression. The levels had to do with just how much compression one would like to have. In other words, how compressed do I want my chubby body to be? She went on, “we have body suits, shorts, or high-rise panty, hip-panty”. I asked for one of each because I had no idea. As we were heading to the dressing room, my bubbly sales associate said, “level 3 can be really hard to get on, just holler if you need any help." She had me at “hard to get on” I thought to myself, “how hard can it be?”
Moments later, I was ready to start my compression and all of a sudden, I realized it wasn't going to be an easy tug up. First of all, even down at the ankles, I was struggling to grab the sides and hang on as I pulled. I worked it up to about my thighs when all of a sudden my hand slipped and I hit the wall and hurt my hand. For those of you with arthritis in your hands beware, this will be a struggle and a workout. I pulled and tugged and thought WTF? I began to perspire. All I could think of was if I need help to get it on, how will that work when I’m home alone getting dressed? So, I looked at the size, yep, it was my size. Then she came back to the dressing room to check in and let me know that she had brought the next size up, just in case. JUST IN CASE….why didn’t we start with that?
People, I have never twisted and turned and flipped and flopped so much in my life. After about 8 minutes, (yah, I said 8 minutes!) I was committed to finding out all I needed to know about compression wear and I was in it for the long haul. I finally got the body suit on, in the next size up. I noticed it had some extra fabric draped in the crotch, so you would be able to use the restroom without removing the garment. Not a bad strategy, considering the time it took to get on and the chore it was to get off.
It did compress, that it did do, but it also was so tight I had a flash of Downton Abbey and corsets, where one needed a lady's maid to help you get dressed. No bending or slouching from the tightness of the corset. Uh…..NO! I refuse! It's 2019 and women have moved beyond that….or have we? No judgement here, it’s just not for me.
Next, I tried the shorts and they were no easier, just less time since I didn’t have to heave ho everything above the waist. Still quite a struggle. Then I tried the panty, well, let me just say, I looked a bit like a stuffed sausage. Again, a no!
So, I tried the next level, level 2 – while somewhat easier to get on, it was still a lot of pressure on my hands. For those my age and older do you remember the pantyhose in the egg? Remember how some of them left you with the slippage down until the crotch was at mid-thigh? Need I say more? I gave up on level 2.
Finally, down to level 1 – They were like pulling on a pair of normal under garments. Went right on and no bumps and lumps, just a smooth surface. Yay! A smooth surface is what I was aiming for and I got it with level 1. After trying on 9 compression garments, I decided that I was happy with the level 1 hipster and full brief. No stress on the arthritis in my hands and I didn't have to help to get dressed and that’s what I consider a win!
One great thing about us, we are all different, all shapes and sizes, and although I’d like to be compressed to the point where I look a size or two smaller—I have to think about other things. As a woman of a certain age, I might need to disrobe quickly for a leaky bladder, etc. and having to break a sweat to get those things off in time……well, I can’t move that fast, and I just don’t want to work that hard to have a wee.
So, if you are in the market for today’s compression garments, keep in mind, they are not made for sissies! You will need to try on your items before you purchase to be sure it is something you can do on a regular basis. Not only that, you will want to see how your body will look in the garment. Some of the garments are so tight that things that might normally be in the stomach area could end up adding a bra size or two, to your bustline, as that stuff has to go somewhere! Hence, the stuffed sausage look.
I hope this gave you a bit of a laugh and also a tip or two.