Until about 1917, most women wore corsets. The US War Industries Board asked women to stop buying them in 1917. America then had 28,000 tons of metal to help fight WWI. Women began wearing bras and girdles. Until about sixty years ago, most women wore girdles or panty girdles as part of their basic underclothing. Then pantyhose* was invented and girdles were pretty much consigned to the trash bin. But, control top hosiery, depending on the level of control, fulfills the same function as a corset or girdle. All exist to reshape our bodies so we can wear particular fashions.
Nearly every woman has one of the eight general body types sketched below. And though light to medium control top tights can make a skirt or trousers fit more smoothly, they won’t magically transform a woman with a narrow waist and wide hips so she will fit into a tight pencil skirt. (I know. I’ve tried.) Neither will exercise and healthy eating. Spot reducing will build muscle without decreasing a woman’s overall proportions. Short of surgery, there’s not a great deal a woman can do to change her basic body type (though weight training can help most women develop narrow shoulders and is really healthy). Ultimately, we must learn to wear clothes that suit and enhance who we already are rather than exert so much energy in fruitless attempts to remake our bodies to fit our clothing. Remember, exercise and eating well are for our benefit not to remake us so we fit into clothing.
To learn more, check back in a couple of days for D is for Determining Your Body Type.
*I do hate that word. Tights is a much better choice.