Shapewear Shop Talk with Jill Zarin
Reality breeds familiarity, so it really didn't seem all that surprising when Real Housewives of New York star, and smart entrepreneur, Jill Zarin, kicked off her Jimmy Choos and lifted up her dress to show me the slimming power of her latest business ventureSkweez Couture. She's an invited guest into my house every week, Bravo lineup willing, but I had no idea she felt so comfortable around me!
A strong retail background, including hosiery experience, groomed the fabulous Miss Z. for the business-aspect of shapewear, but it was a desire for lighter weight pieces that really got her going. The morning of our chat, she spent time going through her own shaperwear drawers and getting rid of things she didn't like (or weren't up to Skweez Couture standards). "I actually found a piece, and I'm not going to name names, that weighed two and a half pounds!"
And, voila!, her own line came into being. The well stocked line includes basics like briefs, tanks, and bike-short styles, as well as corsets and sexier optionsall pretty pieces you can be proud to wear and won't have to shyly squeeze out of before anyone sees. "My favorite is anything with lace. I like to peek-a-boo," she explained, tugging at the hemline of her dress to flash a little thighand shapewear. "It makes it sexy, pretty, and not embarrassing that your shapewear is sticking out." The reality star practices what she preaches, too, wearing a pair to a morning show taping the day before and appearing utterly unflappable when cameras caught a glimpse.
Sizing goes up to 2x and all come in tight, tighter, and tightest options. Zarin prefers "tighter" most of the time and warns women against the natural inclination to pull shapewear tops and tanks on over the head. "If it's tightest, do not attempt to put if over your head. You'll get stuck, and might die." The trick is to step into the tops and wiggle them up over your hips.
There's no doubt that shapewear is a red carpet constant for Zarin, but we couldn't resist asking for other picture-taking pointers from the obvious pro. "The secret to pictures is taking a picture before you leave the house. Friends lie, and husbands better lie." You'll get to see your outfit, and how you look in it, before going out in public. Do like Jill and utilize your cell phone camera in the dressing room. No shame here.