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London - Once upon a time, achieving the perfect wasp waist required a painful corset or an equally painful exercise regime.
But Marks & Spencer has come up with a rather more comfortable alternative for the modern age – in the shape of lightweight corset-style lingerie that doesn’t force the wearer to hold her breath.
So desperate are women to copy the hourglass figures of stars such as Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks that one of the items is sold every three minutes.
The soaring demand for waist-sculpting underwear comes as hectic lifestyles leave women struggling to find time to stay in shape.
Designers at M&S have combined vintage techniques such as panelling and boning with new fabric bonding technology to create their Waist Sculpt range.
The garments replicate the effects of a traditional corset but are light enough to move with the wearer, allowing women to sit down or bend without having to hold their breath.
Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at M&S, said: “We all have waist envy. Red carpet celebs have championed the return to the curvaceous, waspish waistline.
“But few of us have the time to put in extra hours in the gym, so to achieve those killer curves, we created Waist Sculpt. It is corsetry for the 21st century. Gone are the days of uncomfortable boning and heavy fabrics.”
The range includes waist-cinching knickers for £19 and a body-sculpting slip for £29.50.
The UK’s shapewear market is worth £135million, with one in ten women using the products, according to analysts Mintel. - Daily Mail