Tried & Tested: Gok Wan ‘Curve Controller’
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of shapewear. I love the 1950s nipped-waist silhouette and wear a lot of wiggle dresses that benefit from a good foundation (and no VPL). That said, I see shapewear as a smoothing, shaping garment, not a miracle fix. I don’t really subscribe to the whole ‘magic pants will make you thin’ idea – this is about creating a shape with the curves you have, not making them disappear completely!
In the past I’ve tried – and been impressed with – pieces from the previous Gok Wan collection for Simply Yours. I was recently offered the chance to try something from the new range, and I jumped at the chance to see what they’d done to improve it.
After trying the corset and the slip last time, this time around I decided to go for the bodysuit, called the ‘Curve Controller‘. I went for the black, which has a nude trim and animal print detail, but it also comes in nude and turquoise.
My first impressions were that, once again, the product was high quality (to match the fairly high price tag). A lot of thought has been put into the construction to make sure it works for larger sizes, and the detailing gives it a bit of edge. Though you’re never going to want to slip it on for a hot date, the body looks less matronly and a bit more alluring than some shapewear, and the nude trim is a nice touch. The back has a long hook-and-eye fastening which is tricky to put on, but works well once it’s fastened to keep everything in place. There’s also ruching down the bum to hug curves – great under trousers or very fitted dresses.
The powermesh inside is the bit that does all the hard work, helping to create a smoother line under clothing. Luckily, it does this without feeling too tight and sweaty. It’s constrictive, yes, but it’s not like wearing a corset – you can still slouch a bit and because it’s a bodysuit, you don’t get the irritating roll-down (or fleshy overhang) you might get with big knickers.
For the redesign, the powermesh (which was hot pink in my older pieces) comes in animal print. I guess this is a bit of a marmite design detail. I love a bit of OTT glam so it gets my vote, but others might think it’s a bit much, and I’m not so sure it works on the turquoise version. But the main thing to consider is that it doesn’t show once the garment’s being worn, so it’s just a little bit of fun!
I was glad to see one of my least favourite elements of the previous range – the jingly bell on the centre of the bust – had been ditched in favour of a little ‘G’ charm. It’s meant to stand for ‘Gok’ of course, but since we share the same initial, nobody need know that!
The other good news, for me at least, is that the style of the bra on these pieces has also been changed. It’s gone from a plunge to a balconette, which I find a much more comfortable shape. However, I did find the cups on this body to be a bit big and quite…pointy! Once I was in it was fine, because the cups are smooth, have small half-cup pads and maintain their shape, but I think I could have easily gone down a cup size, maybe even two.
The body itself runs fairy true-to-size, bearing in mind it’s shapewear so it’s meant to be tight-fitting. That said, it comes in cup / back sizes rather than dress sizes, and if you’ve been measured for a bra somewhere like Bravissimo where they fit very close to the body with small back sizes, you may wish to go a band size up or fastening up the hook and eye closure will be a nightmare. I went up one band size and the fit was perfect (though that may go some way to explaining why the cups were a little big).
The final consideration with this body, of course, is the gusset. It fastens with a hook and eye mechanism too, which I have to say is the biggest problem for me. It’s a complete nightmare when you’re in a public toilet trying to contort yourself to fasten it! I would have much preferred good quality poppers or press-studs, though I understand why the hook and eye has been chosen. As shapewear is so fitted, there’s a lot of pressure on the seams and joins – poppers may well have just popped open all the time, and the hooks do hold it securely. It just takes some getting used to. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if you know you’re going to be out drinking!
I’ve worn this body a few times now, mostly under close-fitting dresses to give a bit of a smoother outline down my torso. It’s comfortable, it does the job it’s supposed to and it never budges. On the downside, it’s quite hot (rest assured it will not be worn to any Summer weddings if the weather continues to be as beautiful as it has been) and the hook and eye gusset takes a lot of fiddling to get used to.
However, overall, I think the pros outweigh the cons by a huge margin and if you need something to wear under a dress with a close-fitting waist, it’s really good for creating a bit of an hourglass look. It comes in big cup and back sizes and is really well made to suit a more voluptuous figure.
Disclosure: Simply Yours sent this product free of charge for me to review. However, the review is honest and I was not paid to publish it.