Let’s face it: most of us women have worn or will wear shapewear at some point of our lives. Whether it’s what makes you more comfortable in a slinky dress for a night out or perhaps a more formal occasion, most of us like to keep our figures smooth when wearing something body-contouring. I don’t wear a ton of shapewear but when I do, I have quite a few demands for it: it has to be rather comfy, suck my tummy in a bit and keep things smooth while covering VPLs and VBOs. I had been looking for something for my special occasions to wear under my most tight-fitting pinup dresses and BAM, I stumbled upon Rago Shaperwear at Salon International de la Lingerie. We chatted with their chairman Justin and he instantly asked us whether we would like to write about Rago. After a while I was holding my first Rago pieces in my hands and trying to squeeze myself into the tiniest pieces of shapewear I had ever seen!
This is how the garments actually look like. Not the prettiest of underwear but then again, they are supposed to be functional rather than pretty!
For some general information on Rago, I must tell you that they are an old company, founded just after the WW II in 1945. The designs are still quite similar to what they used to be in the 50’s so I would almost call Rago a vintage shapewear reproduction brand. They do have some more modern pieces as well, but I think the styles they are known for are the good old-fashioned girdles that suck the tummy in and give you curves for days. The sizing is a bit ‘vintage’ as well, with the garments being a bit on the smaller side (waist size 28″ is a Medium like with most reproduction brands like PUG) and the is fit very curvy indeed. Rago recommends that you go up a size if your waist-hip difference is more than 10″. The size range is amazing, going up to 8X with some of their garments.
As a rebel, I simply could not obey the 10″ sizing rule, of course. My waist is 28-29 and my hips 39-40 which means there is a good 11″ between them. This did not cause any trouble however, so I could after all squeeze myself into the garments. However, if you prefer lighter shaping and a more comfortable feeling, I would recommend going up a size if you are between waist sizes. As Justin told me, most first-time Rago customers may go up a size at first but when they return, they may even prefer a size down as they are used to the tight grip of the garments.
Rago prides itself in being one of the few brands on the market that claim to make you look slimmer by a whole dress size – this is up to debate of course and depends entirely on how much squish you have on your body. With mine, there’s not a ton of it (I do definitely have some but not loads and loads) meaning the reduction is not super obvious but the garments still give me a nice curve and do some smoothing, depending on which style I go for.
This is what the 821 Waist Cincher looks like under clothing. The Serena gown is by Collectif and a size UK 10.
The one that I have been wearing a lot is the 821 Waist Cincher. By waist cincher I do NOT mean a true corset cincher nor a waist trainer, but a a sturdy shapewear garment that has some boning and a lot of stretch to it. The 821 has a ton of hook and eye closures at the front which can be quite a task to close at first – it takes a bit of practice and some sweat to get the thing closed but if I can do it, anyone can. For me the 821 was a tiny bit too short as I am long-torsoed (for reference, 12-13″ from under bust to the end of lower belly) but I still don’t think it looks bad under my clothing. I would prefer it to be a bit longer though, so I would avoid any possible back bulges and a leaner look on the lower belly area.
To say the least, the 821 cincher really works – I have not seen anything like it before and for creating killer curves it’s the best non-real-corset waist cincher I have found so far. However, you need to remember that shapewear NEVER reduces your size really – it just pushes the fat to different places, meaning with the 821 it pushed my squish from my waist upwards and downwards. If you already have some softness to your belly like I do, it may create a small bump on your belly, meaning it will not give you the flattest tummy on earth. It’s not meant to do so either – waist cinchers are by definition shapewear that is supposed to make your waist appear smaller and hips wider. If you have a significant amount of fluff on your tummy and prefer to have it smoothed out, I would suggest the 6207 for this purpose.
Me wearing the Rago 6207 High-Waist Leg Shaper with my Pinup Girl Clothing “Niagara” dress in size Medium.
The 6207 offers even more firm shaping than the 821 – the name of the product is a High-Waist Leg Shaper. The product features garters, an open gusset and is meant for intense butt and thigh shaping. For me, this is not really my so called “problem area” as I don’t gain weight on my thighs and hips but they are quite firm already. However, I do like a flattening effect on my tummy when it comes to skin-tight dresses so for that purpose, the 6207 is a great product. This is probably the most shaping you will ever get out of a shapewear product unless you are willing to go for items that have zippers – those suckers are even firmer!
The 6207 is quite hard to get on and it’s not a pretty sight when you try to do so – it’s a whole lot of wiggling and sweating. However, when you get it on, it looks quite nice under pencil dresses and skirts! It does not offer the same curvy appearance but almost flattens me out a bit from all angles, but for a tummy flattening effect and an overall smooth silhouette it’s the best shapewear you can find, I assure you.
I have to note though that my body has changed a tiny between the pics above. The first ones with the cincher have been taken in April and the ones with the 6207 were taken yesterday – with a body that hasn’t hit the gym in two weeks because I have been ill. Technically I have been sick with flu for three weeks now and was stupid enough to go to the gym after the first week and hence, the whole thing got even worse. This means there may have been some minor changes to my figure as I haven’t been able to train my muscles and have tried to been as non-active as possible to regain my health.
When it comes to comfort, the Rago pieces are not something I would wear for a whole day and night, not at least now. I suspect though that they might need some getting used to, as I haven’t worn super firm shapewear before. The waist cincher is something I prefer for the comfort of my skin: it doesn’t have any silicone on it, which makes it much more comfortable to wear than the 6207. The silicone strips of the 6207 make my thighs itch after a while, which is not something I can stand for a whole night of partying. However, I do have a dry sensitive skin with the occasional open wound here and there, so please bare that in mind when considering if this would be a suitable product for you.