Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Are men disappointed if a woman wears slimming garments?

Stock photo | Thinkstock/Stock photo | Thinkstock

The question

Would a man be disappointed to discover that a woman was wearing a slimming foundation garment?

The answer

Story continues below advertisement

Nicola Six, a character in Martin Amis's novel London Fields, is the archetype of the femme fatale. She seduces an unworldly man with the pretense of inhibition; one of her weapons is deliberately unsexy underwear. When her victim is finally allowed to glimpse it, he describes it as being made of something like Elastoplast (that textured brown bandaging). This shuddering anti-sensuality actually arouses him further, as it proves her to be even more innocent than he could have imagined.

This character (who turns out to be badly wrong) is fairly typical of male receptivity to female underwear. A guy finding himself in the privileged position of ascertaining what is under your clothes is already counting himself blessed; he is not going to complain about the details. Nor is he going to care, at this point, that the present he has unwrapped is not exactly as advertised: Men generally care less about perfect slenderness than women think they do.

Now, having said that, I admit I don't think that thick, rubbery undercorsets are the sexiest thing, largely because I think you don't need them. Self-confidence is a more attractive trait than lankiness, always.

Russell Smith's latest novel is Girl Crazy. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.