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Women may claim to be sticking to the New Year diet resolution but demand for shapewear paints a different picture.

Figures from Debenhams show sales of supportive underwear have increased by 22% so far this January.*

The rise in demand for all brands of shapewear coincides with a survey for the retailer which found that just over 83% of women questioned said they had previously failed to maintain diet resolutions by the end of January.

Other studies go further, claiming that the vast majority of us will have abandoned our New Year resolutions to lose weight by “Fail Friday” – the end of the third week into 2015.

An analysis of the retailer’s shapewear sales over the past two years confirmed that purchases climb steadily from the start of January, peaking at the end of the month and in the first few days of February.

The growing demand for shapewear, which uses innovative super-stretch technology for firmness without discomfort, has also been boosted by female celebrities admitting to using the “Bridget Jones style” control pants to achieve a smooth and slender red-carpet look. Famous fans of the lingerie include many with enviable physiques such as former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Alba.

Debenhams head of lingerie, Sharon Webb said: “It’s no secret that many of us struggle to maintain our well-intentioned New Year resolutions to get slimmer and fitter once we return to the normality of our everyday lives after the Christmas break. However, when you have celebrities with figures such as Jennifer Lawrence and Beyonce admitting to getting a little help from shapewear now and then, I don’t think the rest of us need to worry about using the same tactics to ensure we look our best in certain outfits.

Ms Webb added: “Women want to look and feel amazing in their clothes regardless of whether or not the latest January diet has been successful and great shapewear can smooth, lift, control, flatten and define the figure, helping women to look and feel at their best all the time.

“With so much choice of shapewear in the market, it is important to get good guidance about what is right for you. At Debenhams, our shapewear experts are on hand to help in-store and we also have an online guide to Shapewear.”

Sharon Webb’s top five tips for buying shapewear:

1. Consider what area of the body you want to control; whether this is tummy, thighs, hips or all over control.

2. Consider what level of control is required. The Debenhams range varies from medium to extra firm, offering shaping enhancement and smoothing effects, through to everyday control.

3. Keep in mind what you will be wearing over your shapewear and consider colour and styling. We offer everything from everyday shaping knickers to glamorous firm control for special occasions, as well as seam-free and very light weight pieces for invisible control and smoothing.

4. When shopping for shapewear, never buy a size smaller; always buy your current dress size. Buying a size down will not have a more slimming effect and will only create a roll, or bulge and feel uncomfortable.

5. Always step into your shapewear. This is the easiest way to put shapewear on and ensures the control is in the correct places on the body.

Debenhams’ new Extra Firm Control under wear, designed using super stretch technology and shaping functionality, has become one of their best-selling lines and currently accounts for 60% of all shapewear sales. For the full range visit your nearest store or go online at Prices start from £4.



Notes to Editors

* Sales up 22% this month compared to the average over the last 12 months.


History of shapewear

Shapewear first originated in Ancient Greece around 2900 BC and was fashioned from leather and bone. In Ancient Rome corsets were worn over clothing and embellished with precious metals and jewels. In Elizabethan times steel corsets were used to flatten the torso and chest.

In the early 20th century, a straight, slim figure was deemed most fashionable and more primitive shapewear techniques were used to flatten busts and smooth hips.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that shapewear took on its modern form and today's versions feature light-weight stretchy fabrics for ultimate control and comfort.


About Us
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. 



For more information and high-res lifestyle and cut-out imagery please contact:

Sophie Reynolds
0203 5496419 / 07817 900836 /

Debenhams Press Office
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