The people at Squeem asked me to review their plus size Miracle Vest from their classic collection. After visiting their site and watching their product videos I was excited to do so.
I realize some of you are pro-body-shapers and some of you are anti-body-shapers but they serve a purpose and many people do love them and should not be chastised for not loving their curves because they wear them — most recently I read someone saying Tiffany Banks (Big Sexy) had low self esteem and poor body image because she wore two body shapers. Wearing body shapers does not mean you have low body image. That would be like saying everyone who wears a bikini had great self-esteem — I’ve known many a bikini wearer who doesn’t. The point I am getting at is the choice to wear a body shaper is personal, individual and really none of our damn business just like the kind of bras we choose to wear. We need to spend less time chastising our plus and thin sisters for their lingerie choices and more time supporting them.
Speaking of Support…
The Miracle Vest I was sent is available in black or beige in sizes xs to 5x and retails for about $75 (AshleyStewart). Squeem has been making “functional lingerie” in Brazil for over 40 years. According to Squeem their aim is to provide “a sensual and harmonic silhouette”. Their products are “totally natural, made from only premium materials”. Here is the promotional video to give you an idea behind the main focus of the Miracle Vest:
My Squeem Experience
The Miracle Vest arrived rolled in its own plastic box. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the rubber smell.
Here is a full look at the vest I received (you can click on images for a larger view then use the back button to return):
First task was to hand wash it, hang it to dry and air it out over a few days.
The vest is made of 75% rubber on the outside and 25% cotton lined on the inside. The rubber is soft, pliable, and non-slip with neat stitching:
The cotton side is soft to touch and the boning is encased and neatly stitched:
One of the things the Squeem representative recommended was to wear the Squeem Miracle Vest gradually starting off with an hour the first day and building up over a few days to eight hours. I avoided testing the Miracle vest until cooler weather prevailed. When I mentioned this to the rep she informed me that the vests “are created with a triple filtered cotton lining, which absorbs the perspiration the body creates, so that you can go along with your daily activities without even noticing it.” While this is good for the sweat part it does not take into account that plus size people are generally warmer — at least this one is. So adding a heavy garment to a already overheated body was just not going to happen. Luckily pre-fall came quickly and I was able to test it.
Like bras, the straps with the Miracle Vest come at the smallest position. I adjusted them before slipping my arms into the vest and doing it up. As you can see here the vest has a high back to smooth out the lumps a bra creates and the straps are about an inch thick.
There is light boning within the garment at front and back and two rows of hooks at the front. I started doing up the hooks and as expected had to pull a little so hand strength and dexterity are necessary but it was easy enough. Here is a close up of the eye hooks which are well stitched — none came loose.
Once in place I immediately noticed at least an inch difference in circumference and of course everything was reasonably smoothed out in the back bra area. The vest also gives a little breast lift from the sides. The under arm has a cutout section under the arm that is fabric instead of rubber. I am assuming this is done so it does not bind and pull at the underarm. Unfortunately on me it puckers out and does not lie flat.
I wore the vest with no problem deep breathing, drinking or eating although I did decide to put it on before having breakfast instead of after as a precaution. For the most part it is pretty comfortable. That is, if you do not have a butt shelf and smaller waist.
The lower edge of the vest began to roll up after 20 minutes and because the vest is pulling everything in it is not exactly convenient or easy to keep rolling down. If you have jeans on you could probably keep it in place (I have not tried this, but will update this review when I do) but lets face it, with a garment like this I want to wear it with the lightweight dresses and the rubber flipping up is not attractive and a nuisance. It seems to happen less when I am standing but it still happens and it happens quicker if there is any bending or sitting involved.
I emailed the rep about the issue I was having and asked if actual plus size people were used for fitting the larger sizes? She told me that “the larger products were based on plus size fit models. However, every women is different and sometimes the product might roll on the bottom if you have too narrow of a waistline. Another reason why this might occur is if your product is not placed correctly under your bust. If that’s the case, try pulling it down and see if you still have problems with the product rolling up.” I followed her advice but the roll up turned out to be even worse. Leaving the product rolled up quickly turns to discomfort after ten minutes as it constricts around the waist — so constant adjustment and fidgeting were necessary to keep it in place. I think the problem is my butt ridge is not compatible with this garment.
One of the things I noticed about the mild boning was that it stops a few inches from the bottom of the garment. Now I am not sure if this adds in the rolling up or not.:
I am thrilled with the concept of the Squeem Miracle Vest. It pulls the shoulders back slightly and lifts the breasts to improve posture, it is reasonably easy to put on and smooths out the soft lumps that show up under fine clothing. I also love the fact they are offering sizes up to 5x but I think more work needs to be done for a better fit in the larger sizes or at least provide different options for different body types.
Unlike smaller body types not all plus size bodies will fit comfortably into them. We have ridges, are not always proportioned and have more than a few lumps (no two lumps are exactly alike). If you are pear shaped or have bigger hips then the Miracle Vest is probably not the product for you.
I think having a panty attached would be the best option for the upper end of the plus sizes as it would solve the problem of the waist rolling up on itself. Anyone over a 3x with hips might be better suited for Squeem’s Rubber Derriere Lift Body Shaper Style which which I see also goes up to 5x. It comes down over the buttocks and attaches around the thighs (open at crotch). The downside is it is $50 more.
Other noticeable issues I had while testing: the under arm does not lie smooth against the body and even though the garment was washed and aired I swear I could still smell rubber (even after the product was removed). And after an hour it made me itchy so if you have any kind of sensitive skin issues I would be reluctant to recommend trying this rubber shaper.
Where to Buy Squeem Miracle Vest
You can walk-in to Ashley Stewart and Fashion to Figure stores to try on the Squeem Miracle Vest or buy online at the following online shops: