An utterly honest review of the Spanx faux-leather leggings

I have often found myself in precarious positions. Whether it was my fault or not, I am frequently in awe of my own stupidity. Bad decisions induced by one too many vodkas have left me reeling. Ending with me head-first jumping into a dirty bag of salt and vinegar chips and regrets while holding on to my last fiver and thread of dignity.

Thankfully, age and maturity have served me well and these instances are few and far between. However, recently I found myself in a predicament I thought would not befall me for many years to come. I was red raw, hot, sweaty, breathing heavily through a pain which seemed to be everywhere while simultaneously pushing, shoving and squeezing my bottom half.

No, I wasn’t in labour.

I was putting on a pair of Spanx leggings.

Upwards and overboard

Spanx is renowned for its shapewear designs. Ask any woman and she will have worn the super pants which promise to hold and tuck you in and provide you with a more streamlined figure. Personally, I am not a fan of shapewear. My experiences have been defined as a rush of blood to the head by the sheer force of the contraptions defying gravity. I quite enjoy the softness which surrounds my body. It’s a protective layer and good for heat but I don’t appreciate the extra layer being pushed upwards and overboard.

Like dust on the floor, the layer has to go somewhere and shapewear lets it spill at your waistline; back and front. Many times I have felt going commando would be a better choice.

So I stopped with the shapewear. Instead, my go-to trick was buying the extra coverage knickers in Dunnes Stores a size smaller. These unalluring beauties did the trick without the overflow. Unsexy as they may look, they made me feel and look sexy.

Nevertheless, my attention was once again brought back to Spanx. The brand’s faux leather leggings have created quite the stir on social media and everyone’s sister, cousin-once-removed, mother, grandmother and friend of a friend has tried them – most adored= them.

And as I am basic and like to jump on the bandwagon of anything worth a good click, I tried them too.

Real talk

Firstly, they are expensive. For a faux leather legging, the price will be mind-boggling for some  – a mind-altering €100 to be exact. They come in a range of prints and textures, with the most popular being the motorbike style (think of the sellout Zara trousers circa 2014) and the plain faux-leather effect. Based on the reviews of randomers on the internet, I chose the latter.

The problem with faux-leather leggings is coverage is lacking. My bum jiggles like a Hawaiian dashboard doll – I need thick material to envelop my bump. Leggings will not do this, so a longer-length top or jumper which covers the derriere is a must.

Those in the know advise purchasing them in a size smaller than you are. Spanx material stretches and for maximum longevity and hold it makes sense to do so.

Truth be told it was a tight squeeze. Imagine the smallest hole and then picture the biggest object trying to get into said hole; this was me versus the Spanx. I honestly believed I couldn’t do it. Would they tear? Would they get stuck halfway? Would they cut off my circulation? Would I die from lack of oxygen because of the Spanx?

It really was terrifying. In those two minutes of pulling, tugging and shoving, I sweated more than a marathon runner. Honestly, I nearly gave up twice. I was lying on the bed, legs flying everywhere and body gyrating – my body convulsing just so I could wear a pair of leggings.

Up and away

Finally, they were up and I was pleasantly surprised.

I have worn the leggings more than any item I have bought in the last six months. The Spanx go with everything: jumpers, shirts, hoodies, t-shirts and a good dressy top. Paired with heels they make me feel powerfully cool like Debbie Harry, worn with trainers I feel I have the prowess of an Instagram influencer.

The Spanx has created a gap in between my legs that wasn’t there before. I once had to put the contents of two boxes of plasters on my inner thighs at a race meeting to stop the pain which radiated from my thighs rubbing together, so this new feeling of cold air between my legs is unsettling.

The leggings do what traditional Spax have always done; streamline and pull in but this time it is a much more comfortable experience. The waistband tends to slip down every once in a while but with one tug I am back in business. I possess notoriously short legs and thankfully, the leggings don’t bunch up at any point on my limbs.

And while I deeply regretted the perilous positions I found myself in of yore, this was one where I didn’t immediately stick my head into a bag of salt and vinegar chips.

I am still eating my chips but this time with my head up high and my shoulders back being held together by my Spanx leggings.

SPANX Faux-leather Leggings, €99, Brown Thomas

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