Spanx for Men: A Brief Trend or Bare Necessity?


Dude, got your squeeze for Saturday night? No, not your date, mister; your girdle and slimming undershirt! I know what you are thinking. Spanx; I needed that! I needed tummy control and penis definition.

And even those of you who don’t truly need it, those with tight abs and buns, might still get swept up in the trend the way skinny gals do, heeding any and every opportunity to look even skinnier. We live in America. Isn’t  skinny what really counts underneath it all?

Yep, in the battle of the bulge the undergarment of the century is now a male weapon of choice, stockpiled on the shelves of men’s departments at stores like Neiman’s, Bloomies or  Nordstrom, where you can peel one on, suck it in and smooth it all out before you try on that $2,000 Boss suit.

Look for them on the red carpet (I’m wearing Armani and a Spanx Compression Tank),  at weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and black tie fundraisers. Just keep in mind what savvy women Spanxters know too well: After that third dessert, the torso trimmer will act like a tourniquet and turn on you. If you feel you need oxygen, put down the funnel cake. I repeat, put down the funnel cake!

The New York Times calls them men’s shapewear, which is a bit prissy for my taste, and reports that retail sales are booming. Apparently fashion directors at both stores and web sites like Freshpair boast Spanx can’t make em fast enough to fill the orders. No wonder I’ve been ogling young San Francisco men lately, thinking, “I admire their shape.” And here I thought I was a shameful cougar.


Is it worth the investment, you ask. The shapers – being touted as the revolution in men’s underwear – are rather pricey, but this is what you get for your money:

The Zone Performance Crew Neck, $78, compresses the abs and torso, firms and tones the chest, improves posture and provides lumbar support and eliminates bulk under clothes.

The new, Cotton Comfort Boxer Brief, $48, lifts and adds dimension and depth for an enhanced profile, compresses legs, and has moisture cooling under groin.

And the Zone Performance V-Neck, $78, does all those other good things while aiding work outs with maximum mobility. In other words, you can cheat at the gym. Maybe not so much when you let it all hang out in the bedroom.

The success of the new undies is good news for retailers, but maybe not so for personal trainers and chiropractors who help men get ripped and relieve their back pain. Personally speaking, it seems the men’s version offers something the fem designs don’t. Mine do nothing for my posture or performance on the elliptical or during Zumba and I pull my back out every time I sit on my French vanity stool and struggle to climb out.

But at least my latest pair feature a pee hole which I greatly appreciate when I’m out partying and trapped. I can pull up my dress and relieve myself…just like a man. Just like a man in Spanx.

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.