It’s no secret that shapewear is having a moment. Thanks to brands like Kim Kardashian’s Skims, which launched in 2019 and is currently valued at over $1 billion, and Spanx, which secured a billion-dollar valuation in 2021 after decades in business, the market has boomed to an unprecedented level. This is all taking place against a backdrop of a perceived shift in body positivity that no longer venerates one ideal shape. That’s a ripe environment for the arrival of the newly-launched Yitty, singer Lizzo’s shapewear line.
Released in partnership with Fabletics, the line is described as “industry first” for its “no-shame, smile inducing shapewear” with sizes ranging from 6X to XS, according to the press release. “Instead of thinking about size in this linear way, we’re thinking about it on a spectrum where everyone is included,” said Lizzo via the release. “Everyone’s size is just their size. It’s not high, it’s not low. It’s not big, it’s not small. It’s just your size.” The first drop — released on April 12 — includes an array of bodysuits, sports bras, shaping shorts, leggings, and underwear in vibrant hues and a wide set of skin-colored tones.
While shapewear brands have extended their sizing and have committed to body-inclusive campaign imagery in recent years, Yitty marks a new precedent by extending to a 6X, surpassing the likes of Skims, which only reaches a size 4X. This is one of the reasons why R29 associate writer Chichi Offor was thrilled about trying the new line.
“I was intrigued by the brand and its potential for unique offerings that could fill a gap in the market,” she says. “I think because it was designed and created by Lizzo (a fellow larger woman) I had pretty high hopes for the execution.”
R29 fashion director Irina Grechko also recognized the launch as “exciting” because of its messaging and promise to shift standards within the shapewear industry. “Shapewear has long had negative connotations attached to it, as it pertains to promoting toxic body standards and unrealistic body shapes,” she says. “The fact that Yitty, according to the press release, was ‘based on the principles of self-love, radical inner confidence, and effortless, everyday wear’ and came in sizes ranging from XS to 6X was exciting for me.”
To test how the new brand measured up to its hype, three Refinery29 editors tried it out IRL. Here are their reviews.
Chichi Offor, Associate Writer
What did you try? The midi bra and shaping shorts.
So, how was it? When you pull the pieces out of the box, they look so very small! However, I know that’s pretty common for shapewear. I put on the piece and it wasn’t super hard to get on. You do have to shimmy into it a little. Once everything was on, I definitely noticed how effective the Yitty pieces were at compressing the body. My boobs definitely felt pretty held in and the bra offered a pretty solid amount of support, but I don’t think I’d do any high-intensity activities in it. The shaping shorts were compressive too, and they also smoothed out my skin.
I tend to avoid shapewear because I’ve been on a journey to normalize and get used to all the nooks and crannies on my body. However, if smoothing is the desired effect, I do think the Yitty pieces I tried on do just that. My main gripe is that it’d be nice if the fabric was a little thicker. Depending on the lighting, my pieces were a little more sheer than I’d like. It’s not too noticeable, but I think if you look closely a little more is visible than some people would be comfortable with.
I honestly don’t see myself wearing this set on its own. However, I might wear it under a more bodycon type of dress to go out. I’ll be wearing the bra pretty regularly, and I’d potentially wear it as a cropped top in the summer with shorts, jeans, and a skirt. I do think the set looks great styled with a blazer and boots.
Irina Grechko, Fashion Director
What did you try? The shaping thong bodysuit
So, how was it? While it was hard to put on and take off the first time, I liked how the bodysuit neither constricted me like a sausage casing nor felt too loose. It also smoothed my torso without any rolling and, if you’re smaller chested, could be worn without a bra. To me, this piece felt more like a top, rather than traditional shapewear, just because of the thicker straps which you could only wear under short or long sleeves.
I wore this piece twice. The first time I wore it as a layer underneath a sweatshirt to go to the hair salon, where I removed the sweatshirt once it got too hot. The second time I wore it as a top underneath a navy pantsuit, which gave the look a nice pop of color. Given the pretty and on-trend lavender color, I didn’t want to hide the top underneath layers, so, moving forward, I will be wearing this as a bodysuit rather than shapewear.
Mercedes Viera, Shopping Writer
What did you try? Smoothing sleeve thong bodysuit
So, how was it? It’s not for me. Everything from the long sleeves to the color, it’s simply not me. While the mesh is soft and nothing is too tight, the piece doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s tight in the arms but not tight enough in the chest (I’m a 38H, so that shouldn’t be possible). I can understand why someone else would love this though, someone who is insecure about their arms, someone that can go around without a bra, who’s comfortable wearing a thong, and loves neon pink. If you’re any of those things, you’d love this.
I tried it once when I got it, and I couldn’t think of any outfits that I would confidently and comfortably wear it out with. The closest I got was taking the easy route and pairing it with jeans or shorts. But it’s really not my style… like at all.
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