Appearances can be deceptive, and those slim guys milling around the petchem conference lobby in their Hugo Boss suits may not be everything they seem. Plumper gentlemen are flocking to buy the new “shapewear,” “mirdles” or “undershirts” – girdles reinforced with wonder petrochemical fibres, disguised as T-shirts, according to an article in Saturday’s Times.
Following on the popularity of elastomer-rich female control undergarments, the M&S male version of the mirdle, Bodymax, has sold 15,000 since its launch in January. Another brand “Precision” guarantees to shave up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) off the male waist, and US mirdle sales increased by 11% in 2009. There is even a blog devoted to the subject: www.undershirtguy.com.