Hourglass Angel

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    Swimsuit Issues: Curves and Swimwear

    We recently came across this stunning pictorial, which features a plus size model in a swimsuit. The image was striking because of her beauty and the relative rarity of fashion images of curvy women in swimwear. With vacation season and summer coming quickly, we launched the swimwear section of Hourglass Angel, which caters to and celebrates women’s curves with a variety of flattering and fashionable styles. Our Miraclesuit collection is a highlight of the store that you absolutely must check out. You’ll also find accessory solutions such as the Boobles! Foam Bathing Suit Push Up Pads by Bubbles Bodywear here.

    We created the swim section of Hourglass Angel for the same reason that we love this image. We believe women of all sizes deserve to feel beautiful in any kind of garment they choose to wear… that includes swimsuits.

    We look forward to helping you enjoy some fun in the sun while your beautiful curves make a splash this swimsuit season!

     

    Posted in Health, How To Wear, Inspiring Stories Tagged , , , , , ,

      Enhancing History: Changing Beauty Ideals

      It’s no secret: We LOVE shapewear. As a company, as individuals, as women of all shapes and sizes, here at Hourglass Angel, from bustiers to booty enhancers, we adore it all! And we’re not alone, shapewear is an exploding trend in women’s apparel. But, naturally, with any rise in popularity, there must be a counterpoint. Some media outlets have called Octavia Spencer’s triple Spanx silhouette at the SAG Awards “extreme.” Others have questioned Molly Sims using special maternity shapewear. While critics may not share our enthusiasm for shaping and sculpting the bodies we live in, we thought we might provide a little perspective on the history of body modification and compare our passion for shapers to other enhancement techniques women have used.

      Consider, for example, the bound 4-inch “lotus foot,” idealized as the ultimate indicator of femininity in ancient China. This practice, which often crippled women, continued well into the 20th century, long enough that thousands of photographs exist of it. The binding process not only injured women with bound feet, it also hindered them from participating fully in social, political and educational life, making them second class citizens. Then, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the poison, belladonna was commonly used to dilate the eyes of women, creating a doe-like appearance, while often eventually leading to blindness. And, if you can believe it, Elizabethan women often slathered on lead-based makeup, which had a range of dangerous physical effects. And today, even with a battery of precautions, even the most commonplace cosmetic surgeries carry dozens of risks. When you put it all in perspective, it sort of makes you love shapewear even more, doesn’t it?

      Put simply, the desire to decorate, reshape and enhance the body is something that comes natural to humans. It’s a part of who we are. Just as we paint the walls of our homes and hang art on our walls, we celebrate, shape and sculpt the works of art that we live in. We love women and the huge numbers of shapes and sizes that they come in. We love the bodies that we have at this very moment. We believe that participating in beauty is a right for women of every size and age. We also believe that there are many kinds of beauty and we support women as they explore their own vision of it. There’s a difference between “fixing” a body and enhancing it. And of the thousands of ways that people have enhanced their appearances over the years, shapewear is not only one of the most flattering, it’s also one of the easiest and safest and that’s why we love it.

      Posted in Health, Inspiring Stories, Press, Supporting our Community

        Cellulite Solutions that Stick

        The Best and Brightest Brands That Actually Work

        We’re going to let you in on a secret: we ALL have cellulite. Big and small. Short and tall. Like it or “lump” it, women are almost universally and genetically predisposed to develop the little dimples and dents in our skin that look like orange peel. Almost every woman will experience cellulite to lesser or greater degrees. If you’re one of the majority we describe, you know how difficult it is to reduce the appearance of this stuff. With its resistance to diet, exercise (and wishing), you may have tried one of the off the shelf solutions that are commercially available.  And, there are many. But the real question is, among the fakes and phonies are there any cellulite treatments that work?

        Being in the business of beautiful bodies (of all sizes and shapes) we’ve had the opportunity to test an unimaginable array of products, potions and lotions that promise to cure cellulite. From the outrageous to the outlandish, virtually every theory of cellulite control has come across our desks. Here’s the truth: while there is no “cure” for cellulite, finally there are some very effective ways of reducing its appearance. After years of searching, and trying just about everything, we’ve finally narrowed down the field of candidates that, when combined with diet, exercise and proper hydration, are great tools that can help you look your best and reduce the visible appearance of cellulite.

        These are the products that we rely on to smooth us out and supplement an overall healthy living plan:

        Lytess: When we started exploring anti-cellulite products to meet the requests of our customers, Lytess was one of the first brands that actually verified their claims with real clinical data. As this French brand added new items, each was supported with positive evidence for smoothing and reduction of inches by scientific study. The line, which uses ingredients like shea butter, mango and caffeine in the fabric of their garments, has grown in popularity as a result of word of mouth. Lytess customers are loyal and report great results from their microcapsule infused tights, leggings and shapers. This is a great place to start if you want to try an anti-cellulite garment.

        Moisture Me by Mambino: Like all Mambino products, Moisture Me was originally formulated for moms, with special attention to their unique skin needs. We suspect this serum’s popularity grew from new mamas who continued using it long after giving birth. Moisture Me is now as popular with non-moms as it is with their original clientele, proving that your smoothest and most radiant skin starts with moisturization. We love this product in our office and can’t keep samples of it in stock, as they always seem to find their way home with our staff!

        Delfin Spa: Here is a truly cutting edge anti-cellulite line. Harnessing the technological breakthrough of Bio-Ceramic fabrics, this revolutionary set of workout garments directs your body’s own heat and energy back into the layer of skin that contains cellulite. Earning an incredibly loyal fanbase, we heard about these items from you and had to see what all the buzz was about. We have not been disappointed in their performance and highly recommend all the Delfin items to anyone who is serious about reducing the orange peel effect while you workout or just go about your regular day.

        iPant Anti-cellulite Hi-Waist Long Leg Shaper by Wacoal: At Hourglass Angel, we love Wacoal….generally. Amongst our staff, we adore Wacoal’s intimates for their comfort, style and performance. So, when we learned they had created an anti-cellulite shaper, we knew we had to have it. The iPant Anti-cellulite Hi-Waist Long Leg Shaper is every bit as good as we expected. If you’re Wacoal fans like we are, this is an absolute must-have.

        Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Health, Shapewear Facts and Tips

          Strengthening Our Resolutions

          Turning a New Leaf This New Year

          At the beginning of the new year, our thoughts naturally turn to renewal, change and fresh beginnings. A poll of the staff at Hourglass Angel revealed a common thread in our resolutions. One of our new moms, Rosie, like so many of us, resolved to finally achieve her weight loss goals. Mary resolved to eat better. Marge decided to take a yoga class.

          Every year we make resolutions to change our bodies. With that in mind we ask: What can we do this year to make the promises we make to ourselves become a reality this year?

          At Hourglass Angel, we absolutely know that making progress towards a healthier lifestyle is possible. We’ve been supporting changing bodies since we opened our doors. We know that healthier, stronger bodies are possible for everyone. Like Rosie, many of our clients are new moms, working hard to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. If you have a resolution to bounce back from your post-baby body, you may want to consider supplementing your workout and eating plan with a belly band or maximum compression garment. Many of our our mamas have seen great results with products like the Belly Bandit, SlimBand or SlimVest. This technology, while cutting edge, stems from thousands of years of practice. Women have been wrapping their bellies before, during and after giving birth to assist in recovery and reshaping. Now it’s easier than ever for new moms to benefit from the support of a shaping garment.

          If your resolutions include a new workout regimen like Marge, you may benefit from adding the technology that is built into some of the new athletic shaping apparel that we carry at Hourglass Angel. Products like the Workout Band, the Delfin Bio-Ceramic Shorts or Capris or the anti-cellulite garments made by Lytess can maximize the work you do in the gym, decrease the visible appearance of cellulite and reduce inches from the midsection.

          Whatever your resolutions are this year, we hope they include the most positive vision of yourself that is possible. We wish all of luck. Don’t forget that we believe in you and are here to support you as we enter 2012.

          Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Health, How To Wear

            The Gratitude Attitude: a Season of Thanks for Our Bodies

            Thanksgiving has evolved from a celebration of thanks made by early American settlers, to a broader celebration of abundance, made in many countries around the world on many different days. Regardless of its origins, we now cherish this holiday as a time to feel grateful for the many gifts we have received in our lives.

            But one of our most overlooked gifts we receive as women is the gift we live in: our bodies. A recent study showed that women have an average of 13 negative thoughts about their bodies per day. That’s about one devastating self-criticism per waking hour. Would you like to spend time with someone that spoke to you the way we women often speak to ourselves? Probably not. And so, as we enter a season that is centered around gratitude, it seems that, when it comes to this body that carries us throughout our lives—gives us children, dances, sings, provides for our loved ones—women are often the opposite of grateful.

            At Hourglass Angel, we wear, love and work with shapewear and intimates because we like how they make us feel. We often talk about the way that the right undergarments, whether that’s a shaper or a sexy bra, have a confidence boosting effect. That’s one way to express what those items do for us. But, with respect to the lack of respect and thanks we give our bodies, perhaps we are overlooking an even more important service that fine foundational garments do for us. When we choose undergarments and apparel that make us feel good, we are affirming and giving thanks for the body itself. And it seems that thanks is needed now more than ever.

            Every moment that we can transform a critical thought about our bodies into a thought that is filled with gratitude is in itself something to be grateful for. An act as small as dressing in something that celebrates and expresses gratitude for these amazing curves—of every shape and size—that we were born into, is a move in the right direction.

            So, as Thanksgiving approaches, bringing with it the additional pressures of the holiday season, we at Hourglass Angel are committing to use this time to give thanks, not just for the blessings of home, work and family, but especially for the body that allows us to enjoy all the other blessings…just as it is.

            Posted in Health, Inspiring Stories

              A Month for the Cure: Join the Movement

              Ready to Run

              Many of you may already know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bright pink lights dot our Chicago skyline to raise awareness about breast cancer.  Here at Hourglass Angel we are proud to participate in Chicagoland’s 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

              That’s right! Yours truly huffed, puffed and hugged our way through the 5 kilometer course along with thousands of survivors and supporters. The distance was daunting, but we were encouraged by the brave women that stepped forward in the survivor’s parade to share their stories. It was a difficult run -admittedly harder for some than others- but we all made it to the finish line. Completing this race is something we are so proud of.  Participation was our distinct honor and we were lifted by the experiences of the survivors we saw and survivors that we have had the pleasure of serving here at Hourglass Angel.

              Women of all ethnic, geographic and social backgrounds are affected by breast cancer, it knows no boundaries. Breast cancer is the leading cause of deaths in women and takes the lives of over 500,000 people worldwide every year. Whether we become survivors, know survivors or lose someone to breast cancer, this disease will probably become a part of all of our lives, if it hasn’t already. As a company comprised largely of women and proud to serve women, we could not ignore any opportunity to fight breast cancer.

              There are so many ways to contribute to the fight against breast cancer. Contact your local Susan G. Komen organization or The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Whatever you do, JOIN US! Get educated. Get involved. Together we can cure breast cancer forever.

              Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Health, Inspiring Stories, Supporting our Community

                Workout Tips for Pear Shaped Bodies

                squatsLet us start this post by saying that whatever your body shape, we feel strongly that the best thing you can do for yourself, and for your daughters if you happen to have daughters, is to ACCEPT YOURSELF and learn to love yourself just the way you are.

                Have you noticed that when we women look in the mirror, we tend to focus on our “bad” parts? Instead of looking at ourselves as a whole, or focusing on what we love, we focus on what we dislike about our bodies.

                For years now, the fashion industry and the media have been telling us that we should be thin. And we have listened! The diet industry is flourishing, most of us are on a constant cycle of dieting, breaking the diet, then dieting again, and the vast majority of us are unhappy with how we look!

                How do we break that vicious cycle? The first step is to accept ourselves just as we are, and in this regard, role models such as Michelle Obama are inspiring.

                The second step: instead of trying to be THIN, we should aspire to be HEALTHY and FIT – as healthy and as fit as we can be. Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk, and treat our body with respect.

                Of course, exercise is important too. 30 minutes, five days a week, of moderate cardiovascular exercise such as walking can make a huge difference in how you feel and in your health. In addition, you can target specific areas with exercises that are designed to make those areas more toned.

                If you’re pear shaped, one of the best exercises you can do is squats. Squats are great for toning your hips, butt and thighs. They are simple to do and require no special equipment:

                1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
                2. Bend your knees, and lower into a squat, keeping the knees behind the toes. Imagine that you’re sticking your butt out behind you, but keep the torso upright and contracted.
                3. Press into your heels to stand up.
                4. Start slow, building up to 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

                As in any exercise routine, it’s very important to start slow, and to consult with your doctor if you have any medical condition or any other concern.

                Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Health Tagged

                  Diet Tips For The Holidays

                  Christmas CupcakesDecember is a tough month for most of us. Whether we would like to lose weight or to simply maintain our current weight, the many temptations around make it very difficult not to gain weight during the holidays!

                  But do not despair. There are several ways you can enjoy holiday fare and parties without packing on the pounds. Here are our top five diet tips for the holidays:

                  1. Do Not Skip Meals! It may SEEM like a good idea to “save” calories if you’re going to a party at night, but if you arrive at the party famished, you risk losing control and overeating. Instead, eat a good breakfast, a light lunch, and a light snack before heading out.

                  2. Yes to Wine, No to Cocktails. Cocktails may feel fun and festive, but they pack a large amount of calories – equal to a small meal! If you must have eggnog, have a small glass, but the rest of the month, try to stick with a single glass of wine per event. Sip slowly, so it will last for the entire evening!

                  3. Wear Form-Fitting Clothes. This is one of the best ways to avoid overeating. In fact, wear a body shaper that compresses your tummy underneath your clothes, such as this waist cincher, and you will not just look fabulous in your holiday attire – you won’t even feel like stuffing yourself.

                  4. Drink Lots Of Water. This will not just keep you well-hydrated, it will also help you feel full and will help flush out toxins more effectively.

                  5. Don’t Deny Yourself. Enjoying rich food and sharing meals with family and friends are a big part of the holiday season. Don’t expect yourself to eat carrot sticks the entire month. On the other hand, don’t go off your diet completely. Balance is key, and one thing you can do is to decide that during the holidays you will maintain your weight, maybe gain a couple pounds, and that’s OK. Get a plate, put a SMALL sample of each of your favorite foods on it, have a SMALL glass of eggnog, and give yourself permission to enjoy the season – in moderation.

                  Happy Holidays!

                  Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Health Tagged

                    Michelle Obama: More Than A Style Icon

                    michelle obamaMichelle Obama is an amazing woman. We love her strength, her leadership, and the active role she is taking in making America healthier and saving our children from obesity. We think she’s a wonderful mother who obviously cares a lot about her daughters. No doubt, she’s a supportive wife!

                    Not Afraid To Wear An Off The Rack Dress

                    We also love Mrs. Obama’s personal style. Remember the $148, off-the-rack, black and white dress she wore for her appearance on The View back in June 2008? That was probably our first clue that Mrs. Obama has her own sense of style, and that she’s not afraid to show it. That dress looked so pretty and fresh, we can’t imagine a designer outfit costing ten times as much would have looked better.

                    Celebrating Her Curves

                    Michelle Obama is a tall, pretty woman. We love that she’s not skinny and is not trying to be – she obviously takes care of herself and works out (look at those amazing arms!) but she goes with her natural body shape and doesn’t try to fight it, or to hide it. Mrs. Obama has narrow waist and wider hips, and she makes no attempt at concealing her hourglass figure or making herself appear thinner. Which we absolutely love!

                    Mrs. Obama loves to dress in clothes that show off her beautiful arms and shoulders. She wears body-conscious clothes that acknowledge – one might say celebrate – her curves, but are never too clingy. Instead of trying to camouflage her bottom part, she celebrates it. Her choices are markedly different from former First Ladies in that they are much more casual and much less formal and restrictive.

                    A Style Icon, And So Much More

                    While Michelle Obama has certainly become a style icon, she is so much more than that. Mrs. Obama is an incredibly smart, talented woman. She obviously wants to leave a legacy that goes beyond “she had a great sense of style,” and this reflects in her campaign against obesity as in other initiatives.

                    Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman, inside and out.

                    Posted in Celebrity Style, Health, Inspiring Stories Tagged

                      Shapewear Trends

                      cincherShapewear is not what it used to be. These days, women expect a lot from their body shapers! Women want their shapewear to offer support, flatter their curves, and smooth away any bulges. They also want shapewear that looks nice – the kind of undergarment that they won’t feel embarrassed about when they undress.

                      As shapewear becomes more and more mainstream, there are trends in shapewear, just as there are in fashion. Here are the top five shapewear trends for fall 2010:

                      Pretty and Sexy Shapewear

                      As we said above, these days shapewear is not an ugly undergarment that offers support but must be hidden at all costs! More and more body shapers actually look great and are just as sexy or pretty as any other lingerie item.

                      Comfortable Shapewear

                      Wearing shapewear used to be pure torture. Not anymore! Women now demand comfort, and shapewear designers are happy to oblige. In addition to several enhancement levels, you can now choose shapewear in light, breathable fabrics. Even the light shapers still offer plenty of support and a marked improvement in your appearance.

                      Shapewear Has Entered Mainstream

                      Women used to hide the fact that they were wearing shapewear, but with more and more celebrities openly talking about wearing body shapers and recommending it, women now realize that there’s nothing wrong with wearing a shaper. Just like wearing makeup to enhance your best facial features and camouflage small imperfections, a good body shaper allows you to do the same for your body – enhance the best and camouflage your problem areas.

                      Affordable Shapewear

                      While celebrities love and endorse shapewear, body shapers are not reserved for the rich and famous. With fabulous shapewear under $50, anyone can now wear a shaper. There’s absolutely no need to pay outrageous prices to look good.

                      Shapewear for Men

                      Men want to look good too! Many men have specific problem areas just like women do, in most cases the stomach area and love handles. Shapewear for men targets these areas and helps men look markedly better wearing suits or casual clothing.

                      Posted in Health, How To Wear, Shapewear Facts and Tips Tagged

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