The creator of ShaToBu shapewear, Dr. Denise Perron claims her line not only slims your silhouette but also tones muscle and burns calories when you wear it. But does it really work ?
Dr. Perron was in Scottsdale last week at Dillard’s, promoting her unique line of shapewear, and I got a chance to talk with her about how and if it works - and give the product a test run of my own. As it turns out, it’s not magic or marketing ballyhoo, and actually relies on a medical study to back up the calorie-burning claims.
Read on to see why ShaToBu gets my hearty seal of approval as a game-changing product for the millions of women who can’t live without their shapers…
SF: How did you come up with the idea for ShaToBu ?
DP: I started working on it about 5 or 6 years ago as an exercise aid for my patients. I’ve been a chiropractor for 20 years, and what I was finding was this: for years, I’ve been prescribing exercise programs to help patients address body alignment and muscle tone issues and guess what ? They weren’t following the programs. So I thought, what if I took undergarments and sewed exercise bands into them to help them along.
SF: What are exercise bands ?
DP: Well, the same concept has been used in garments for professional athletes for quite some time. Essentially, they add resistance against the muscles, so for athletes, it’s used to enhance training. For a woman wearing ShaToBu, it’s designed to improve muscle tone, burn extra calories and correct posture, along with the added benefit of smoothing things out underneath your clothes.
SF: So, when you say ShaToBu burns calories, it almost sounds too good to be true. Does it really work ?
DP: First of all, there is scientific evidence behind this to back it up. Before this product ever went to market, there was a study conducted by the University of Virginia. That research told us that a person can burn anywhere from 3 to 18% more calories when wearing various ShaToBu garments while performing “everyday activity. ” But of course, there are lots of variables involved like a person’s metabolic rate, the activity they’re performing, etc. It’s going to be different for every person. But even on the low end…let’s say you burn 5% more calories in ShaToBu, it’s still 5% more than without it, right ? So, by making every day activities a little more efficient in toning muscles and burning calories, it can, and does, work. But the bottom line is, you have to move to lose ! It’s not some “magic” formula.
SF: You have a lot of different products here…you have tights and undergarments and even outer garments. Do they do different things ?
DP: Yes, they all use the same principle but they serve different functions. Our Slimming Posture Supporting tops are one of our most popular; we currently have 2 styles, a tank and a short sleeve top. They’re constructed with a lightweight mesh fabric underneath and have resistance sewn into them, so when you wear it you feel it. It’s great for correcting posture and the tank has a mesh lining that tucks into your pants, which smooths your midriff out. It’s meant to wear around the house or as a layering piece, just living everyday life. Women love it because it’s lightweight and comfortable, but smooths out all their little bulges in front and back.
We also have tights and a variety of body shapers, meant to be worn under clothes, of course.
Q: What’s your best-selling product ?
A: That’s our high-waist shaper. Women love this shaper because it does it all: it slims and smooths the midriff and back, corrects posture and helps your body alignment so you stand up straight and tall. But it’s also very lightweight so it’s comfortable to wear. All of our products are designed this way; they’re not so constricting that you feel like you can’t breathe. That’s one of the biggest complaints women have about these types of garments – they’re great at improving your appearance, but they’re not comfortable to wear.
Q: What makes ShaToBu more comfortable ?
A: The fabric is very lightweight, so for instance, here in Scottsdale where it’s so warm, we think women will love it for that reason alone. It breathes. And it’s got a lot of stretch in it. The difference is where the resistance is sewn in right up against the muscle groups in bands. It’s not the whole garment, so it isolates those areas and that’s where the muscle toning and calorie burning come in. Your muscles work a little bit harder when you move…say walking up a flight of stairs or just doing everyday activities and running around, like most women do.
Q: Will it work for those of us who sit in front of our computers all day ?
A: ( laughing ) Well, I’d love to tell you it would, but you’re not going to lose weight being inactive, no matter what you wear. But if you do sit in front of a computer for a good portion of your day, you could try the posture improving tank, which is designed to help you sit up straighter and helps your body alignment. But you should exercise too; you have to take a break sometimes and go for a walk or something !
Dr. Perron sent me home with 3 ShaToBu products to try: the tank, the body shaper and the tights.
1. The tank is my new favorite thing. It’s black, so it goes with everything I own and it’s comfortable. I probably look 5 pounds thinner, so that right there is a double bonus (!) And it really does make me sit up a little straighter; I can definitely feel it when I wear it.
2. I tested the body shaper out underneath a somewhat clingy dress which I wore all day for an outdoor wedding. There are a couple of things I really like about it. First, you can wear your own bra with it; this one does not have the bra built in which I think is always problematic in a bodysuit-style shaper.
But most importantly, and this is the game changer for me, it’s super comfortable. You know how it is, you wear these garments under your clothes to smooth out all your bits and pieces and you may look fabulous, but as soon as you get home, you rip the thing off so you can breathe again.
I didn’t do that. I wore it for 8 hours and when I got home, I did some things around the house for an hour or so, before I changed my clothes.
That right there, ladies, is all the proof I need that this is a great product. I can’t vouch for the calorie-burning, muscle-toning benefits of ShaToBu because I haven’t worn them enough; I’ve only had them for a week, and of course you need to wear them for a longer period of time to see the results.
3. Sizing and price: Some of the garments run a little small. I usually wear a medium; I needed a large in the tank. For the shaper I was able to wear the medium, but I would suggest you try them on, if possible. Dillard’s at Scottsdale Fashion Square has a great selection. Sizes range from small to 3x, depending on the garment.
As for pricing, I think it’s reasonably priced. The high-waist shaper pictured above is $45, for the full body suit shaper, like the one I wore, the price is $88. The posture improving tank that I loved is $66. ( Small price to pay to look thinner in a basic black layering piece, as far as I’m concerned ! )
I’d like to leave you with one final image in case you have any hesitation and as I promised in my earlier post…
THIS IS NOT MY BEHIND.