£7 male shapewear vest is surprise winnerAsda vest beats expensive rivals costing up to £55

23 December 2010

Range of vests

A £7 Asda vest beat more expensive rivals, including Spanx and Marks & Spencer

Men trying to counter the effects of Christmas excess may be tempted by the impressive claims of men’s shapewear. These vests can cost as much as £55, but our expert, with two generously sized men, tested six high street favourites and agreed on a surprise £7 value winner.

The UK men’s underwear market is worth £9m and these undershirts are a growing trend.

Which? man-vest test

We tested the vests for wearability and how they lived up to their marketing claims, which include ‘will forever change the way you look and feel in your clothes’ and varied promises to improve the posture, firm the chest, flatten the stomach and narrow the waistline.

Lingerie lecturer and technical designer Laura Savery applauded Asda’s Shape Enhancer t-shirt for ‘lighter-weight fabric with knitted support panels in the right places and a smooth shape’, and in our tests it also out-performed vests costing nearly eight times as much.

The £55 Spanx Cotton Compression Crew undershirt was judged a good runner-up, with its effects including noticeable chest improvement.

M&S low scorer

The Bodymax and Bodymax Plus short sleeve vests from Marks & Spencer scored lowest, with Ript Fusion rated slightly better than the Bodymax Plus. While comfortable and rated as OK, they offered little advantage compared with a fitted t-shirt.

Realistic expectations

Laura Savery explains that even with the best-scoring shapewear, it’s important to have realistic expectations. ‘Well-fitting shapewear will fit like a second skin, with control panels smoothing problem areas and encouraging better posture – both of which will lead to a man looking and feeling better.’

Looking to eat healthier? Find out which health grills and juicers are the best in our expert tests. For other ways to shape up, we've got information about making healthy eating easier and healthier food choices. 

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