Shapewear’s Indian twist by New Delhi-based Butt Chique

Snapshots of the collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Love it or hate it, the shapewear trend is here to stay. Be it body shapers, corsets, body tapes or nipple pasties, they are everywhere — from celeb Instagram accounts to the red carpet (rapper Lil’ Kim’s seashell nipple pasties outfit from the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards continues to be a hot topic of discussion!). They might be constantly criticised for glamourising an hourglass figure and creating unhealthy body standards (by making bellies and body fat taboo and, therefore, invisible via their promotions), when in fact they do quite the opposite. Shapewear — primarily ruled by the likes of Spanx and Marks & Spencers — in all its forms has been widely welcomed by women who say it improves posture, provides support and, most importantly, boosts confidence.

Kamakshi Agarwala (centre) with the models

Kamakshi Agarwala (centre) with the models   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Earlier this year, TikToker Adria Barich reviewed Kim Kardashian's iconic Skims collection and called it out for its small sizing, overly tight waistbands and the now viral video claiming they made her “look like the Pillsbury Doughboy”. No doubt, we need inclusive sizing and colours that match Indian skin tones — something New Delhi-based Butt Chique is striving to do by ‘reinventing shapewear as a tool for versatility and empowerment’. Launched last year by Kamakshi Agarwala, its offerings include body suits, nipple pasties (starting at ₹999), and body tapes (₹1,299 onwards). Claimed to focus on ‘real women’, their Instagram account doesn’t shy away from bellies, stretch marks, and the catalogue features models in all sizes. “I personally went over to the homes of 150 women aged between 18 and 55 [friends, family members, etc] during the sampling and research phase in 2019. Based on their feedback on sizes and materials, the designs were reworked and new samples were created. This has proven to be vital since there is no size chart for the Indian woman and I prefer not to use a UK/US sizing,” says Agarwala, 25. Apt for both our backless cholis during the festive season and evening gowns with plunging necklines for a cocktail night, the shapewear collection for tummy, thighs and posterior is designed with a nylon blend, whereas the body tapes and pasties feature 100% cotton. All products are tagless and come in paper boxes.

From the collection

From the collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Given the fact that any kind of inner wear or shapewear has to be hidden and is a stigma, by including more sizes and Indian skin tones “we are trying to ensure that it comes across in a way that women can embrace it and be comfortable in their own skin”, she adds. Keeping in line with their inclusive approach, Agarwala says women with no prior modelling experience were used for the campaign shoot “to ensure authenticity”. “As the Indian lingerie landscape has primarily showcased petite fair skinned models, I never felt confident in my skin. I needed to change this imagery and made it a point to include different skin tones, body types and, wherever possible, different ethnicities. The entire crew was female too,” she concludes.

Shapewear at ₹2,999 onwards on

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 5:40:25 AM |

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