Designer chat: Yummie Tummie’s Heather Thomson

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 10 Comments

I’m always on a fashion or a clothing quest. And finding the ultimate sucker-inner pants and clothing is high up on that quest on any given day. Spanx?  Yep, got them.  Nancy Ganz. Wowzers, they’re an effort to get in AND out of.

I am a lady of a certain age and given that my youngest is now almost six and my eldest 16, it’s a little bit of a stretch to explain away my lack of shape on my three children.

If we’re being honest here … it’s a combo of genetics, aversion to early mornings and a love of champers that has resulted in the shapewear-needing figure that greets me each day in the bathroom mirror.  And I can live with that because THANKFULLY there are companies out there realising that no matter what size a woman is, they do not want lumps and bumps protruding out from where lumps and bumps should not protrude.

Even the most flattering dress in a non-clingy fabric can show off a panty-line bulge, that bulge instantly ruining the effect of the outfit and sending the wearer’s confidence to rock bottom.

Put a woman in shapewear, in which she can still breathe AND that won’t frighten her partner out of the bedroom, and you have a winning combo.  Hence my excitement at having a chat with US fashion designer and celebrity stylist Heather Thomson, who’s in Australia this week to launch and talk about her Yummie Tummies‘ collection. With a seal of approval from Rachel Zoe (“A Yummie Tummie is an everyday essential!”) and Oprah (“With a Yummie Tummie shaping panel inside, this yummie tee means no more waiting to exhale!”), I was keen to know more.

Yummie Tummie's Heather Thomson

Yummie Tummie's Heather Thomson

Why did you decided to develop Yummie Tummie?

I created Yummie Tummie out of a selfish initiative after giving birth to my first child. As I like to say, the “rose colored glasses” came off when I struggled to get my body back, post-baby. I went to the shapewear department as a consumer looking to boost my confidence; but when I arrived, it was as if the shapewear department had been frozen in time. I was aghast at my choices. As a consumer I left feeling deflated and as a designer I was perplexed. My options left me with nothing more than my grandmother’s girdles. The products I saw (and yes tried!) failed me both ascetically and functionally. After first having to kick my husband out of the room to get dressed these traditional shaping garments would roll, ride and bite and frankly hurt and I was left feeling downright self-conscious.

It was in that fog that I had a moment of clarity and with it that I dusted off my sewing machine, sat at my dining room table with a tear running down my face and sewed the first, and what would become The Original Yummie Tummie 3-panel shaping tank, I now call “Happy Technology”. I officially launched the Yummie Tummie brand in the United States in January of 2008 and exploded onto the scene with an entirely new shaping concept, and in reality, turned the shapewear classification on its ear. We brought something new to the marketplace and revolutionised shaping products.

What makes Yummie Tummie so different?

I felt that women needed and deserved a new take on shapewear, so Yummie Tummie had to provide shaping products that would make women feel good, sexy, confident and happy. The Yummie Tummie collection consists of beautiful feel-good, look-good products that offer women versatile solutions to everyday dressing. I created Yummie on the idea that fashion and function could meet AND be fabulous. Through the development of comfortable, flattering and sexy shaping solutions, I have created a shapewear brand that represents living, not suffering, and leaves women feeling happy and confident.

How important was having the product actually look good as well as do the job at hand?

It’s everything!  We need it!  Every woman should be happy in her own skin and shapewear can help women feel good when it is designed with both fashion and function in mind.

Why should all women embrace shapewear?

Shapewear has become every girl’s weapon and is a dressing foundation just like our bras. No matter what shape or size, every woman I know wants to achieve a sleek and slim look and shapewear has the ability to make women look the way they want.  At Yummie Tummie we pride ourselves on knowing that our shapewear not only looks good but it feels amazing.  At launch, we offered a range of sizes from extra small to 3X, so that everybody and every body has the ability to make Yummie Tummie their closet staple. It’s how I get dressed everyday. It is my third essential dressing piece; my bra, my panties and my Yummie Tummie.

What is your best-selling product?

Since we launched, our three basic tanks, The Original, The Skinny and The Strappy take turns in the best selling #1 spot.  The tanks are an incredible basic for every day dressing. All three are designed with our patented 3-panel shaping, cotton on the top and bottom and our slimming tricot in the middle.

The Original is your everyday styled tank.  It has an average strap width that will cover your bra, and can be worn under sweaters, t-shirts or blazers.  The Skinny has wider straps for more coverage and a raised back neckline for the ultimate in style, comfort and coverage.  The Strappy has silk adjustable straps and is a contemporary, dressier option to pair with a sheer blouse.  We always introduce a fun new color each season to add to your nude, black and white staples.

Yummie Tummie

Left: Yummie Tummie original tank $76, cami pantie $52; Right: cami tank $105, cami pantie $52

How have you harnessed Shapewear technology into everyday clothes?

Having shaping built right into the pieces allows women to put on one of my dresses, tops or skirts and not have to worry about anything.  I call it “Happy Technology”  because it does just that: it slims and shapes a woman’s body without that miserable discomfort of traditional shapewear. It takes the guess work out of the equation and eliminates the need for the third layer. You have everything in one garment and it’s fashion meets function.   The Yummie Tummie ready-to-wear collection gives women that boost of confidence and feeling of, “I look good from the moment they put the piece on”.

What’s your favourite piece from your ready to wear or denim collections and why?

You know, I could never pick a favourite.  I honestly wear a different piece from both my shapewear and ready-to-wear collections everyday.  On the weekends I’m running after the kids in my tanks or leggings, on a work day I’m wearing one of my slips, when I’m travelling I’m packing pieces because I know they are easy to wear and will look great when I unpack them. On Saturday night when I’m going out with my husband, I’m so happy I’m wearing the denim because they fit amazing, but are comfortable and sexy.  I’m really proud of the collections and I hope, like me, women have multiple pieces they “go to” for lots of fashionable options.

Yummie Tummie

Left: Yummie Tummie strapless slip $105; Right: Minnie slip $70

Are you are closet shapewear wearer or are you out and proud?  Have you tried Yummie Tummies?  Leave a comment below … I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. I think this is the best looking shapewear I’ve seen for ages. I have bought a few pieces and they just sit in my wardrobe because I can’t breathe in it or I would never want my husband to see me wearing it.

  2. Oh Ms Styling you have read my mind. I have been dying to ask you to do a story on mummy tummy and how best to disguise it and voila here it is.

    I must admit I did buy something like this cant remember the name but it was from Target. I ended up taking it back because I got it up to my knee and was like oh man I think it may just cut off my circulation. So I just rock the rolls…so to speak.

    1. The whole lack of circulation thing when wearing shapewear is a big turn-off. That’s why I’m loving this range – apparently we can have our cake and hide those bulges too!

  3. Shapewear is a must for any body type. It does make a big difference to how you feel in an outfit (knowing there’s no jiggly bits or undie line is a geat relief). Like you Nikki, I’m always recommending it to clients who often look at me as though it’s a bit of an insult- I certainly don’t mean it that way. What I think most women don’t realise is that MOST people wear it- plus size, skinny, young and old.
    I like the look of the Yummie Tummie range- is it available instore?
    Great article, great blog. How do you have the time!!
    Sally x

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