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Review: Shapewear by Rhonda Shear

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Rhonda Shear is a brand with which I am familiar through Dollhouse Bettie, where I have both worked and shopped. However, I've never actually purchased, nor tried on, any of their products. When they offered The Lingerie Addict a review opportunity, I was immediately interested. Two samples were sent to me, free of charge; all opinions presented below are my own.

Pin Up Girl set by Rhonda Shear, via Dollhouse Bettie

When I first looked through the Rhonda Shear product line, I saw a lot of things that interested me, in a range of styles. After narrowing down those that seemed the most practical for my own purposes and for review, I was sent the following pieces. As a reference point, my current measurements are 33-26-38; I am a pretty true size small, but occasionally an XS in tops and/or M in bottoms.

Rhonda Shear "Smooth Tootsie" High Waist Legging

Being a San Francisco girl, I wear leggings several times a week. Leggings that are also shapewear, with a waist that's not only high but longline, sounded like a dream come true, so I was quite pleased to receive the "Smooth Tootsie" High Waist Legging ($37.90). First things first, these run REALLY small. I was sent a Medium and found them quite snug; my girlfriend (also hourglass/pear shaped, but not so petite), with whom I can share some clothes, found them impossibly tight. I would recommend going up at least one size, if not two. On the bright side, the vertical stretch is very giving.

The construction is very seamless, which is nice. There's an inseam and crotch gusset only. The bottom hem is so wide as to look almost like a cuff, which is a nice design detail on such a streamlined aesthetic. The sample I was sent was the "Navy" colorway --- not the most practical for me, as I tend to stick to monochrome and pop colors like pink, but it was a decent shade with a pleasant grey hint.

As for the high waist, I found it didn't stay up very well. While it would sit at my ribs when I first put the leggings on, it tended to roll down to my natural waist pretty quickly.

Rhonda Shear Diamond High Waist Brief

May I remind you that I love sexy granny panties? Rhonda Shear's Diamond Collection features a special contour fabrication technology. The Diamond High Waist Brief ($39.90) has a butt shape knitted into its seamless form.

Sizewise, the Diamond Collection (or at least, this piece of it) has a better fit, though I found the legline ran a bit tight (perhaps because of my large hips?). If you have full hips or thighs, I would still recommend at least considering going up a size. The butt contour was actually ever so slightly baggy on me, which is somewhat surprising. The waist stayed up much better than that of the Smooth Tootsie Leggings, but I have to say that the crotch also tended to ride in an upwards direction. Lastly, I thought the legline was a bit on the high side, at least for my boyshort-loving tastes. Anything above my actual legline is too high for me. I think these may fit best on someone with a longer torso than that of my 5'3" frame, who carries most of their hip measurement in a bubble butt.

I ran into a bit of trouble trying to style the panties. As I said, I live in San Francisco, city of fog, intermittent wind, and microclimates, and I also happen to get cold very easily. What that means for our purposes is that I tend to wear leggings or at least tights most days, so I had a bit of trouble trying to wear the panties with something that would not conflict with their smoothing abilities, but also not leave me frozen. As I tried them on with a fitted tank dress, I also realized that the diamond texture at the front showed through the tight-fitted, lightweight material! Since corsets are my shapewear of choice, I wasn't much impressed with the smoothing ability of these panties along my waist and hip, but I still like them as a fancy longline panty.

I received the panty in Silver (shown above), a grey so pale that it practically borders on white. I think the collection's signature Plum Blossom color is the prettiest of the options, personally. That pale a grey seems almost bridal to me. Even though my girflriend thought the extreme high waist was "weird," (she's only slowly converting to appreciating a good high waist), I do really like the style and detailing of this panty. I will probably try to dye them to help them fit into my wardrobe (the navy leggings may suffer the same fate.)

Rhonda Shear "Glam Girl" Mesh Dot Leisure Bra

While ultimately I wasn't blown away by the shapewear aspect of these styles (swayed, perhaps, by my corsetry bias and experience), I definitely respond well to the accessible, casual style and feminine touches of the Rhonda Shear line. The quality control and fabrication quality of both pieces was very good. The pricepoint for the line, with lots of pieces around $40, isn't too exclusive, nor is the size range (XS-4X). Both the fiber technology and the price point are outside the abilities of the independent, handmade designers I tend to favor, though Rhonda Shear also has a great brand story. I saw lot of other pieces in the line that I'd like to own, and I would definitely buy from Rhonda Shear again. Aside from their lingerie and loungewear collections, Rhonda Shear also makes some daywear --- I am particularly fascinated by the convertible Ahh dress, which seems the perfect travel companion.

Have you worn Rhonda Shear before? What was your experience?

Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

Comment on this post

  1. UpliftMaximizationTechnician says:

    Rhonda Shear of Ahh Bra infamy? Noooo thank you! Cheap, poorly made garments that don’t work. For anyone. Elderly clients seeking comfort being shystered into buying an Ahh Bras is one of my pet peeves. Also, In my professional experience, 95% of all high waist control garments in an elastane knit will roll. Silicone at the band “may” grab and hold…for a while…but nothing beats boning. (Oh, Pleasure State, will you ever bring back your tall boned satin brief?!?!) Prima Donna’s “Poupoupidou” and Sassybax make good underbust control garments in knitted elastane, and those are the only styles I put my clients in.

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