It's a shapewear smackdown. After what was possibly the most venal catfight ever captured on reality TV, the former Bravo-TV real housewife of New York Bethenny Frankel and current cast member Jill Zarin are duking it out once again -- this time in the shapewear market.
Frankel introduced her Skinnygirl Smoothers n' Shapers in March, some 15 figure fixers priced from $24 to $42, including boy shorts, body suits and a couple of novelty items such as the "fantasy apron," all sold on skinnygirlshapers.com. Earlier this month, she went on QVC to hawk her lace shaping cami, which at $29 is a good price for a pretty, sexy smoother. (Frankel has reportedly worn it peeking out from under a blazer on Jay Leno's show and her own Bravo-hit, "Bethenny Ever After.")
Zarin launched her Skweez Couture line in limited production in February, and earlier this month introduced it at a party for buyers and press. The comprehensive collection of shapers is available in three strengths -- tight, tighter and tightest -- and bows at department and specialty stores in September. The pieces, in antibacterial, breathable fabrics, sell for $25-$89. The website, skweezcouture.com, has a folksy little message from Zarin and offers 25 pieces bearing clever names such as "Thigh and Mighty," "Singing My Thong" and "Cami-Lot."
Ow. Ow. Ow. I hear screaming. Oh. That's me.
Truth told, both sample camisoles were a size too small and were intended for different functions. Frankel's was that alluring peek-out-of-your-shirt type, flower-patterned lace, with a built-in structured bra and a corseting bodice.
Zarin's was more the pretty underpinning with a vintage lacy vibe, very high quality, classy even -- a torso-shaping tank -- that didn't have built-in cups so everything got squished in.
I give the slight advantage to Frankel. If you're going to go through the wrestling match of getting these things on, better to look like a buxom femme fatale.
For special occasion va-va-voom, Frankel's cami is better than fine, and reportedly there's more to come in the shapewear department from her. But if you seriously need the squeeze, Zarin's collection is it -- with garments to smooth and contain virtually every bump on the bod.
But please, don't cry for Frankel. She racked in $120 mil for her Skinnygirl cocktail brand. Bless her svelte littleheart.