200712brahitchcock.jpgMen, if you'd like to keep your delusions alive -- steer clear of this Observer article on Spanx. It appears that women of all shapes and sizes are stocking their drawers with the girdle-esque garment.

"She did what an increasing number of New York women are doing every night of the week: She wiggled into a pair of Spanx, the nylon and spandex undergarments that cinch a gal’s waist and thighs, eliminating underwear lines and shaving off anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds, depending on whom you ask."

From Glamour mag editors to Gwyneth Paltrow, women are Spanxin' it up all over town. The paper reports that they "are particularly coveted in New York, where they have become ubiquitous at benefits and photo shoots." Even the cast of Lipstick Jungle slid into the slimming Spanx for filming. But will owning their products have women skipping the gym? Well, they're certainly cheaper than a gym membership. And gentlemen, these aren't for you -- one Observer scribe found that out the hard way.

Speaking of underthings, NYMag has a guide to buying the perfect brassiere, with a list of some top shops in Manhattan. They also take a look back at the history of the bra, and lo and behold, the first patent on one was right here in New York. In 1914 (though according to other sources it was 1910) New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob came out with her "backless brassiere, a primitive construction of two handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon." And 7 years prior Vogue used the word brassiere for the first time. Learn enough about lingerie for the day? Class dismissed.