Let me start off by saying, this won’t be an ordinary review.
In fact, I’m not going to review this product at all really. Why? Well, read on.
Not too long ago I came across a new shapewear undershirt for men called SVELTE by Sully (amazon). Shortly after I came across the product, I was contacted by the company that manufacturers it.
I am the social media manager for Shear Enterprises, and co-founders of SVELTE by Sully – the ideal improvement of an age-old staple, the undershirt.
I came across your site and would love to send you some product for review on your blog/social sharing. I can also provide insight from our co-founder, Anthony Sullivan (you know, “the Oxiclean guy”) for publication.
If you’re interested, I would love to hear from you! Thanks so much.
The company offered up a sample for me to test drive, and I received it a couple weeks later.
Upon first visual inspection, I found the shapewear undershirt strangely familiar. So much so, I decided to dig through my entire men’s shapewear undershirt inventory until I found what I was looking for.
I grabbed one of my 6+ year old compression undershirts, laid it next to my new SVELTE by Sully undershirt, and color me surprised when I found the two products essentially identical in practically every way.
Which 6+ year shapewear undershirt am I referring to? The now defunct Equmen Core Precision Undershirt.
Confused as to the similarities, I sent my contact at Shear Enterprises the following email:
Wanted to let you know I got the Svelte By Sully undershirt, so thanks for sending it over!
So I gotta ask — how are you guys affiliated to Equmen?
I ask because the black v-neck Svelte By Sully you sent me is an identical match to my Equmen undershirt of the same size. I don’t mean similar — I mean exactly the same.
Also, I noticed you guys are calling the Svelte a “precision” undershirt, which is exactly what Equmen called it (a “core precision undershirt”).
Would love to hear more about it because I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Svelte looks like it’s a re-branded Equmen undershirt.
A short while later, I received the following response:
I appreciate your questions!
SVELTE by Sully was personally designed by Rhonda Shear and Anthony Sullivan, along with Shear’s in-house design team at Shear Enterprises.
SVELTE was designed to achieve what men idealize in an undershirt. Sully’s dissatisfaction with every other brand on the market combined with Shear’s extensive background and success in designing shapewear, the idea for SVELTE seemed like a match made in heaven! SVELTE by Sully went through multiple test periods, with consumer feedback, so that we could provide a product we are proud of.
SVELTE features extra long stay-tucked styling with compression and ribbing for support and smoothing, along with vents for cooling.
SVELTE by Sully is constructed from high-quality yarns and dyes that are designed to be colorfast, and keep their shape after many, many washes and wears.
I am happy to answer any other questions you might have! Have a great day, Tug!
SVELETE By Sully – A Rebranded Equmen?
Listen, I really don’t like calling someone out or saying anything negative, but when I got the above response, I was a bit floored.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what Sully (Anthony) is doing for Oxi-Clean, and think he does an amazing job representing other household products.
Candidly, I admire him (with a little bit of jealously thrown in there too).
But, when I got their reply, that clearly avoided my questions/comments, I had to write back.
Uh, my only response to that is: WTH? (no offense meant)
Maybe that’s your team’s way of dodging my question entirely, or you were instructed to send over some canned response provided by Rhonda and/or Anthony. Either way, I’m a bit disappointed that you wouldn’t address my questions straight on.
Here is a fact: The Svelte undershirt is exactly the same as the Equmen undershirt I received back in 2009. And, if you want, I can take a photo of the Equmen and Svelte side-by-side to prove my point.
There is absolutely no way the Svelte could have been “uniquely designed by Rhonda and Anthony”, because I have proof an exactly-designed product from 6 years ago. There is no coincidence here.
Also, the fact that you did not address my question in any form, further proves my point.
I’m not naïve to the fact companies take inspiration from one another, and some companies simply make the exact same product under a different brand. The fact that Equmen is no longer in existence is clearly a business opportunity, and I understand that.
If you prefer to not directly address my observations and questions, that is your right of course.
I Have Not Heard Back
Not that I expected them to, but I have not heard back from the representative I was emailing back and forth with.
Maybe after this article’s publishing I will, but only time will tell.
SVELETE By Sully Photos
One is my SVELETE, the other is my Equmen. Do you know which is which?
Click to Enlarge the photos.
Should You Buy SVELTE?
Regardless of how I feel of products that appear to be copy-cat products, one thing is clear. If you liked the line of Equmen Core Precision Undershirts, you will likely equally like SVELTE By Sully.
Should you buy it? I don’t see why you shouldn’t, unless you have a thing for stuff like this.
Plus, the company is running two fairly good promotions right now:
LIMITED BOGO OFFER! USE CODE: SVELTE
– OR –
60% OFF ORDERS OF $200 OR MORE! USE CODE: SULTV
Do you have any thoughts about all this? If so, let me know about it in the comments section below.