Undershirt Review: Initial Thoughts of the New Bodymax+ from Marks & Spencer

Well, my inbox has been getting flooded with undershirt questions over the last couple of weeks. Not surprisingly, many readers are writing in to inquire about the new Bodymax+ seamless shapewear/slimming undershirt from Marks & Spencer.

The folks from M&S were kind enough to send a sample over and I’ve had a chance to wear it a few times and am able to provide everyone with some initial thoughts. I’ll also include a couple emails from readers who I exchanged some q&a with.

Email to reader:

hey f,

just got done wearing my bodymax+ and I’ll be putting together an “initial thoughts” post in the next couple of days. gotta say that it’s pretty darn comfortable for a compression undershirt, looks nice on, it slightly pulls my shoulders back helping me stand a hair bit more upright, and does a decent job with flattening and smoothing. where it doesn’t perform as well, as you mentioned below, is in the slimming arena. I didn’t notice any slimming in the midsection or stomach area, mostly just flattening and smoothing.

I like the feel of the fabric a lot, and because it has some ribs and some “grippiness” to it, the bottom doesn’t roll-up like some of the other slimming/shapewear undershirts I’ve evaluated. also, even though I normally wear medium undershirts, I probably could’ve fit into a small in the bodymax+.  I very well may wind-up wearing this thing to the gym to see how it performs.

all-in-all, I think the bodymax+ is a really good shapewear undershirt in many areas, however, I think it could perform better in the midsection/stomach slimming department.

as you can tell from what I’ve written above, I try to look past just how well a shapewear top compresses or slenderizes, and try to look at the other characteristics that might be important to folks.

F’s response:

yeh I agree with what you said. it was very very comfortable to wear and relatively discreet.

however, for me, the smoothing/flattening aspect was non existent (which I guess is most important to me). I normally wear a medium but I know M&S sizes come up big so I ordered a small. I felt this was still too big and I could do with an XS! (don’t know if you saw this recently, applies to M&S menswear as well!)

if you find that it can keep you cool/comfortable when you get hot and sweat, then it may be the perfect undershirt for someone who isn’t looking for compression. also, I’ve never tried the original bodymax so I don’t know how it compares to that. it might be worth mentioning because the price difference is pretty steep…

Here’s an email from a different reader asking about how the Bodymax+ compares to Under Armour:

Hey Tug,

I am a long time Under Armour loyalist and while I do enjoy their products for the most part, I am looking for something with a bit more back and core support, and something that will have that compression feel across the chest.

I have read some of your articles and the Marks and Spencer Bodymax+ seems like it might be a good fit, but I cannot find it here in the USA. Is this the best choice and if so where can I buy it??

In terms of application, I enjoy wearing the compression fit shirts when in the gym and under my dress shirts at work. I want a shirt that is built for performance but can be worn under normal everyday conditions.

Let me know your thoughts…you seem to know your stuff and I feel a need to move away from UA brand gear.

Much thanks,

My Response:

hey a,

spent some time wearing the bodymax+ today. I think it does a decent job with slightly pulling back the shoulders, and helping you stand up a hair bit more upright. although it does a good job in the flattening area, it doesn’t offer much in the way of true “core” support, so don’t expect any significant compressing/slimming/support in the stomach/back/midsection area.

it’s actually a very comfortable shapewear undershirt. even though it’s a poly/elastane blend fabric, I do like the way it feels on my skin. also, because of the moisture-wicking fabric blend and it’s tighter fit, I would definitely wear this guy to the gym as my base shirt layer.

one other thing, I normally wear a medium in undershirts and I got a medium in bodymax+ as well, but I probably could’ve fit into their size small and it might have offered a bit more stomach control. so if you’re looking for a pretty tight fit, you might consider sizing down one from your normal size. as a point of reference, I’m a 38.5″ chest and their sizing chart shows if your chest is 38-40″, they recommend a medium, but again, I think I could fit into their small.

hope the above information helps you make a decision.


So in summary:

  • The Bodymax+ performs very well as a shaping/smoothing undershirt in the torso and chest areas
  • Ribbing design in back helps to slightly pull your shoulders back, resulting in you standing a hair bit more upright
  • Doesn’t offer too much in the way of midsection/waist slimming on my particular build, but it may on some heavier builds
  • Not too tough to get on/off and very comfortable to wear. Fabric feels very nice on the skin (does not feel overly synthetic). Keeps me cool and comfortable
  • Sizing: The medium fits me very comfortably, however, I could have probably sized down to a small to get a little more slimming benefits
  • Bottom does not roll up like some other shapewear undershirts I’ve evaluated
  • Definitely an undershirt I’d wear to the gym as my base layer and quite frankly comfortable enough to wear casually in every day wear
  • If you’re mainly focused on finding a shapewear/slimming undershirt to shave inches off your midsection, there are some other undershirts that perform better in this area.
  • To be fair though, the Bodymax+ marketing material primarily focuses on the torso shaping aspect, and doesn’t say that it will shave inches off your midsection. So because of that, I think this undershirt performs pretty good compared to how they’re marketing it.

1 thought on “Undershirt Review: Initial Thoughts of the New Bodymax+ from Marks & Spencer”

  1. thanks for the review. one question: if you get a size samller than normal, might it not be tight and uncomfortable at the armpits and also possibly ride up a little short?

    how does it keep after a few washes?



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