One writer put Celestial Bodiez' popular styles to the test to see if the booty-emphasizing style would hold up to a workout.
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Since athleisure brand Celestial Bodiez launched in 2014, its leggings, capris, and shorts have blown up in the online fitness community—all because of a little strategically placed ruching near the top of, well, your crack.
"I got the idea [for the ruching] from the seamstress who used to make my wrestling gear," says Celeste Bonin, the 31-year-old founder and former WWE Divas champion, who has more than 600,000 Instagram followers herself, btw. "I loved the way it made my body look and how it accentuated my curves."
So how much does the booty scrunch actually flatter the average booty? I put them to the test in the name of journalism.
First up were the high-waist Awesome Blossom full-length leggings ($85), in a cheery, bright pattern and super soft fabric. I noticed I was in between sizes—which run small (0-4), medium (4-8), and large (10-14). All those itty-bitty-waisted women on Instagram must be wearing a small, I figured, so I went with the mediums. It was the right choice, and the leggings passed the squat test (didn't fall down or become see-through at the bottom of the squat).
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I tried them out first during leg day at the gym, but found they were comfortable enough to wear relaxing with a pint of Halo Top ice cream at home, without digging into my sides or leaving indentations on my legs. They were a little longer than I'd prefer, though, bunching at my ankles even though I'm 5'8"—so if you're shorter, you might have a more serious length problem.
I didn't take my own "belfie" or butt selfie because real talk, I couldn't figure out how to take a decent one, but the pants didn't give me that poppin' booty I was after. Bonin says that's not what the booty scrunch is meant to do, anyway (wishful thinking on my part). "It's not going to give you a smaller waist or a bigger butt, but will accentuate whatever you have," she explains. (Related: 6 Butt Exercises That Work Wonders)
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I also tried were the V-cut Sunset Shorts with side scrunch ($55). There was a lot of scrunching going on here, and it wasn't all flattering—these were so short, I wouldn't leave the house in them. And though I think I have pretty average-size legs, the shorts felt tight around my thighs and the V-cut waistband wasn't as flattering as the high-waist leggings. Plus, it was near impossible to wear these without horrendous panty lines. (Related: Is It OK Not to Wear Underwear When You Work Out?)
The shorts were a no-go for me, but the leggings will probably make it into my regular athleisure rotation. I'd invest in the more versatile black high-waist full-length leggings, the brand's top seller, next time.
There are actually a lot of other booty-scrunch leggings on the market: Perfect Sculpt, Muscle Nation, CLS Sportswear, Abs2b Fitness, and Prowavz to name a few. There's also plenty of brands like Gymshark making leggings designed to emphasize your butt sans ruching. Many of Celestial Bodiez fans are super loyal to the brand, however, like Jeanne Marie of Jeanne Marie Fitness, who says she owns every single pair of Celestial Bodiez leggings—now that's commitment. (P.S. The Shape editors actually put the Gymshark leggings to the test with before and after belfies.)
"I've tried hundreds of activewear brands, and clothes that fit my legs usually leave the fabric gaping in my waist. I was overwhelmed when I saw how well [Celestial Bodiez leggings] fit," says Marie. "My only complaint is that I wish they came in more colors."
Bonin says more colors are coming. The leggings will last forever, so I've realized the key is putting our fresh new colors and patterns, she says. "Because people don't need new leggings—they just want them."