The general consensuses (somehow that word looks wrong; spell-checker says it's not) seem to be that
1) I should go for the gold dress and
2) that I should buy a pair of Spanx.
So, I might just have to bite the bullet and try them. I still have doubts though, namely: can you even breathe in them? Can you eat or drink without swelling up inside them? Exactly how tight are they??
I have visions of them being uber tight and hardly being able to move and/or sit down, which frankly is more than I'm prepared to put up with in the name of looking good. I am a feminist dontcha know! Down with girdles and corsets, up with comfy pants!!
So, yeah, Debenhams have a sale on 'corrective' underwear, so I might go in today and - is this allowed? - try a pair on and see what I think. But I'm not making any promises...