How To Choose The Right Shapewear For You


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Are you new to the game of wearing shapewear and want to arm yourself with a little more data before you jump into buying one? This mini-guide will be very useful to you.

As a plus-size woman, I can honestly tell you that I know everything there is to know about body shaping and compression underwear.

But even if you’re not on the “heavy side of fashion,” who doesn’t need a little help looking extra smooth in their clothes, especially skintight ones?

Properly chosen shapewear can give you a confidence boost by shaping and contouring your silhouette—no rolls or slices insight. Thanks!

If you have ever used shapewear, you will know that you can no longer do without it once you try it. And this is because its benefits far exceed the inconveniences it may cause you.

Hands down, Spank founder Sara Blakely has positively changed the lives of millions of women with her revolutionary product. And I’m not exaggerating one bit.

Today the most significant challenge when buying shapewear is that there are countless brands on the market, and it is not easy to choose what suits you best among so many options.

Don’t sweat it; I’ve done the homework for you, so sit back and get ready to become an expert on the subject too.

Why do you need Shapewear?

The first thing you should know is that the primary purpose of shapewear is to sculpt and smooth your figure, which means that they are garments that compress the body.

This compression, of course, can be a little or quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, and thanks to advances in fabric technology, nowadays, shapewear do their job well without becoming an overwhelming garment to wear.

What are the most common styles of shapewear that you can find out there?

Shaping bodysuits

A bodysuit is a piece of underwear similar to a leotard whose primary function is to mold and smoothen the lines of your body.

Generally, a shaping bodysuit covers your torso, hips, tummy, and butt, concentrating compression in those areas.

Shaping bodysuits is the preferred option for women who want to give their whole bodies a beautiful and flattering shape.

The advantage of this style of shapewear is that it can effectively smooth back fat, love handles, muffin tops, and tummies.

Shaping slip dress

A shapewear slip dress is a great alternative when you take a break from shorts but still gives your body definition and smoothness from top to thigh.

One of the pros of shaping slip dresses is avoiding visible panty lines. You can also go to the bathroom without undressing.

The disadvantage? The compression is not as firm in this type of shapewear, especially in the tummy area, and it can roll up.

Shaping briefs/thongs

This style of shapewear consists of briefs or thongs that reach the bottom of your bra, providing the most compression on your tummy and rib cage.

They may come with clips that hook onto your bra, so they don’t roll down. It helps smooth belly and love handles, giving you a more charming figure.

Shaping camisoles

Shaping camisoles offer support and compression to the upper body, and it has a mix of nylon and elastane.

You can wear it with blazers and jackets or undershorts, jeans and skirts. It is crucial to choose the correct size to minimize the risk of rolling up.

Shaping shorts

Shaping shorts will be your go-to to soften and shape the hips, tummy, and thighs if you are not a fan of thongs.

They generally come with a high waist to compress the waist and tummy area. A significant advantage of these shaping shorts is that they prevent chafing on the thighs while shaping them.

They are also fantastic for hiding VPL (visible panty lines).

Girdles/panty girdles

Pantyhose girdles are elastic garments similar to girdles that compress the waist, belly, and hips.

They reach the upper part of the thigh and focus on squeezing the belly.

Some are open at the bottom with clips to anchor the hem so it doesn’t roll up.

Strapless Shaper bodysuits

This style combines a strapless bra with a shaping bodysuit that compresses and flatters the silhouette.

It may come with adjustable, removable straps—ideal for wearing off-the-shoulder pieces or low-cut tops.

Plunge bodysuits

Plunge bodysuits allow you to show more skin while still offering support and smoothness to your silhouette. A great alternative to wear with plunging neckline garments.

Open bust bodysuits

The open-bust bodysuit is perfect for you if you prefer to wear your bra.

This option is still flattering to the silhouette because it provides a sculpting effect on your torso, in addition to compressing the hips, belly, back, and butt.

Some brands offer a high compression and breathability fabric to fit your needs.

How to choose your shapewear

The first thing you have to do is define your needs for dressing. What clothing will you wear under the shapewear?

For example, with a bodycon dress, a tight garment, you will need shapewear that smoothens your shapes while compressing and enhancing your body. The degree of compression is up to you. 

There are shapewear fabrics whose function is to squeeze and tighten, especially those areas of your body that may be looser. On the other hand, some shapewear garments offer a medium or light degree of compression and more breathability.

You have already seen a wide variety of shapewear; each covers a different need.

Let’s say you want to wear a skirt or pants, and you only need medium coverage in the belly, hips, and butt area. That’s what control panties or biker shorts are great for.

The shapewear industry has evolved a lot, and today you can find many breathable and comfortable garments.

It all starts by defining the outfit you will wear, how comfortable you want to feel, and the degree of compression or enhancement you want to give your body.

Of course, another thing to keep in mind is your budget. How much are you willing to invest in shapewear?

Something positive is that there’s a lot of variety out there is that you can find options for all pockets.

Even if you are not willing to spend too much, you can still find good shapewear at affordable prices.

Tips for choosing the right shapewear

Consider the correct level of compression: 

How much molding and compression is enough for your comfort? The idea is that you can tolerate the shapewear under your clothes without feeling the need to take it off after two hours.

Some garments offer light, medium, and firm compression levels. Usually, the more nylon content the garment has, the more it will alter your silhouette.

If you are beginning to use shapewear, you should start with a light or medium level of compression so that your body gets used to it.

Choose your correct size: 

If you are between sizes, the recommendation is to round up to allow your skin to breathe a little. 

If the shapewear is one size too small for you, you may have circulation problems, swelling, or worse, compress some nerves. We don’t want that.

But you don’t want to go to the other side either, where shapewear will be too big for you and won’t fulfill its primary function, which is to shape and contour your silhouette.

The right style for each outfit: 

We have already seen the majority of shapewear styles that you can get. Each of them is perfect to wear with different pieces of clothing.

Are you going to wear a strapless dress with a wide neckline? A strapless shaper bodysuit will be the best alternative.

But even if you only need to shape your arms, there are also compression garments for that.

Consider the fabric: 

Many shapewear pieces incorporate nylon, spandex, and thicker fabrics to squeeze and lift the silhouette.

They also have cotton and microfiber to absorb moisture and give the fabric breathability. 

If you plan to wear your shapewear for many hours or live in hot climates, it is essential that the fabric is breathable and offers the holding and lifting you need.

Go to a physical store and try on your shapewear before you buy it: 

I know we’ve all gotten used to the convenience of shopping online, especially with Amazon on the landscape.

But if you need excellent shapewear for your event in a few days and you don’t want to go through the hassle of returning the product, it’s better not to push your luck.

Go to a store where you can try on your shapewear and evaluate all its details to decide if it suits you or not.

I hope these tips are helpful for you when buying your first or next shapewear. Let’s show off those Curves Level 10 with confidence, honey!