Let’s face it ….those sexy little lacy frilly lingerie sets don’t sit well under an outfit designed to show off your curves and figure. Visible panty lines, muffin tops, orange peel are all things we would prefer not to see or exhibit.
Shapewear, thankfully, has come a long long way since the days of corsets, whale bones and god knows what else was used to hold us women together in the right way, for the fashion of the day.
Nowadays, modern shapewear is actually quite comfortable and can give an outfit a sleek look that is otherwise unattainable. The willingness to wear a body shaper will allow a woman to wear a much wider range of fashion than she would normally feel confident wearing. Conversely, not wearing shapewear can limit what a woman will wear.
When it comes to shapewear there are many different styles, fabrics and levels of control.
The Bodysuit will provide all over slimming – back, tummy, bust, bottom and thighs, if the bodysuit has legs. It’s important to ensure that the bodysuit is the correct length in the torso.
Body Shaping Briefs – These come in various styles, with or without legs and how high they come up also varies a lot too. A style with legs and extending to just below the bra strap with slim the tummy, hips, thighs, back and bottom, and shape the waist. Both bodysuits and high waisted short styles come with crotch openings for less hassle in a toilet cubicle.
When less control is needed ie just the tummy and bottom, choose a lower waist and no legs.
There are many options in this popular style and not all of them are boring beige. Check out lingerie and other specialty stores for an edgier look.
Shaping Tops and Camisoles – come with or without an inbuilt bra, these work to slim and shape the bust, back and waist. A longer length will give some abdominal control.
Slips – Also with or without an inbuilt bra, slips give control over the bust, back, waist, tummy and hips.
So, there are all the different styles available -,now choose your level of control. From light , which has just a touch of spandex for a little bit of support through to extra firm, which may feature rigid fabric, reinforced panels and seams and even boning. It’s important to match the level of support worn to the level required. If you are wearing an extra firm support garment, when you really only need something to smooth things out, then you may feel uncomfortable. Equally important is to get the correct sizing! Good fitting shapewear will not roll at the waist band, or dig in which can cause an unnatural indentation. If it cuts in or causes bulging you need to go up a size. Conversely, shapewear that is too big will wrinkle and shift, and, of course, not do the job.
To try on shapewear, (over your own underwear) gather up like pantyhose, step in one leg at a time and slowly pull the garment up to where it should end on the body. Make sure the seams are lined up to where they should be, then move around a bit to see what happens. Sit, squat, bend forward, backwards etc. Put your outfit on, and repeat the movements to make sure there is no pinching etc.
Too small if:
- It digs in anywhere: shoulders, waist, crotch, thighs
- Rolls of flesh are visible over the top of the shaper or beneath the bottom hem
- There is any pinching or cutting feeling
Too big if
- The shaper does not lie flat against the body
- The garment gets twisted around the body
- Wrinkles or rolls.
Here are before and after photos, with and without Spanx
In conclusion, the benefits of shapewear are so great that every woman should invest the time in finding the right pieces. It’s a common misconception these days that all shapewear is uncomfortable, but if you select a garment that gives control to only the area that needs it, and not where control is not wanted or needed, and use the steps above to put it on and ensure the correct size, you will have both control and comfort.