Shapewear has been around forever, and there?s a reason for it. It can manipulate almost any body shape and can instantly transform you from frumpy to head-turning. The options available in shapewear appear endless when considering they come in a variety of styles and support levels.
With so many choices, selecting the right shapewear can be a bit overwhelming. We?ve highlighted some of our favorite products and recommend what to do before venturing out to buy.
Prepare for shapewear shopping
The first thing you should do before going out and purchasing shapewear is to pinpoint which parts of your body you want to shape. Understand that your body shape matters. Read “What Body Type Am I?”, if you don’t know what type of body you have. For example, if you have an A-type frame, consider shapers with extra support on the sides or back. If you carry a little extra weight in your tummy, look for shapers that hold it all in.
Second, consider which (or all) of the following remedies you would like to achieve:
- Smooth: Hide cellulite; eliminate panty lines or bra bulge.
- Shrink: Minimizers and firm control often mean losing up to an inch-and-a-half.
- Lift: Our bust and bottom sometimes need a little help.
- Eliminate jiggle: From your arms to your thighs, a little spandex can go a long way.
Third, think of shapewear you already own. Does it do what it is supposed to do? If not, throw it away. If yes, then could you benefit from a different color? For example, wear nude or beige under white and wear black under black.
Lastly, take inventory of clothing you own that would look even better with shapewear underneath it. Now you?re armed with knowledge ? and we all know that knowledge is power.
The Shopping Trip
Start with a trusted lingerie boutique or intimate apparel section of your favorite department store where you can consult with an expert. Be prepared to talk about the problem areas you?re trying to fix.
Bring any outfits with you that you would wear with a particular piece of shapewear and try them on with different shapewear styles. Don?t forget to bring shoes, as shoes change your posture and might affect fit or how you feel in your shapewear.
Make sure it fits
When trying on shapewear, make sure it fits appropriately by moving around, sitting, crossing your legs, bending, walking and moving your arms above your head and across your chest. If the shapewear fits properly, you?ll feel comfortable at all times. While jumping around, make sure the garment?s waist stays in place and that there are no bulges where the shapewear ends. Be sure that the crotch fits perfectly, and that the seams and panels are straight and in the right place. If there?s not total smoothness everywhere, then you might need a different size.
Don?t buy a smaller size for extra shrinking or support. Shapewear comes in a variety of control levels. Most brands will use the following terms to describe different levels of controls:
- Light Control
- Moderate Control
- Firm Control
- Extra Firm Control
Some brands have different names for the different levels of control; however, an experienced salesperson will be able to help you move to a stronger or lighter form of control. Try more than one brand.
If you can?t find the perfect fit with the help of an experienced salesperson, consider getting it tailored for that perfect fit. Most quality lingerie boutiques and lingerie departments will offer this service. Shapewear should make you feel more confident about yourself. If it doesn?t, don?t buy it.
Another factor to consider is comfort after wearing it for several hours. Fabric and design make a difference, so if you tend to get hot, you may want to consider finding shapewear made of cotton. If you tend to wear form-fitting clothes, look for pieces with no seams or tags. Also know that you will probably need several different pieces to complete your shapewear wardrobe.
Once you?ve purchased your shapewear, make sure to care for it properly. Carefully follow the instructions on the inside label on how to wash it. Use gentle detergent and don?t put it in the dryer. Even if the label allows for machine wash, hand washing will prolong the life of your garment.
Different types of Shapewear
In addition to different control level; look for shapewear that target certain parts of your body. There are shapers specifically designed for your butt, thighs, tummy, torso, waist, & your full body. There are also shapers that add padding if you want a little extra on top and even for your bottom.
The key to success in finding the right shapewear is knowing the goal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or make an appointment with a shapewear specialist at a lingerie boutique or event a lingerie department of a reputable store.