Choose the Right Shapewear
Edited by Lesley Sheridan, Melissa Rae, Eng
Looking your best starts with feeling comfortable in your own skin, and shapewear is an excellent way to boost your confidence by enhancing your natural beauty. Unlike shaping garments of days past, modern shapewear is made to cinch, smooth and lift areas to your liking without pain and discomfort. No matter your body type or figure concerns, there's shapewear specifically designed to flatter your silhouette. Let's take a look at the most innovative shaping solutions for common problem areas and how they can improve your overall form.
- 1Painful shapewear is a thing of the past. The words "corset" and "girdle" don't exactly conjure up images of comfort, at least historically speaking. Today's versions, however, are made with savvy construction and stretch fabric to gently contour your waist without pain.Advertisement
- 2Waist-training cinchers are beloved by celebrities. Numerous celebrities swear by the slimming effects of regular waist training routines, which consist of wearing a waist training belt or waist cincher for extended periods of time, particularly during workouts and after giving birth. You'll find compression girdles made with zipper or hook-and-eye closures, depending on your preference.Advertisement
- 3Many shaping briefs are made with high waists to further cinch the torso. These shapers also prevent unwanted muffin tops by smoothing the lower back region. Even better, these stomach solutions provide abdominal and back support that encourages proper spine alignment and naturally improves your posture.
Chest Enhancement and Bust Concerns
- 1Increase your size with padded push-ups. For that enviable hourglass figure, push-ups and padded bras work wonders to lift and support your curves. Create additional volume and cleavage by adding these styles to your lingerie lineup. You'll also find gel cup enhancers that easily slip into any basic bra to create a similar effect.Advertisement
- 2Another solution for making the most of your bust is an open-chest bodysuit. Rather than unnecessarily minimizing your chest with compression fabric, bodysuits with open chests and underbust construction work to slim your torso and hips while allowing for bra personalization. This feature is especially helpful for accommodating a variety of necklines.
- 3Minimizers downplay your assets. If you're looking to downplay your bust size instead, you'll find many minimizing designs that offer maximum figure-flattery. This is a great idea to help tops and blouses fit more modestly, as well.
- 4When purchasing a bra, make sure that if fits appropriately when the loosest back clasps are secured. That way, as the bra ages and loses elasticity, you can work your way in toward the tightest row of clasps. You'll easily extend the bra's shelf life by doing so, and that's the intended purpose of those multiple rows along the back.
Hip and Thigh Shapers
- 1Slim your lower body with shaping briefs. For many women, the hips and thighs are where they tend to gain weight first. Fortunately, shaping garments are well-suited to tightening this region for a slimmer silhouette in tight pencil skirts and bodycon dresses.
- 1Lift your derriere with open bodysuits. When it comes to tight dresses and fitted slacks, it can be especially helpful to utilize shapers designed to contour the backside. Many body shapers and bodysuits feature openings at the derriere to maximize lift realistically underneath clothing.
- 2Slim curves or add volume. You'll find full-body compression slips and shapers that minimize curves for modest and firm support. If you're looking to add volume, padded panties can create subtle curvature for your backside, as well.
- 1Smooth and tighten your upper arms. Many women become self-conscious about the look of their upper arms with age. Compression arm sleeves are an excellent choice for targeted contouring of the shoulders, triceps, biceps and upper back.
- 2Choose your length. Choose between full sleeves or elbow-length sleeves, depending on your preference and shaping needs. These garments can enhance posture and prevent unwanted jiggling in addition to smoothing the look of dimples or sagging skin.
Full Body Shapers
- 1One piece can do it all. Combine multiple shaping solutions into one slimming garment with full body shapers. These compression bodysuits and shaping slips offer an allover streamlined look underneath tight clothing or sheer layers.
- 2Choose your coverage. These pieces come in various lengths, from mid-thigh briefs to knee-length and capri-length leggings. You'll also find styles with short and long sleeves in addition to a variety of necklines and open chest options.
- 1Sculpt your figure on your wedding day. Every bride deserves to look her absolute best on her special day, and bridal shapewear is a great solution. Enhance your gown's fit with torsettes, corsets, brasselettes and bustiers that help shape and contour the upper body.
- 2Choose shapewear based on your dress and figure needs. Strapless shapers, backless bras and convertible straps help lift and support your bust. These also accommodate any bodice, while shaping briefs slim and smooth your lower half.
Maternity shapewear is ideal for use both during and after pregnancy. Becoming a mother is a joyous event, but the process can certainly be hard on your body. There are numerous shapewear innovations that can make your pregnancy and post-delivery recovery more comfortable. Maternity belts offer underbelly support discreetly under clothing, while waist cinchers help restore your pre-baby figure. You'll find lots of options to help you transition into motherhood feeling your best.
Shapewear can help you heal post-surgery. Many surgeons recommend wearing post-surgical shapewear as a way of increasing circulation, limiting overall bruising and reducing swelling following a procedure. You'll find compression shapewear garments specifically designed for patients to use after tummy tucks, C-sections, liposuction, breast augmentation and face lifts. In addition to helping with the healing process, these shapers provide comfort and support throughout your recovery.
Men's Shapewear Styles
Women aren't the only ones who can reap the rewards of today's shapewear offerings. Men may be hesitant to consider wearing shaping garments underneath their clothes, but these pieces are specifically designed to enhance fitness routines, smooth the abdomen and improve posture. Look for athletic tanks and tees with built-in compression as well as boxer briefs with high waist support.
Modern day shapewear is incredibly helpful when it comes to providing a foundation that flatters your body to your liking. With so many shaping solutions to choose from, you'll certainly find the perfect style to suit your figure needs.
General Tips and Considerations
- Resist the temptation to size down. You may be tempted to squeeze yourself into a tiny bodysuit or shaping shorts in the hopes that a smaller size will take additional inches off certain areas, but wearing too small of a size can actually backfire by highlighting unwanted bulges. In fact, shapewear that's too tight can even affect your nerves and hurt your internal organs (ouch!) Read size charts thoroughly to ensure that you choose the right fit for you.
- Get fitted professionally. It's estimated that a staggering 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, and that does nothing to flatter your figure. In fact, wearing an ill-fitting band size or cup size can result in a sagging bust or unwanted bumps and lumps from an overly tight fit. Take the time to get sized by a professional bra fitter in a department or specialty store. Most fittings take less than 30 minutes, and you'll leave knowing your exact cup and band size (and hopefully having purchased a much better fitting bra).
- Consider your outfit. If you're wearing a bodycon dress, you'll likely want to wear a full body shaper to smooth your entire physique, while a pencil skirt and flowing blouse might just require shaping briefs. Capri-length shaping tights made a great choice for skinny jeans, as they won't ride up or bunch underneath your denim like shorter styles. High-waisted shapers are also an excellent choice for smoothing the lower back and preventing muffin top. Underbust styles allow you to choose your accompanying bra, therefore personalizing your shapewear based on your outfit's neckline.
- Pay attention to color. Skin-tone hues and neutral shades are going to give you the most versatility and ease of wear. Black shapers are great to have on hand, but always keep a nude version ready to wear with light clothing as needed.
- Double up with 2-in-1s. Many innovative clothing designs feature compression panels and shaping fabrics built into their overall construction. From activewear separates and yoga pants to everyday camisoles, leggings and jeans, you'll find lots of apparel options that slim your frame discreetly and fashionably.
- Confidence is key! Everyone can benefit from incorporating shapewear into their wardrobes, and wearing a shaping garment is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever! In fact, numerous celebrities with incredible bodies use shapewear on a daily basis for comfort and coverage. Keeping some shaping garments in your wardrobe will help you look and feel your best in outfits for all occasions.
Shapewear is an essential component of a fashionable woman's wardrobe, and it can greatly improve the look, fit and feel of your clothing. You'll find countless options to address your figure concerns or simply provide coverage and support when you want it. Look your best by adding these flattering pieces to your collection.