If you haven’t yet explored the world of shapewear, you might be missing out. Think of all the outfits that you see at the store, or maybe in your own closet, and think to yourself, “Not today. I feel a little bloated.” Or, “No, that doesn’t fit me as well as it used to.” Well, shapewear can take all your insecurities and erase them and leave you more confident wearing the clothes you love.
Everyone is wearing shapewear these days, and they feel no shame in doing it. How do you think celebrities are able to get the perfect hourglass shape you see in the magazines? It’s highly doubtful that they’re not wearing some sort of shapewear. Even Kim Kardashian, with one of the most coveted body types out there, admits to wearing shapewear — she even has her own shapewear line. In fact, shapewear is so popular that there are many different brands out there, all in different fabrics and styles. With so much to choose from, here’s our advice on finding the right shapewear to wear with your outfits.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but choosing the right size shapewear can be tricky. That’s why it’s so important to clearly read the label and the sizing requirements. This is especially true if you switch between brands, as not all shapewear is made the same. Don’t make the mistake of sizing down thinking it will make you look extra slim. In fact, it will cause the opposite to happen — you’ll have bulges where you don’t want them. If you can try on shapewear at the store, do it. Be sure to wear undergarments for hygienic reasons.
Move around in the dressing room to make sure it stays put and works with your body instead of against it. If there is a specific piece of clothing you’re hoping to wear with it, take that along with you. For example, if there’s a tight-fitting mock turtleneck that you love but are hoping for a smoother appearance when you wear it, take that into the dressing room with you at the store to see if it gives you the look you’re hoping for.
Different types of shapewear may have different performance levels or types of construction. For example, one garment categorized as medium construction is intended to smooth out any unwanted lines. One that has strong construction is intended to provide a more obvious transformation in your appearance. In the absence of a performance label on the shapewear, look at the fabric. If it is mostly made of nylon, that is probably a stronger construction.
The stronger construction may also have certain compression areas that are intended to combat typical trouble spots. So, if you have a little black dress that you’ve been dying to wear but just hasn’t seemed to fit the way it used to, look for a high construction performance level. If you have a pair of women’s khaki pants that you want to fit more smoothly, a medium construction might be a better choice. Again, try it on before buying it if possible.
Like in the example of the mock turtleneck mentioned earlier, when you have something that fits a bit on the snug side, your body may not want to cooperate. A little help from some shapewear can change how it looks on you. Look for a high-waisted pair of bottoms when finding shapewear for this purpose. Although you may think an undershirt would be better, the bottoms make the torso smoother. They can come in a skirt style for times when you may want to wear something like a knee-length skirt with a cashmere turtleneck, or they could look like a typical pair of underwear that has a really high torso, reaching up to just below the chest.
In contrast to a top or bottoms on their own, a bodysuit is great because it provides a more streamlined look, connecting the torso to the hips so you don’t have to shop for separate pieces. You may be able to wear a typical bra underneath, but some bodysuits also have built-in bras. Regarding the bottom part of the bodysuit, there may be differences here as well. The bottom half of some bodysuits look more like shorts, while others may look like regular briefs.
Unfortunately, the stronger the shapewear is, the less it’s able to breathe, meaning you may feel a little on the warm side when wearing it. This is fine in the winter when you may be wearing a women’s dress that doesn’t offer much warmth. But it could be quite uncomfortable in the warmer months. In the summertime, forgo shapewear that’s made primarily of synthetic materials like spandex or nylon. Instead, opt for a combination of cotton and microfiber; cotton absorbs moisture and breathes better while microfiber helps with odor control.
If you have a piece of clothing that you adore and would feel more comfortable in with a little bit of “help,” then shapewear can make you look and feel your best.