Shapewear is underwear that smoothes out the contour of your body. It reduces or eliminates the lumps and bumps across the midsection, upper torso, bottom and thighs. You usually wear shapewear over a regular bra and panties. It’s made of stretchy manmade fibres, is fairly pricey, and lasts a good long while. 

I shop for shapewear fairly frequently with clients. The items have come a long way over the years. Gone are the days when there was only one option that cut off your circulation. These days there are many different brands, each with a variety of options to suit all sorts of body shaping requirements. 

First, five tips to help you navigate the world of shapewear: 

  1. Shapewear is NOT essential. It’s a lot more comfortable to find clothing that’s in line with your figure flattering properties so that you can wear regular underwear and leave it at that. That said, you might wear shapewear a few times a year with a specific outfit for a special occasion. 
  2. Shapewear varies in performance control: You don’t need to wear high power “firm control”  shapewear. Gentle and medium control shapewear can do the trick and is more comfortable. Some of my clients wear gentle control shapewear daily, and feel uncomfortable without it! 
  3. Spanx is not your only option: Brands like TC, Commando, DKNY and Yummie can be better suited to your needs, so make sure that you fit a variety of brands before you commit to the final item.
  4. Size Up: The last thing you want is shapewear that, quite ironically, creates muffin top under the bust, on the waist, or on the thighs, because the hem openings are overly tight, or when the waist of the shapewear rolls down the body. Size up so that the hems create a snug but relaxed fit on the skin. 
  5. Match the shapewear to the item: You’ll need different styles of shapewear for different items in your wardrobe. You might need briefs for a skirt, thigh boxers for trousers, shape shorts for jeans, a slip or bodysuit for a dress, and a camisole or waist cincher for a top. If you’re shopping for shapewear in brick-and-mortar stores, take the clothing with you and pop them straight over the shapewear in the dressing room to assess how things feel, fit and look. 

Here’s a selection of winning shapewear to get you started if you’re in the market for the items. Read their rave reviews. Most of the styles are available in a selection of nudes and black. You can see the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Do you wear shapewear? If so, would you like to share your experience?