How to Choose Shapewear

I work with a lot of clients who can benefit from wearing shapewear. With there being quite a few different kinds of it on the market, I wanted to be able to recommend which one would suit every client’s specific needs better.  I went on to do my research, and ordered many different types of shapewear online so that I could try them all on and see the effect. Even though I wear size 2, I have noticed quite a bit of a difference in how my tight-fitting dresses look with and without the shapewear. From now on I do not have to remember to keep sucking my stomach in! 🙂 It is taken care of by a shaper.  So happy I was inspired to do this research for my clients! 🙂 I would say that only women with a very ectomorphic (lean) body type will not benefit from wearing shapewear.


Here is my report, along with the names and pictures of my personal favourites.


Determine where on your body you want the support and shaping. Is it just the stomach area, stomach and waist, or that and thighs as well?


Most of the styles come in nude and black. Always choose nude. It will go with everything, including light coloured outfits.


I suggest you either buy shapewear in the store, but try it on at home, or buy it online, which is my preference. The reason I say this is because you really want to take your time when trying these items on. Also, you want to try them on underneath your dresses, or outfits that you are planning to wear them with. Only then you will know if you will get the results you want. That is what I did –  I tried every piece of shapewear on with several tight- fitting dresses. Another reason why I would get it online is because there is always a better style and size selection there. Also, all items are usually shipped still in plastic packaging, and no one tried them on before you. Since the shapewear goes on very tight and close to your body, it is a lot more hygienic to be the first one to put in on.

Your shapewear, just like your underwear, should be invisible under clothing. I found that to be the part that eliminated most options. With the high-waisted styles, if your top is tight-fitting you can see the line on the back, where the shapewear ends. Also, because your lower back is compressed now, if you have any back fat, it is  likely that a bulge will form between the shapewear and your bra. It does not look good at all. The solution that I have come up with, if you want a high-waisted style, is to get the one that goes right up to your bra band. Then, you can put your bra over the shapewear line, and it will be a lot less visible. If you have a small waist, you can go with a regular waist shapewear, but make sure there is no bulge above it.


Whether the piece is seamless or not also depends on the fabric, the seams or their absence, and the finish at the ends. Read the description of the item, and for some of them they specify that it is seamless under clothing. Even that I found to be not 100%, but it is your best bet. If you do not need a lot of support, and just want to       smooth away the muffin top, you can get Undie-tectable thongs from Spanx.


At the bottom, you can choose either mid-thigh length or a brief. If you go with a brief, make sure you do not see a panty line, like you would from regular brief underwear.  The length that you need mostly depends on the outfit. If your skirt is above the knee, or has a slit that goes above the knee, you should go with a brief style shapewear, because the mid-thigh could be visible, especially when you bend or sit. The same applies to choosing between high and regular waist. If your top or dress has low back, you have to go with regular waist.


Now…for those of you who have human bodies, you need to think about how you are going to go to the bathroom while wearing a high-waisted shapewear underneath a tight dress. This might be one frustrating experience, especially if you are in a public bathroom with not much space. I did not want to be in this scenario, so I chose a high-waisted piece that is…never thought I would use this word on my website, but no better way to describe it – crotchless. Overall, this turned out to be one of my favourite shapewear items anyway, out of everything I have tried. It is Assets Red Hot Label by Spanx, and the style is called  High-Waist Mid-Thigh Shaper.


If you want to smooth the top part of your body, like when you are wearing a tight sweater, a camisole is a good option. I like  Thinstincts Convertible Cami by Spanx. It  stretches to go over your bra, and feels silky smooth and light. Make sure that you pull the camisole high enough at the back to cover the bra band, for a clean look.  A skin colour shaping camisole is also great for layering underneath a somewhat sheer top. I tried a couple of slips as well, but did not feel that they were versatile enough to wear with a lot of different outfits.


Finally, you will likely have to get a few different shapewear items to work with all your different outfits and your body. Whatever works for one woman might not for the other one. What I suggest is to consider the outfits that would look better with the shapewear underneath, and make a list of what kind of shapewear will go with them. High or regular waist, mid-thigh or brief, cami, or maybe just invisible shaping underwear. Then go online and get a couple of styles in each kind, because the only way you will know if they are right fit for you is by trying them on. Once again, skin colour is your most versatile option. When it comes to size, if you fall in between sizes, go for the larger one, or you might be uncomfortable. Some of the styles come in plus sizes as well.


Here is to  beautifully shaped you! 🙂