When it comes to our body shape, no one is perfect, and that is great news to me! I strongly believe we are all beautiful in every shape and size, and that is what makes every one of us unique. But of course, we all have some problem areas that we wish were firmer or a bit slimmer or tighter. This is where amazing undergarments come in to save the day and make everything smooth and under your control.
So investing in great quality shapewear is more about giving our existing silhouette some structure instead of making drastic changes. Making the best out of our assets is always key to boosting self-confidence and feeling more balanced.
Having quality shapewear is the best investment you will ever make when it comes to your wardrobe. It is everyone’s best-kept secret to look perfect on TV, at social events, or even on the red carpet for celebrities.
But how do you know what to choose and where to spend your money? I have all the answers for you and a few great tips for navigating the overwhelming offer of shapewear. Let’s get into it!
Please check out this video to see some of my favorite shapewear and how I wear them:
What Is Shapewear, and What Does It Do?
Shapewear refers to undergarments that help to smooth out your silhouette. This generally means underwear, shorts, bras, or bodysuits that are made specially to keep everything in place.
The main goal is for these pieces to be figure-hugging and hide your tummy, back rolls, or whatever area you are self-conscious about. Keeping everything firm is great for everyday wear, but it’s a true lifesaver when you are wearing a dress for a special occasion.
Many dresses don’t have enough structure to pull different body parts in, so without shapewear, the material would hug you in all the wrong places. Shapewear creates the perfect, smooth base for any type of clothes.
But shapewear also has seamless edges, so you don’t see unpleasant lines where your panties or bras end. So they are invisible underneath clothes, in case you worry that people might know you are wearing them.
The Best Shapewear Brands
As with any popular products that have been around for years, the offer is very rich and sometimes even confusing. But some brands have upped their game, and they are winning in the shapewear game.
Please keep reading for a little know-how about the most popular brands of undergarments and what are their best assets.
Already a cult classic, SPANX is probably the most popular brand of shapewear out there, and they have been around for more than 20 years. The name has actually become a synonym for shapewear – we often refer to undergarments as Spanx.
The brand offers a large variety of pieces, catering to every shape and size. You can choose from underwear, tummy control pieces, high-waisted shorts, bodysuits, bras, and bustiers. The fabric the producer uses is top quality, with stellar shaping abilities, but always breathable and comfortable.
The price range is medium to high for SPANX pieces, but they are well worth the money. It is a matter of investing because these undergarments will last you for many years.
Maidenform is yet another popular shapewear brand that stands out through variety. It includes everything from shapewear, nightclothes, and every shape and size bra you can imagine.
The fabric is very high quality, so they feel lovely on the skin and offer amazing support. The shapewear pieces include shorts, tummy control undergarments, bodysuit, and camisoles, destined for upper support.
Soma is one of my favorite brands for normal underwear but with a twist. Whether we are talking about bras, panties, or boxer shorts, the Soma pieces are always seamless and fit perfectly.
The brand caters to women of every shape and size, and its goal is inclusivity. This translates into an amazing variety, with a wide range of bras, underwear, sleep clothes, swimwear, and everything in between.
All their pieces are imperceivable underneath your clothes – they don’t have any seams, the edges fade thinner, and some of the panties have an adhesive band to stay in place.
Nubra is a well-known brand that specializes in adhesive cups, normal bras but with silicone gel padding, and seamless underwear. Nubra has been around for 20 years and their mission is to offer great comfort with special undergarments.
The brand is a staple for adhesive bras with high-quality materials, and offers the safety of medical-grade adhesive. With this type of bras, special occasion gowns, even bridal dresses, or everyday backless tops are now very easy to wear.
Founded just three short years ago by Kim Kardashian, Skims has quickly become a household name in the shapewear department. The variety of fabrics, shapes and wide range of products make this brand a top competitor for companies that have been around for many years.
Skims offer great shapewear that focuses on the body and makes every part look its best. These pieces are seamless and very smooth, with a great feel on the skin. In addition, the brand also caters to many needs – the lines also include normal underwear, sports bras, and accessories, keeping the same high quality.
The Best Shapewear Bodysuit
Bali Women’s Shapewear Firm Control Lace ‘N Smooth Built-in Bra Body Shaper Fajas Df8l10
Look no further than Bali Women’s Shapewear Control Lace Body Shaper for a perfectly fitting bodysuit that smooths and firms. This piece hugs you in all the right places while providing medium control over your curves.
The bodysuit is covered in lace, but it includes 30% spandex fabric that gives you shape and firmness. It is very breathable and can be worn under dresses in the summer months, and it is very comfortable and not constricting at all.
The Bali bodysuit has a built-in bra with an underwire, so it provides support to your breast area too. The cups mold perfectly on your bust area, giving you a smooth look with no visible lines. Speaking of lines, the backside is also seamless, and you won’t have any unflattering panty lines showing through your clothes.
This piece does a beautiful job of giving you a smooth shape without being constricting or too tight. It’s a great example of shapewear that doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to work!
The Best Tummy Control Shapewear
Tummy Control Shapewear Panties for Women High Waisted Body Shaper Slimming Shapewear Underwear Girdle Panty
The high-waisted panties from Tummy Control do an outstanding job of shaping your stomach perfectly. The criss-cross lines that go all the way to the ribcage offer great support and tuck everything in.
The panties start lower, almost like shorts, and this way, they avoid creating those unflattering bulges on the upper part of your tight. They are invisible on the backside, too, with a lower and seamless line that hides well under any fabric.
They continue upwards to your bra and have criss-cross lines on the entire surface. These lines offer lift and support to your belly but also a lower pouch. Oftentimes with shapewear, there is a neglected area that becomes a problem – if the piece ends too low, you get a ”muffin-top” (rolls in the upper tummy area over the panty line), and if there’s no lower support, the pouch can protrude. The Tummy Control Panties give you an all-in-one shaping effect, from top to bottom, and they even have a shaping effect on the back for the love handles.
The fabric of these high-waisted panties is see-through, stretchy, and breathable. They are very easy to put on and comfortable throughout the day. You can wear them under dresses for a smoothing effect, under work pants, or even jeans for everyday wear.
The Best Shapewear for Dresses
Maidenform Women’s Ultimate Slimmer Wear Your Own Bra Body Briefer Shapewear FL2656
Maidenform brings us the perfect bodysuit to wear under any dress – the Ultimate Slimmer Wear Shapewear. This targets the tummy area and the back, keeping in place every little area you find problematic under a dress.
The bodysuit doesn’t have built-in cups, so you can wear your favorite bra with it (this can be a shaping bra). The material is very stretchy and comfortable while doing a great job of pulling in your shape.
The piece has vertical seams on the back and front for an added firming effect. The back goes pretty high up, but this helps tuck in any back rolls that become visible when wearing a tight cocktail dress. It even offers support under the armpit, where a little fat pocket can form over your bra strap.
So no area is left behind with this bodysuit! It is ideal for wearing under any dress, no matter how unforgiving the fit or the fabric is. This is a great investment for any woman, and you will get so much wear and value from it!
The Best Shapewear Shorts
SPANX Thinstincts® 2.0 High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Short
This high-waisted short from SPANX is the perfect undergarment to wear under any dress. It hugs your bottom perfectly and has a slight lifting effect while going down your thigh for a seamless transition.
I love that the shorts don’t end exactly at the waist. Sometimes that can form a little fat roll above the waistline, especially if the shorts are too tight or if that is a problem area for you. The shapewear is high-waisted, keeping in your tummy. They sit high on your ribcage, keeping everything tucked in and firm.
Another bonus with the SPANX shorts is that they have a small adhesive band hidden under the top part. This makes the piece very secure, so it won’t roll downwards during the day. The edges are seamless, meaning you won’t get any harsh, visible lines when wearing these.
The material is very light and breathable, so you won’t get hot or start sweating in them. That is a very important aspect, especially because they are perfect to wear under dresses, so in the hotter months too.
The Best Seamless Underwear
Soma Vanishing Edge Lace Bikini Panties
When it comes to underwear, it’s very important to get pieces that fit you well and that are invisible. I think we all know that those lines that cut in the middle of your buttock are very unflattering, and they create weird-looking rolls.
I am a big fan of the Soma Vanishing Panties because they are made of very fine material and have seamless edges. This makes them comfortable and absolutely invisible under formal pants, jeans, or any type of dress, even the most figure-hugging ones.
The panties also have an adhesive strap on the backside edge, so they will stay in place all day. This band ensures that the panties won’t start to roll up or slide around, making them very comfortable.
The Soma panties come in many shapes and colors, so you have a lot of styles to choose from. We have normal-shaped bikinis, hipster briefs, or even shorts, and the shades range from nudes and pastels to animal print and bright colors.
The Best Shapewear for Back Rolls
Soma Vanishing 360 Perfect Coverage Bra
My all-time favorite bra comes from the brand Soma, and it’s their Vanishing 360 Perfect Coverage bra. The name says it best – this bra is truly vanishing because you can’t see it under any type of shirt or dress.
The bra has a very generous cup that ends pretty high up, surrounding the breast perfectly. The innovative thing about this bra is the upper edge of the cup – it thins out, so it’s seamless. Many bras end with a sharp edge that is visible through your blouse and very unappealing. But the Soma bra is truly invisible.
The back of the bra has a very wide strap that goes up. This way, it holds everything in, and you avoid forming those little fat rolls above the strap (this effect happens if the strap is too thin or the bra too tight).
The material is very fine, and the bra comes in different colors, like nudes or blacks, and in a very wide range of sizes. For those of you who want even more comfort, the bra also comes in a non-wired version while still offering great support.
The Best Strapless Bra Shapewear
Nubra Feather-Lite Super Light Adhesive Bra $35 Amazon (A-F) Cups
A very good bra is mandatory for everyday wear, but what do you do when you have a strapless or backless dress or blouse? Well, you get yourself some amazing adhesive cups!
For those of us who have ever struggled with visible bra straps, adhesive cups are a great invention. They come in two silicone cups that clip together in the middle part; of the interior. And they have an adhesive that clings to the skin.
The key here is to apply them only straight out of the shower, on clean and dry skin, with no lotions or oils on it. Otherwise, the glue won’t stick to the skin so well, and they might fall off during the day or slip around.
The best way to apply them is by unhooking them, putting each cup on a breast, then moving them towards the center, and clipping them together. This way, you will get a bit of cleavage and a small push-up effect.
Mitaloo Sticky Bra Push Up Lift Nipple Covers for Women Beige
A very honorable mention goes to Mitaloo Sticky bra Push Up, a great sticky bra if you need some lift. The concept is similar to the classic adhesive cups, except these don’t clip in the middle.
Instead, these cups have a flap on the upper part. You have to place them individually and then pull each breast upwards and stick the flap to the skin. This gives support and a lifting effect to your cleavage.
These types of sticky bras are perfect for very low cleavage because they don’t clip in the middle. You get support and lift that are absolutely invisible.
The Best Nipple Covers
If you have enough structure in your dress or top, maybe all you need is a nipple cover. There are some basic ones from a couple of brands that do the job well. Remember that these don’t offer any support, but they give a smooth look.
The nipple covers are made of silicone, and they have an adhesive surface on the backside. These are reusable, and you can wash them with mild soap and warm water, and the adhesive will be fine.
Dimrs Silicone Nipple Covers
Nippies Silicone Nipple Covers
How to Choose and Buy Great Shapewear
Think About How Much Support You Need
Do you want just a light smoothing effect or a powerful shaping one? There are various materials with different degrees of stretch and support. This is very important for the end result and how much shaping the piece actually gives you.
A see-through material that doesn’t stretch very much will only give you a soothing effect rather than shaping. Instead, a thicker fabric that comes in dramatically will give you structure and high compression.
The producer will usually specify the degree of support that their shapewear offers. So look for words like ”smoothing effect” for lighter one, and ”shaping,”” high compression,” or ”tummy control” for a stronger firming effect.
Look at Where the Piece Ends
For example, underwear may end in the middle of your buttock, where you risk having a visible line. An underwear piece that ends right above your waist may create a bulge or a roll above the line, so go for a higher-waisted one.
Always keep in mind what areas a shapewear piece may leave exposed or make even more unflattering.
Check for Seams and Lines
Let’s face it, and we don’t want other people to know we are wearing shapewear or the type of underwear we are wearing. Those unflattering underwear lines, bra cup edges, or metallic pieces on corsets are very distracting.
Look for seamless edges that fade into the skin, and make the undergarments invisible under your clothes.
What Size Shapewear Do I Need?
It’s important for shapewear to fit properly for best results.
You will probably be tempted to buy a smaller size, thinking this will pull everything in tighter. Instead, getting a smaller size will only create bulges by squeezing you too tightly, and it will be uncomfortable.
Shapewear should feel a little constricting, depending on the degree of shaping power, but still very comfortable. So if you find yourself feeling like you can’t move or sit down properly, you’ve definitely chosen the wrong size. Go with your usual measure – if you are a medium in regular clothes, get a medium in shapewear too.
Some shapewear pieces and brands offer measuring guides, taking into consideration your waist size, bust, or hips. In this case, go for their numbers and try to choose the one that fits you best.
Shapewear Is the Best Kept Secret
Have you ever looked at celebrities or people on TV and desperately wanted their perfectly smooth silhouette? Well, now you are in on everyone’s secret – it’s amazing shapewear! That is what creates a great structured base, and any clothes will look so much better on top.
Whether you want a little nip and tuck here and there, you have a certain area you feel self-conscious about, or just want your underwear to be invisible, I hope this guide is the perfect list for you.
For more information about shapewear and how well they look under different outfits, please watch the video below: