How to Choose Shapewear

December 31, 2021 4 min read

Body shaping garments are a popular way to boost your confidence by smoothing out your body silhouette and transforming it into something more pleasing to the eye. Wearing body shapers can help you feel more confident in your own skin and make your clothes fit better. However, it’s important to choose the right type of body shaper for you. Because there are so many factors that go into such a decision, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to choose shapewear that works best for your needs.

1.Decide on the Outcome You Want

Your first task is to decide on how much compression you want from your shapewear. There are different levels of compression available to you, as body shapers come in many different varieties. Shapewear that offers more compression does a more aggressive job at sculpting and smoothing out different areas of your body, but you might not need high levels of compression depending on your specific circumstances.


There are three general levels of compression. They are:


Low Compression.Often called “light control”, these shapewear pieces are best for everyday wear because the gentle compression they provide is low enough to be worn comfortably for hours. If you only want a little bit of help in smoothing out some “problem” areas so that your clothes will lay more comfortably, then low compression shapewear is a good choice.


Medium to High Compression. These “firm control” body shaping garments offer better compression than light control garments. The extra compression provides even more help in accentuating a pleasing silhouette by contouring your body even further. At the same time, most medium to high compression body shapers are still highly comfortable to wear, though you will feel the extra compression after wearing this style of shapewear for long periods of time. 


High Compression. These “extra-firm control” body shapers offer the highest level of compression for when you need to ensure your body silhouette is as flawless as possible. People wear this type of shapewear when they need to look their absolute best for events where they will be dressed in formal clothing. Even these body shaping garments can be worn comfortably, but perhaps not as long as those with less compression.

2. Choose the Area You Want to Shape

Shapewear comes in many distinct flavors. There are different models of body shaping garments that are designed to flatter and smooth out different parts of the body. These include:


Bottom Support: If you feel that your legs, thighs, hips, or even your rear end need some additional shaping support, there are different shapewear types that will provide the silhouette you’re looking for.


Torso Support: Undergarments such as compression camisoles help to keep your midsection smoothed and shaped, which will help you wear clothes with less discomfort.


Full Body Support. Full-body shapewear, such as bodysuits, offer great overall support for when you need both top and bottom shaping and smoothing. 

3. Determine Your Body Shape

Finally, you will need to determine your overall body shape. No two people are alike, as everyone’s bodies have subtly different shapes. You need to pick shapewear that matches your own body shape, as many types of shapewear will fit better, and work more reliably, on the shapes they were designed for.


Here are some of the most common body shapes:


    • Hourglass: the “classic” hourglass shape is when both your hips and your shoulders are the same width and your waist is naturally contoured. Shapewear designed for hourglass body shapes enhances your natural curves by keeping your stomach flat and accentuating the already-attractive silhouette of your shoulders and hips.
  • Rectangle: people with slim hips and shoulders, straight torsos, and long legs are considered to be a rectangle shape. Good shapewear for this body shape can add definition where they might not be present, helping you appear to have that more curvy appearance that you might be looking for.
  • Strawberry: when you have broad shoulders and a large bust but your hips and backside are more narrow, you’ve got a strawberry shape. Body shaping garments ideal for this body type will smooth out the differences between your top and your bottom, providing you with a more balanced overall silhouette.
    • Apple: The apple silhouette is in many ways the opposite of an hourglass shape. This body shape is characterized by a large chest and a full midsection but with narrow hips and shoulders. The best shapewear for this body shape are garments that provide some waistline definition.
    • Pear: The pear body shape features slim shoulders, a small bust, and then a well-defined waistline, hips, and thighs. Shapewear for this body type focuses on the waist and lower body.


    Finding the Right Shapewear for You

    The benefits to using shapewear include looking and feeling your very best, whether it’s for a special occasion or simply every day. Unlike the restrictive body shapers of the past, today’s foundation garments are as comfortable to wear as they have ever been. At the same time, however, you do need to ensure you’re choosing your body-shaping garments with care so that they fit properly and provide you with the support you’re looking for.


    Every person is different, and they all have body silhouette goals that are unique as they are. Understanding how body shapers work and the different styles of shapewear that are available is crucial in understanding exactly how to choose the right shapewear for your needs. Keep in mind your overall goals when it comes to how much compression you want, the parts of your body that you want to smooth, and your overall body silhouette and you’ll find the right shapewear for you.


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