The 17 Best Shapewear Pieces You'll Actually Want to Wear
By now, your lingerie drawer is hopefully already stocked with a variety of comfortable bras and undetectable underwear, but it should also be filled with great shapewear pieces. Not only do these handy undergarments lift you in all the right places, but they also help make a seamless base which helps your clothes look and fit better.
Like most undergarments, the number of options in stores can feel overwhelming. So to help you cut through the clutter, we turned to Gabrielle Richards, Senior Brand Manager and Body Positivity Expert at Shapermint, for advice on how to choose the best shapewear for every occasion. From a smoothing bodysuit to shaping shorts to control-top leggings, we've rounded up the best shapewear essentials that are both flattering and comfortable.
Read on for a list of the best shapewear to buy.
- Best Plunging Bodysuit: Spanx Suit Your Fancy Plunge Bodysuit
- Best Thong Bodysuit: Pinsy Scoop Tank Shapewear Bodysuit
- Best Shorts: Spanx OnCore Mid-Thigh Shorts
- Best Asymmetrical Short: Skims Solution Short
- Best Thong: Commando Control-Top Thong
- Best Brief: Commando Classic Control Brief
- Best Slip: Commando Two-Faced Tech Control Slip
- Best Skirt Slip: Yummie Hidden Curves Firm Shaping High Waist Skirt Slip
- Best Plus-Size Shapewear: NonEcho Plus-Size Body Shaper
- Best Strapless Bodysuit: Maidenform Flexees Women's Shapewear Briefer
What to Keep in Mind
When purchasing shapewear, here are some factors you should keep in mind:
From full body slips to arm tights, today you can find a piece of shapewear for nearly every part of your body. Choosing the right style ultimately comes down to where you want to sculpt and what you plan to wear on top. Slips and bodysuits are good when you want to smooth your entire body while shaping shorts and panties focus on your stomach and behind.
Richards recommends keeping the outfits' hemline in mind when selecting between a panty or short. "For dresses with a shorter hemline, the panty works best as you don't risk the chance of your shapewear showing. For longer skirts or dresses, the shorts are ideal as it also helps with thigh chafing," she says. "When wearing pants or denim, the shaper panty and cami work well because they can smooth your waist while adding comfortable support."
If you are just looking for some subtle shaping in pieces you already wear, you can stock up on leggings, tights, and camis that offer light compression.
Shapewear ranges from low to high compression. Low compression helps create a smooth base while mid to high compression does more to sculpt and tone your curves. Richards recommends thinking about your comfort preferences and activity when selecting a compression level.
"If you are wearing a bodycon dress or something more fitted, mid to high compression can give you a more sculpted look. For flowy dresses or a loose-fitted ensemble, low compression is ideal," says Richards. "Ultimately your comfort is key when selecting your compression level."
Some people think they should size down when shopping for shapewear, but Richards says this is a common undergarment myth. If anything, buying shapewear that is too small will leave you uncomfortable and likely cause the piece to ride up or roll down. It's best to use your measurements and the item's size guide as each brand varies in sizing.
Your Questions, Answered
How do I keep shapewear from rolling down or riding up?
To avoid constantly having to adjust your shapewear, look for pieces that have special waist bands or silicone strips that help to keep it in place. Richards also says that rolling is usually a sign that you are wearing the wrong size, so consider sizing up or down.
Should I wear undergarments under shapewear?
Whether you go commando or not is ultimately up to you. Some bodysuits and camis have built in bras while others need the extra support. Richards says you can always wear a seamless undie under a bodysuit or slip if you'd like or you can forgo it altogether. And of course, shaping underwear already has you covered in that department.