Shapewear is really having a moment right now. If you haven't heard of it, a body shaper is a type of clothing worn under your dress, shirt, skirt, leggings, or trousers to improve fit and streamline the appearance of your figure. Waist trainers, bodysuits and control pants enhance the natural curve of your body and help to firm your silhouette.
There are so many different types of shapewear for women to choose from, ranging from full-body high-control undergarments, to ones designed to target more specific areas such as the waist, buttocks and legs. To help you decide which one will suit your body the best, we've ranked our top 10 favourites on ASOS, John Lewis, Amazon and eBay. Read on to find out more!
Melissa Melles is a Wardrobe Concierge based in Manchester, helping both women and men find their style and have confidence in what they wear by organising their wardrobes.
With 10 years of industry experience, Melissa's clients trust her expert opinion when it comes to style advice. Her experience spans from TV, music and editorial styling, to working in Paris showrooms, to personal shopping in luxury department stores and more.
Find out more about Melissa via her Instagram or head over to her website where you can see all the expert consultation services she offers - from simply organising your wardrobe space to sourcing those hard to find 'New Season' pieces!
Not quite sure what you're looking for? We've put together this short buying guide to help you get started. From materials to colours, we go over all the things you need to know before buying your new shapewear.
What type of coverage do you need? Something for the glutes, hips, or maybe even full-body sculpting so that you can wear your skin-tight jumpsuit with confidence and style. Whatever you plan to wear, you're going to need to find the perfect shapewear solution!
For the nights where you want to easily slip into your favourite dress, without having to worry about it folding in all the wrong places when you sit down, you might want to choose shapewear that covers your whole body. Full-body suits offer coverage across the torso, with concentrated areas of high elasticity around the hips, stomach, thighs, and buttocks.
People often prefer the reliability of a full-body shapewear piece and their seamless appearance. This is because the seams are usually somewhere discreet, like under the bust and just below the thigh, instead of places like the buttocks where it would show up through your clothing.
While they do create a flawless silhouette, you should also be aware that full-body shapewear can cost quite a bit more. This is usually due to the fact more fabric is required in the construction of the garment.
Full body coverage is the best for giving you smooth lines all over, don't be fooled by a half coverage, because although it may flatten your torso, it will push the rest up and you'll be left with an unflattering bulge higher up your body. Full body coverage is probably more comfortable too as you'll have fewer lines and creases.
If you're not keen on the idea of wrapping up your entire body in one of these garments, you could always opt for something a little more specific. In addition to full-body shapewear, you can also find shapewear that grips your torso and waist.
Torso shapewear is tight elastic that wraps around your abdomen to cinch in the waist and create a more streamlined silhouette. This type of garment can be worn under fitted shirts or a tight dress for a taught abdomen, which can help clothes sit closer to the body without bunching around your middle.
If you prefer the look of an extra 'pinch' at the waist, choose one with tighter elastic around the middle. Just remember that without the support of having the elastic fitted across the rest of your body, you may notice that the material can roll and shift if you're sitting down for long periods of time.
Torso coverage is great for accentuating your waistline which is really flattering for some style dresses. It can also make jeans and fitted trousers fit better by giving you that sleek middle. They can ride down though so probably best to wear this style under dresses or at events where you'll be standing for a while.
We can't forget about the legs and buttocks shapers - the keys to all flawless mirror selfies! If you're wearing fitted trousers or a sheer dress and you'd like to reduce the appearance of cellulite, choose shapewear pieces that firm your thighs and also help to target saddlebags.
Not only does shapewear for the buttocks keep everything in place while you walk, but it also lifts up the glutes for a 'perkier' look. If you're feeling a little self-conscious about a figure-hugging dress, you could even get some shapewear with padding in the buttocks for added 'oomph'.
Just be careful that the seams don't show through your clothes, as this can ruin the smooth finish. If you'd prefer a seamless fit, opt for a thong style shapewear to limit the appearance of any unwanted seams.
When shopping for shapewear for the buttocks and legs, opt for a leg length that is going to be about to your knees, if you go any shorter you might see the lines through your trousers or skirt and this will not look neat. Shapewear can smooth your skin but also perk up your butt and your leg muscles.
Shapewear squeezes your body - that's a well-known fact. What people don't know is that wearing shapewear doesn't have to be an uncomfortable experience. You can choose how strong you want the hold to be, to ensure the perfect balance of comfort and control.
High control is very restrictive, keeping everything firmly in place. For fitted dresses and anything skin tight, you'll appreciate just how confident high control shapewear can make you feel. Just bear in mind that you might struggle to wear it for long periods of time, especially if you're sitting down as the constant squeezing can get quite tiring.
If high control is too much for you, go for medium-to-high for extra breathing room without losing the tight hold on target areas. If you're just looking for a gentle hug around the parts that trouble you, choose a low-to-medium to ease you in.
There are lots of different types of shapewear with many different controls, sometimes shapewear can be worn not just to give 'shape' but also to provide a layer underneath sheer clothing. It's nice sometimes to wear a light support full body under a dress which you'd normally be conscious of because it's slightly see-through.
The material of your new shapewear is likely to be a combination of a non-stretchy material like polyester and some form of elastic. To help you understand what's best, let's get into the details.
Polyester is a common fibre used in fashion as it's a versatile and affordable base for clothing production. The downside is that it's known to pill after multiple washes, so you might want to choose nylon or polyamide instead for a more durable finish.
The elastic in your shapewear will likely either be elastane, spandex, or viscose. They all do exactly the same thing - stretch. The only thing you'll need to pay attention to is the percentage, as the higher the amount elastic, the more shape control there will be.
You have to look at the fabric contents when buying shapewear, the more stretch/elastane the better for comfort. Spandex is another key one used in a lot of shapewear. There are so many different brands now all using different fabrics, just try a few out and see which feels most comfortable for you.
Depending on what you're wearing on the day, it's impossible to choose a colour that will go with everything - unless you choose a nude shade or black, of course. This discrete duo will stay hidden under any garment.
In particular, we'd recommend choosing black if you happen to wear a lot of dark clothes. It's bound to be less visible and will add to the intensity of the colour in areas where the material might be thinner.
On the other hand, nude tones are the best option for discrete wear under lighter shades like white and pastels. Plenty of shapewear is available in more than one shade, so if you find a style you like, you could buy it in multiple colours.
Choosing the right nude is a lot easier now than it used to be, a lot more brands are offering a wide range of nudes suiting every skin tone. A top tip - when wearing white don't opt for white! Always opt for nude, although you might think white won't show under white, it does, nude is the best disguise under anything.
Now you can get started on your search for the best shapewear. Don't worry, we've made the hunt very simple for you, just take a look at the products below! Remember that you can always check back at the buying guide if you're feeling spoiled for choice.
|Material||87 % nylon, 13 % elastane|
|Target Areas||Torso, legs|
|Material||83 % polyamide, 17 % elastane|
|Target Areas||Full body|
|Material||80 % nylon, 20 % elastane|
|Material||51 % nylon, 49 % spandex|
|Target Areas||Torso, legs|
|Material||68 % polyamide, 26 % elastane, 6% polyester|
|Material||78 % polyamide, 22 % elastane|
|Target Areas||Full body|
|Material||74 % polyamide, 26 % elastane|
|Material||49 % nylon, 51 % elastane|
|Target Areas||Torso, buttocks|
|Material||88 % Nylon, 12 % Elastane|
|Target Areas||Torso, legs|
|Material||75 % viscose, 20 % polyamide, 5% elastane|
Women's Higher Power Short Thigh Slimmer
Bum Enhancing High Waist Knickers In Black
Endlessly Smooth Firm Control Slip
Womens Everyday Shaping Thong
Fit and Lift High Waist Control Long Leg Shorts
Higher Power Pants
Women's On Core Trouser
High Waisted Tummy Control Bodyshaper
Padded Butt Lifter Pants for Women
80% Elasticity & Full Coverage for the Torso and Legs
Some Cheeky Padding for an Extra Boost
Basic Shapewear to Tuck in the Tummy and Cinch the Waist
An Elegant Undergarment for Any Occasion
The Shapewear You'll Want to Wear All the Time
A Very Practical Shapewear Suit
A Long, Narrow Shaper With a Seamless Finish
A Figure-Hugging Full-Body Suit
A Subtle Squeeze to Minimise Dimples
Make the Glutes Pop With Adjustable Control
|Target Areas||Torso, legs||Torso, buttocks||Torso||Full body||Torso||Torso, legs||Torso||Full body||Torso, legs||Buttocks|
|Material||75 % viscose, 20 % polyamide, 5% elastane||88 % Nylon, 12 % Elastane||49 % nylon, 51 % elastane||74 % polyamide, 26 % elastane||78 % polyamide, 22 % elastane||68 % polyamide, 26 % elastane, 6% polyester||51 % nylon, 49 % spandex||80 % nylon, 20 % elastane||83 % polyamide, 17 % elastane||87 % nylon, 13 % elastane|
|Colours||Nude, black||Black||Black||Nude, black||Black||Nude, black||Nude, black||Black||Nude, black||Nude|
Having the right underwear is an absolute must for comfort, as well as improving the fit and look of your clothes. If you've been meaning to give your undies drawer a bit of a clear out, check out the articles below for some of the best supportive bras and pants in the UK!
So there you have it! Whether you're looking for something practical to wear day-to-day, or just for special occasions, we hope that this buying guide has helped demystify the world of shapewear. Now you know exactly what to look for, we're sure you'll be able to find a piece that you'll absolutely love.
Author: Annie Speight
Buying Guide Reviewed by Melissa Melles
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