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When you want to look your best, sometimes it's necessary to call in the heavy artillery—as in shapewear, of course. We've all found ourselves in need of a quick slimming solution for life's big moments—commonly referred to as weddings, dates, and parties. Our advice? Invest in a high-quality body shaper. It sounds easy enough, but if you’re new to the world of shapewear, there can be a lot to learn. Fret not, because we've got you covered. Whether it's your first time shopping for shapewear or you simply need a refresher, here are a few things to consider before jumping in.
Benefits Of Wearing A Body Shaper
There’s no shame in needing a confidence boost now and again. When a special occasion or big event is coming up, we all want to look our best. Who wouldn’t? Needless to say, body shapers are a fail-safe solution for smoothing out problem areas and getting the most flattering fit possible out of our attire. While they do all of the hard work of smoothing and tucking, we get to enjoy the major confidence boost they give us. The best part? They can target certain areas or provide full-body coverage. From stomach shapers to full-on bodysuits, these discreet undergarments will accentuate your body’s best features and make you look and feel your best while they do it.
Breaking Down The Different Types Of Body Shapers And When To Wear Them
Because we all come in different shapes and sizes, it's only logical that our tucking-and-smoothing goals will differ. And for that reason, there are a few different types of control or coverage offered by body shapers. The first is light control. Light-control shapewear can be used daily—think slimming tank tops that are perfectly snug and smooth out the lines around your bust, stomach, and waist but won’t squeeze you uncomfortably. Then there’s firm control, which is what you’ll likely want to go with when it comes to big events like weddings, parties, and anything else you’ll want to nail your outfit for. Firm shapewear takes curve-smoothing to the next level by providing support and tucking wherever it's necessary. Lastly, for those who want to target specific areas, your best bet is shopping for shapewear options that focus their smoothing benefits on a particular body part. For example, if you want to accentuate your waistline, it would be best to search for an undergarment like a waist shaper.
Choosing The Best Body Shaper For Your Body
When the time comes to pick out the body shapewear that works best for you, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you’re getting something that feels the most comfortable underneath your clothing. Although it may be tempting to size down, it's best to stick to your true size. It may seem like a smaller size will up the tucking and lifting power, but it will likely result in the opposite effect. Wearing a body shaper that’s too tight can actually draw more attention to the areas you want to hide. Trust us—the best body shapers are powerful enough on their own and will deliver incredible results in your correct size. To ensure your shapewear delivers the best results, try it on before you wear it out, and make sure you can sit and move around comfortably.
Lastly, you'll need to figure out which shapewear is best for your unique body type and outfit. If you plan to wear a dress that hugs your figure and shows off every curve, you should probably go with a full-body shaper or strapless body shaper, depending on your dress. Another option would be a high-waisted slimmer that covers your thighs and goes all the way up to your torso, hitting just below the bust. Try different silhouettes until you find something that works for you. There’s no harm in experimenting.
Our Method For Finding The Best Body Shapers
To find the best body shapers, we utilized our data-driven algorithm that sifts through countless rave reviews, best-seller lists, and editorial mentions. What does that mean for you? A data-backed list of shapewear that's been tried and loved by shoppers just like you. Ahead, shop shapewear options for every skin tone, body type, and need. From buzzy options by Skims and Spanx to affordable picks by Jockey, we've got your back on all things shapewear ahead.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Slips. Opening image: skims.com
August 11, 2021
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Maidenform Flexees Shapewear Comfort Devotion Cami
WHAT IT DOES: This shaping cami comes with a single-ply bust that allows for ultimate fit flexibility, making it ideal for large and small bust sizes alike.
USER REVIEW: "WOW! I love this shapewear tank! I am between a size 16-18 with a 40DD chest and ordered size XXL, and it fits perfectly. It has enough compression to define my waist, does not roll up, and gives my boobs some firm support. I love this Amazon purchase!"
Spanx Undie-Tectable Thong
WHO IT'S FOR: If you're looking to target that stubborn lower belly, you can't go wrong with this best-selling shaping thong. It comes with ultra-smoothing support, plus elastic-free edges and a bonded waistband for a panty line-free effect.
USER REVIEW: "I love these Spanx! They're so perfect for holding in my lower stomach. I had three C-sections and have that belly pudge that I can't seem to get rid of, but with these on, you can't tell, and I can wear the most tight-fitting clothes."
Spanx Higher Power Mid-Thigh Shaping Shorts
BEST HIGH-RISE SHORTS
WHAT IT DOES: These lightweight shorts promise all-day shaping and the smoothest results with minimal squeeze. Consider them your new go-to for everyday wear.
WHY YOU NEED IT: The firm control and everyday versatility make these shorts a no-brainer.
Soma Vanishing Back Full Coverage Bra
WHAT IT DOES: This bra is designed to smooth out unwanted bulges. It mimics the look and feel of a t-shirt bra and has over 2,000 five-star reviews.
USER REVIEW: “Love this bra. The fit is comfortable, and the smooth, wide back band is a wonderful style feature. Best bra I have ever worn.”
Skims Sculpting Seamless Mid Shorts
BEST FIRM-CONTROL SHORTS
WHAT IT DOES: These top-selling shorts smooth your upper legs while providing your rear with some added lift to enhance your natural curves.
WHY YOU NEED IT: These whisper-soft shaping shorts are ideal for daily wear under just about any outfit. Leave it to Kim K to bring us the best.
Wacoal Visual Effects Underwire Shaping Bodysuit
BEST UNDERWIRE BODYSUIT
WHO IT'S FOR: Designed to deliver full-body smoothing and sculpting results, this shaping bodysuit is ideal for those that want support underneath formal dresses.
USER REVIEW: "I've lost count of the body shapers I have tried on, purchased, rejected, and returned over the years. This one is the best I have found. I needed to smooth out lines and look firmer under clothes that are a little clingy or body-conscious, and the Wacoal Visual Effects does all that very well. The best part is the options for bra cup size—the 36DDD actually fits without squeezing anything out of the sides or top!"
Honeylove SuperPower Short
BEST OPEN-GUSSET SHORTS
WHO IT'S FOR: If you’re headed down the aisle soon, consider wearing these shorts under your dress—brides regularly rave about this piece.
WHAT IT DOES: These best-selling shorts flatter in all the right places—they boast targeted compression that shapes where you need it and releases everything else. Plus, they have an open gusset that makes bathroom trips a breeze.
Commando Two-Faced Tech Control Slip
LOVED FOR: Designed to smooth your silhouette in even the most skin-tight dresses, this shaping slip will ensure that you look slim all night or day long.
USER REVIEW: "This is a nice smooth lining for my dresses. I can wear it without a bra, and it's longer than most, which is what I wanted."
Skims Sculpting Seamless Bodysuit
BEST SEAMLESS BODYSUIT
STYLE WITH: This comfortable bodysuit is ideal for wearing underneath tight-fitting styles—think everything from bodysuits to dresses.
USER REVIEW: "Wow—I’m so happy I got my hands on one of these. It looks like it will only fit a small child when you open it, but wow does it stretch and hug the body. I love wearing it just as a bodysuit with jeans. I can’t wait to get my hands on a black one!"
Spanx Oncore Mid Thigh Bodysuit
WHY YOU NEED IT: This shaping bodysuit has a non-compression bust that accommodates a variety of bra sizes and works to flatter without flattening. That's just one of the reasons this bodysuit is an instant winner.
LOVED FOR: Reviewers say this top-rated bodysuit delivers flawlessly sculpted results without the tight squeeze.
Hosiery & Socks
Top 10 Shaping Tights
Reviewers Say These Are The Only Shaping Tights Worth Spending Money On