Is shapewear a part of your wardrobe? If not, you may want to ask yourself why. Celebrities and everyday women alike of every shape, size and background use it daily! Everyone deserves to look and feel their best, so what’s holding you back?
Unfortunately, since shapewear is so popular, you might run into some lower-quality garments that could jade your experience. But just because something is labeled as shapewear doesn’t mean that it’s going to get the job done for you. In fact, ill-fitting or poorly designed shapewear might make you look and feel worse!
First, let’s talk about why everyone can benefit from shapewear, and then we'll look at some of the common problems that are easily fixed.
The Benefits of Shapewear
A lot has changed in shapewear since the days of your grandmother’s girdles. Modern shapewear is designed for modern women in modern attire. In addition to making you look smoother and slimmer, there are a few other benefits you might not know about.
Reshaping your whole figure: If you’re less than satisfied with any of your natural curves, shapewear can effectively help you look more like an hourglass, no matter what your shape. Most garments are designed to slim the waistline and flatten your tummy. With a variety of styles you can also enhance your bust, lift your rear and minimize your hips and thighs. The key is choosing a garment with high compression for the most dramatic reshaping results.
Improving your posture: With a shaper that focuses on the midsection, like a waist trainer, not only will you be reducing your waistline, but you’ll find that you’re forced to sit and stand up straighter. This is better for your back, and you’ll naturally look more energized and confident.
Creating a smooth foundation: Clothes are designed to lay over a smooth surface like a mannequin, so it can be frustrating when your favorite top or dress doesn’t seem to fit quite right or draws attention to the wrong areas. Shapewear can fix trouble areas like muffin top, love handles and bra bulge instantly.
Providing motivation and confidence: When you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, shapewear can give you an instant body makeover, which in turn can provide you with the inspiration and motivation that can help you follow through with your goals. Plus, when you drop a dress size instantly, just by putting on the right garment, it’s hard not to feel great about yourself.
Opening up a world of style options: Think you can’t pull off skinny jeans or tight sweaters? Shapewear makes it possible to wear a variety of fashionable styles without having to worry about revealing any of your trouble spots.
When Shapewear Goes Wrong
It is possible to have a poor shapewear experience, which is why some women may turn away from it altogether, and possibly even warn their friends against it! Whether you’ve had a bad experience in the past or you know someone who has, rest assured that every shapewear problem has a solution. Our expert stylists have dealt with just about every issue and know how to get around it:
- Rolling up or down: Nothing can be more frustrating than having to constantly adjust your shapewear. The waist of the garment may roll down, or the legs or skirt may roll up. This is a sign that your garment either doesn’t fit well or is poorly designed. The solution is to make sure that you are wearing the right size and that your shaper is designed to stay firmly in place.
One feature to look for that will prevent rolling is silicone. For example, the Sleek Curves Shaping Slip has silicone in the hem that prevents the skirt from rolling up or shifting out of place. Another feature to look for that prevents rolling is high compression at the top or bottom. Quality waist-slimming garments often have either reinforcement around the midsection or a thick band that ensures the garment will stay in place. If you’re still having trouble keeping your garment up, try a waist minimizer with adjustable shoulder straps. It won't roll down!
To ensure that your shapewear fits properly, take accurate measurements of the bust, waist and hips. Follow your garment’s sizing chart precisely. Every piece of shapewear in Hourglass Angel’s store has been carefully curated and tested, and our sizing charts have been adjusted accordingly.
- Complexity of using the bathroom: Afraid you won’t be able to realistically get in and out of the ladies’ room when you’re wearing shapewear? Quality shapewear is designed with this need in mind.
For bodysuits and other high compression garments that might seem difficult to get over your hips quickly, there is a very simple solution. Panty-style garments like the Eva Extra Firm Bodysuit typically have an easy-access opening called a gusset that holds in place with a hook-and-eye closure.
- Visible lines: Understandably, if you’re wearing shapewear you probably don’t want the world to know what your secret is. When it comes to invisibility, you’ll find a lot of variation in your shapewear options.
One feature to look for that can help you avoid your shapewear poking through is anything that is “seamless.” Garments with this distinction are constructed so that their seams and closures are in inconspicuous places. These are ideal to wear underneath thin or otherwise revealing fabrics, although they may not offer as powerful compression as other garments.
The visible panty line can also be a concern, but the trick with shapewear is the same as any other undergarment; choose a thong back or a garment with leg openings that are lower on the thighs instead of right around the seat. Which style you choose depends on how much shaping you want for your hips and thighs.
Regardless of what type of shapewear you’re wearing, it’s always smart to try it on under the clothes you intend to wear it with before going out in public. Some shapewear works beautifully with some types of outfits and not as well with others. That’s why we recommend having a variety of shapewear that you can rotate through your wardrobe, to ensure that you’ll always have what you need.
- Bra bulge: No one likes to talk about this, but it can be a big problem! Women of all shapes and sizes can suffer from bra bulge around their bra strap, particularly in the back.
The first step to prevention is having the right bra. Make sure that you’re wearing one that fits you well now and that provides adequate support. We recommend measuring your size once a year or so, especially if your weight has fluctuated or if you’ve had a baby. What fit well last year might not work anymore. If you struggle with bra bulge, choose a bra style that uses a thick band.
When it comes to shapewear, you can further prevent bra bulge with styles that provide more back coverage. If you want to try waist training, consider a vest style that is designed to pair with your favorite bra and provides compression coverage for the upper back.
- Bunching up or slipping: Quality shapewear should stay in place all day. If yours is bunching up or slipping around, this may indicate that it doesn’t fit well, is poor quality or is wearing out.
A shapewear garment that fits correctly should firmly hug your figure without causing discomfort or pinching. You should be able to put on a garment without having to yank it, although it might take some wriggling as it will be tight. If your shapewear slips on a little too easily, chances are it is a bit loose. Again, it is vital that you take accurate measurements and following our sizing charts precisely.
Over time, shapewear does wear out, especially if you wear it frequently. Be sure to properly care for your shapewear so that it lasts as long as possible! You’ll know its time is up when it has noticeably lost its elasticity and effectiveness. You may also find that your shapewear doesn’t fit as well if your weight fluctuates, in which case it’s also time to get something new.
- Bent boning: Some shaping garments contain either plastic or steel boning: long, thin strips that help reinforce shape (similar to underwires in bras). It is possible for them to be bent, in which case your garment may be extremely uncomfortable.
Usually improper care and use is what causes this kind of warping. Remember to be very gentle with your shapewear! While it is designed to be strong when it comes to slimming power, it is not designed to withstand rough handling. When you are putting on your shapewear, always do it slowly and try to avoid hard yanks and pulls. Most garments are designed to be stepped into, rather than pulled over the head. If you can’t get your garment on without using force, it is probably too small or you are not handling it properly.
Again, it’s worth noting that you should always take proper care of your shaping garments and replace them after they have worn out.
Remember, you can eliminate several of the most common problems by choosing high-quality shapewear that fits well and by taking good care of it.