Girdles for Women: Tips on Choosing the Best Compression Underwear

Mid thigh shapers are a must have for shapewear.
Mid thigh shapers are a must have for shapewear.

My how girdles for women have changed in recent years... Read on to discover the best brands and types of girdles, sometimes called shapewear or compression underwear.

Okay, ladies… let’s face it, we all have problem areas on our bodies that we’re just never satisfied with, right? Things tend to get dislodged and travel in unwanted directions as we get older. Bulges need taming, sagging needs rearranging, and our assets just need to be placed back into their God-given positions. Well, I’m here to tell you a little assistance is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! I am a full-fledged advocate of shapewear for women, also called compression garments, body shapers, and girdles for women. I’m telling you now, I’ve scoured the stores, both online and brick and mortar and am ready to share with you the tricks to getting the best shapewear. For my specific shapewear recommendations, read Best Shapewear: Top Picks for Shapewear for Women, Body Shapers for Women

Body Shapers for Women: The New Girdles for Women: Common Problems

Let me say, I have excitedly purchased an embarrassing amount of girdles for women, with a lot of disappointment. No doubt about it, modern shapewear has come a loooong way since the old, vintage girdles for women. I still remember watching my grandmother get her daily workout trying to slither her way into her girdle and corset. She then had to strap the whole ensemble together with snaps sticking out all over the place.

I first discovered the wonderful world of compression underwear quite a few years ago, postpartum just after the birth of my twins. My stomach was enormous, so much so it was difficult to ascertain which side of me was the front or the back. Down in the dumps, I ended up in Nordstrom of all places, looking at all the cute jeans I used to be able to fit into. It was then I came across the girdles for women section and found myself mesmerized by the idea, hopeful the best shape wear on the market would solve my abdominal bulge. I knew absolutely nothing about body shapers, so I was shopping completely blind.

I tried on a hi-waist, long leg brief Wacoal body shaper, liked the way it fit and thought the price was reasonable, so off I went. Within a half hour of the first time wearing it, the top of the brief had rolled down into a snake-like shape below my stomach and the bottoms of both legs had rolled up. Basically, I was left with a tight pair of underwear with rope-like bulges, completely defeating the purpose of the body “shaper”. Then, I tried to go to the bathroom… Good grief, taking these on and off was a colossal battle, one not to be won in a small, public bathroom stall.

I could see, however, I was on to something if only I did a little research and could find the qualities that make for the best shapewear.

Best Shapewear/Compression Underwear: Tips, Types and What to Look For

“Scuba Suit” or Mid Thigh Shapers

These girdles for women are great for slimming and smoothing out the abdomen, hips, buttocks, love handles and thighs.

Look for ones with a gusset, or opening to make going to the bathroom easier. This option tends to go along with the more expensive brands, however. Word of warning, some of the holes are pretty darn small!

Compression underwear
made of thick material can make your derriere look, well, flat to practically non-existent.

The thicker the material, the more tendency these have to “roll” up and down.

You want these to have a snug fit, but too tight and you will increase the chances of the ever-dreaded roll. So, proper sizing is of utmost importance.

If you have a short torso, beware of the super high waist shapers. They may be too long for you.

Boy shorts body shapers for women
Boy shorts body shapers for women

Boy Shorts Slimmers: Modern Girdles for Women

Boy shorts are like mid thigh shapers except they stop at the upper thigh. If you’re only worried about your love handles and buttocks, these will do the trick. These girdles for women aren't as effective at eliminating the muffin top, however. They have their place for women who don’t have a lot to iron out, or for women who feel claustrophobic and tormented by regular shapewear.

You can wear your own bra with some shapewear for women
You can wear your own bra with some shapewear for women

Girdles for Women: One Piece Body Suits/Onesies

If you are large breasted, get the kind of body suit where you wear your own bra. Personally, I’ve never found a body suit with a built-in bra that provides enough support for my larger than average “girls”. If you opt for a onesie with a built-in bra, make sure it has adjustable shoulder straps. If not, you might as well just put on your one piece bathing suit, you’ll get about the same results! In other words, don’t forget you’re also buying a bra with this design, look for all the characteristics you require when bra shopping. In my book, adjustable straps are crucial for a custom fit.

Beware if you’re tall! If you’re above 5’8”, getting a body suit that’s long enough is tricky. Even if you have a particularly long torso, you could be in for some pretty unpleasant shoulder digging and chaffing, like you’ve spent a day carrying around a backpack.

Spandex stretches is all four directions. So, bear in mind if your bodysuit is stretching ¾ of its capacity in width, you’re only going to have ¼ left to stretch in length. So, when in doubt, always buy a size larger. Look for material that has at least 10% Spandex for maximum comfort.

Topselling Spanx and Vedette Shapewear for Women on Amazon

Some body shapers for women can even be attractive and add to your style.
Some body shapers for women can even be attractive and add to your style.

Camisoles/Camis/Shapewear Bras

If one of your primary concerns is back fat, then a camisole shapewear bra is an excellent choice. They’re great for evening dresses or form-fitting blouses since they get rid of bra bulging, make everything look smooth as well as make your tummy appear a little flatter. They can either be tucked into the pants your wearing, or not. Some even have fancy trim that’s meant to be visible under shirts, giving you an elegant layered look. Again, when choosing a camisole shapewear bra, bear in mind again, you are purchasing a bra. Some even have molded underwire and can work as effective minimizer bras if you’re large breasted.

The camisole isn’t immune to riding up, as other shapewear likes to do. Again, getting the correct size will help avert this problem. My solution is to make sure my camis are long enough to tuck into my pants.

Word of warning: camis are not the most effective at tummy slimming. You’re better off with a onesie or a scuba suit if that’s your primary problem area.

Girdles for women have come a long way, huh?
Girdles for women have come a long way, huh?

Girdles for Women Full and Half Slimmer Slips

These are definitely not the slips or girdles for women of yesteryear functioning only to avoid static cling and transparency. A full slip basically looks like a dress, it can be strapless, have spaghetti straps or regular straps. A half slip just looks like a skirt and helps hold in the hips and thighs

Opt for a high waisted version if you’re worried about stomach fat.

The most troublesome side to these slips is you feel like a tightly wrapped mummy without the use of your legs. You MUST find one with lycra along with the spandex to combat this walking disability. If you still feel confined, I recommend just sticking with the mid thigh shapers, the more traditional girdles for women.

Slimming thong
Slimming thong

Slimmer Thongs

Here's a great example of how girdles for women has evolved, huh?  If you enjoy wearing low rise jeans or pants, slimmer thongs are a great choice. They look like the regular thong on the bottom, but have a control top, compression panel for slimming purposes. Personally, I’m not a fan of thongs, but I know they’re a staple in many women’s undergarment collection.

If you have your own favorite girdles for women, let me know in the comment box below!

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Comments 6 comments

EverSoSweetMe 4 months ago

I am an extremely indulgent, hopelessly incessant crossdresser and the Sp**x Super Higher Power Shaper Panty is absolutely magical at temporarily making the entire nasty bikini-zone boy thing disappear so effectively that it renders me perfectly flat in front even in the tightest of skirts. Also, I have very good reason to believe that my dedicated daily wearing of the shaper underneath my boy clothes for the past six months has initiated hopefully permanent shrinkage as well as retraction to up and inside my lower abdomen. Thank you, thank you and thank you Sara Blakely! I own several Sp**x foundation garments and they have done wonders for my greatest passion in life, the art of self-feminization!

Gilliane Moxham profile image

Gilliane Moxham 16 months ago from Kilkenny, Ireland

Nothing like a real girdle, the open bottom girdle with suspenders for stockings. That's what I love a woman to wear. Sexiest things ever.

toms0321 5 years ago

I have a mild case of scolosis - I decided after some research that the solution would be to be fitted in a girdle. I located a professional corsetier to help fit me and give me some consulting. She explained that part of the consulting was to find out about my personal life style - I am very active but I do a fair amount of sitting. The scolosis effects my posture - so she put me in a long legged very high waisted boned and zippered panty girdle. She had to also work with me on how to properly put on a girdle, laying down on a bed leaning back which pulled my belly towards my chest then pull up the girdle hooking up the hooks and eyes and pulling up the zipper. She had me stand up I was amazed as to positive results of the support my stomach and back were getting. The corsetier also had to work with me to make sure I relaxed my stomach muscles. She explained it does take a few days to a few weeks to become completely use to daily being girdled. I am completely amazed how great now I feel, I wake up clean up and put on a girdle in my daily routine and I found I now have dramatic increase in energy and confidence. What I have learned that wearing a girdle daily was a "Womans' Best Kept Secret". I sure wish I would have known this secret. I also found to my surprise that not just wearing a girdle is great, but also panty hose over the girdle gives my much more additional support.

NOTE TO KAYBEE01 my advise like me is locate a professional corsetier who can help you - I happen to have some names of very knowledable corsetiers if you email me at - I am sure they will be able to help you.

lingerielover 5 years ago

From my experience a good fitting high waisted longleg girdle is the best choice. I love the feeling and the support the girdle gives me.

Another choice is the classical open bottom girdle. Worn with stockings nothing comes close.

KayBee01 5 years ago

Still looking for best compression underwear for excess fat in lower abdomen due to many surgeries. Its like having a shelf of fat from hip to hip even though I'm not overweight. Any help appreciated.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Hmmm... I like the Boy Shorts Slimmers, they look so sexy! Are you supposed to wear that inside a pants, or you can wear it for sports ? Have you got the price for it ?

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