Girdles for Women: Tips on Choosing the Best Compression Underwear
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
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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 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.
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
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 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.
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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