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How to look hot without trying: Best shapewear for women

Updated on December 30, 2013

Shapewear for women


Finding quality shapewear products: what to look for

When dressing for style, half the battle is mastering the right fit. But often, no matter how stylish your new button up shirt is, it will always look ill-fitting if you don't have a perfectly proportioned body: the buttons will gape and the pockets will pull. And guess what? The muffin top that you've been trying to eliminate for years will be there and that's probably not the look you're going for. Shapewear, if carefully chosen, can help slim down your figure significantly. It smooths out the middle and eliminates "back fat". You can pair shapewear with a cocktail dress, a tight fitting shirt, a pair of jeans or even work clothes.

You don't need to be severely uncomfortable in order for shapewear to work for you. And tighter all around is not always better. Modern shapewear targets certain areas that may need slimming: tummy, thighs, butt and multiple areas. It's best to check shapewear reviews to get a better idea of what products are quality and what products are not.


Get the right fit

Although online shopping is great and convient, sometimes it's best to go to a store to try on different brands and styles of shapewear to see what's right for you.

Make sure you take your hip and waist measurement and jot those numbers down, whether you're buying a shapewear product in store or online. Going down a size in shapewear won't do you any favours. Sometimes, a too-tight shapewear piece will make you look even bigger because it shows bulges. If the shapewear garment is too small for your frame, this may lead to health problems. Neurologist Orly Avitzur, MD, medical advisor for Consumer Reports states, "any time we put on really tight garments we take the risk of compressing organs or nerves."

Many women complain that the shapewear they use rolls up on itself, so it's important to find the right material with the right structure (plastic boning is one way to provide structure).

Body shapers for women: which one is right for you?


Shapewear styles: which is right for me?

Depending on what style of clothing you plan to wear, (a dress, work clothes, tight fitting t-shirt ect), the type of shapewear you use will change. It's important to know the different styles of shapewear so you know what you're getting into and so you can choose the best shapewear for you.

Sometimes shapewear for women is used in medical circumstances. After having a baby, compression can help the organs to go back to where they were before. Compression through a waist cincher can be used for those who need structural support for their abs and back.

As I mention earlier, shapewear is made of various fabrics: cotton, latex, rubber, spandex, just to name a few. Something consumers might want to consider in addition to finding shapewear with the best results, is finding shapewear that is comfortable too. Try to find products with cooling fabrics and look for these features:

  • Moisture wicking
  • Heat storage
  • Lightweight styles
  • Minimal coverage

You should be asking yourself, do I need a product to just smooth over the lumps or do I want a product that holds everything in and makes me have a smaller frame, with no lumps or bumps? Typically, you'll find more structure and support with clasps and boning. Luckily some of the best shapewear products offer both of these features.

Body shapers for women: many styles

Style of shapewear
What to wear
Waist Cincher: strapless
Strapless shapewear made of cotton, latex and rubber. If product is used properly, waist size can be reduced 1 to 4 inches. Look for flexible boning (so the garment doesn't fold or roll over itself).
Sleeveless tops or sleeveless dresses, t-shirts, blouses or tank tops.
Waist Cincher: straps
Fits around waist and has straps that are connected and adjustable. Some waist cinchers come in a vest-style piece, ensuring that body fat is smooth all the way up to the bra line. The vest-style shapewear smooths the abdomen area and lifts the breasts.
Great for work clothing, jeans, dresses with sleeves, tapered tops and low-cut tops
Control panties
Made of mostly nylon and spandex, eliminates muffin tops and back rolls, sculps tummies, waists and hips. Fabric is usually non-slip, so it should stay up without rolling.
Work clothes: pants and tighter, fitting tops, formal wear and summer dresses
Thigh slimmers
Made of synthetic material (nylon, lycra, spandex ect). This shapewear piece has a high waist and it fits over your legs (like tight fitting shorts, but with a high waist),
Tight dresses, formal tops and t-shirts
Looks similar to a one-piece swim suit, you have the option of buying a bodysuit with straps/strapless/briefs style/shorts style, the suit gives structure and support under the breasts, works on smoothing out multiple areas of the body (stomach, breasts, thighs, hips)
Good for sun dresses, strapless dresses
Control slips
Shapes your torso, hips and backside, built in bra and many styles have multiple strap options
Skirts, dresses
Fits like a tight fitting camisole or tank top, more eye catching than the latex cinchers
Great for layering, v-neck shirts or dresses

Top rated shapewear and shapewear reviews on Amazon

The Squeem Waist Cincher got the overall best reviews. A lot of users mentioned the product helped with their back/posture. Women who use the Squeem waist cincher loved the plasic boning for structural support and they loved the added support of the front clasps.


Flexees got great reviews for being high quality products with great, structural fabric. Users preferred the boyshort style because they didn't pinch as much as the briefs and it left no panty lines. The Flexees have rubber grips at the top, so the product doesn't roll down. The Boyshorts are especially comfortable too.

Spanx Power Panties

The Spanx name has been around since the beginning of modern shapewear. You get the added bonus of having a removable panel at the bottom, so you can use the toilet. A lot of women complained that the panel flap was too small though. The material is not constricting and the Spanx are very comfortable, as long as you get the right size for your body.


Bali Body Briefer

The Bali Body Briefer has a proper fit and it lifts. It's also very comfortable and made of elegant fabric (lace!). This product can be worn comfortably all day. Honestly, I only found one bad review on this one, people seemed to love this product

What's your favourite shapewear style?

See results

© 2013 healthygurl


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    • girdledhubby profile image


      4 years ago

      Seems a bit funny to me. An article called "shapewear for women" and the comments come all from men?

      And as it looks from guys who know a lot about shapewear or girdles and who do wear shapewear themselves. Do women have not interest in shapewear anylonger?

      My opinion is whether woman or man, both can profit from wearing shapewear. But if someone decides for shapewear there are some issues to be taken into consideration.

      It doesn´t make sense to wear shapewear once in a while or for special occasions. Some women wear shapewear only for a special occasion or with a special dress. The result will be that they perceive it as uncomfortable or constricting.

      When you try shapewear for the first time you will need some time - a few days or up to 2 weeks - to get used to it. After a few days you will still be aware of your shapewear but you will get a feeling for its support. You will begin to feel well wearing it.

      Do not buy shapewear from a catalog or via internet. Shapewear needs to fit. With the help of a professional saleslady you will get the right girdle for you and your body. Getting fitted is essentiel to make yourself familiar with this kind of garment.

      Just my 3 cents. I have been wearing girdles for almost 30 years now. I´m girdled every day and can hardly imagine to without one.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice article. Lot of information. Although Spanx is very stylish at the moment, from my perspective as a longtime girdlewearer Spanx can not compared with a classic or vintage girdle. A hwpg or obg is comfortable to wear after a short period you need to get accustomed to it. Try it and stick to it. Girdle wearing has a lot of benefits, physically as well as psychologically. I think I am not the only one who is girdle dependent. Wouldn´t go without a proper girdle anymore. I highly recommend to try a girdle. But don´t just buy something. Go to a good shop, get measured and fitted. You will wear a girdle for the rest of your life.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks so much.....this was very helpful information for a male who has just started wearing shapewear. I've tried the Spanx Higher Power panties and they are terrific.


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