Several readers have asked me to share my thoughts on foundations and shapewear. Shapers may help you wear a smaller size garment but they’re really intended to smooth and slim us while helping to control our jiggly bits.
Thank goodness girdles are a thing of the past because they look like torture devices. I know my Mom wore them, but not very often. Lucky for us, things have come a long way and the new designs give us lots of options to choose from.
Shapewear needs to be firm enough to get the job done but is also needs to be comfortable enough to wear. The two are not always synonymous. Here are my tips for choosing your best shapewear.
WAIST AND THIGH SHAPERS
INVEST IN YOUR NUDE
Most lingerie is available in multiple shades of beige. Choose the tone closest to your own skin tone. Black always works under black garments but so does nude. These things aren’t cheap so if you invest in your nude, it won’t show under any color garment.
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SIZE
Never buy your shapewear based on the size on the label. Brands vary and these don’t fit the same way clothes do. Try on several brands and sizes to determine which one is snug enough to smooth but still allows ease of movement. It’s no fun to have trouble sitting because your shapewear is so tight it makes you miserable.
TUMMY AND HIP SHAPERS
BUY THE PROPER WEIGHT
Shapewear varies based on its control level but also consider your climate. Extra firm control frequently means double layers of fabric which could be torture in hot weather. Choose your shapewear fabric based on your climate as well as your need for control.
GIVE IT A WORKOUT
Be sure to test drive your shapewear. Does it roll down at the waist? Creep up your legs? Bind under your arms? The only way to know is to bend, sit, reach and stretch while testing it. If it binds a bit in the store, it will feel torturous long term.
FEEL FREE TO LAYER
It’s not uncommon to layer multiple foundations to achieve a smooth look. It doesn’t make sense to do this on a regular basis but works for special occasions. The secret here is to have no one garment too tight. An open-bust slip worn over a high waist boy short may be the perfect combination for the level of smoothness you need that slim fitting jersey dress.
BUY FOR THE RIGHT AREA
If wearing a full slip, be sure your bustline isn’t flattened along with your tummy and thighs. Be sure your boy short isn’t flattening your already slim behind. Shapewear is available for every area of concern and specialized to not work where you don’t want it.
BEWARE OF EDGES
Shapers tend to creep and roll so look for ones designed with interior silicon strips that grip your legs, waist or torso to help them stay put. Overly tight leg openings or waistbands can create new areas of concern if their edges are too tight. No one wants a new bulge at the edge of their shapewear so look for intelligent designs that offer seamless edges.
Remember, it’s not just how shapewear works on your problem area, it’s how comfortable it is to wear and if you will reach for it. Who among us doesn’t have a collection of shapewear that lives in our drawer because it feels miserable to wear?
Do you rely on shapewear? What’s your favorite brand?
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