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How to Use Shapewear and What to Expect From Wearing It

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Every woman likes to feel beautiful and confident in her own body, and fashion is a big part of that process. All women have different styles when it comes to clothing, but they all have one thing in common: the desire to look and feel good in any outfit. 

This is where shapewear comes in, a creation specifically designed to make your silhouette look smooth, without any weird bumps and lumps. On that note, here’s a brief guide on how you can properly use shapewear and what to expect from it.

The right size

If you’re thinking of purchasing and using shapewear, then you definitely need to pay attention to this part in particular. Sizing is very important when it comes to shapewear as the wrong size can ruin the whole look. Even though it’s quite tempting to opt for a smaller size to make you look more ‘fit and toned’, this is a huge misconception. Going down a size won’t make your shapewear work more exceptionally for you; rather, it’ll probably do the opposite by squeezing your body and producing more bulging, and it can make your breathing uncomfortable as well. As its name entails, shapewear is made for ‘shapeshifting’ your body, so getting the right size is what will make your body look great, not a size smaller or a size bigger. Measure your bust, waist, and hips carefully before buying shapewear and correlate your measurements to the sizes available. 

The right colour

Choosing the right colour might seem difficult at first, but it’s easy once you consider the outfits you plan on wearing when using the shapewear. If your wardrobe mostly consists of dark shades then shapewear in black and other bright colours might be the answer; if it’s the opposite, and you prefer your clothes to have a lighter shade, then white and nude coloured shapewear are your go-to colours. Moreover, with the call for diversity in the shapewear industry, more brands are creating a range of inclusive shades that can match any skin tone with many options fit for each type of woman.

No extra layers needed

Some women are confused about whether they should wear underwear and a bra underneath their shapewear, and the answer is no. The goal of shapewear is to create a seam-free, streamlined, and smooth silhouette under your outfit, and wearing something underneath will definitely lead to the opposite effect; your silhouette will definitely have some bumps, lumps, and rolls. Usually, shapewear such as bodysuits, shorts, and thigh shapers have a gusset, which can support you without any extra layers needed. If you do purchase shapewear that doesn’t have a gusset in its design such as skirts and camis, then it’s fine for you to wear undergarments; though it isn’t necessary.

Can be worn at any time

The great thing about shapewear is that you can wear it whenever you want; there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to make use of it. The biggest benefit of wearing any kind of shapewear is that it can make you feel more confident with your body and boost your self-esteem in any outfit, whenever, and wherever you are. However, you need to pay close attention to your body if you wear those undergarments daily. While shapewear makes you look great, it can irritate your skin and other parts of your body as it touches and chafes against your body more than any other fabric because of its material and tight fit. To avoid this, you should always wear it in moderation; don’t put too much pressure on yourself to look flawless, you’re beautiful the way you are.

The right type for the right outfit

There are many types of shapewear out there and all with their different uses. While they all have the same goal of making you and your outfits look great, you need to properly choose the type of shapewear that suits the outfit you have selected for the day. For example, the best type of shapewear for skinny jeans is a good control thong, while body-con and fitted dresses look better with a shaping slip is the best choice, and the list just goes on and on. This part of the process needs proper research on your part.


These are the most important factors you need to keep in mind when shopping for shapewear. While these undergarments are designed to give you a smoother figure, you should treat them like any other item of clothing. Start with the basics, then build up your shapewear wardrobe as you grow more comfortable with it and find new outfits you need it for.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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