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Tips on Buying Shapewear

by Sabah Karimi

Women modeling shapewear

Body-shaper garments such as bodysuits, thigh-length shapers, bustiers, shaper tops and compression garments are designed to trim away a few inches and help you achieve a smooth silhouette. Slips and shapewear are designed for all sizes and body shapes and can be worn discreetly under most types of clothing, including skirts, dresses and suits. These guidelines will help you select the right type of shapewear for your body and outfit.

Buying Shapewear:

  1. Identify a "problem" body part. Different types of shapewear garments are designed to target specific areas of the body. For example, thigh shapers are designed to lift the buttocks and thighs, while waist cinchers are designed specifically to smooth out the torso and help you achieve an hourglass figure. Decide which body part you want to correct when selecting and buying shapewear so you can achieve your ideal silhouette.

  2. Purchase full-body shapers based on bra size. Full-body shapers, also known as all-in-one shapewear garments, offer full coverage from the bust to the hips and are typically designed with a built-in bra. These body briefers are sized based on the bra size, so make sure you have been fitted and measured for your bra size before investing in a body shaper.

  3. Know your hip and waist measurements. Shapewear garments such as hip-support and tummy-support garments, thigh shapers and waist cinchers are sized based on your panty size. Your panty size is calculated based on your hip and waist measurements, so make sure you have been measured for the right panty size before investing in these shapewear pieces.

  4. Select light control to smooth and shape. Light-control shapewear garments provide about as much support as control-top pantyhose and are designed to lightly support and lift your body without binding or pinching. These shapers are most appropriate for wearing under clothing that is made with very thin or delicate fabrics.

  5. Choose moderate or firm control to correct flaws. If you want extra smoothness and support when wearing formal clothing, shapewear garments with moderate to firm control will help to minimize problem areas while lifting and holding your body in position. Waist cinchers, full-body shapers, body briefers and compression garments that have moderate or firm support levels may be designed with built-in control panels and can be worn for the entire day.

  6. Make sure shapewear fits correctly. Since shapewear garments are designed to cinch certain body parts and fit smoothly over your skin, it's important that the shapewear you select is the right size and will not make you feel uncomfortable. Make sure all seams and panels are straight in the bustier or bodysuit you purchase.

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