Shapewear is the stunning secret behind most celebrity’s svelte silhouettes. While this foundation garment has been around for centuries, it only came to the limelight recently. A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba, and Kim K swear by it.
Not that we do things because celebrities do them, but let’s face it, their graceful elegance on the red carpet kind of makes one want to look just as good.
Now that the secret is out of the bag, many of us are out here trying to figure out if shapewear really works, which shapewear is best for us, how to wear them, and so on and so forth. That’s why we came up with this guide.
In this guide, we go over a list of the best shapewear, their benefits, and a guide on how to choose the best one for you.
Best Shapewear 2020
Best Waist Trainer Shapewear
Best Underwear Shapewear
Best Bodysuit Shapewear
Best Leggings Shapewear
Best Full-Body Shapewear
Best Arm Sleeves Shapewear
#1 DILANNI Women's Latex Waist Trainer
Best Waist Trainer
Best Waist Trainer
This waist trainer has a three-layer fabric that guarantees maximum support and comfort throughout the day. The inner layer is made of soft and cozy cotton material for comfort.
While the outer Nylon and spandex layer gives the waist trainer its stretchy and long-lasting quality. The three layers work together to increase thermal activity in your midsection
The 9 spiral steel boned design makes sure you maintain great posture at all times. The steel bones are as soft and flexible as plastic. This makes it easy to bend in this garment. Great quality for a postpartum or yoga waist trainer.
The 3 hook and eye closures allow for easy adjustment. You can easily adjust this trainer to the desired level of compression to achieve an instant hourglass figure.
It’s also great for long torsos and comfortably fits bigger waists.
With all these wonderful features, we found this to be the best trainer we tried. Apart from the benefits mentioned above, remember this waist trainer:
1- Offers proper posture while standing and sitting
2- Reduces your appetite at mealtimes
3- Shapes your waist into a more classic hourglass shape
4- Stimulates heat in your core, which makes you perspire more around your midsection
- Upgraded 3 layers’ fabric
- 9 Spiral steel boned
- 3 Hook and Eye Closure
#2 ROBERT MATTHEW Women’s Shapewear
Best Underwear Shapewear
Best Underwear Shapewear
These short high waist panties create an instant slim look. They are quite affordable and invisible under clothes. They are the best underwear shapewear we found.
The spandex and nylon layer that is 0.7″ high and 14″ wide works to tighten your midsection and slim the thighs.
Robert Mathew’s underwear shapewear features a seamless finish that creates a smooth silhouette. It can be worn under anything and is both comfortable and versatile.
And if you’re not very happy with it, you can return it for a full refund or exchange.
- high waist shorts panties
- 0.7″ high and 14″ wide
- Spandex / Nylon material
#3Maidenform Flexees Women's Shapewear
Best Bodysuit Shapewear
Best Bodysuit Shapewear
This is the best bodysuit shapewear we tried. For both practical and fashion reasons, it stays tucked in and offers a seamless look.
It is made with nylon and elastane which are long-lasting materials. The garment also features a soft inner lining that makes it easy to wear under anything. This material is also hand-washable for easy cleaning.
Maidenform’s shapewear has a hook and eye closure for easy adjustment. With it, you can start from the loosest fit and adjust your way up as your body adjusts to wearing shapewear.
The built-in bra with a slightly padded underwire provides extra coverage and gives your bust extra support. The bodysuit also comes with adjustable straps. This helps to keep the garment in place and offer the level of support needed.
- Full Coverage lining
- Built-in bra
- Adjustable straps
- Hook and eye gusset
#4 BALEAF Women's Fleece Lined Leggings
Best Leggings Shapewear
Best Leggings Shapewear
This is the best leg shaper we saw. It provides
- Good posture support,
- Increased heat for better workouts,
- Complements a weight loss program,
- Helps hide cellulite,
Baleaf leggings are fleece-lined, great for keeping warm in the cold temperatures.
The fabric is also moisture-wicking so you don’t have to worry about it trapping heat in pools of sweat.
The high waistband on these leggings provides great tummy control. The leggings tuck in everything and keep you slim.
The gusset crotch on these leggings helps ease movements. The interlocking seams prevent chafing.
These leggings are great for the outdoors and an active lifestyle.
You can go skiing, running, hiking and more.
- Fleece lining
- Available in different colors
- 13% Spandex / 87% Polyester
#5 CYSM COLOMBIA Women’s Full Body Shaper
Best Full-Body Shaper
Best Full-Body Shaper
This is the best full-body shaper we found. It helps trim your arms, midsection, thighs, and legs all at once, giving you flawless figure contouring.
It not only creates a smooth slimmer figure; but also provides full-body support. By enhancing the bust, lifting glutes, and taking inches off your waist.
The garment is made from antibacterial fabric and is great for use after surgery to help improve posture.
It’s smooth and seamless finish ensures it’s invisible under your clothes. You can incorporate it into your work out for maximum results. It increases heat for better workouts.
- Antibacterial shapewear
- Detachable chest strap
- flattened front zipper
- Invisible under clothing
#6 Joyshaper Arm Shapers for Women 
Best Arm Shaper
Best Arm Shaper
For arm compression, bust-boosting, and upper torso contouring, try Joyshaper’s arm shaper. This is the best arm shaper we found. It gives you a slim figure by providing strong compression on your arms and back. This helps control your upper arm flab.
This arm shaper features a front U-type design that helps correct posture and slim the upper arm slab. It has a strong elastic fabric that provides excellent support.
The hook and eye closure enable you to adjust it to the desired fit and for customized support.
The fabric is 90% Polyester/10% Polyurethane, which is long-lasting, breathable, and lightweight for everyday use.
- Front U-Type Design
- Hook-and-Eye Closure
- 90% Polyester/10% Polyurethan
Shapewear Buying Guide
Questions To Ask When Shopping For Shapewear?
In order to choose the correct shapewear, you need to ask yourself several questions.
Questions such as what you need the shapewear for, the body part you want to work on, materials, and the quality of the product will help you pick the right shapewear for your needs.
In this section, we look at these questions in detail and list out important factors to consider when choosing shapewear.
1- What Do You Need The Shapewear For?
Shapewear helps slim unwanted bulges and create a smooth silhouette under our garments.
They help us step out of the house with confidence. When looking for shapewear it’s important to first figure out what you need it for, and the length of time you think you will be wearing it.
For example, you might need shapewear during the post-natal period, for a special occasion, or daily use. In this section, we outline what to look for in shapewear for different uses.
Shapewear varies with the level of compression. Of course the more the compression, the greater the results. However, the more the compression, the more uncomfortable one gets.
Therefore, you need low to medium control if you are looking for shapewear to wear daily. Light control shapewear will smooth out trouble spots while being comfortable to wear. These are the perfect types of shapewear for everyday use.
Shaping briefs help slim the tummy and waist region, most are made out of light and breathable material that is comfortable to wear all day. Camisoles are also great everyday body shapers as well as waist cinchers.
Want to look stunning for that special occasion? Go for firm control shapewear. This type can take out an inch or so off the targeted area, to create a slimming effect or accentuate your curves.
Most special occasions demand structured dresses like wedding gowns, prom or evening gowns. To create an amazing figure, go for a firm to extra firm shapewear. This will help tuck everything in and help you look toned.
But please be advised that you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable, like having trouble breathing, regardless of the level of control your garment is offering. If you feel like an overstuffed sausage, consider taking a size or so higher.
Full slips and bodysuits are great shapewear for special occasions.
Shapewear is common with pregnancy especially after giving birth. Provided you seek medical advice, go for shapewear that will work on the problem areas, while still offering support.
Girdles, high-waist boy shorts, and camisoles have always been great pregnancy shapewear.
2- Which Part Of Your Body You Want To Work On?
We are all built differently and that’s what brings beauty to the world. With shapewear, one size doesn’t always fit all.
In fact, experts advise that you should create a shapewear wardrobe because they all serve different purposes. Consider the part of the body you want to work on before choosing shapewear.
Shaping briefs are the most common shapewear. You can choose briefs, thong, or boy short style. This garment rises to the tummy area or higher, reaching the bra line.
It’s built with compression fabric to help smooth out lumps and bumps in the mid-section. Some come with clips that help you can hook them on to the bra to avoid rolling down.
This is similar to shaping briefs. They extend up to the bra line and offer high coverage.
The extra control in the tummy, rib cage, and thigh area helps smooth out any bumps and lumps. Shaping shorts can also help accentuate the butt by lifting them up and offer relief from chafing.
If you dislike thongs but still need a way to avoid VPL, then boy shorts are a great alternative, especially when wearing formfitting dresses.
Shaping bodysuits offer an all-over smoothing effect. This shapewear covers the front and back of the torso, offering full control of the upper body.
Some feature inbuilt bra cups while some are open busted. Choose bodysuits that have inbuilt bras if you are looking for an all in one undergarment to wear under your clothes.
Open busted bodysuits allow you to wear them with your bra of choice, to accentuate your bust area.
Shaping slips are formfitting control dresses worn underneath clothes. They provide an all-over smoothing effect. They are quite similar to boy shorts in their full-body control function. Though they are much more preferred for the ease of going to the bathroom.
Half-slips are small formfitting shaping skirts that you can wear under your skirt.
They help shape the waist, buttocks, hip, and upper thigh area. They are great for wearing with skirts and if you prefer to wear your own bra at the top.
If you are only interested in shaping the upper body, then camisoles are the way to go.
These tank tops help control the bust, tummy and waistline area.
They are supportive enough to wear without a bra, and when you do wear a bra with them, they help hide bra lines.
These are waist-cinching belts that stretch from the bust line to the lower abdomen and hip bone. They help make your mid-section look slimmer and toned.
They can come with suspenders or without. Suspenders help keep them from rolling. Girdles are very common with pregnancy because they also offer back support.
Waist trainers and cinchers:
These are high compression garments that stretch from the bust line to the lower abdomen.
Waist trainers create a defined waist by taking inches off one’s waist instantly. A corset is the best waist trainer for long term results, but it’s more of a training garment than shapewear.
3- What Goes Best With Your Body Type And Size?
We women come in different beautiful shapes and sizes. It’s important for us to know our body shape, so as to choose the right clothing for us. Our shape determines what shapewear works best for us.
Besides, we need to ensure that the foundation garment we end up choosing, sits and fits on the frame it’s intended for.
This body shape features beautiful narrow shoulders, a large bust, a full midsection, and a flat bottom.
To create harmony this body shape needs to create a more defined waistline. Waist cinchers, shaping briefs, shorts and slips help create a more defined midsection.
Pear shapes feature small upper body with narrow shoulders, small bust, a defined waist, and full hips and thighs. When dressing any body shape, we aim to create harmony for a more balanced look.
The recommended shapewear for this body type is shaping slips (go for something that is open busted) and high waist shaping shorts. This helps smooths the lower half of the body.
Hourglass body shapes are considered the most balanced of all body shapes. It doesn’t mean they are better, it’s just that they are easier to dress. Hourglass figures have a balanced hip to shoulder ratio with a small waist. The recommended shapewear for this body type should achieve full-body control. Bodysuits, slips, and shaping shorts work well for this type of body.
Most models have this type of body, that’s a plus as you can play around with several clothing options. The rectangle body shape features a small bust, straight torso, slim hips, and long legs.
With this body shape, the upper body is usually in line with the lower body region. The recommended shapewear for this body shape is waist cinchers and butt enhancers.
Strawberries have a shapely top with broad shoulders, full bust, narrow waist, and a flat bottom.
Their upper half is usually larger than the hips. To create harmony, this body type needs to create a more defined waist and soften the shoulders a bit.
Recommended shapewear includes high waist shaping briefs, waist shapers, and bottom enhancers.
4- What Materials Are You Most Comfortable With?
The fabric used to make the shapewear plays a huge role in the comfort, quality, and benefit of the garment.
The most common materials used to make shapewear are synthetic fabrics such as nylon, lycra, and spandex.
These materials are soft and great at creating a smoothing effect over your figure. However, they do tend to trap heat quite a lot.
To help with this, some manufacturers line shapewear with cotton or make cotton shapewear. Cotton helps absorb moisture and keeps cool in warm weather.
Some shapers such as waist shapers will mostly feature latex. Latex is a strong material that offers the best compression. However, it traps heat just like nylon and spandex. Additionally, some people are allergic to latex.
One important thing you ought to note when buying a waist trainer is the type of clothes you will wear with itz Note that cotton clings to hosiery material.
You, therefore, need to purchase a shaper that has a smooth finish. If you are wearing silky fabrics, you need a shaper that has a silky finish to ensure a smooth look.
5- What Do Other People Think Of This Product?
The best way to tell if what is advertised is true is by reading the reviews of previous customers.
Shapewear is rather sensitive garments, in fact, they are considered as underwear and are hard to return. This is why you want to ensure that you are buying a quality product.
You can always trust a company by what its customers say. Positive reviews mean that you can trust the shapewear will work. Alternatively, you can find friends who use shapewear and ask them for an honest opinion.
6- What Are The Return Policy & Shipping Fees
Your first shapewear is best bought at a physical store. This helps you test that it’s the right size, and that you are comfortable in it.
However, the best shapewear stores are online. This means you can’t test the product before buying it, that’s why you are recommended to choose brands that allow free returns.
Most shapewear manufacturers charge shipping fee and in most instances shipping fees are nonrefundable.
Check to note whether you will be bearing the cost of the return. While some brands have generously given you a 30-day return period, they do deduct return shipping fees and or restocking fees.
You want to look for brands that offer free returns with minimal fees to truly test out your shapewear risk-free. However, remember to check the conditions necessary for a product to be accepted as a return.
Pro Tip: Always use the manufacturing company’s size chart to get the right-sized garments. If you are unsure, ask customer service or sizing experts at the company. You can also purchase two different sizes and return the one that won’t fit well.
How To Properly Use A Shapewear?
From buying shapewear to putting them on, there are right and wrong ways to use these garments. In this section, we discuss the proper ways to use shapewear.
Get the right size
A common misconception with shapewear is that the smaller the size the better the results. This is not true.
Shapewear is already made out of compression fabrics to make sure it snugs the body in the right places. Going a size smaller will squeeze your body too much and probably create a very uncomfortable situation.
If you don’t like wearing shapewear because it’s uncomfortable, then you are probably never going to wear it.
You can ensure you get the right size shapewear by checking the sizing chart offered by the company you are buying yours from.
As mentioned before, do ask if you are in doubt. Besides, wearing ill-fitting shapewear will actually make you look worse, it will create the bulges you are trying to get rid of.
Choose the right control levels
Shapewear comes with different compression levels. These levels help you customize the look you want. You can smooth, shape or sculpt using the three different control l levels. These levels are:
- Light Control
- Medium Control
- Firm Control
Light control is used to smooth your shape. It’s a comfortable compression level for long hours, therefore great for daily use shapewear.
Medium control helps shape the targeted area. It offers a bit more compression but it’s also more comfortable than a firm control. You can use this level of control for tough problem areas.
Firm control offers the highest compression, shapewear in this category is best for special occasions such as a wedding or red carpet event.
Consider the colors
You might be tempted to fill your wardrobe with that chic burgundy or polka dot shapewear, but let’s be real how well will it mesh with your everyday wear?
When choosing shapewear, you need to consider the colors of the clothes you normally wear and your complexion.
The best practice here is to pick shapewear that closely resembles your complexion, for daily use. You can also get dark-colored shapewear to wear with darker outerwear.
If you want your shapewear to last, then you need to clean them properly.
Remember these garments need just as much washing as your normal underwear. When wearing shapewear, we tend to sweat a lot, so you want to keep them clean and fresh.
Because most shapewear is made from delicate fabrics, always ensure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most shapewear needs to be hand washed and laid out to dry. Do not throw shapewear in the dryer, twist or wring them when washing, this will ruin your garment.
Putting on your shapewear correctly
Waist trainer and cinchers
These garments can be very hard to get into. Wrap your waist trainer around your torso just underneath the bust line.
Then fasten the closure from the bottom to the top, ensuring you pull down the garment as you go.
Most waist shapers have several columns of closures, go with the fit you feel most comfortable in, then inch upwards as time goes by.
Bodysuits: Step into an undone bodysuit. If it has high coverage, then pull the material one leg at a time (you may want to sit down for this).
Adjust the buttocks to ensure they fit into their designated area (for bodysuits that feature cut out butt area).
While standing, pull the rest of the garment up and do any clasps, zippers or straps. Make sure to squat a bit with this garment on to ensure it sits in the right places and covers the body evenly.
Slips: When it comes to slips, you need to step into them just as with a bodysuit. Wearing slips over the head and pulling them down, will only get you stuck. Once you have stepped into the slip, shimmy it up to the intended position.
Pro tip: Don’t try wearing shapewear before you are completely dry. You will have a difficult time pulling up the fabric and it will scrunch in places.
Benefits of Shapewear?
Apart from looking slimmer and better toned instantly, shapewear has a ton of other helpful benefits. Every piece of shapewear we wear has its use and benefit. In this section, we go over the benefits of different types of shapewear as well as the general benefits of this garment.
As mentioned before, bodysuits help with all-over control. They help control the back, tummy, rib cage, waist, and thigh areas.
They are great for wearing under dresses, with pants, and jeans. To avoid visible knicker lines, you can go for boy-short bodysuits.
Since slips were introduced to the market, they have become very popular with many women. One of the troubles presented by bodysuits above is going to the bathroom.
Slips offer similar full-body control including lifting the behind and still make it possible to go to the washrooms without needing extra help. Slips create amazing silhouettes when worn under form-fitting or flowy dresses.
This traditional shapewear has remained popular to date. They help smooth the waist and lower abdomen region, tucking in unsightly muffin tops and also help lift our behinds for a more stunning look.
Shaping briefs are also some of the most comfortable shapewear to wear. Wearing one made of light and breathable material is ideal.
Just like shaping briefs, camisoles have remained popular over the years. These tank tops with their spaghetti straps are easy to wear under any garment.
Some can be worn without anything on top. They help create a slim top body, providing full control in the back and front areas. Camisoles slim the waist while smoothing down back fat and hiding bra lines.
Waist trainers and corsets help slim down the waist area. A defined waist always makes us look good. Besides, this garment can aid in our weight loss journey by intensifying workouts and helping us watch the portions we eat.
They are also great for posture support as they support the back and lower abdominal muscles. This helps us sit and stand up straighter.
Boost Confidence :
Every figure is beautiful, but being able to fit into any kind of clothes gives one a great boost of self-esteem.
Shapewear helps hide our trouble areas whilst highlighting the rest. This automatically increases our confidence.
These garments also help accentuate our curves, making us love how we look.
The constant hugging effect produced by a body shaper similar to that of a weighted blanket helps release happiness hormones, making us feel calm and secure.
Seeing how good we look in a dress that we never thought we could wear, changes our attitudes towards weight loss and living healthier lives.
Midsection shapewear offers spinal support that helps us sit and stand up straighter. Standing straight helps us appear more confident.
Besides, supportive shapewear can help reduce back pain, by relieving spinal strain and correcting our posture.
Over time, regular use of body shapers subconsciously trains us to stand more upright.
Instantly lose inches:
Shapewear instantly take inches off our bodies. When wearing this special garment, you almost immediately notice looking slimmer.
They also help us fit into our old clothes or smaller size clothing. Some women claim they can even wear two sizes smaller with body shaper on.
Shapers such as waist trainers when worn for a long time actually help slim our core.
Motivates one to lose weight:
The sight of a slim figure as a result of wearing shapewear can motivate us to lose weight.
These garments compress our mid-region making us feel full. This helps us eat less and develop a healthy behavior of watching our portions.
Shapewear also intensifies workouts. It helps us sweat and suck in trouble areas during strength training.
There you have it, a guide for the best shapewear and how to choose the best one for you. In summary, shapewear is a foundational garment that helps slim and smooth our bodies, so that we can look great in whatever type of clothing we choose.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing shapewear to ensure you get the right one.
The most important thing is to figure out, what you need the shapewear for, which part of the body you are targeting, your body type, and the material used to make the shapewear.
Knowing these factors and the reputation of the company you are buying from, will most often than not help you choose the right garment.
In this guide, we also looked at a number of benefits presented by shapewear.
Not only does this garment instantly help us look great, but they also provide posture support, help us with our weight loss regimens, boost our confidence immensely, hide cellulite, but also costs way less than other weight loss treatments.
That said, you must be already eager to get your hands on one of these magical garments.
If so, you can start by checking out our list of the best shapewear listed at the top of this guide. Once you get what you are looking for, remember to follow the tips for proper use of shapewear, also discussed in this article.
That’s it from us!!