The right shapewear can seriously change your life. No matter what your clothing size, weight, or level of fitness, every woman can benefit from shape wear.  Yes, every woman. Those red carpet perfect celebs you see at award shows?  Yep, they are wearing shape wear. Those gorgeous actresses you see in films and on TV? They, too, are wearing shape wear.

Most women are intimidated or confused by shapewear.  They purchase it, but don’t really know how to choose the correct style or when and with what to wear it. The result is shapewear sitting in a drawer with the tags still on, gathering dust, or ill-fitting shapewear that hurts more than it helps.


When it comes to shapewear, there are three questions that everyone seems to ask:

1. What exactly is shapewear?

2.  Why do I need it?

3.  How do I wear it?

Well, according to Wikipedia:

Shapewear – (also known as a foundation garment or shaping underwear) is an undergarment designed to temporarily alter the wearer’s body shape, to achieve a more fashionable figure. The function of a foundation garment is not to enhance a bodily feature (as would, for example, a padded bra) but to smooth or control the display of one.

It doesn’t matter what size you are; your clothing should appear smooth.  No lumps, no bumps.  It doesn’t matter if you are a 4 or a 14; the goal is a totally smooth appearance – shapewear helps you accomplish this.

How to Choose the Right Shapewear for Any Occasion

1. Purchase the right size.  Buying the wrong size will create more problems by pushing things into places they shouldn’t be.  You also don’t want it to be too big. If the piece is too big, it can’t do its job.  The best way to get the correct size is to be measured by a professional.  Every specialty lingerie store, like Bits of Lace, will do this for free for you and it really is a necessary step to ensure you are wearing the correct size.

2. Focus on the part of the body you want to shape. Do you need tummy control? Would you like more waist definition? How about shaping your rear, or thighs?  Each piece of shapewear is made to help specific problem areas. Identifying the area you need help in will assist you in choosing the correct shapewear style.

Prima Donna Couture Shapewear Plus Size Dress with Brief Panty This is the ultimate piece of shapewear.  You can wear this slip every time you wear a dress. You will love that it zips at the back, is easy to get on and off, is pretty while still doing its job. Contour bands lift the bum and cinch the waist for that hourglass figure, while a tummy panel flattens and flatters, and the built-in push-up bra provides cleavage, expanding to fit up to a DD cup.

Battle the Bulge the back bulge, to be specific with the Prima Donna Perle Padded Plunge Bra. This sporty soft-cup bra provides coverage, lift, and back bulge smoothing in a seamless invisible design.


3. Define the purpose.  Do you need the shape wear for a special occasion like a wedding? Consider the various factors of the event you’ll be wearing the shapewear to, and let that aid in your purchasing decision.

4. Make sure to choose the level of support you need.  Most shapewear comes in a variety of support levels, from light control to extra firm.

5. Try it on! Never, never, never buy shapewear without trying it on!  Stand up in it, sit down in it, make sure it doesn’t roll up or down. Lift your arms, cross your legs, bend over, walk around basically, perform any movements you do regularly, to make sure your shapewear is staying in place without cutting into your body or becoming uncomfortable.

6. Put it on correctly. Just like putting on a bra, there is a right and wrong way to don your shapewear. Never put it on over your head;  always step into it, even if it’s a camisole or a tank. Gather the sides of your shapewear in your hands like you would a pair of tights. Then step into it, pull your shapewear up, and then gradually release the fabric until you work all the way up, making sure the panels and seams are straight and in place.

7. Extra warmth.  Yes, shapewear can get hot.  If you are in a high temp region, look for lightweight summer style shapers.

With so many styles to choose from, these tips on must-haves for your wardrobe and tricks on choosing and wearing shapewear will have you looking your sexiest and ready for the red carpet, out to dinner, or to the supermarket.