Claims and Effects
Claims and Effects
- Body Shapers claim to shrink you down one or more sizes. The garment achieves this not by reducing your physical volume, but by reshaping your tissue so that your clothes fit differently.
- Underwire and molded cups on some models provide bust enhancement.
- The compression effect provided by panels and fabrics sculpt and lift the buttocks and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Garments are comfortable against the skin and wearable under any types of clothes for long periods of time.
- Earlier body shapers utilized sewn-in control panels in order to apply shaping pressure. While these remain in use, current garments now achieve shaping via the fabrics themselves.
- The weight and thickness of the fibers used nowadays result in thinner, lighter fabrics with higher compression properties.
- Spandex, elastane, and lycra are today’s materials of choice, creating greater control with less bulk, and are more desirable to the touch.
- The moisture-wicking properties of these fabrics improve breathability, allowing shapewear to be worn for longer periods of time, and in higher temperatures, while remaining comfortable.
- ‘Memory’ fabrics are also used in today’s shapewear. These form to the body but return to their original shape once removed, thereby resisting stretching over time.
- Control-top pantyhose, body-shaping pantyhose, and control briefs hold in the tummy and in some cases lift the rear slightly, but are considered outdated by today’s fashion consultants. These can cause ‘muffin top’, the spillover of flesh at the waistline that results from too-tight bottoms.
- Mid-thigh shapers are great under pencil skirts and pants, and are what most people imagine when they think of body shapers. These slim your thighs and hold in your tummy and butt.
- Bodysuits extend from bra line or shoulders to below the knee, providing quite thorough coverage.
- Camisoles generally come with a built-in bra, smoothing back fat and stopping ‘bra bulge’ via compression. They also slim the waist and extend several inches below so that you can tuck them into other body shapers or your underwear.
- Full and half-slips pull in your tummy and rear, helping keep your clothes in place under sheer dresses and skirts. High-waisted options can prevent dreaded muffin top.
- Boy shorts stop above your knee at the upper thigh, and work best under short skirts and shorts. The side panels in these varieties help if you have fuller bottoms and hips.
- Try them on! Avoid retailers that won’t let you get into a body shaper before buying. Better stores will offer samples to test against your body.
- Put it on feet first, even if it’s a camisole or slip.
- Dry skin is essential – make sure your body is completely dry before trying a body shaper on.
- Don’t cheat on the size. If you go up a size to try and make it more comfortable or down a size for a slimmer effect, you’ll create bunching and bulging that will be uncomfortable and obvious.
- Select the right level of control. Body shapers come in light, medium, and firm control. Light is best if you want less targeted control and more comfort. Firm control is better for plus sizes who want the bonus of an added slimming effect.
- Don’t buy firm for everyday use as it will probably be too confining to be comfortable if worn on a daily basis. But for a special event, it’s the ticket.
- Thinner fabrics are better. This may seem obvious, but shapers with more control tend to be bulkier and more expensive. In some cases, choosing a lighter and cheaper body shaper will be more discreet under clothing.
- If possible, try it on with the appropriate outfit, even if it means getting dressed up to go shopping. Some fabrics may cling to the body shaper so it’s best to see how they move against one another before purchasing.
- Position it carefully when putting it on. Body shapers can be quite specifically designed, so make sure you line up your ‘problem area’ with precisely the correct area of the garment.
- Be wary of rear-end flattening, an effect that can plague some of the more controlling shapers. If you need lots of compression, pick a shaper with specific butt-lifting capabilities.
- Move around. Once it’s on, sit, bend, and stretch to make sure it’s comfortable in all the positions you’re going to want to put it in. If you find that anything rolls while you do this, it’s a sign you might need another size.
- There shouldn’t be any wrinkles or bulges anywhere, but especially check the crotch as this area can sometimes be problematic.
- Don’t buy white. Even under a white t-shirt, nude looks better. Black is also good, if it goes with the outfits you intend to use it with.
Body Shapers, also called ‘Shapewear’, are a range of undergarments designed to contour the body by compressing tissue with elastic fabrics and/or internal firming panels. They smooth out the body’s lines, creating a seamless and toned look that gives the impression of a slimmer and more polished physique. Instant slimming? We definitely needed to investigate this fashion phenomenon.