Friday, March 24, 2023

A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Shapewear

We've all heard about the wonders of shapewear in aiding women of all shapes and sizes to look their personal best, but for someone who has never worn shapewear before it can be pretty intimidating to figure out where to begin. There is a wide variety of styles and compression strengths... what does it all mean? How do we choose the shapewear that is going to best fit our individual needs?

Today, I'm sharing 5 simple questions to ask yourself when determining the best shapewear for your personal needs.

What size do you need?

Shapewear is supposed to fit snugly. As such, it can be tempting to buy a smaller size than we think we need for ultra-shaping. In reality, trying to squeeze into shapewear that is too small can actually create bulges that we were ultimately trying to avoid. Not to mention, too tight shapewear can be quite painful too. Proper sizing is very important for your own comfort and for helping you achieve your shapewear goals. Always check out sizing information for each style and brand you are considering. Invest in an inexpensive tape measure so you can have your exact measurements and use those when choosing the proper sizes. Reading reviews can sometimes help us to determine any fit issues as well. 

What areas are you targeting?

Consider your body shape and what areas you would like extra support with and seek out styles that will help in those areas. Most shapewear websites will also allow you to browse their selection by those target areas as well, which can be extremely helpful. Personally, I have a pear shape and tend to carry my weight in my hips and thighs, as such high-waisted shaper shorts tend to be my preferred shapewear style, as they offer just the right support just where I need it. 

What are your shapewear goals?

When we think of shapewear, we often assume it is something that will greatly alter how our body looks... and that's not something that everyone wants or needs. While there are some shapewear styles that do offer major compression and shaping, there are some that have minimal compression and offer minimal smoothing as well. Before choosing your shapewear, you'll want to consider just what it is you are trying to accomplish with yours. If you are looking for major support and shaping, you'll want to look for something with the highest compression. On the other hand, if you're simply interested in a little extra smoothness to allow your clothes to lay better, lower compression is likely all you need. While I certainly appreciate a higher compression if I'm wearing something more fitted, I more often than not lean towards simple shapewear tights that offer just the slightest bit of compression. If you are not used to shapewear and aren't sure how you'll tolerate it, these lighter compression items can be a great starting point to dip your toe in as well. 

What do you plan to wear with your shapewear? 

We've talked about how different styles target different areas, but it's also important to consider what you plan to wear with your shapewear too. A full bodysuit might accomplish the shaping you want but will do no good if the dress you're hoping to wear has a low-cut back. For that, you'd want to consider backless shapewear instead. 

If you are able, having a few options on hand is certainly ideal. If that is not an option, consider what you plan to wear with it and choose what shapewear will work best for those styles. Do you need strapless options? Backless? If wearing shorter dresses, will the shorts be too long? As previously mentioned, I find that what I wear it with also tends to impact my compression preferences too. For something like a pencil skirt or fitted dress, I'd want more than I would want with day-to-day wear. 

What weather will you be wearing your shapewear in?

Think about how you intend to wear your shapewear. Will you be wearing it primarily indoors or in cooler climates? Or outside in high heat? Do you personally struggle with getting hot easily? Take that into consideration and choose cooler, more breathable fabrics if needed. In my personal experience, these seem to offer lower compression than others, BUT shapewear can definitely add warmth, so if you're prone to overheating, it's certainly something you'll want to be more mindful of. 

Whether you're just looking into some shapewear for a special occasion or you're looking for something to help you feel more confident day to day, asking yourselves these simple questions can help you choose the right shapewear for YOU. 


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