Bodies are beautiful, some tall, some short, some fuller, some thinner with mesmerizing uniqueness. There are bits of our bodies we love and embrace and there are parts we wish could be different. And while it’s #bodypositivity for life, you can’t deny that not all outfits fit every single body perfectly. Some clothes look great on the mannequin or on the app but somehow miss that oomph factor when you put it on. But you don’t want to let go of that stunning bodycon dress or the pretty skirt you bought. So what’s the answer to this problem? It’s shapewear!
Shapewear is an innerwear garment that helps shape your body the way you like it. It’s like someone took an iron to you and smoothed out every lump you think you have. Conceal or enhance with a plethora of shapewear types and achieve a flattering silhouette. And to help you decode this mystery garment, here’s your 101 guide to all things shapewear.
Did You Know?
Spanx, the most famous shapewear brand, made the founder Sara Blakely the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
5 Types Of Shapewear You Need In Your Wardrobe
A good combination of stretch and support in shapewear means a bodysuit. It helps sculpt the body contours, more specifically, the torso area that includes the waist, hips and tummy. There are a few options in this shapewear such as Full Bodysuit, a No-Bust Bodysuit or a No-Leg Bodysuit that suits your needs.
Shopping Tip: Since a bodysuit hugs your entire body, especially the torso, make sure it has extra stretchy panels in those areas to avoid discomfort.
Style It With: A bodycon dress or a jumpsuit.
2. Tummy Tucking Panties
If you’re looking for something that’ll cinch the waist, tuck the tummy and snatch the butt, then this one’s for you. For all those women who are conscious about their abdomen or tummy, the tummy tucking panties are a great solution. They are high-waisted and comfortable and available in different colours.
Shopping Tip: Pick one that has a strong flat elastic waistband so that it doesn’t curl up when you move.
Style It With: Short skirts, high-waisted jeans or trousers.
3. Waist Cincher
Though they might remind you of the funnel-shaped corsets of the Victorian era, waist cinchers are far more comfortable. From a corset style front open design, a slip-on, or a tummy shaping girdle, the waist cincher comes in varied styles. It aids in shaping and sculpting the waistline and the tummy area.
Shopping Tip: Since these come in a variety, look for one that fits the length of your torso perfectly to avoid spillage or rolling of the fabric.
Style It With: Shirts, blouses, tops or cocktail dresses.
4. Thigh Shaper
These are essentially shorts with extra support and stretch for women looking to tone their thighs. A thigh shaper is not only convenient but also eliminates chub-rub. It is available in high-waisted as well as regular rise options.
Shopping Tip: The length of the thigh shaper matters, depending on the type of outfit you’ll be wearing.
Style It With: Pencil skirts, jumpsuits or thigh-hugging dresses.
5. Saree Shapewear
The next best thing to come out of the shapewear trend is something for the quintessential Indian outfit – saree. With the saree shapewear, say goodbye to the chunky pleats of the petticoat. It supports and sculpts the waist, rear and thighs for that perfect saree draping and the elastic waistband makes it the most comfortable choice.
Shopping Tip: Stick to your true size for a great fit that allows you to move freely.
Style It With: A saree of your choice or long silhouette dresses.
Top 5 Shapewear Brands In India
This go-to lingerie brand of most Indian women offers shapewear by style, target area and control level. The high compression fabric used offers a sleek silhouette.
Top Pick: Flared Mermaid Saree Shapewear
Price: Rs 1,295
One of the leading lingerie brands for affordable, everyday options, Clovia has a variety of shapewear pieces. The brand has a prominently wide collection of saree shapewear in all sorts of colours.
Top Pick: 4-In-1 Shapewear – Tummy, Back, Thighs, Hips
Price: Rs 1,134
A new addition to the shapewear world, Butt-Chique offers pasties, shapewear and body tape. Made with the thinnest fabric that feels like a second skin, the shapewear offers 360-degree sculpting and body contouring.
Top Pick: Butt-Chique Bodysuit
Price: Rs 3,699
4. Marks & Spencer
This beloved brand is quickly becoming a favourite and for good reason. The shapewear collection by Marks & Spencer is carefully curated with choice pieces with varying control levels, seam options, styles and colours.
Top Pick: Firm Control Magicwear™ Waist Cincher
Price: Rs 2,999
A lingerie brand that’s easily available, Triumph has happy customers in India. The shapewear range consists of high-waisted tummy tuckers, thigh-shapers and waist cinchers.
Top Pick: Shape Sensation Shape Waist-band Maximum Support Shapewear
Price: Rs 1,899
8 Tips To Choose & Wear The Right Shapewear
1. Size Matters
When it comes to shapewear shopping, women sometimes try to size down for extra firmness. While this might sound obviously genius in theory, in reality, it can result in muffin tops, spillage and an overall uncomfortable experience. The best option is to try on shapewear pieces. Don’t forget to wear underwear for hygienic purposes. See what fits you best. So move around, sit down and walk around while you wear it to make sure that you feel comfortable and that the piece stays in place.
2. Choose The Control Level
Low, medium and high control levels give you the chance to find out your comfort level. Some women are looking for that tightly sculpted look and some just want to flatten the bulges. Remember, the higher the nylon content, the more a garment will alter your shape. Feeling the fabric to get a sense of the level of shaping is a great tip. Lightweight pieces are easier on your body while the heavier ones come with compression zones for extra cinching.
3. Cotton Blends Are Your Besties
Nylon and spandex shapewear sounds sexy and looks great as well. But both these synthetic fabrics don’t breathe. And while these are great for winters, summers and Indian weather for the rest of the year demands a breathable fabric. Girl, you don’t want to sweat inside your shapewear, trust me. Cotton blends are a summer saviour and help keep you cool. It has moisture absorption and breathability and the microfiber helps with odour control.
4. Hygiene Is Happiness
Always wear an undergarment or a panty liner with a bottom wear shapewear to maintain hygiene. Read the labels carefully on how to wash and dry these pieces without causing damage to the piece or your body. Avoid hot water, don’t scrub vigorously, start with a gentle soak and hand wash to make the most of your shapewear.
5. High-Waist For Smoothness
The 90s got one fashion trend right and that’s everything high-waisted. High-waisted clothes, including shapewear, offer a smoother, toned look. This style guarantees a smooth line all the way up to your torso. From panties to shorts, high-waisted shapewear pieces make it easier to carry any and every outfit. There are even a few options that hook on to your bra to stop it from rolling up.
6. Time Bound Wear
The control levels on your shapewear are not just to satisfy your silhouette but also indicate how long you should wear it. Low compression shapewear can be worn for up to 8-12 hours and medium for about 6-8 hours. But high compression should be worn for about 4-6 hours only. Most importantly, listen to your body and take it off as soon as it gets uncomfortable. While there are some everyday shapewear options you can slip on for the day, most pieces are meant to be worn for a few hours.
7. Pregnancy & Shapewear
If you’re pregnant, you might want to check with your doctor about whether you can use special maternity shapewear. As a general rule, shapewear clothing is worn during pregnancy and postpartum has to be comfortable while providing support for your body. If your shapewear is too constricting it can cause a lot of problems. If you feel too uncomfortable, have trouble breathing or you’re in pain while wearing your shapewear, that’s a sign that it’s probably too tight for you.
8. Colours To Try
A skintone shapewear piece that’s closest to your skin tone works for most outfits. And today, several brands offer colours beyond the nude and have options for most skin tones, which is a must. If you own a ton of black clothing, black shapewear can become your staple. Apart from these, many brands have fun colours like blue, purple and pink.
Shapewear is a fantastic option to give your body the desired shape if you wish to. Most people have beautiful, imperfectly perfect bodies that they love and cherish and want to adorn with outfits they love. And for those who seek a particular silhouette, shapewear offers this with various control levels and styles. So, if this piece of clothing interests you, give it a try and share your experience with us in the comments below!