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In the past, women were troubled by the societal expectations imposed upon their physiques. The hourglass body has long been a near-impossible ideal, and many have had to limit their wardrobe to pieces that fit their body type. Otherwise, it was believed that there was no other way to fit into nicer dresses except going through tedious exercise routines.

Fortunately, the modern era of fashion has been reclaimed by women who’ve done away with many of the societal expectations imposed upon them in the past. Now, anyone can have great shapes hosiery to help them achieve body-shaping garments that sculpt the body and accentuate all the right curves.

If you’re looking to give shapewear a try, here are some tips you should know before going out and buying them:

Understand What Shapewear Can and Can’t Do

A popular misconception about shapewear is that it can help with weight loss, but this isn’t true. Rather than a weight loss product, shapewear is a kind of garment worn under clothes to achieve the desired figure. It’s designed to be a lot tighter and more rigid to compress lumps and flab. The result is usually a slender form with more defined curves, conforming to the ideal hourglass body.

It’s important to acknowledge the limitations of shapewear. It doesn’t suddenly remove extra skin and flab. That said, it exerts pressure on your body, which can cause discomfort. Likewise, the right-sized shapewear can fit you into clothes up to two sizes smaller than your usual. However, it’s a terrible idea to try shaping garments too small for you due to the health risks that they can pose.  

Learn What Each Type of Shapewear Does

In the world of shapewear, there are now more options than ever for achieving your ideal figure. Since the goal for many women used to be the hourglass figure, most shapewear is aimed at the bust, waist, thighs, butt, and even a combination of these parts. To know the right garments for every body-shaping need, here are the different types of shapewear and the benefits that they offer:

Shaping Slips

These garments look like shorts, but they usually go up to the abdomen right under the bra line. Shaping slips are meant to smoothen the curve of your thighs to your hips, so they’re a must for skirts and dresses.

High-waisted Briefs

These can be worn as a substitute for regular underwear even if they go all the way up the waist. Aside from forming the curves of the hips and waist, these also enhance the shape of the butt, which is why extended briefs are sometimes recommended as an alternative to shaping slips.


No longer as dangerous to use, corsets nowadays still cover the waist to the lower ribs, and some come with built-in bras. Like before, these can drastically slim down the torso to achieve the hourglass figure. That said, they’re more often used just to fit into smaller sizes of clothing. However, some of today’s corsetry is designed so that it can also be worn as an outer garment.

Waist Clinchers

As both a direct successor and alternative to corsets, waist clinchers also slim down the waist but only around half as much as corsetry does. They are primarily designed to reduce the appearance of flab around the abdomen area, preventing any from sagging to the lower torso. Unlike corsets, these are exclusively worn as undergarments.


These are full-body shapewear, meaning that they tackle all the most crucial body parts that different types of shapewear are designed to address. In a sense, they’re a combination of most kinds of shapewear, covering everything from the upper thighs all the way to the bust. Some even have sleeves to include the arms, but others just have shoulder straps.

The basic shaping bodysuit slims the waist and the abdomen while enhancing the curve to the hips and thighs, as well as adding more volume to the butt. There are also options that can come with an open bust for those who’d rather wear another bra. There’s also a deep-plunge variant with a built-in bra for minimal bust support.


Know Your Goals

As mentioned earlier, each type of shapewear targets specific parts of the body, so it’s good to first know what your goals are. Are you trying to slim down a few sizes, or do you feel certain parts of your body need more (or even less) volume? In that case, which parts of your body need to be tackled? Perhaps you already have a figure that’s close to an hourglass shape and just need to smoothen out your lines. 

If you’re not sure about what you want, the ideal is for curves from your upper and lower body to be proportional. Still in doubt? The safest bet is a bodysuit as it’s an all-purpose garment, and it can provide you with the smoothest curves possible.

Pick the Right Color

Shapewear also comes in different colors which might be yet another factor to consider. Unless you’re deliberately trying to match your shapewear’s colors to your outfit, though, it’s simplest to choose options that come in nude tones. Shapewear tends to look best when it disappears into the outfit, giving the impression that your body is naturally shaped that way. If you’re wearing these garments externally, though, you may want to choose more eye-catching colors.

Know How to Properly Put Them on and Take Them Off

Before anything else, it’s important to know how to actually put shapewear on and off. You have to avoid exerting too much force on them since their delicate fabrics will already be under constant tension throughout the day.

Firstly, make sure your skin is dry. Then, lock any hooks and fasteners at this point, since it’ll be too difficult to do so afterward. If you plan to wear hosiery, put them on before your shapewear, as pantyhose can easily slip off if worn over shapewear.

Next, you must step into shapewear from the top, or you’ll get yourself stuck if you wear it like any other piece. Once you’ve gotten your legs through, you have to unroll the shapewear, moving it up your body with minimal force.

Stock Up on Your Preferred Shapewear

It’s also a good idea to have multiple sets of shapewear, as using the same ones too frequently can wear them out. A general of thumb is to have at least two pieces of any shapewear you need, ensuring you have at least one always ready to go while the other is in the wash. 

If you’re the type to wear them daily, you may want to keep five to six pieces on hand, especially for garments that double as underwear, such as shaping briefs. That way, you can dedicate a day off from shapewear during the week, and you can avoid washing the same sets too often.

If you save them for special occasions, it’s recommended to have one to two bodysuits and at least one of two other shapewear garments to give you a variety of shaping options.

Take Good Care of Your Shapewear

Washing shapewear isn’t as simple as treating them like any other underwear, because they are much more delicate than most clothes. Garments with latex must be hand washed in warm water, while those without latex can be run through the washing machine using the gentlest setting. They must be washed only with detergent specially made for lingerie since softeners, bleach, and dyes can damage the material. If you don’t have such detergent on hand, a mild shampoo can be a suitable alternative.

Don’t Push Your Body Too Hard

Some make the mistake of wearing shapewear in sizes far too small for their bodies. Unfortunately, over-constricting the body for long periods can be hazardous. Too much compression around the waist can slow down digestion, possibly resulting in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Additionally, too much compression under your bust can potentially cause asphyxiation. While shapewear can fit you into smaller-sized clothes, the point is to smoothen the lines and lumps of your body to achieve the ideal shape, not to put you in any pain or danger. Thus, make sure to get a size that fits you perfectly.

When getting started with using shapewear, keep in mind that your own health and safety must be prioritized over achieving a specific look. There is no right standard for the body other than what you want for yourself, which is why you should set your own goals regardless of anyone else’s expectations. What matters, in the end, is the confidence that you feel in the shapewear and clothes you’ve chosen for yourself.

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