Best Women's Shapewear

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
232 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best women’s shapewear

Last Updated May 2019

There’s nothing more disappointing than finding a dress you absolutely love only to realize that it highlights a few lumps or bumps that make you self-conscious. If you want to feel confident in whatever outfit you’re wearing for a wedding, date night, party, or even a presentation at work, a good piece of women’s shapewear can help smooth the areas you’re uncomfortable with and give you the sleek silhouette you desire.

Women’s shapewear is made of a stretchy yet rigid material that’s cut to help slim and smooth your figure. It doesn’t just make you look thinner or more toned in your favorite dress, though; it can support your back and bust and improve your posture, too. Because there are many different types of shapewear, you can find an option that targets nearly any area of the body.

Before you buy a piece of shapewear, you must figure out what type you need, what size you should wear, what control level best meets your needs, and what other features would make it effective and comfortable. Our shopping guide will point you in the right direction.

Shapewear shouldn’t just be comfortable when you’re standing up; make sure it doesn’t bunch or roll when you sit down, either.

Key considerations

Type

There are many types of women’s shapewear to choose from. Below are the most common options.

  • Shaping bodysuits: The shaping bodysuit is one of the most common types of shapewear. It cover the body in roughly the same way a one-piece swimsuit does. If you want to lift your bust, smooth your stomach, and perk up your bottom, this type of shapewear is ideal. A bodysuit can be worn under any type of clothing, including dresses, shirts, tanks, skirts, pants, and shorts. It usually features underwire beneath the breasts, so you don’t have to wear a separate bra with it. However, you can find cupless shapewear bodysuits with which you’d wear your own bra.

  • Shaping slips and dresses: The shaping slip and the shaping dress are similar to the shaping bodysuit, but these pieces have a dress-like construction that typically hits at or just above the knee. You can wear one of these to help lift your bust, smooth your belly and hips, and tighten the look of your thighs, though they generally work best for overall smoothing. Because of the design, you can only wear this type of shapewear under dresses and skirts.

  • Shaping tanks and camisoles: If you’re concerned about the look of your upper body, consider a shaping tank or camisole. These fit the body much like a regular tank top or camisole, but they also smooth the belly and lift the bust. And because they don’t cover the lower body, you can wear a shaping tank or camisole with nearly any pair of pants, jeans, shorts, or skirt.

  • Waist cinchers: If your primary goal is to give your waist a nipped-in look, a waist cincher is the perfect choice. A waist cincher is similar to a wide belt, though it may extend past your navel and down over your hips to help give you an hourglass figure. Some waist cinchers have hook-and-eye closures in the front or back; others are simply pulled on.

  • Shaping underwear: Shaping underwear is a good choice if you want to smooth your belly, hips, and/or backside. They are available in a variety of underwear styles, including briefs and boy shorts, so they work especially well under tight-fitting pants, skirts, and shorts.

  • Shaping shorts and leggings: Shaping shorts and leggings are good alternatives to shaping underwear if you also want to slim your thighs and/or calves. Shorts-style shapewear typically ends at the knees. Legging-style shapewear can hit anywhere from the mid-calf to the ankle. Consider one of these types for wear under form-fitting pants.
     

Women’s shapewear sizes

Getting the size right is key. Some women think it’s best to size down with shapewear because a tighter fit would offer a slimmer look. However, wearing shapewear that’s too small can not only feel binding and uncomfortable, but it can also cause bulges that ruin the smoothing effect.

Most shapewear brands provide sizing charts with body measurements to help you choose the right size. Use a tape measure to measure the necessary parts of your body to determine which size is for you.

DID YOU KNOW?

Many shaping bodysuits feature a hook-and-eye closure at the crotch, so you don’t have to take the entire suit off just to go to the bathroom.

Women’s shapewear features

Control level

Women’s shapewear is available in several different control levels. The level of control determines how much the piece helps smooth and trim your figure.

  • Light control is ideal for everyday wear because it smooths out slight bulges but doesn’t compress your body too much.

  • Firm control works best if you have specific areas of the body you want to target. These pieces usually provide a trimmer look for your overall figure, too.

  • Extra-firm control provides the most smoothing and contouring action. These pieces will make your figure look noticeably trimmer, but they can be highly constricting. They’re best reserved for special occasions rather than everyday wear.
     

Material

Most women’s shapewear is made of a nylon/spandex blend. The more nylon the blend contains, the more control a piece of shapewear usually offers.

While nylon and spandex blends are extremely effective for shaping the body, they are synthetic materials without much breathability. That can make them a poor option in hot weather or warm climates. Lightweight nylon and spandex shapewear is your best bet if you’re worried about getting hot and sweaty.

You can also find women’s shapewear options made of cotton and microfiber. This shapewear is ideal for warmer weather because the cotton can wick moisture from the body, while the microfiber helps absorb odor.

Color

Black, white, and nude are the most common color options, though you can find women’s shapewear in other colors as well. Black works well under dark clothing, while white and nude pieces are designed for use under light clothing. Nude shapewear is the best option when you’re wearing light-colored clothes, as white shapewear can often show through even a white T-shirt.

Some manufacturers make shapewear in brighter colors, such as red, blue, green, and pink. If you want to coordinate your shapewear with the shade of your clothing, you might be able to find the right option.

EXPERT TIP

If you tend to sweat easily, shapewear made of cotton or microfiber is your best bet.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Some high-waisted shaping shorts, leggings, and briefs actually hook to the bottom of your bra, so you don’t have to worry about the waistband rolling down.


Staff  | BestReviews

Women’s shapewear prices

The most affordable women’s shapewear pieces target the smallest areas of the body. For example, a pair of shaping underwear may cost as little as $6. Shaping tanks or camisoles have a similar starting price. Waist cinchers start a little higher at around $15, and shaping shorts and leggings typically start around $16.

Women’s shapewear that targets both the upper and lower body but doesn’t cover the thighs usually costs a little more. A lower-cost shaping bodysuit, shaping slip, or shaping dress might run around $20 or $30.

If you come across shapewear that is pricier than these figures, it is probably due to the quality of the materials, the reputation of the brand, or both. In our research, we came across shapewear pieces that cost over $100. For most people, this would be overkill. The sweet spot, in terms of prices, sits between $10 and $60 for the majority of consumers.

Tips

  • Don’t try to put shapewear on right after you get out of the shower. When your skin is damp, it can be difficult to pull the snug fabric over your wet skin.

  • If there is any natural moisture on your skin when you’re getting dressed, apply some baby powder before you put your shapewear on.

  • When you’re wearing a pair of shaping underwear, shorts, or leggings and the waistband keeps rolling down, you can tuck it into the bottom of your bra to help keep it in place.

  • If your clothing sticks to your shapewear, rub a dryer sheet over the shapewear and the interior of your clothes to get rid of any static electricity.

Other products we considered

There are so many women’s shapewear options on the market that it’s fairly easy to find a piece that addresses your particular concerns. The Lover-Beauty Women’s Seamless Body Shaper is an ideal choice if you want a body suit that also also cinches your waist. It offers moderate control and a thong panty so you get a seamless look under your clothing. We also love the Homma Premium Thick High Waist Slimming Leggings for those who want an option that targets the belly and lower body. It has a thick high-rise waistband that doesn’t roll down and is available in 10 different colors to match any outfit.

Women’s shapewear can get stretched out over time. To make sure that you continue to get the slimming effect you want, replace your shapewear every two to three years.

FAQ

Q. How should shapewear be laundered?

A. It can vary from piece to piece, so check the care label for your shapewear. Most shapewear is fairly delicate, which means it should be hand washed in cold water and laid out to dry. Some items may be machine washable, though.

Q. What should I do if I’m between sizes for women’s shapewear?

A. If you find that you fall between two sizes according to the shapewear sizing chart, don’t be tempted to size down. Wearing shapewear that is too small can not only be uncomfortable, it can also cause unflattering bulging. Instead, opt for the larger of the two sizes to make sure you get a flattering, comfortable fit.

Q. Can I wear women’s shapewear every day?

A. It’s usually perfectly fine to wear shapewear daily, provided it’s the right size. You might not want to wear pieces with extra-firm control every day, but shapewear that provides light control is usually comfortable enough for daily wear.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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