Though it’s been around for decades, many still consider shapewear to be one of the most mystifying items in a woman’s closet. They may be aware of how it works, but a lot of people wonder how it does the things that it does. In addition to cinching, tucking, and tightening in all the right places, women who wear shapewear tend to feel stronger, more confident, and more empowered than they would otherwise.
That said, there are certainly a lot of shapewear fans out there, and for good reason. Wearing shapewear doesn’t just make you look good, but it can also make you feel great, too. However, if you’re only just taking your first steps into this wonderful world, you’ll probably want some guidance on the basics of shapewear fit and sizing. Here are a few tried and true tips from No nonsense that you can take with you for when you finally decide to go shopping for shapewear:
Choose the Right Fabrics
Typical spandex or nylon shapewear can get extremely warm, which is great if you want a sleeker look in the winter. At any other time, though, it can make you sweat uncomfortably, which isn’t what you want in something that’s supposed to make you feel more confident.
Thankfully, there are a lot of shapewear styles out there that feature a cooler cotton blend or moisture-wicking materials. Sheerer shaping hosiery is also available, offering better breathability and retaining less heat. Some types may even include odor-control technology, which is always a plus during the summer.
Avoid Sizing Down
Some people use shapewear that’s one or two sizes smaller than their true size in an attempt to get even more shaping power out of their undergarments. While it can be tempting sometimes, never size down for more compression. Tight shapewear will likely cause you to have unnatural-looking lumps and bulges, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Worse, they can make it difficult for you to breathe, and they can cause serious if not permanent nerve damage over time.
Hence, always be sure to wear the correct size. If your shapewear feels a bit too restricting, you’ll want to either size up or choose something that doesn’t constrict quite as much. If you still can’t get a perfect fit, you may want to look for a different model that can give you the shaping you need.
Understand What Different Shapewear Types Have to Offer
Not all shapewear offers the same performance. Generally speaking, the higher the nylon content, the more constricting the shapewear will be. A higher spandex content, on the other hand, means more stretchability.
The way a piece of shapewear is constructed can also affect how much constriction and shaping power it has to offer. If you want to have a better idea of what the shapewear does, try to feel the fabric and examine it up close. Heavy-duty construction and shaping panels mean the piece is probably intended for serious body shaping while lighter construction means it’s for general smoothing.
Try High-Waist Shapewear
While not everyone likes the high-waist “mom jeans” look when it comes to denim, shapewear is generally hidden, which makes how it looks mostly irrelevant. The great thing about high-waist shapewear, particularly the ones that go up to your bra-line, is that they allow you to present a sleek silhouette through the whole length of your torso. They give a more natural look than lower-waisted models and are usually more versatile as a result. For a lot of women, wearing shaping garments can be emotionally empowering and liberating. However, you won’t be able to enjoy those effects if you don’t have the right kind of shapewear on hand. Before buying, make sure to educate yourself properly, as