After 12 hours of research evaluating 110 products, we picked Bali Women's Shapewear Lace 'N Smooth Body Briefer as our top choice.
Shapewear is a bit of a guilty secret—for guys as well as for women. Whether you want to look fantastic in that LBD, slim down to fit into a wedding dress, or just take a few pounds off your appearance, shapewear is a great way to go.
Look your best, no matter what your weight!
Shapewear isn't a fitness gadget, and it's not going to actually help you lose the weight. Instead, it will "cover a multitude of sins" to help you look good even if your body isn't quite where you want it to be.
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There are many brands to choose from: Body shaper, MiracleSuit, Spanx, and the list goes on! Below, we've done the work of searching for the best shapewear products for each body part. From full bodysuits to shapewear bras to girdles to underwear, we've created a list of the best shapeware for you.
Very high-waisted brief, easy to put on/take off, durable, affordable, great for shaping/slimming, not too tight, and moves with your body.
Will roll down if you move around a lot.
These underwear are like high-waist briefs with a VERY high waist—it ends at the top of your tummy, helping to control the shape of your stomach and sides as well as your hips, thighs, and butt. They're comfortable and offer good slimming without being too tight. Plus, you'll love how flexible they are.
These are for use beneath casual or formal clothing. If worn beneath activewear, you may find that the top rolls down when you move around a lot.
The briefs themselves are made with 70% nylon and 30% elastane, giving them enough elasticity to be easy to slip on. Thanks to the 100% cotton lining of the crotch, you can keep your private parts healthy no matter how much you sweat.
Starting at just $12, these are a very well-priced pair of briefs. They're the perfect option for shaping your hips, thighs, and midsection while still being comfortable in any outfit.
Comfortable, practical, great for layering, seamless, no panty lines, invisible beneath dresses, and can be worn all day long.
Prone to rolling up and not the best in terms of slimming or support.
For those who want a pair of shorts to wear beneath any outfit, these are an excellent item of shapewear. Their mid-thigh length means they can be worn under any knee-length dress, and they're beautifully soft and comfortable.
The fact that they don't offer tight compression and slimming means you can wear them all day long without discomfort. These lightweight shorts keep things securely in place without squeezing.
This shapewear is perfect for wearing under a cocktail dress, athleisure outfit, or formal wear. The shorts are comfortable all day long, and they'll help your hips, thighs, tummy, and butt look amazing.
These shorts are made from 93% nylon and 7% spandex, the perfect mix of light weight and elasticity. Additionally, they are fairly breathable, though they're not suited for active sports use. Thanks to their seamless design, they'll be invisible beneath your dresses and suits.
Starting at just $7 per pair, these are one of the best-priced items of shapewear on our list. They're durable, comfortable, and built for maximum shaping without being too tight.
Smooths out your midsection, enhances shape of butt, no visible panty lines, doesn't roll down, good for all occasions, smooth, comfortable, and not too tight.
Only suitable for short periods of use and ineffective for people with long torsos.
For women who want to control their tummy and tighten up their buttocks, this girdle is an excellent choice. It's too short for those with long torsos or large upper backs (you'll need a full bodysuit for this), but it's focused primarily on the sides and stomach. It's tight enough to keep everything in place, but not so tight you'll feel constricted. As long as you don't wear it all day long, it will be very comfortable.
Perfect for wearing beneath wedding gowns, bodycon dresses, and cocktail dresses. The minimalist girdle tightens up the appearance of your butt and tummy, keeping everything slim and sleek as you enjoy your night.
Made with a combination of polyester and spandex, this girdle is durable, surprisingly soft, and breathable. The antibacterial lining of the girdle will keep bacteria away, no matter how much you sweat. The material even wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Starting at $25, this is a well-priced girdle to own if you dress up often. It's slim enough to be invisible beneath even form-fitting dresses, and it will do wonders to improve your curves.
Perfect for wearing with beautiful dresses, comfortable, good slimming shape, solid material, no visible lines, no pressure or tightening on your legs or arms, secure hold, slim shoulder straps, and built-in bra.
Sizes run a bit small and it may be uncomfortable after all-day wear.
This shapewear slip is designed for use beneath most dresses. Not only does it hug your form and provide that hourglass figure you want, but the slim shoulder straps can be removed to make the slip compatible with a strapless dress.
For those who want to add a bit more definition to their bust, the built-in bra will lift and push everything together to enhance cleavage. The thick material slims down bulges and holds everything in place with no visible lines.
Ideal for wearing with a wedding gown, cocktail dress, or party dresses. Whether you go with a strapped or strapless design, the slip can adapt.
Made from 81% nylon and 19% lycra elastane, this slip has just enough elasticity to be comfortable without reducing compression. However, a number of users have complained that the snug fit can be too tight after long hours of wear.
Starting at $24, this is a bit on the pricier side, but definitely worth it if you need a versatile, form-fitting, full-length slip.
Versatile, can be worn under any dress, designed for all-day wear, wide straps keep everything securely in place, wear with your own bra, durable material, and good elasticity.
Not suitable for larger butts, and the sizes are a bit off.
This bodysuit is designed to keep your tummy, love handles, hips, and thighs securely in place, but the low front cut makes it perfect for using with your own bra—strapless, push-up, or wire-free.
Though the sizes can be a bit erratic (some too large, some too small), it offers good support and compression for your midsection. Thanks to the hook and eye closure, it's easy to put on and take off.
Be warned: the straps over the shoulder are fairly wide and more visible than your average sports bra strap. Wear beneath a pant suit or professional outfit. The fact that you can wear your own bra with this romper makes it perfect for keeping everything up-lifted and perky.
This bodysuit is made from 80% nylon and 20% elastane, so it offers good elasticity for easy wearing. Additionally, it's not so tight that it will restrict blood flow or be uncomfortable after hours of use. Thanks to the non-binding fabric used around the legs, you can move around without worrying about wedgies or bunching.
Note: Hand wash this bodysuit to extend its lifespan. The material is durable, but machine-washing can lead to pilling in the fabric.
Starting at $25 for the bodysuit, you're getting slightly into the pricier range. However, for women who want midsection slimming while still being able to wear their own bra, this is definitely a good option to consider.
Holds up well through and after washing, zero underwires for smooth fit and comfort, and doesn't squeeze flesh out the sides
Material is thicker than some people like, and the back makes it difficult to wear with some tank tops.
This shapewear tank is perfect for holding in your tummy and giving your boobs the right amount of support without the need for a bra. That's right, you can burn yours immediately (no don't) because this can totally replace it.
And... it does it without underwires. You'll get a totally clean line and zero pinching. You've gotta love that.
It's longer than many tanks, so you can tuck it into your pants comfortably. And seriously, you'll love the slimming effect it creates.
The one potential drawback is the shape of the back which doesn't allow for easy layering with other tank tops. Then again, it's sleek enough to wear on its own.
The material is a mix of 69% nylon and 31% elastane. You get softness and comfort without sacrificing anywhere else.
It's super strong, without rolling at the bottom - and more importantly - it doesn't push your flesh out at the openings.
That said, it's a little thicker than some people expect, making it, perhaps, not ideal for layering in summer.
The price is right on these tanks and because they hold up well day-after-day and wash-after-wash, you're getting a better deal than even the price tag would suggest.
Molds to your form, durable, comfortable, great fit, smooths out bumps and lumps, 3D-designed bra cups, no visible lines, and convenient closure.
The straps aren't adjustable, and the bra rides up in the back.
If you want a bra that offers excellent shaping, you'll love this Spanx masterpiece. The straps (sadly not adjustable) are slim enough to be invisible under any shirt, and they'll mold to your form for maximum comfort.
The bra adds just the right amount of lift to perk up your breasts without being a full push-up bra or constricting blood flow. Thanks to the 3D-designed cups, you get a personalized fit that will be uber-comfortable.
Perfect for wearing with casual clothing, formal wear, or business outfits. The bra will shape your breasts and make them look amazing!
The bra is made of 72% nylon and 28% spandex, with a 100% cotton inner cup and wings made of 91% nylon and 9% spandex and elastane. The synthetic material has a tendency to stretch over time, but while it lasts, it's a comfortable, breathable bra!
Starting at $55, this is a pricy bra! You can find better-quality push-up bras for less, but the comfort and excellent shaping makes this a decent choice for special occasions.
Comfortable, slimming, lacy and sexy, durable material, moves with you, full body shaping, soft-lined underwire cups add breast support, and smooths your body and creates gorgeous curves.
Very full coverage bra, and the lace is visible beneath even modest necklines.
This shaping bodysuit is the perfect blend between form and function, thanks to its sleek, lacy appearance. It's not too challenging to squeeze into, and it will do wonders to hide little bulges around your chest, tummy, sides, hips, and butt.
Thanks to the hook and eye crotch, you can use the bathroom without having to remove the bodysuit completely. Plus, the seamless bra cups offer excellent support for your breasts, adding a bit of perk and lift while keeping everything firmly in place.
This is perfect for wearing under a cocktail dress, work outfit, or first-date dress. Be warned: the high neckline of the bodysuit will be visible beneath modest necklines.
The bodysuit is made of 72% nylon and 28% spandex, offering a good mix of durability, comfort, and elasticity.
The tight fit keeps everything compressed and securely in place so you can look your best all day long. However, the lace is breathable and provides good ventilation.
The surprisingly soft fabric moves with your body, keeping you comfortable even after hours of wear.
Starting at $17, this is a well-priced item of shapewear. You can look your best in any outfit thanks to this lacy, comfortable bodysuit.
Shapewear is a special sub-category of undergarments. It’s a garment made from a synthetic and elastic material—typically a combination of nylon and Spandex—that is designed to shape specific parts of your body. Shapewear often contains stiff inserts that compress body fat and give your body the desired outline.
Shapewear comes in three degrees of correction:
The question of “Who needs shapewear?” is a tricky one to answer.
Most of us would like our shape to be more in line with what we see as “perfect”—slimmer, sleeker, tighter, more toned, and with less fat around our “trouble spots”. With this desire, it’s common for both men and women to want to use shapewear to improve their appearance.
Yes, MEN can use shapewear, too! There are special shirts that enhance the fullness of the chest muscles while hiding the excess belly fat for guys, and there are girdles and body suits that can control excess midsection fat as well. Anyone who wants to take back control of their figure and love the way they look can use shapewear to cover up trouble spots.
When you hear about shapewear, the first piece of advice you’ll get is to “know your trouble spots”. These typically come down to one (or more) of a few options:
Love Handles – Men and women alike tend to pack a bit extra fat around their waistline, specifically on their love handles. If it gets to be too much, things can progress to “muffin top” stage. Shapewear can help to smooth out those love handles and control the muffin top to help improve your appearance.
Belly – A lot of the weight and fat we gain goes straight to our bellies, thanks to the way our body is genetically coded to store that fat. If you want to look like you have a flatter stomach, shapewear is a good option to compress the fat on your belly and smooth out your shape.
Shoulders and Back – This is a common trouble spot for women, who tend to have much broader shoulders and narrower hips and waists. In this case, the shapewear helps to soften the strong shoulder lines and enhances the definition of your waist so you look more “balanced” rather than top-heavy.
Hips, Thighs, and Butt – Controlling fat and hiding cellulite are the two most popular reasons for using shapewear on your lower body. You can slim down your legs, prevent sagging in your butt, and round out your hips to enhance an hourglass figure.
Knowing which of these is your main trouble spot will help you know what type of shapewear to buy.
There are many factors to consider when shopping for shapewear. Below, we’re going to dive into each of the factors to help you know what shapewear to choose.
Size is the most important factor to consider. Shapewear is NOT the same as compression garments. While there is some measure of compression—necessary to press down excess fat—your goal isn’t to compress everything to enhance circulation. You want to make sure to find the right size that fits your body properly.
Do not make the mistake of buying shapewear a size smaller! It won’t help to give you extra firmness, but it will just bulge and constrict in all the wrong places. Ultimately, you’ll end up looking bigger because you tried a size too small. Make sure to try on the shapewear so you know what fits.
And if you want more control, buy a higher degree of correction.
These terms are used interchangeably, and they refer to the degree of control over the fat. The higher the correction/constriction level, the firmer the garment and the more it will hide your trouble spots.
If the garment doesn’t have a constriction or correction rating, check out the nylon content. The more nylon it contains (meaning less elasticity from the Spandex), the higher the degree of correction it offers and the firmer the garment will feel.
Most shapewear will be made from a blend of nylon and Spandex, both of which are synthetic materials. However, these fabrics don’t breathe very well, so they may be too hot and sweaty in the summer. If you’re wearing shapewear during the hotter months of the year, consider looking for cotton-blend garments (cotton combined with synthetic fabrics). Cotton is a very breathable material that, when combined with the synthetic fabrics, makes for excellent lightweight shapewear.
Now we’re getting into the specifics!
Shapewear can be used on any number of occasions, but basically it comes down to three basic distinctions:
There is one last “occasional” factor to take into account: weather.
Cold-weather shapewear will be much thicker and heavier than warm-weather shapewear. During the winter, you can bundle up and wear multiple layers to stay warm, and a base layer of a less-than-cool shapewear will actually enhance your warmth. But during the summer when you want to dress down and move around, you need shapewear that moves and breathes easily to keep you cool.
This is when you start tailoring your shapewear precisely according to the way you look. More accurately, according to your body type.
Apple – Women with an apple body shape tend to be heavier around the midsection, with a larger waist, a large bust, rounded shoulders, shapely legs, but slim hips.
The right shapewear for your body type will slim down your waist, but will emphasize the natural appearance of your bust and your legs.
Rectangle – Women with a rectangle body shape have a bust, shoulders, and hips of a similar width, and they tend to lack a clearly defined waist. This is the most common body type—up to 45% of women have this body shape—and it involves a fairly proportionate weight carriage.
The good news is that shapewear can help to enhance the curves of your bust and hips by tightening things at the waist.
Pear – Women with a pear shape tend to carry most of their weight in the bottom half, meaning they tend to have wide hips with a rounder butt and thighs. Their waist tends to be narrow and defined, their tummies flat, but their shoulders are slim and their busts small to average.
The ideal shapewear will emphasize the flatness of your tummy and enhance your bust, balancing the top and bottom halves.
Inverted Triangle – Women with an inverted triangle body shape tend to have a broader upper body, ample bust, straight waist, narrow hips, and flatter butt with thin legs. This body type typically lacks a well-defined waist and appears “top-heavy”.
Shapewear for this body type will create curves, particularly around the hips, thighs, and booty.
Hourglass – Women with an hourglass figure are naturally curvy, with a defined waist, rounded bottom, full thighs, larger bust, and wider hips. It’s a balanced figure that is visibly voluptuous, and as such needs far less shaping than other body types.
Most shapewear for hourglass figures are designed to enhance the natural curves of the body.
Important note: Your shape WILL change with age!
Women between the ages of 18 and 35 are most likely to have an hourglass figure, while apple and rectangular shapes become more common over the age of 56.
Pregnancy and childbirth can change your shape, especially if you have multiple children over a few years.
The key to finding the right shapewear is to use the garments that enhance your CURRENT shape. Change your shapewear as your body type changes, and you’ll look good no matter how your body looks!
There are a few shaper garments to choose from, with each serving a specific purpose to enhance your figure:
Sadly, the answer to this question is no.
Shapewear (particularly athletic shapewear) may increase the amount that you sweat, but sweat output has nothing to do with fat-burning or weight loss.
The closest shapewear comes to encouraging weight loss is by encouraging better circulation to a specific area. The compression of the shapewear can enhance blood flow, potentially helping to speed up the elimination of fat cells from that area.
However, shapewear will NOT encourage weight loss—it will just make it look as if you’ve lost weight.
That’s right, there are some dangers to wearing shapewear!
Here are a few of the risks and side effects of using body shaping garments: