The Best Body Shapers for Women

The Best Body Shapers for Women

Last updated on : September 20 2016

body shapers for women

When it comes to style and fashion we all turn to “helpers” every now and again (even if it is just a little bit). Whether help arrives in the form of our trusted falsies or an infallible push-up bra, finding your go to secret weapons to ensure your look is complete, sexy, and polished every single time takes patience and fortitude.

Figure hugging bodycon and bandage dresses may be your ideal option for date night or holiday parties, but how do you conceal any lumps and bumps from showing? The answer to this eternal question faced by women all over the globe is shapewear. Although most quality bandage dresses are designed to double as shapewear, having a go too number for other looks is essential.

Shapewear should fit comfortably (after you get into it), support and shape your body, and smooth away bulges. In this guide we take a detailed look about all you need to know about shapewear for women.  

History of Shapewear

Perhaps the very first form of body shapers is the corset. Dating back to the early 1700s, women have relied on various types of corsets to rein their body in and give it doll like perfection for centuries. The version of the corset that is most recognizable now can be attributed to the 16th century.

In the year 2000, we welcomed an enterprising American woman named Sara Blakely, the inventor of the very first shaping body wear known as Spanx. Blakely’s passion for giving women confidence in their bodies has made her company the pioneer of shapewear for women around the world. Blakely was named the youngest, self-made female billionaire in the world by Forbes. Today, there are many more companies that continue to innovate and create slimming shapewear that we all have grown to love.

Finding the Best Body Shaper for You

Body shapers are known to have almost magical effects and they definitely amp up your confidence in your favorite dress. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tyra Banks amongst others absolutely swear by body shapers. However, for body shapers to actually work for you, there are a few important factors that you need to consider.

The Right Fit

Perhaps the most important factor of all is to find a good shapewear option that fits you just right—too tight and it cuts into your skin, too loose and it does not do your body any justice. An ill fitting body shaper is also uncomfortable and difficult to wear for extended periods. Take your measurements or get some help to ensure that the fitting is right.

Be Reasonable

You are sure to find plenty of adverts that promise you the sun and the moon when it comes to shaping your feminine curves. Be reasonable in your expectations from body shapers. These are professionally-made shaping products that help you gain a sleeker and slimmer appearance. However, if you are looking to go down two to three sizes, you may want to consider these 7 easy meal preps to keep you trim or  these 13 effective exercises that target your waistline.

Try It On

It is important to try on the shapewear you choose quite rigorously. Put your body through a range of motions such as sitting, bending, hunching over, etc. You are most likely intending to wear your new body shaper for a special occasion, and you are not going to be able to enjoy yourself if you are slowly asphyxiating or are afraid to “pop out”.

Choose the Right Color

Shapewear options in neutral colors such as black, beige, nude, and pastel pink are recommended for most dresses and outfits. Nude and pastel pink shapers are easily hidden under light-colored dresses (see our pink bandage dresses or nude illusion dresses) because they blend with your skin tone. These colros are definitely the go-to options if you are wearing a white dress to your party. Similarly, black is better worn under dresses of a darker hue. Excellent shapewear lines for various skin tones include Nubian Skin, Leonisa, and Spanx.

The Best Body Shapers for Women

Susan Orlean once said, "I remember thinking that a girdle was barbaric, and that never in a million years would I treat myself like a sleeping bag being shoved into a stuff sack. Never! Instead, I would run marathons and work out and be in perfect shape and reject the tyranny of the girdle forever." 

The truth of the matter is that most of us, simply cannot reject a little bit of help. So we search for the best body shapers for our body type. It can be a long and tiresome search. 

So we’ve tested and tried on some of the best shapewear options recommended by stylist around the world. We’ve created a shortlist based on the shapers we simply loved and found Kewl Girl approved below.

Spanx Bodysuits and Slimming Shorts

From mid-thigh shorts options like Oncore™ to the Thinstincts™ bodysuits, Spanx is right up there when it comes to best body shapers that offer you loads of options. Perhaps what sets Spanx apart from other companies is that you are allowed to narrow your search parameters based on specific body parts that you would like to target. Made of super-thin soft fabric, Spanx slips and shapers offer breathable fabric and comfortable fit which is not as restrictive as most other options. This multi-faceted company also provides slimming leggings and innerwear for men; introduced in 2010.

The Spanx Shimmer & Shine Open-bust bodysuit is your best friend if you want to alter the shape of your muffin top. Not only does this body shaper reduce the size of your tummy pouch, it also works to slim your hips down, and give your booty a lift.

Ultimo Shapewear

Providing light, medium, and high control options in shapewear like briefs, contour slips, bodysuits, and more, Ultimo is a UK-based company that has made a name for itself in the shapewear industry. What sets Ultimo apart is that they do not just create functional shapewear; they focus on designing “uber sexy” body shapers that look sensual to the last letter. Available in sizes that go from 8 to 16, Ultimo body shapers make perfect additions to your lingerie wardrobe as well.

The Ultimo Signature Black Body is one of the most popular options offered by the brand. This bodysuit fits just right around the waist area, and has a low coverage bust which gives you the freedom to wear a bra that works for you. Furthermore, this bodysuit comes with a thong fit at the back so you do not need to worry about any visible panty lines.

Maidenform Body Briefer

Manufacturer of women’s innerwear, Maidenform was founded in 1922 by seamstress Ida Rosenthal. Almost a century later, the company produces best-in-class shapewear to women all over the world.

The Sleek Smoothers™ WYOB Body Briefer is an open-bust laser cut body suit that offers light control, and the flexibility to wear your own bra. This body suit also offers 360 degree smoothing, and the adjustable straps make it a cinch to get the fit you seek.

Triumph Second Skin Sensation

Internationally-acclaimed lingerie brand Triumph offers a line of shapewear called Second Skin Sensation. The 3-in-1 bodysuit is a strapless body shaper that is worn in a number of ways. It is a versatile shaper that works as a strapless bodysuit, a high-waist shaping brief, and even as a skirt.

Made of 64 percent of polyamide and 36 percent elastane, this shaping garment fits snugly at all the right places, and does a great job of smoothing away bumps and bulges in your silhouette. Since this shape has no straps, it can also be worn under a strapless dress.

Yummie Gretchen Bodysuit

Founded by fashion designer and entrepreneur Heather Thomson in 2008, Yummie was inspired by Thomson’s own experiences after childbirth. The Yummie Tummie patented 3-panel tank was a huge success, and was followed by a long line of shapewear products. What works for Yummie is that their shapewear is designed with keeping style and fashion in mind.

The Gretchen Bodysuit boasts a beautiful lace trim bra that is built seamlessly into the bodysuit. The lace trim is designed to be seen and adds an extra layer of polish to your style.

Cosabella Marni Low Back Bodysuit

The word “Cosabella” means “beautiful thing” in Italian. The brand was established by Ugo and Valeria Campello in 1983. Cosabella products are made in Italy, and designed to fit and feel like a second skin.

The Marni Low Back Bodysuit is made of fine gauge Italian microfiber that is 84 percent polyamide and 16 percent elastane. This bodysuit has a deep plunge neckline that makes it easy to sneak under most dresses. The side panels of the bodysuit is made of fine mesh that hold your silhouette in and smooths it out. With a thong back and snap button closure between the legs, it is easy to wear and maneuver even if you have to wear it for long stretches of time.

Using body shapers is one of the easiest ways to obtain an hourglass figure or minimize a curvier one. If you intend to wear a form-fitting pencil dress or a two piece bandage dress that does nothing to smooth your silhouette, body shapers are the solution to your problem. A quality bandage dress negates the need for any kind of shapewear as the 90 percent rayon fabric smooths and tucks better than any run-of-the-mill shapewear would and it is lighter. However, if you are looking for more sturdy and durable shape and support consider shapewear to give you confidence for the night.

This article has been featured in our "How to get a bigger butt", a collection of articles and advice on how to get a shapely butt.

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About the Author

Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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