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Is ‘Comfortable Shapewear’ an Oxymoron?



Shapewear is a subject that divides many women’s minds and their wardrobes. Unlike diamonds, these wonders do not glitter or sparkle, and they cost significantly less; but arguably can have an even greater effect on your appearance.

My first experience of shapewear came after buying a particularly clingy dress and noting, with horror, that instead of making me look slinky, it made every lump and bump look absolutely hideous. I was mortified. I’d heard about shapewear from fashion programs on the TV and decided it was time to try it out for myself. So, the next day, I went out on a shapewear mission, armed with a basic knowledge of what I wanted, and a determination to look good in my dress.

Subsequently, I purchased the most horrendous looking piece of underwear that I have ever owned.

The Bridget Bandwagon

It was Bridget Jones through and through; high wasted, beige, and disgusting. After finally managing to wiggle into it, I slipped the dress back over my head and was amazed at the result; this was the figure I has been expecting when I bought the dress, the lumps and bumps were no more., Instead, I looked curvy, but in all the right places, hallelujah!

I had unwittingly started an underwear love affair. Outfits that had been cast to the back of the wardrobe were given a whole new lease of life because now I had the confidence (and the figure) to pull them off.

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that not all shapewear is practical for day to day use. I’ve bought a variety of different pieces for different outfits, some of which were extremely restrictive (a waist clincher with built-in boning that jabbed me every time I sat down being the worst culprit) and some that just weren’t right for me.

So, Can Shapewear Really Be Comfortable?

Whilst shapewear is designed to hide your ‘bad bits,’ and to help you squeeze into a particularly tight bit of clothing, there is a solution for girls who want control comfortable enough to wear every day. The secret is all in finding the right style and correct size for your body shape.

Concentrate on the areas you want to target and buy shapewear specifically designed for this part of your body.  For example; if your tummy is your main concern, you could wear a shapewear camisole, or high waisted briefs, both of which have been created specifically for smoothing and slimming the tummy.

Discovering the Style That’s Right For You

Ladies who want full control should look no further than a bodysuit, either with a cutout chest, or, for those who want to reduce their bust, a full chest-style. But ensure that the seams do not create bulges where they meet, as that could negate the point of wearing it in the first place.

If your legs are the issue, try some control tights, or mid-thigh shaping bottoms. These can also help to control your tummy if you buy a piece that comes up to under the bust, just be careful that they do not dig into your legs, as this can be uncomfortable and visible through clothing.

It is important to remember that shapewear is not going to bring you down several dress sizes, nor is buying shapewear in a smaller size going to do this either. Make sure you get your measurements right and buy a piece that is designed to fit you properly, that way you’ll avoid a lot of discomforts later on. By ensuring that you purchase the correct size, you won’t be at risk of the band rolling over, as this can look extremely unflattering.

When trying your new shapewear, always check that you can sit down comfortably, particularly if you are planning to wear it to work. If it doesn’t feel right then take it back and buy a different style, there is a wealth of choice available; so don’t suffer to look good!