What Is Shapewear?

Smiling Woman

Shapewear, in today’s time, has established itself as one of the most basic garments for women. Having said that, such foundation garments, for instance, corsets, have been worn by women since a long time ago. These foundation garments have been considered as a fashion statement as well as support wear for women all over.

Smiling Woman

As a fashion statement, these garments offer a well-rounded body shape and the hourglass figure that most women crave for while wearing dresses or even a normal casual attire. As support wear, these foundation garments offer support to the back and the bust due to their inherent strength and construction.

The shapewear has only grown with time. This isn’t surprising, considering the emphasis our society puts on being fashionable and following all the current trends, along with presenting the picture that everyone needs to be perfect all the time. Between 2009 and 2013, the shapewear brand Debenhams revealed an increment of 75% in overall sales through shapewear.

A must-have in every woman’s wardrobe, shapewear is a foundation garment that helps in giving the body the perfect shape, as the name suggests. It sucks in the waist, helping women attain an hourglass figure. They instantly transform the look of every dress and increase the appeal it holds, thereby also increasing the confidence of the wearer in carrying that dress.

Types of Shapewear

With the increase in their demand, companies have started to make multiple types of shapewear. In principle, choosing which shapewear to buy isn’t a hard task, but with the variety available in the market today, it does become a confusing task at times to decide which is the right fit for you.

Before getting on to choosing shapewear, now that we know what it is, it’s important to understand the different types being offered in the market today.

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  • Body Briefer: This is one of the most common types of shapewear. A body briefer is similar to women’s regular underwear but differs in the material and the design. It is designed to compress your lower abdomen and the sides to make it look flat and offer a slim, flattering body shape.
  • Camisoles: Known as control camisoles, these are shapewear designed within the regular tank tops or camisoles and work by lifting up the bust and compressing the fat around the mid-waist, offering a flattened look and a curvy shape to the body.
  • Ethnic Shapewear or Saree Shapewear: As the name suggests, these are generally meant to be worn with traditional or ethnic outfits like sarees and long, flared skirts. They primarily compress the flab around the waist and thighs, along with the hips and the back, smoothing any extra fat around these areas. Hence, they basically lend the body the look of a mermaid, one that goes well with ethnic wear.
  • Corsets: Also known as waist trainers, corsets are meant to give the waist a more petite look while lifting up the bust and supporting the back. Corsets have been used as body shapers for a very long time and are also worn as a fashion statement due to their availability in multiple attractive designs.

There is also other shapewear like waist cinchers, seamless shapewear, long leg shapewear and more.

Types of Shapewear

Shapewear can have different designs depending on their style and type.

Camisoles are simple with a thick material that compresses the mid-waist. Corsets generally have steel rods or hooks to close in the front while lacing them up at the back.

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There is also the option to broaden or narrow the shoulder straps, depending on the body type. For women with heavier busts, it’s better to broaden the shoulder straps to offer extra support in lifting the bust-up.

Benefits of Wearing Shapewear

There are a lot of benefits to wearing shapewear. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Slimmer Figure: Probably the most attractive benefit of shapewear is that it instantly gives the body a slimmer appearance. The compression helps in reducing the flab around the mid-waist, hips, thighs and flattens the lower abdomen. The instant size reduction in the waist size wins the argument for most shapewear wearers.
  • Inconspicuous: Shapewear isn’t conspicuous, implying that you can wear them and no one would even get to know about their presence. The material the shapewear is made of has undergone much advancement in recent years and offers complete invisibility beneath clothes. Therefore, you can wear shapewear without worrying about even its shadow being visible over your clothes.
  • Cost-effective: Shapewear is a cost-effective way to achieve the perfect body, as compared to other solutions that help in weight loss or body toning through plastic surgery.
  • Helps in Weight Loss: If you are wearing shapewear, there are high chances that you are also following a workout regime to reduce the extra bodyweight along with taking care of your diet to get that perfect look. This is a fairly long-term process and does not happen overnight. However, what if you want to reach your goals sooner than later and wear that dress you have been eyeing but haven’t been able to wear due to just a couple of extra inches on your waist. Shapewear helps you compress that fat and lets you wear whatever you want. Wearing them regularly can also lead to semi-permanent results of waist reduction since they adjust the floating organs.

Buying the Right Shapewear

Wearing shapewear, once you get used to it, is extremely smooth and becomes a part of your attire. It has been donned by celebrities and women from all walks of life to appear slim and attractive. However, it might take some time to break into it.

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It is not advisable to push your body to fit into shapewear forcefully since it might cause more harm than good. Therefore, it’s important to be careful as well while choosing the shapewear and wearing them.

While choosing the right shapewear, it’s important to remember a few important points. With the vast variety of these foundation garments available in the market today, it can get a bit daunting to decide the right shapewear for your body. Hence, here’s a simple checklist for you to remember when choosing the right shapewear.

  • Know Your Size: Women, as a general habit, tend to more often than not, wear a size lesser than their body requirement. Instead of making them look slimmer, this actually makes them look awkward and lends the body a weird shape with bulges in different places. Not to mention the discomfort this might cause. Therefore, it’s important to know your size and stick to it. Choose the shapewear that fits you the best and is comfortable enough to be worn for longer hours. It’s best to actually try it on before buying.
  • Understand Your Objective: Depending on your body type and what kind of figure you want to achieve, you need to choose the extent of constriction a shapewear offers. In case you want a solid transformation of body shape, it’s best to go for shapewear with a strong constriction that is likely to be heavier in order to offer more compression. In case all you want to do is just flatten some extra bulges, lightweight shapewear with medium constriction should do the job.
  • Choose the Right Fabric: Typically, shapewear is made of dense materials that don’t allow air to pass through, just causing more perspiration and suffocation. Materials like nylon and spandex are generally non-breathable, meaning they don’t offer the lightweight comfort that cotton or mesh shapewear offers. However, they are good to wear in a colder environment. Therefore, it’s important to understand the fabric before buying shapewear.
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Before delving into the world of body transformations and foundation garments, it’s important to understand what shapewear is. Only then can you avail all the advantages that it has to offer.