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Bare Necessities' Body Wrap Seamless Body Briefer Shapewear
Bare Necessities' Body Wrap Seamless Body Briefer Shapewear

How To Buy Shapewear

By Maudie BantaSHOP.COM Contributor

With so many kinds of shapewear out there, you just need to know how to narrow down the options and pick the one that best fits your need. Shapewear can be worn by women of any size, emphasizes all of your best assets, and keeps everything "under control." Whether it is a tummy slimmer, better chest support, buttocks-shaping, or even maternity shapewear, it is all out there. By simply identifying that part of your body you'd like to focus on and taking the correct measurements, you'll be sure to get shapewear that'll make you look fabulous. Follow these guidelines to help pick out which shapewear works best for you!

The Basics

Step 1Measurements and Sizing: Start off with measuring your waist, hips, and chest. This will help to find a shapewear right for your body. Check out Mycamila sizing chart to help figure out your size.
Step 2Narrowing Down: Focus in on the part or parts of your body that you want to shape. If you're looking to flatten your stomach, look for the tummy slimmers -- they are normally briefs that are high rise, going up to mid-stomach. Or if you want to slim your stomach and get more cleavage, then you would look for body suit shapewear. Other ones are thigh slimmers, better support, help with cleavage, and ones that shape your bottom.
Step 3Picking a style: Once you've found the part of your body you would like to shape, you need to decide what under garment style you feel most comfortable in. If briefs work for you, then look for shapewear that has full butt coverage. If you prefer thongs, there are styles that slim in the front, but also offer buttock shape. Think about the garment you will be wearing it under too -- you don't want it to show.
Step 4Color: The most popular shapewear colors that you will see are nude, tan, white, and black. These are the easiest colors to camouflage with either your skin or the outfit you are wearing, so try to stick with the nudes and blacks.
Step 5Maternity: Yes! There is even shapewear for pregnant women. These offer excellent back support, lower belly support and slimming of the thighs, while allowing growth in the stomach area.

The Lingo

Brief Shorts: originated from boy briefs, which are like boxers but tight and don't go any longer then mid-thigh.
Girdle: an undergarment that is light and used to support waist, hips, and bottom.
Hip Measurement: should be the fullest part of your hips, in the pelvic area including your buttocks.
Plunge: this will be used to explain the bra part of the shapewear, as it will probably cut down to the waist. Normally used when wearing a low cut dress or shirt.
Seamless: this means that there is no panty, thong, or bra lines, completely smooth.
Waist Measurement: your waist measurement is normally just right above your belly button.

The Experts

Bare Necessities Bra Measuring Guide "Measuring yourself for a bra is an art, not a science."
Glamour 411 "It's not so much about looking thinner, as it is about selecting the right foundation undergarment to enhance you where you need it."

The Brands

Spanx has everything from basic shapewear, to bras and camis making it very easy to pick an undergarment that will solve your outfit problem.
Maidenform not only makes bras and undergarments, but has shapewear bras and panties, or even both, that will show off your body!
Jockey is mainly known for making comfortable underwear, and now has shapewear that is just as comfortable.
Dr. Rey's Shapewear You might have seen his shapewear on Home Shopping Network or QVC promoting his brand that is dedicated to providing shapewear for your body type.

The Price

$: Shapewear that is normally in the $12-$20 range will tend to be ones that target one area, meaning less fabric used. It might just be to support the butt or just to slim the tummy. Might also not shape as well as the more expensive ones. Bare Necessities has a shapewear brief for only $12.
$$: This is the $25-$60 range; they can be anything from body suits to just one that really focuses on your thighs. These are made to last longer, and to have a more noticeable effect when wearing them. Check out Macy's Flexees Shapewear.
$$$: The $60 and up range tend to be the more well known brands, and sold at bigger department stores like Neiman Marcus. This shapewear would be good if you are planning on wear it everyday, this way you will get your money's worth.