Mirror/Mirror Episodes

Shapewear Summed Up

A little wiggle shows a whole lot of jiggle. Thankfully, with so many varieties on the market, you can now shape up with the right shapewear.

Image expert and "Dress Yourself Skinny" author Sarah Shah says, "Shapewear's come so far since your grandmother and her girdle and the 1800s and the corset. Really, in the last ten years, I think that companies are really studying women's geometry and making styles that work so much better for us now."

Here's how to make sense of all the shapewear out there.

Different types of shapewear:

  • Torsetts - shaping camisoles without bust coverage so you can wear your choice of bras
  • Skorts - half slips with built in shorts for thigh support
  • Slips and body suits for full body shaping
  • Briefs, short shorts and high-waist bike shorts for waist and tummy control
  • Undershirts with underarm control
  • Wide band bras give you a smoother look in the back
Clothing with built-in shapewear:
  • Rafaella Slimming Pants
  • Not Your Daughter's Jeans
  • Shaping leggings
  • Shaping workout wear
  • Shaping lingerie
When choosing shapewear, here's what to look for:
  • Power - Some shape wear is thick and tight and actually makes you a size or two smaller. Some has lighter control for smoothing lumps and firming jiggly areas rather than changing your size. Powerful shape wear can squeeze out flesh and make more rolls at the edges of the garment. The edges of shape wear should always be smooth against your skin, without digging in to your flesh.
  • Style - Different styles work for different figures. If you carry your weight on your back, stomach or sides, choose a shaping cami or high-waist bike short, or layer the two for a super smooth look. If you carry your weight on your hips, bottom, and thighs choose regular waist briefs, shorts or leggings. Different companies make each style differently, so keep looking until you find the right shaper for you.
  • Fabric - Slick fabrics keep clothing from grabbing so you get a smoother look. Mesh fabrics breath better and are cooler to wear.
  • Try It On - It's the only way to see if it is right for your figure. Keep trying on different styles, brands and fabrics until you find the right one for you. Better yet, try shape wear on under the garment you want to wear it with so you can check the neckline, hemline, transparency and fit to make sure it works for you and your clothes.
  • Get One Size Bigger - Some shape wear can be so powerful it squeezes too much. Sometimes you need to get one size bigger than you think so you get the smoothing effect instead of the squeezing effect.
  • Everyone Can Wear Shape Wear - Shape wear isn't just for plus sizes. Even small-sizes have cellulite to smooth or jiggles to firm.
Additional shapewear features:
  • Silicone - at the edges keeps the shape wear in place so it doesn't ride up, roll up, fall down or slip off.
  • Boning - keeps waistbands from rolling or slipping down.
  • Necklines - check slips and camis to make sure the neckline is low or high enough.
  • Open bust - slips, camis and body suits with open busts allow you to choose the right bra to work with the neckline of your clothes and give you the shape and support you want.
Shapewear shown in the segment:
  • Spanx Slim Cognito High Waist Bike Shorts (Dillard's, about $72)
  • From The Heart Peacock Tunic (Dillard's, about $92)
  • Lace Leggings (Dillard's, about $38)
  • TC Toresette body briefer (Dillard's, about $72)
  • Yummie Tummie Cotton Wow leggings (Dillard's, about $76)
  • Spanx Thinstincts mid thigh brief (about $58)
  • Bethenny Frankel red lace shaping cami (SkinnyGirlShapers.com, about $38)
  • Bethenny Frankel shaping brief (SkinnyGirlShapers.com, about $24)
  • Spanx Slimplicity full slip (Dillard's, about $76)
  • Spanx Simplicity open bust mid-thigh body suit (Dillard's, about $84)
More information:
Sarah Shah, image expert and author
"Dress Yourself Skinny"

Special thanks to Dillard's

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