There are a lot of great options for women who are looking for shapewear that can help control the lower stomach or a belly pooch. Whether you are looking for an everyday tummy shaper or something for a special occasion outfit, there many different styles to choose from.
To get the most out of your body shaper you need to figure out a couple of things in order to find the style that will work best for you. A lot of the shapewear is expensive, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about how you are going to wear it, what is most important to you (comfort, look, price, etc). There isn’t one style that works best for the tummy, but rather a number of styles that will work great depending on how you are going to be wearing it.
Before you Shop
Before you start shopping there are a couple of things to consider:
How Often Will the Shapewear be Worn– Different levels of control are offered for each type of body shaping garment. If tummy support is desired for a special occasion under a slinky dress, a woman may be able to tolerate a much higher level of support for a few hours than if she were looking for an everyday, all-day shaper.
Levels of Control- For the most part, there are three levels of control in shapewear: light, moderate and firm. Some brands also offer ultra firm. If you are looking for a garment that you want to wear everyday, you would look for a light or moderate firmness level. If you are going to a wedding or have a special occasion outfit that you want to look amazing in, you will probably want to look for shapewear that is firm or ultra firm. Light to moderate control will kind of just smooth everything out (perhaps stop cellulite from showing through,) but it won’t shape your figure. Firm or ultra firm will shape your figure into a more hourglass or conventionally desired shape using compression and very firm fabrics. All shapewear comes in different support levels, just make sure you know the type of level you are look for and read item descriptions before buying.
Shaper Types That will Help With Your Tummy
If you are looking specifically for a style that will help smooth out your stomach, you are going to want to narrow your choices down to one of the following styles.
Body suit styles look kind of like a modest one-piece bathing suit. They are sometimes called body briefers, and are helpful for shaping the area from bust (if it includes a built in bra) to the hip. They work well to smooth out and hold in problem areas, the only downside is that they can be kind of a pain if you have to go to the restroom (although many do have snaps in the crotch area).
Tummy Control Shaping Panties/Shorts
Shaping panties can be one of the most inexpensive and effective options if you want something that you can wear everyday that will help avoid a tummy bulge. They come in all levels of firming control, and they have the added bonus of shaping and lifting your behind, as well as you controlling your tummy. You can wear them under almost any type of clothing.
Pictured Everyday Shaping Panties Boyshort
Camisoles and Tanks
One of my favourite types of shapewear to help control the tummy is the camisole style. They look like a regular tank top (not the wear your own bra styles obviously), but they can help create a flattened more defined look, not only in the tummy, but in the bust as well. This is one of the easiest styles to wear and the most comfortable.
If you wear a lot of tight dresses a slip shaper may be the way to go. They are great for creating a toned look on the abdomen, rear, hips, and thighs. You can get a half slip, or a slip where you can wear your own bra (pictured) or have a built in bra.
Waist cinchers have become extremely popular in recent years, in part due to celebrities like the Kardashians bringing them into the mainstream. A lot of people get them confused with corsets, but they are actually less expensive and easier to wear than a full corset. Corsets tend to be much bulkier and less flexible than a waist cincher. A waist cincher is great for tummy control because it runs from the hips to just below the breasts, so they work really well to keep the tummy tucked in.
Thigh slimmers are one of the most popular styles of shapewear for women. The can help firm up the tummy (if you get a high waist), rear, hips, thighs. They usually have medium to firm control, and are a great option to wear under pants, long skirts, or dresses. They are one of the best options for flattening your waist and tummy and lifting your rear.
Pictured Spanx Higher Power Short
Best Shapewear Brands
If you have figured out the style of shapewear that you want to get, you then have to decide what brand is right for you. Since Spanx has been so successful, the number of new companies designing shapewear has gone through the roof. Older established underwear and intimate apparel companies now all pretty much make some form of shapewear.
We have rounded up some of the most popular brands and linked to a few of their best-selling items.
Everyone knows about Spanx, they are THE brand that is synonymous with shapewear. They pioneered and made popular the use of shapewear, and have pretty much any kind of style and control level that you might ever need. The are definitely one of the best brands to take a look first, the only downside is that they are a little on the pricey side. They do have a cheaper line called Assets By Spanx that is available at Target, JC Penny and some other places that you may want to check out if they regular line is a little out of your budget. Some of the most popular Spanx styles are: the On Core Mid Thigh Bodysuit (pictured), the Thinstincts® Mid-Thigh Short, and the Thinstincts® Tank.
MiracleSuit is a company that created a bathing suit that makes women look 10 lbs lighter. After the success of the bathing suit they quickly moved into the the shapewear market. Their body shapers are very popular, and have a great reputation for their shaping and slimming effect while still being comfortable and breathable. They offer different styles for Missy, Plus and Long Torso customers. One of their most popular pieces is the Extra Firm Control Sheer Trim Body Shaper.
Maidenform is a great brand to check out if you are in need of some good quality, but not overly expensive shapewear. They have a very reasonably priced line called Flexees, that offers firm control pieces that aren’t super expensive. Maidenform has also just created a line called Curvy that is designed specifically for plus sizes. Some bestsellers include: the Endlessly Smooth Firm Control Convertible Slip, and the Maidenform Flexees Women’s Shapewear Hi-Waist Brief.
Commando has become a big hit with celebrities for its thin seamless underwear. They use a high-tech cotton blend microfiber fabric, and are designed with raw edges that don’t leave and indents or lines that will show through your clothes. They smooth everything out and aren’t constricting. They are made in the USA, are super thin, and are pretty much invisible under your clothes. They sell a bunch of different underwear styles, but their best option for control shorts is their Commando’s Classic Control Shorts.
Pictured Commando Classic Control Short
Wacoal is another well established intimates brand that is known for its high quality and comfortable bras. Not surprisingly, they expanded into Shapewear bringing the fit quality and comfort that that they are known for with it. They offer bodysuits, torsettes, high-waisted briefs, long leg shapers and camisoles that will all work well to flatten your tummy.
Comfort- If you are someone who loves comfort you may want to avoid shapewear altogether, since it isn’t generally known for being comfortable. Obviously if you are getting a garment with a lightweight level of control you will be more comfortable than something that is ultra firm. One rule of thumb if you are concerned about comfort is to go for a style that gives you the least amount of coverage possible, while still dealing with your tummy. Assess your body and determine if you can get away with just wearing a waist cincher or high-waisted shorts, rather than a full body suit.
Cleaning and Care- The cost of some of these shapers can be pretty eye-wateringly high, so you are going to want them to last as long as possible. In order to do this it is important that in order to keep the garment in good shape, you follow all of the washing instructions that are given so it can maintain shape and control. Some of the material that is used in these types of products like rubber, spandex and silicone can break down if it isn’t cleaned properly. In most cases that will mean hand washing or washing on the delicate cycle and not putting into the dryer.
Sizing – If you are using shapewear to appear smaller ,you may be tempted to get a smaller size than what you normally wear. Don’t do this because it won’t make you appear smaller, it will just make you incredibly uncomfortable. It can also cut off your circulation and create unsightly bulges where you aren’t expecting them.
Conversely, getting a larger size than what you normally wear won’t make the garments more comfortable. Instead, it will probably be more uncomfortable because it will move around and bunch up in odd ways. Also it won’t do what it supposed to do, and will be pointless to wear.
Do your best to find the right fit for your body by taking your measurements and comparing them against manufacturer’s sizing charts.
Where to Find – Shapewear is available at all major department stores, lingerie stores, and online.