If you have a big event coming up or simply want to attain a sleeker shaper in your clothes while also being comfortable, consider investing in shapewear. “While there are a whole host of benefits to shapewear, the top two that women point to most often is feeling a boost in confidence and having a more polished look,” explains Vicki Seawright, the vice president of Maidenform — a brand we’ve long looked to for reliable shapewear pieces.
How to find the right shapewear for you
Celebrity stylist Mickey Freeman explains that “the type of shapewear one chooses can completely alter the way your clothing fits, and most importantly affect one’s overall comfortability.” He says that the qualities of good shapewear include its ability to “slenderize your torso, firmly control and smooth the tummy and hips, shape the waist, improve postsure and complement [your] outfits.” In terms of feel, Seawright notes to remember that “shapewear is an intimate layer, so soft fabrics and breathability are important factors to consider.”
For so long, though, many people wouldn’t want to admit that they were wearing any shapewear, but we think it’s empowering and exciting to get a little help sculpting, toning and smoothing the body. “Talking about undergarments or shapewear — many people make it seem negative,” says celebrity stylist Andrew Gelwicks. “It’s not meant to make you feel bad about your body — it’s meant to make you feel more comfortable and confident.”
With this guidance in mind, we tapped our experts and searched the web (and our own collections) to find the best shapewear out there. From bodysuits and tanks to briefs and leggings, check out our recommendations below.
Shapewear for tummy and waist
Skims Sculpting Bodysuit W. Snaps ($62; skims.com)
Available in sizes XXS to 5X and an array of flesh-toned colors, this can be your new everyday bodysuit to hold in your core and support your chest. In fact, Freeman thinks “this bodysuit snatches the waist and lifts the buttocks.” The stylist-approved piece is made from the brand’s soft, seamless fabric and even features a high-cut leg to further enhance your shape. Reviewers rave that it’s comfortable enough to wear all day long.
Cysm Seamless Arm Control Push-Up Shaper ($62.99; shapewearusa.com)
“This shaper will mask stubborn underarm adipose tissue and lift the breasts,” says Freeman. Although not best for tummy or waist control, it’s a great addition to your collection if you want to feel more confident about your arms. It’s designed for back coverage and firm compression to slim and tone your arms — even featuring an adjustable under-bust front closure so that you can wear your favorite bra (or bralette) and adjust the push-up capacity to your liking.
Dominique Colette Lace Strapless Corset ($79; barenecessities.com)
If you’re looking for a piece of shapewear that’s on the sexier side, or even cool enough to wear on its own as a top, check out the Dominique Colette Lace Strapless Corset. “This corset tucks in the tummy and smooths the hips for a desirable waistline,” explains Freeman. “The lace detailing gives it added femininity.” It’s available in three colors, band sizes ranging from 32 to 48 and cup sizes A to F — so you’re sure to find a fit that works for you. We think a strapless bra like this is a wardrobe necessity for sure.
Honeylove LiftWear Cami ($84; honeylove.com)
“My favorite thing ever! [I] love the way it holds everything in place and isn’t hot at all. I wear to work with no issues,” writes one reviewer of the Honeylove LiftWear Cami, which they think is good enough to ditch bras altogether. The tank is available in seven colors and sizes XS to 3X to provide the upper body support you crave. It’s a wire-free number, with bonded under-boob support and dig-free straps that you can choose to buy as wide or adjustable.
Bali Firm Control Lace ‘N Smooth Built-In Bra Body Shaper (starting at $22.88; amazon.com)
This bodysuit body shaper by Bali is meant for tummy, waist and rear targeting, and even features a built-in underwire bra. It’s made of a soft stretch lace to shape your waist under dresses, skirts or even worn with bottoms as a bodysuit. One reviewer writes, “This is not only pretty but doesn’t squeeze you in. It’s got the right amount of give so that you’re comfortable and looks smooth.”
Wacoal Red Carpet Medium Control Convertible Bodysuit ($125; barenecessities.com)
Another strapless shapewear option is the Wacoal Red Carpet Medium Control Convertible Bodysuit, which has gleaming reviews for being comfortable and providing great bust support despite being strapless, making it great to wear to prom, weddings or any other special event. Available in two colors, band sizes 34 to 40 and cup sizes C to G, this bodysuit is designed to smooth and support your shape.
Shapewear for legs and butts
Victoria’s Secret Leonisa Shapewear High-Waist Firm Compression Legging ($79; victoriassecret.com)
“These leggings will give the appearance of toned and shapely lower extremities,” says Freeman. We’d reach for these for tummy, leg and butt shaping and compression. Available in three colors in sizes S to XXL, these are made from a moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabric — even featuring an anti-slip waistband so they won’t roll down.
Maidenform Shaping Brief With Cool Comfort ($15, originally $20.50; maidenform.com)
If you’re looking for minimal lower tummy and butt shaping, consider the Maidenform Shaping Brief. The brief is made from a lightweight soft fabric so that you feel comfortable wearing them all day as well as a wide shaping waistband that won’t roll or pinch. Even cooler is that these are made with the brand’s Cool Comfort technology, which, according to Seawright, “helps keep you cool and comfortable.”
Maidenform Shaping Lace Thong With Cool Comfort ($15, originally $20.50; maidenform.com)
Another great Maidenform undie option is the Shaping Lace Thong, which also offers the Cool Comfort technology. You should have this in your collection to wear under tight bottoms or if you simply prefer more minimal underwear options. Available in a range of colors in sizes S to 2X, this pair provides tummy coverage in the front with thong styling in the back for a shapewear piece that’s sure to become a staple.
Maidenform High-Waist Brief ($25, originally $38; maidenform.com)
We love the sensual touch lace adds to shapewear or lingerie — especially if your goal is to feel more sexy and confident. That’s one of the reasons we love the Maidenform High-Waist Brief. Beyond the chic design, it’s created for tummy and booty shaping that won’t show under your clothes. The brief is available in three colors and sizes S to 2X.
Skims Sculpting High-Waist Brief ($36; skims.com)
The Skims Sculpting High-Waist Brief will be a game-changing piece of shapewear in your collection for sure. The briefs are meant to be invisible under everything while providing the core and butt shaping you desire. Grab this for a special occasion or everyday wear in your pick of several nude shades in sizes XXS to 5X.
In fact, Gelwicks is obsessed with the brand because founder Kim Kardashian “really took the time to see what the shapewear needs are.” He adds that “with traditional shapewear brands, it’s one-size-fits-all — especially from a stylist perspective. But with Skims, Kim really paid attention to the small details from the fabrication to the different skin tone shades.”
Honeylove SuperPower Short ($89; honeylove.com)
If you read any of the 1,500 reviews for this piece, you’ll see shoppers excited to have found a shapewear piece that holds them in without being uncomfortable. The short is designed to tone legs, sculpt your butt and waist, compress your tummy and even support your posture. Take your pick of four colors in sizes XS to 3X to find the short that’s right for you.
Commando Ultimate Opaque Control Tights ($38; wearcommando.com)
Tights that double as shapewear? If that sounds appealing to you, try the Commando Ultimate Opaque Control Tights that have a black matte finish and raw-cut control waistband to smooth the tummy and legs. Reviewers say that despite having a control waistband, they’re still super comfortable. The brand itself comes at the recommendation of Gelwicks, who says it’s his go-to for any type of red carpet or public appearance. “They have quite a few different styles and color options. All the girls say it’s so comfy and seamless,” he says.
Spanx Look at Me Now Seamless Leggings ($68; spanx.com)
Another sculpting leggings option are the Spanx Look at Me Now Seamless Leggings. These are designed with a double-layer waistband to smooth your tummy, slim your waist and prevent any muffin top. Even better is that the leggings don’t have a center seam, so you definitely won’t get a camel toe. We’d throw these on to run errands, have a light workout or have a chill day with friends.
Shapewear for full body
Spanx OnCore Open-Bust Mid-Thigh Bodysuit ($98; spanx.com)
If you’re looking for more full-body shaping, consider this. According to Freeman, “This bodysuit tames the tummy and snatches the thighs.” Available in a beige nude and black in sizes XS to 3X, the bodysuit is described by the brand as a total transformation. It is made with fully boned front panels and edge-boned side panels to flatten your tummy and slim your waist. Even better is that it’s open bust, meaning you can still sport your own bra.
Spanx Suit Your Fancy Plunge Low-Back Mid-Thigh Bodysuit ($148; spanx.com)
The Spanx Suit Your Fancy Plunge Low-Back Mid-Thigh Bodysuit is a bestseller of the brand for good reason. Consider it your go-to when you have your next fancy event or perhaps an upcoming wedding to help you feel your best. Available in size XS to XL, this bodysuit features both a low back and plunge front perfect for a strappy dress or backless moment. The straps are also adjustable and convertible for added versatility, even including clear straps too.
Skims Sculpting Bodysuit Mid-Thigh W. Open Gusset ($68; skims.com)
Not only is this available in sizes XXS to 5X, it’s offered in nine flesh-toned shades to suit any skin color — perfect if you prefer to conceal your shapewear as much as possible. The Sculpting Bodysuit is designed to hold your core, lift your butt and chest and smooth your upper thighs all at once to enhance your body shape. One reviewer writes that it “holds you in so you feel secure, but it’s not so tight you can’t breathe.” It’s truly a versatile piece of shapewear to sport again and again.