For many people, shapewear can seem incredibly intimidating. They come in many different types, ranging from bodysuits to control top sheer hosiery. How do you know which one best suits your body? How do you find the right size? Where can you buy them?
Indeed, all this can be daunting for a beginner. If it’s your first time shopping for shapewear, read on for some useful advice to help you get exactly what you need:
Understanding What You Want
Rushing into buying shapewear may be too hasty if you’re not even sure what you want out of wearing them in the first place. In the same way that you take time to discern each piece of your outfit, you also need to take the time to think about what kind of shapewear you’ll need. Here are some points to consider before shopping for shapewear:
Your Body Type
The first thing to do is to get your measurements, particularly for your bust, waist, and hips since these are the areas that are most commonly adjusted by shapewear. Consider the areas of your body with lumps or sags that you personally want to smoothen out. As an optional tip, you might want to remember the typical sizes of your clothes, since shapewear can slim you down up to two sizes smaller. That said, do note that shapewear doesn’t follow the same sizing schemes.
Your Body Shaping Goals
With a clear image of your own physique, you probably have a better idea of what look you want for your body. You may also be thinking about certain pieces, especially dresses, that you’d forgone because you didn’t think that you had the body for it. At this point, you can decide what parts of your body you want to accentuate or minimize. You should also think about whether you want to reduce flab, smoothen your curves, or enhance certain parts of your body.
Your Outfit and the Occasion
Firstly, you don’t necessarily need to prepare an outfit just for the sake of wearing your shapewear. However, it’s good to know what clothes you like or plan to wear, and if you can look better in them with the help of shapewear. Furthermore, some types of shapewear aren’t meant to be visible, while others are used as more decorative external garments. Lastly, keep in mind whether the shoes you’ll wear will have the toes exposed or covered.
It’s also good to think about when and where you plan to use these shaping garments. If you’ll be using them every day for work, for example, they may wear out more quickly. If you plan to wear them outdoors in cold weather, you may want to opt for thicker shapewear.
Preparing Yourself Beforehand
Now that you’re familiar with the shape of your body and what you want out of shapewear, it’s time to pick the ones that work best for you. It might feel quite tedious at first, given the wide range of specialized garments available. However, it’s well worth it if your shapewear will help you get one step closer to your desired figure. Having said this, here are some tips to help you prepare for your fashion haul:
Do Your Research
There’s quite a variety of shapewear types for all parts and areas of the body. Luckily, you already know what parts you want to address thanks to our earlier tips. Still, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common types of shapewear and list down whichever ones suit your body-shaping needs.
In addition to this, it’s a must to familiarize yourself with the different attributes of shapewear, such as the thickness of the garment. The color depends on whether you want to match your skin tone, go for standout hues, or just stick to the classic black color. There are even garments with built-in underwear, such as bras and extra support for pregnant wearers. Lastly, shapewear options that cover the feet can come open-toed, close-toed, or even reinforced at the toes.
Get Familiar with Brands
Not all shapewear is made the same, and that becomes clear when you see the variety in approaches taken by every fashion brand. There usually isn’t an objective difference between brands, though some may design their garments in a way that suits your body better.
The most important potential difference to consider is how they categorize their pieces by size, as one brand’s sizing chart may be quite different from another’s. Unfortunately, getting the wrong size could spell disaster. Loose shapewear won’t do anything for you, while a too-tight garment could cause more bulges or even develop laddering in the fabric.
After getting a grasp of shapewear fashion brands and what each can offer, you’ve likely zeroed in on a few of them and which of their products are most viable for you. The last thing to do is to read reviews about these products. After all, these garments are a fashion investment, and there’s no better way to know about any defects and long-term issues with the pieces than by hearing from those who have bought them. Aside from gaining valuable insight from more experienced shapewear users, reviews may also help you further deduce which brand is right for you.
Knowing Where to Buy
Now that you know what type of shapewear you want, you’ll need to know where to buy it. Here are some of the best avenues to shop for shapewear:
Traditional shoppers swear that there’s nothing quite like being there to see the clothes yourself before you buy them, and the same goes for shapewear shopping. Ideally, you should first try on the garments to make sure that they provide an optimal fit. That said, make sure to be hygienic and have some underwear on for this out of consideration for other shoppers and the store staff.
By being able to see the shapewear in person, you’ll get to feel if the material is comfortable and if you can handle the amount of pressure and constriction the garment provides. Likely the only problem you’ll face is if the store no longer has any stocks that come in your size. You’ll just have to come back another time or look elsewhere, in that case. As a bonus, though, you won’t have to pay for shipping.
A Brand’s Official Online Store
Recommended by most, going this route means going directly to a brand’s online store to shop through their catalog. This offers the same convenience as online marketplaces, though you can rest assured that you’re receiving authentic products straight from the brand. Some brand’s online stores even allow you to pre-order new shapewear releases. Most reputable brands also provide all the information you need about their products, from exact measurements to the types of fabrics used to make them.
Online shopping means the location of the store is no longer a deciding factor since you can buy shapewear no matter where you are. The chances of getting what you need depend only on which seller you choose. Online marketplaces, in particular, are like virtual malls, in that they allow you to shop from multiple stores at once.
However, online marketplaces do come with their own potential problems. For one, you may be at a higher risk of getting scammed, and some online sellers may provide misleading information or even pretend to be selling genuine products. You may even receive the wrong product entirely! If you know what you’re doing, though, you may just find a good deal on the internet that’s even cheaper than buying from a brand’s official store.
With so much to think about, you may find yourself more anxious than before you decided to take shapewear seriously. That said, it’s important to remember that you’re a beginner and that you’ll learn as you go. At the end of the day, the primary goal of getting your very own shapewear is to help you feel more confident in yourself. Though it may be overwhelming at first, investing in shaping garments will be worth it in the long run!