Shapewear has gotten a bad rap. Some have compared them to torture devices that squeeze your innards in the name of beauty. Then there’s the problem of having to constantly and discreetly adjust bits that are rolling down or sliding up. If you’ve had any of these bad run-ins with shapewear, it’s because it didn’t do its job, which is to help you feel comfortable and in control.
What if we told you that the squeezing, rolling, muffin-topping discomfort you’ve experienced is because the piece of shapewear you’ve chosen is either the wrong size (easy to fix) or it’s the wrong piece for your body type (also an easy fix)?
Just like no two bodies are alike, not every piece of shapewear is intended for every shape. This guide will help you discover the perfect match the next time you’re looking for shapewear to help you feel comfy and body confident.
1) What outcome do you want?
First thing’s first: what are you going for? The level of control, aka compression of your shapewear will determine the outcome, so make sure it matches your goals.
LIGHT CONTROL (MEDIUM) - Do you have some bulges you want to smooth out so you can wear clothes more comfortably? Light control, everyday shapewear pieces will smooth trouble spots so you can rock your look all day long.
FIRM CONTROL (MEDIUM-HIGH) - Are you looking to accentuate your curves? Firm control shapewear is made with supple, stretchy fabrics that move with your body while adding subtle contours to your shape. You should get hours of comfort from firm control pieces.
EXTRA-FIRM CONTROL (HIGH) - Have a special occasion where you want to look breathtaking (while still being able to breathe)? Extra-firm control pieces are perfect for formal, structured clothing like wedding dresses, prom gowns, evening gowns and cocktail dresses. You should feel toned and sturdy without feeling constricted.
No matter how firm the control of your shapewear is, you should never feel like an overstuffed sausage. If your breathing or movement is restricted, try a size or two up.
2) What area do you want to boost?
Shapewear is like real estate: it’s all about location, location, location. But not everyone wants or needs beachfront property (or tiny waists...or bangin’ booties) to be happy. So what spots of your body are sources of discomfort that you want to turn into a happy place?
FULL BODY Some of us have hang-ups in more than one spot. If you want an all-over sleeker physique, try a full body piece like a bodysuit. Just make sure the piece has an easily accessible opening for bathroom breaks!!
TORSO Bra bulges and muffin tops no more: if you feel self-conscious about extra fluff on your belly, waist or back, boost your self esteem with a shaping cami.
BOTTOM Have extra bulk you’d like to slim down, or a flat little bum that could use a boost? From smoothing panties to butt-lifting bike shorts, you have all kinds of options to help you feel better about your thighs, legs and buns.
3) What’s your body shape?
Now that we’ve determined what look you’re going for and what spots you’d like to shape, it’s time to discover the right shapewear for your unique build.
APPLE BODY SHAPE
If you have an ample bust and a full midsection with narrow shoulders and hips, you’ve got an apple body shape. That means you tend to carry extra weight in your belly. If your tummy makes it hard for you to find clothes that fit right, or if it’s just keeping you from feeling fabulous, here are some shapewear options to give your waistline definition.
Empetua shaper panty - Our best-selling everyday panty gently smooths your tummy while being lightweight enough to forget you’re wearing shapewear.
Co’coon Seamless Biocrystals High-waisted Shaping Capri Leggings - Cute enough to wear with your favorite sweatshirt and light enough to wear under pants, these butt-lifting leggings help you look lengthened while adding 360-degree medium control to your belly, waist and back. Another option? We also suggest our Empetua shaping leggings.
Co’Coon Vitamin E Shaping Bodysuit - This bodysuit is nice and thin, but it offers firm control to your waist, stomach and back while giving your ta-tas a little oomph of support.
RECTANGLE BODY SHAPE
Are you small-busted with a straight torso, slim hips and long legs? Welcome to the rectangle zone. The good news: most models have your body shape, which means most clothes are designed for your build.
But alas, some rectangular women worry that they don’t look “feminine enough” (girl, you totally do), or that their bottoms are “too flat” (your little backside is adorable). If that’s your deal, here are a few recommendations to help you achieve a curvier look while showing off your long, lean legs:
Co’Coon BIOcrystals Butt-lifter Boyshort - Add more cushion to your tush while bringing out your curves with this ultra-lightweight piece you can wear with any outfit.
Co’Coon BIOCrystals High-Waisted Shaping Boyshort - For super-curvy, booty-boosting action, check out these comfy boyshorts that go all day long while your legs go for days.
HOURGLASS BODY SHAPE
If your hips and shoulders are the same width and your waist is naturally contoured, you’ve got the much-coveted hourglass build. Lucky lady!
Even though you were born with a figure that many women with different body types use shapewear to mimic, you may have developed some bulges that throw your curves out of whack and your self-esteem out of order.
Gorgeous, we have you covered. Here are some pieces to help you smooth your jiggles:
Miraclewear Sexy Sheer High-waist Brief - Muffin top? More like muffin NOT. This warm hug of a shaping panty will smooth your belly and put your waist back in business.
Co’Coon Inside-Or-Outside Katia Shaping Cami - Say “sayonara” to your back bumps with this body-smoothing cami you can wear as a tank, underneath a blazer or under your shirt.
Empetua All Day Every Day High-Waisted Shaper Shorts - Thighs rubbing together under your skirt? Yowch. You aren’t alone. The secret to vanquishing the evil chub rub? Bike shorts. Take them to the next level with our most popular shaper shorts that give your tummy, waist and behind a toned look (without having to get on a bike)!
PEAR BODY SHAPE
If you’re rockin’ a small bust, slim shoulders, a well-defined waist, full hips n’ thighs and a round bottom, you have a pear body type. Songs like “Baby Got Back” have been written about the gorgeosity of your behind. But even though Sir-Mix-A-Lot sings your praises, unrealistic beauty standards may have led you to a love-hate relationship with your bottom half.
It’s time to stop hatin’ on your bangin’ buns and show them the love they deserve with a warm shapewear hug.
Here are some pieces that are perfectly paired with a body shaped like a pear.
Empetua Shaper Shorts (See above for product photo) - Say “whoooooa!” to saddlebags gone astray while reining in your tummy, hips and backside.
Co’Coon Seamless BIOCrystals Shaping Leggings - Sculpt your hips, flatten your tummy and bring your thighs into order with these seamless leggings.
Miraclesuit® Sexy Sheer Shaping Hi-Waist Thigh Slimmer - Ultra lightweight yet strong enough to get your thighs, butt and tummy into shape.
STRAWBERRY BODY SHAPE
You’re a strawberry girl if you have wide shoulders, a generous bust, and narrow hips and a small backside. Your stunning, shapely upper body grabs attention...sometimes the wrong kind for your taste (“Bro. My eyes are up here.”)
If feeling top-heavy is getting you down, here are a few shapewear remedies:
Co’Coon Vitamin E Shaping Bodysuit - Is your tummy in need of TLC? This lacy little number gives you extra support in the boob area while offering full back, waist and belly control.
The right shape for YOU
Bodies come in beautiful varieties. Wearing shapewear isn’t about transforming your body into something it can’t be––it’s about celebrating the full potential of your body, as you were made.
When you know what your unique body needs to feel your best, you can own your look and call the shots.