I’ve been asked by a couple readers to do a post on undergarments, if I wouldn’t mind. And of course I don’t – I’d been thinking about it anyway, because I’ve just come (back) to terms with the fact that I must wear some sort of “spanx-type” garment (or girdle, if we must use that word) under anything that’s remotely fitted, and now that it’s brutally hot, I wear one anyway, under looser skirts and dresses, for other reasons.
Unfortunately, most of my favorite shapers are old, and by Wacoal, who seems to not make very many styles anymore. I had quite a few pairs of Wacoal shapers and I wore them OUT. Of course, once I lost weight, they didn’t do the job of compressing anymore, so I had to purge them anyway, but I always preferred Wacoal to Spanx because I felt like they just fit my body better, and had a slightly lower rise.
My “issues” as it were, are my hips/thighs, not my stomach, so I’ve always worn mid-thigh shapers, and anything that works primarily to slim the tummy typically doesn’t work for me because it offers no compression on my hips, where it’s needed the most.
In addition to wearing shapers to smooth everything out and make me feel held in (I LIKE to feel like things FIT me, and don’t even mind a little tightness as long as it’s not TOO tight – there’s a fine line!!), I wear long boyshorts and shapers in the summer to avoid my thighs chafing as I walk and keep sweat at bay. Not nice to talk about I know, but I mean…whose thighs DON’T rub together just a little bit??
Sometimes I don’t like the idea of adding another tight layer when it’s hot out, but I’m always glad I did. And if it’s the “right” one, then I hardly even notice it’s on. But of course, that’s the key; finding the right shaper for you and your body.
A few tips for shopping shape wear:
- try on as many styles as possible wearing something you’d wear a shaper with. If you’re shopping on line, read reviews, and keep in mind your body type and “problem” areas.
- I like shapers with “stickies” lining the leg openings so they don’t ride up. Many styles have razor sharp leg openings to avoid showing under tight items, which is good, but those can ride up if they hit at a thicker part of your thigh where they rub together. If you’re going to buy a pair with out stickies at the leg opening, look for a longer pair.
- If you don’t want compression, you just want a comfortable longer pair of shorts to avoid your thighs rubbing together, try simple, cheaper styles. Yummie Tummie and JKY are good options. Also Calida Comfort looks great, but I haven’t tried them.
- Once you find a pair you really love and wear, buy as many pairs as you can, because you’ll want to wear them all the time (this is one time I highly recommend buying multiples!)
- Look for shapers with cotton linings so you won’t need to wear separate underwear with them. They’ll fit better that way.
As I mentioned, my favorites tend to be by Wacoal generally – I have two shapers by Wacoal, both are a couple years old though, but this one and this one are similar. I do also have one shaper by Spanx that I like and wear when I don’t need a lot of compression because they’re a size large (similar to these).
I did want to try a couple of shorter shorts, and a less compressive pair, and settled on the Wonderful Edge boyshorts by TC and the Yummie Tummie nina shaping shorts. I liked them both, but they’re not great for me. The Yummie Tummie shaper was great if you don’t need a lot of compression, but you want tummy control. It accentuated my hips, though, so no good.
I really liked the TC boyshorts, and bought them, but I’m not keeping them. They’re too short for me, providing no thigh coverage at all (but they do hold in my hips well) so they weren’t exactly what I wanted. They do have stickies on the legs so they won’t ride up, and the waist was REALLY comfortable. If you don’t need thigh coverage, and like a slightly compressive boyshort, then I really recommend these. The TC brand is supposed to be very good, actually, but it seems much too compressive for me, and most things were high-waisted, which I don’t like because it tends to roll down on me.
When I take those two things back, I’m going to get this Spanx “trust your thinstincts” (although I REALLY hate the name!) shaper instead. I tried it on and like the way it felt and fit, but got the other two things in hopes of making the shorter/cheaper shapers work.
Finally, I got this pair of JKY shorts over the weekend at Target, and find them to be a nice pair for the money. They’re incredibly lightweight, a bit sheer, and run big and long (I’ll get another pair in a small), but serve their purpose well. I found them to be just a teeny bit more snug on the leg than I like, but only just so that I notice I’m wearing them.
Other than that, I’m set for shape wear after I get a slip and this pair of Only Hearts lace boy shorts from Shopbop. I did try on this Commando slip at Nordstrom and liked it a lot; it’s not compressive, but it does smooth things out a bit. I’m trying to decide between that one and one by Only Hearts, which is shorter and cheaper…They’re both made in the US though, which makes the decision even more difficult! I’ll probably go with Only Hearts since I have nothing but amazing experience with the brand.
So, there you have it. Now, it’s your turn. Do you wear shape wear? What are your favorite styles, brands?