Shapewear helps you look great and feel confident in your clothes. Though, it must be comfortable and smooth to accomplish its goal. If it’s too tight, or the wrong style for your body type, the result will be limited control and more discomfort.
Because shapewear comes in many forms and styles, it’s easy to become lost in a sea of choices. Do you need a body slimmer, thigh shaper, vest or tank top? How to you know your size? How long does a body slip last? All of these questions are good ones. In this article you can find the answers to 20 of the most common shapewear questions.
1. Can Shapewear Help You Lose Weight?
Shapewear provides compression, so while you are wearing it, you increase circulation and heat to the area. As you will most likely sweat, you can lose a few pounds. Waist training in particular (see related article below) can help you lose weight and semi-permanently alter your bodyshape.
The important thing to note, however, is that the compression shouldn’t be too tight. Wearing a size too small may add compression, but it could actually inhibit blood flow rather than improve it.
Keep in mind that this will help with mild weight loss only. If you are serious in your quest to lose of weight, you’ll want to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise regimen to reach your goal.
Related Article: Waist Taming vs Waist Training
2. How Do You Choose The Correct Shapewear Size?
Shapewear can be comfortable if you choose the correct size. To find your size, take some quick measurements. Measure your hi-waist, your low-waist, and your hips. For your hi-waist, hold the measuring tape three points above your waist. For the low-waist, hold the tape 12 cm below your waist. For your hips, hold the tape 22 cm below your waist, which is where your hips are the widest.
Many people purchase shapewear that’s one size smaller, thinking that will make them look slimmer. On the contrary, if it’s too tight, you lose the support. Not only will you be uncomfortable, but your rolls and bulges will come through rather than disappear.
3. Can You Sleep In Shapewear?
Yes, but you may not want to. While wearing shapewear during the day can be comfortable, it probably won’t be at bedtime. The compression can make you sweat, which doesn’t pair well with a good night’s sleep. In addition, laying in shapewear for seven to eight hours overnight can make you extra sweaty and irritate your skin and cause a rash. You may even experience some chafing.
Standard shapewear doesn’t create permanent changes to your body in the same way that waist training corsets can. So, there’s really no need to wear it through the night. You may as well be comfortable and free in some loose-fitting lingerie or your favorite pajamas.
4. How Tight Should Shapewear Be?
Shapewear should feel snug and secure, maybe even a little tight if it’s a high compression piece. Though, you should be comfortable and confident. While wearing your shapewear, you should be able to perform all your regular activities with minimal restriction.
It shouldn’t be so tight that it constricts movement or causes you to lose your breath. If that happens, don’t tough it out. Take it off as soon as possible. In terms of fit, you should not have to wrestle with it to get it on your body. Nor should it show bulges through your clothing. That is an indication that it’s too tight.
5. How Long Can You Wear A Body Shaper?
You should be able to wear your shapewear for a full day comfortably. That’s assuming you have the proper size, and it’s not too tight. If you find that your skin becomes irritated, it may be from the extra heat and sweat. A little body powder may take care of it. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction, it may be to the material or the chemicals on the garment. Most likely, a good wash in a gentle cleanser will take care of that.
If you experience any odd symptoms such as tingling or numbness in your limbs, or a bloated feeling in your abdomen, your shapewear is probably too tight.
6. Is It OK To Wear Shapewear Every Day?
Yes, but sometimes a little common sense applies. As long as your shapewear isn’t too tight, it’s safe to wear every day. Properly-fitting shapewear massages your body, improves circulation, and may even help you lose a pound or two. But, it may also cause you to sweat. If you have very sensitive skin, you may find yourself with a rash. If that’s the case, you may want to give yourself a break from shapewear for a day or so until your body adjusts.
If your shapewear feels too tight and is leaving marks where it crosses your skin, then you should invest in a larger sized replacement if you plan to wear it every day.
7. Can Shapewear Reshape Your Body Permanently?
No – and yes. Shapewear doesn’t permanently flatten your stomach or thin your thighs, but it does provide another benefit that can inspire permanent changes. That benefit is confidence.
For instance, it can support your long-term fitness goals by providing a slimmer look now while you work on toning and weight loss. That, in turn, can boost your confidence. As the old saying goes, looking better leads to feeling better. If shapewear can help you look and feel your best, then why not add it to your routine? That may give you that little extra push towards your exercise and lifestyle goals.
Waist training on the other hand (see related article below) can help you lose weight and semi-permanently alter your bodyshape.
Related Article: Waist Taming vs Waist Training
8. How Do I Know What Size Body Shaper I Need?
Shapewear doesn’t exactly match your dress or blouse size. To get the proper fit, you need to measure. To find your size, take some quick measurements. Measure your hi-waist, your low-waist, and your hips. For your hi-waist, hold the measuring tape three points above your waist. For the low-waist, hold the tape 12 cm below your waist. For your hips, hold the tape 22 cm below your waist, which is where your hips are the widest.
Once you have your size, select the garment that focuses on your problem areas. For example, if your waist isn’t a problem, but your hips are wider than your bust, you should go with a thigh shaper. If it’s the opposite, then a waist slimmer may be for you.
9. Does Shapewear Help Tighten Skin?
No, though it can support weight loss efforts, where loose and excess skin is a side effect. In these cases, shapewear can help your clothes fit better as you lose weight. Skin tightens based on the person’s skin tone and elasticity.
Some people take care of excessive excess skin by having surgery, however there are risks with any medical procedure. This is where shapewear can be a lifesaver. It allows you to be more comfortable and look a little better in your clothes at the same time.
10. Is Wearing Shapewear Harmful?
No, shapewear is not harmful as long as it’s not too tight. Anytime you have too much compression, you invite potential problems. When you think about it, you are compressing your organs. While shapewear won’t damage your organs permanently, it can lead to things like acid reflux an excess gas. If it’s tight enough, it can impact your circulation and cause tingling or numbness in your legs.
Shapewear causes you to sweat, which means moisture build up on your body. If it’s too tight, you’ll sweat more and cause all the more bacteria to build up. The result can in some cases be rashes, yeast or bacterial infections.
11. What Is Shapewear Made Of?
Most shapewear is made of a nylon and spandex blend. They aren’t breathable fabrics, as anyone who’s worn shapewear knows. They are great for colder climates, where shapewear adds a comfortable layer of warmth. Because the fabric doesn’t breathe, it retains the body’s heat.
There are different variations of the spandex and nylon fabrics. Some are lighter and give a bit of breathability. As you can imagine, those are welcome styles in warmer climates. Some manufacturers also use cotton and microfibers, which add some moisture and odor control to shapewear.
12. Can Shapewear Be Seen Under My Clothes?
Yes, shapewear shows under your clothes, though no more than any other undergarment. In addition, it smooths rolls and panty lines, which makes shapewear less visible than regular underwear.
If you opt for shapewear panties, a thigh slimmer, a shaping tank, or a body shaper, then they effectively replace and bra and underwear. That way, you’re not adding more layers than you need to. A shaping vest or tank top looks like any other non shaping one you may have.
This is a basic piece, especially when you want to wear layers. As with shaping panties, you’re probably going to be wearing a light vest or tank top under your normal tops anyway, so why not wear one that enhances your figure? Shaping vests or tanks are perfect for thin tops or fitted sweaters.
13. Will Shapewear Reduce My Tummy?
Shapewear reduces the appearance of your tummy, but it won’t actually reduce the size. Rather than you sucking in your stomach everywhere you go, shapewear can take care of that for you and reduce the appearance of a muffin top or tummy bulge.
Because shapewear is a compression garment, it works by pushing fat inward and compressing your stomach area. This gives you a temporary reduction to your waist and stomach. To make more permanent changes to your figure, you’ll have to go the route of diet, exercise and perhaps consider waist training.
14. Will Shapewear Flatten Your Stomach?
Just as shapewear won’t actually reduce the size of your stomach, it won’t magically flatten it either. Shapewear is a compression garment. It pushes fat inward and compresses your stomach area. This gives you a temporary reduction in the waist and stomach areas.
If you just have a little extra weight on your tummy, it will look flatter with your shapewear on. If you have any more weight, you can still benefit from wearing a shaping garment. Though, your stomach won’t look flat. As mentioned previously, to make more permanent changes to your figure, you’ll have to go the route of diet, exercise and perhaps consider waist training.
15. Can Shapewear Cause Health Problems?
Yes, shapewear can cause health problems if they are too tight and you wear them too often. Too much compression can cause issues. When you think about it, you are compressing your organs. While shapewear won’t damage your organs permanently, it can lead to things like acid reflux an excess gas. If it’s tight enough, it can impact your circulation and cause tingling or numbness in your legs.
Shapewear causes you to sweat, which means moisture build up on your body. If it’s too tight, you’ll sweat more and cause all the more bacteria to build up. The result can be rashes and yeast infections.
If you’re body slimmer is too tight, you’re likely to wait longer before having to go to the bathroom because it’s an effort to get yourself out of it and then back in. As a result, you’re increasing your chances of developing a UTI.
16. How Often Should You Replace Your Shapewear?
No matter the quality of your shapewear, it has a lifespan. It eventually wears out. As it wears, the material starts to stretch out. It starts to lose its shape and elasticity. Once that happens, it no longer performs as it was designed to.
Thus, you should replace your shapewear as needed. Its lifespan varies according to the quality, the type of fabric, and how often you use it. On average, you should replace everyday shapewear every three to six months. You’ll extend the life of your pieces if you have multiple pieces that you rotate.
17. What Are The Side Effects Of Wearing Body Shapers?
One of the best side effects of wearing shapewear is a boost to your self-confidence. No one’s figure is perfect. In fact, even the slimmest celebrities wear it under their red-carpet gowns to ensure smooth lines and curves. Shapewear also helps those of us working on weight loss goals or recovering from plastic surgery.
As for physical side effects, you can expect a little more heat in the area where the fabric is holding you snug. You may sweat a bit more there, as well. Any adverse side effects come from shapewear that’s too tight. If that’s the case, you will experience discomfort, excess sweating, and bulging at your curves. You may even feel digestive upset from too much compression and experience heartburn, acid reflux, and intestinal gas.
18. What Is The Most Comfortable Shapewear?
Shapewear does have to be, and shouldn’t be, uncomfortable. The two most practical and comfortable pieces of everyday shapewear are probably the camisole and high-waisted shapers.
You can wear a shaping camisole over your bra. It adds some extra coverage for your chest as well as light tummy control. Camisoles often come in different colors so that you can choose nude for invisible coverage, or a brighter color to go with a layered outfit.
Seamless, high-waisted shapewear underwear also smooths your curves below the waist. You’ll keep comfortable with no panty line. They are also great to wear under jeans because heavier denim can sometimes dig into your skin, especially the buttons and seams.
19. What Is The Best Shapewear For A Big Tummy?
For styles that target your tummy area specifically, choose from three basic styles, bodysuits, tummy control panties, camisoles, and slip shapers. Bodysuits fit like bathing suits and may include your chest and legs if you select a full style. Variations include an open chest with shorts rather than full leggings. They slim just about all your problem areas.
Shaping panties are versatile and offer tummy control as well and are more for everyday wear. You can select your desired degree of firming control and target your behind as well as your tummy. A slimming tank or camisole is another everyday piece that offers light, comfortable tummy control.
Finally, slip shapers are body shapers designed to wear under dresses and skirts. They smooth your curves for those tighter dress styles. They are also available in half slip styles or full styles with a built-in bra.
20. What Is The Best Shapewear For Thighs And Bum?
If your trouble areas are your thighs and bottom, then any style that qualifies as a thigh shaper can help. Those may be in the form of a body shaper that goes to the knees, capri length, or full length. There are high waisted and regular waist thigh slimmers as well, all in varying lengths. Read the product description, as some of those include extra control for your bum as well.
As with any body slimmer, you can select your degree of firmness to fit your needs. Thigh slimmers smooth out your curves, eliminating bulges and lines from your pants, skirts, and dresses.
Related Article: 20 Different Types Of Shapewear Explained
For decades, women have relied on shapewear and enjoyed the body slimming benefits they provide. A properly fitting, slimming garment should be comfortable and provide all-day support. Even those shapers with extra firm control should not be overly-constrictive. The key to shapewear is finding the right fit and degree of control.
Related Article: Beginners Guide To Corsets
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