Which women’s shapewear is best?

Whether you have a special event coming up or just want to look your best for work, you’ll likely feel even more confident with the right women’s shapewear. Shapewear can help you achieve a perfectly smooth silhouette in dresses, skirts, pants and more. 

Women’s shapewear features a snug, stretchy material that streamlines your figure. It’s available in many different styles, with some that slim your entire body, while others target specific areas. If you’re looking for shapewear to smooth your stomach, thighs and hips with light control, the Spanx Lightweight Layer Mid-Thigh Shaping Short is a perfect choice. 

What to know before you buy women’s shapewear

Style

Women’s shapewear comes in many types and styles. You should pick one that smooths your silhouette while still feeling comfortable. Depending on the design, they can support your chest and buttock while smoothing your stomach, hips and thighs.

  • Shaping bodysuits: These bodysuits are the most widely used shapewear. They resemble a one-piece swimsuit and usually have a closure in the crotch, making it easier to use the bathroom. A bodysuit works well underneath shirts, dresses, skirts, pants and more.
  • Shaping slips/dresses: These dresses or slips are like a shaping bodysuit, but they feature a hem that hits around the knees. Shaping slips and dresses are only suitable for use under a dress or skirt. 
  • Shaping tanks/camisoles: These tops look just like a regular tank top or camisole but support your chest and smooth your stomach. They work well under most tops. 
  • Shaping underwear: These underwear come in many styles, including briefs. They work under nearly any type of bottom, including tight-fitting pants or skirts. 
  • Shaping shorts and leggings: These shorts or pants help smooth your stomach, hips and thighs. Some shorts-style shapewear end at the knees, while others go all the way to your calves or ankles. 

Sizing

Your shapewear won’t have the right effect you want if you don’t get the right size. Wearing a piece that’s too tight can be uncomfortable and cause an uneven line in your clothing. Consult the shapewear sizing chart to determine your proper size. You’ll likely need to measure key areas of your body to determine your sizing, like your bust, waist and hips. 

Material

Shapewear material is usually a combination of nylon and spandex. Pieces with more nylon typically offer the most slimming effect. You can find lightweight pieces with nylon/spandex blends, but you may prefer cotton or microfiber shapewear in hot weather. 

What to look for in quality women’s shapewear

Control level

Some women’s shapewear pieces offer more control than others, so their slimming or smoothing effect is more obvious. 

The most common control level options are:

  • Light control: Light control shapewear doesn’t offer as much compression, so it works well for a general slimming effect. It’s also the most comfortable option if you wear shapewear every day. 
  • Firm control: Firm control shapewear provides more compression, so it’s ideal for smoothing out specific areas of the body. 
  • Extra-firm control: Extra-firm control shapewear offers the most compression and has pretty dramatic results. It tends to be more uncomfortable than other shapewear, though, so you may want to save it for special occasions. 

Color

Most women’s shapewear comes in white, black and nude options. White and nude shapewear is perfect under light clothing because it won’t show through the material. Nude pieces are usually the most invisible option, though. You can find shapewear in some other colors, too, including pink, blue and red.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s shapewear

Women’s shapewear has a wide price range, costing $6-$100. You can usually find shaping underwear and tanks or camisoles for $6-$20, while shaping bodysuits, slips and dresses can cost $20-$60. For extra-firm control or full-body pieces, you will likely pay $60-$100. 

Women’s shapewear FAQ

Is shapewear meant for everyday wear?

A. Some people like to wear light control shapewear every day to help them feel more confident in their clothing. If your shapewear is the correct size, you can wear it every day. However, firm- and extra-firm pieces may not be comfortable enough to wear daily.

What’s the best way to clean shapewear?

A. It depends on your shapewear’s materials, so always consult the care label to determine how to wash it. Most pieces require hand-washing and air-drying, but you may find some machine-washable shapewear.

What’s the best women’s shapewear to buy?

Top women’s shapewear

Spanx Lightweight Layer Mid Thigh Shaping Short

Spanx Lightweight Layer Mid-Thigh Shaping Short

What you need to know: Made by a respected brand in shapewear, these shorts are incredibly comfortable while providing even control. 

What you’ll love: They offer light control that feels comfortable for daily wear. They feature compression in the thighs and hips for noticeable smoothing. The material is stretchy, so it moves easily with the body.

What you should consider: If you want a dramatic smoothing effect, these shorts likely won’t offer enough support.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s shapewear for the money

Maidenform Women's Shapewear Hi Waist Brief Firm Control

Maidenform Women’s Shapewear Hi-Waist Brief Firm Control

What you need to know: The attractive price tag and comfortable design make this shapewear brief an excellent option. It’s ideal for those who want concentrated support in the stomach and hips. 

What you’ll love: It has a two-ply nylon/mesh liner to help smooth and support. It features soft, flexible microfiber that moves with the body. The crotch is made of cotton, so it’s highly breathable and comfortable. 

What you should consider: Some users noticed the waistband rolls down on occasion. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Diane Geordi Fajas Colombiana Reductora Postparto Postpartum Body Shaper

Diane & Geordi Fajas Colombiana Reductora Postparto Postpartum Body Shaper

What you need to know: The braless design of this shapewear makes it highly versatile while still providing plenty of control and support for the lower body. 

What you’ll love: It features Powernet, a fabric with a highly durable weave. It lifts the butt, smooths the hips and slims the waist. The seams, zipper and lining are undetectable under clothing. It works well for everyday wear and is ideal for postpartum, post-C-section and post-liposuction use. 

What you should consider: The sizes can run somewhat small, so it may be challenging to find the right fit. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.