An Easy to Read Body shapers (Shapewear) for Women Guide

Body Shapers

Body Shapers for Women Guide 2020/2021 Seasons

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and we are beautiful in own way. Sometimes though, we women (and men!) do need a little bit of help, especially when it comes to clothing. Many types of clothes today show off a woman’s gorgeous curves, but sometimes they can also highlight bulges and bumps which we don’t always want to share! That’s why many women prefer to use body shapers, otherwise know as shapewear. Body shapers are a special category of underwear (and sometimes overwear) that’s meant to smooth, shape, and lift women’s bodies in particular areas.

This little bit of information will serve as a buying guide for women who want to learn all about body shapers and shapewear. First, a short history of this garment will be discussed. Next, the many different types of shapewear available today will be outlined. For those who have limited experience in buy shapewear, this guide will give tips on how to purchase shapewear. Body shapers and other accessories are available at department stores, big box retail stores, and speciality lingerie stores. However, for those busy people who want to shop online, eBay has one of the largest selections of shapewear on the Internet.

History of Body Shapers & Guide to the General Body Shaper

For centuries, women have been trying to shape and trim their bodies using a variety of underclothes, like corsets and girdles. However, the precursor to shapewear, the girdle, was invented by Paul Poiret in 1910. This French designer created clothes that still fit and showed off a woman’s curves, but did not need a corset. Instead, he created the tight-fitting girdle, which put less emphasis on the waist and focused more on the derrière and hips.

The next big step for shapewear was in the 1960s, when Lycra was invented. Before this, shapewear and girdles were made of actual strips of latex or other stretchy materials. Lycra, spandex, and other types of stretchy fabrics paved the way for modern shapewear, and today there are many types of shapewear available to women that not only make them look great, but are actually comfortable enough to wear for more than an hour or two.

Types of Body Shapers

People looking for body shapers may be surprised at all the different types and brands available from manufacturers. Despite the different branding names or lines, most shapewear falls into several types, namely, briefs, girdles, camisoles, bottom and combination, and full body.


Shapewear briefs or slimming panties look just like regular underwear but with some added features for support for the lower abdomen and the butt. These can have a reinforced panel to bring in the stomach area, and some added support to compress and lift the buttocks. These are also great under tight-fitting jeans or clingy skirts because they are seamless and show no panty lines.


Girdles are a generic term for most types of shapewear that envelop the torso area (up to under the bust) to bring in the waist. There are different types of girdles, like the panty girdle or long leg girdle, but most designers consider the open bottom girdle to be the classic style. This type of shapewear is meant to slim down the waist, and emphasize the bust and the derrière.


Slimming camisoles can provide some added support to the bust and hold in the tummy area as well. These look like regular tank tops and camis, but are meant to be worn under other clothes. Aside from providing support, these camis can also smooth out bumps caused by bra straps.

Bottom and Combination

Women who want full coverage for everything below the bust and above the knee go for the bottom and combination shapewear. Instead of wearing several pieces of shapewear, this particular garment combines support for the tummy, buttocks, and thighs. These can be worn under pants, jeans, or tight dresses, and provide major coverage to prevent visible panty lines.

Full Body

Full body shapewear, as the name implies, covers all the necessary parts. Most full body shapewear starts at the bust and stops at the knees, but there are some that go past the knees like a catsuit. This provides maximum coverage, whether the person is wearing a long gown or skinny jeans.

How to Shop for Body Shapers

Those who may not be familiar or have never shopped for shapewear don’t have to be intimidated by all the types of shapewear available. When shopping for shapewear, it’s important to focus on the problem part, take accurate measurements, and choose the right type of control.

Choose the Problem Body Part

Full coverage with bodysuit shapewear can provide maximum support, but for a majority of women, it’s not necessary. Most women will have one or two particular “problem” body parts they want to shape and smooth. When shopping for shapewear, it’s a good idea to know which part needs attention. For example, those looking to control their tummies should go for girdles, while women who want some lift to the buttocks should try shapewear briefs. In some cases, different outfits and dresses will require different shapewear, so most women have several pieces of shapewear.

Take Measurements

Taking proper measurements is crucial so the buyer doesn’t end up with a body shaper that’s too loose (and provides no coverage or support) or too tight (which will be too uncomfortable to wear). Different manufacturers will use different measurements for their sizes, but many will provide sizing charts. Don’t just rely on dress size or panty size. Use a tape measure to take measurements of the bust, under-bust, waist, hips, and thighs to ensure the proper fit when buying shapewear.

Choose the Type of Control

Not all women need a lot of support, but rather, just want to smooth out visible panty and bra lines. So, body shaper manufacturers created different types of garments with different levels of control. The table below serves as a guide to the different types of control and the way they can help shape or smooth problem areas:

Type of Control


Provides lightweight support; not too tight; used to smooth out panty and bra lines


Provides more compression and cinching to hold in problem areas; covers and smooths panty and bra lines


More reinforced panels to bring in the waist and other problem areas; smooths out curves and other areas; can be worn comfortably for up to eight hours


Highest level of contouring; will use panelling and reinforced materials like boning; may not be suitable for use for more than a few hours

Most women will use light and medium control for everyday wear, like to the office or daytime events. However, those who feel conscious about their bodies and plan to go to special occasions (where they may be photographed) opt for firm and extra-strong levels of control.

Buying Body Shapers

For those who prefer the convenience and privacy of shopping online Shapewear Reviews give you a list of all the best places to buy shapewear and is is a good place to start building a collection of shapewear. With many sellers online, you’ll surely find the shapewear you want.

Why you should buy shapewear

Shapewear is so popular today; it’s spawned a million-dollar industry. Everyone from Hollywood celebs to local mums is sporting girdles and thigh shapers to smooth out and tuck in those bulges and bumps. Although women (and men) have been trying for centuries to cinch and shape their bodies using undergarments, in wasn’t until the girdle and later, the invention of Lycra, that shapewear became comfortable and much more practical to wear than steel corsets. Today, people can buy a wide range of shapewear to cover and hold in everything from the bust to the calves. The most common type of shapewear items are panties, briefs, waist-shaping girdles, camisoles, bottom and combination shapewear, and full body suits.

Those who are looking to purchase shapewear should first decide which problem body part needs to be shaped. Next, proper measurements should be taken to ensure the right fit. Finally, the buyer needs to decide on the level of control she needs. Whatever the type or fit, women who want to shop discreetly and conveniently should log on to Amazon, one of the world’s largest marketplaces, to find that perfect piece of shapewear. Women no longer have to hide their bodies for fear of those bulges. They can feel confident enough to strut their stuff when supported by the right kind of shapewear.

Don’t forget!  Not everyone is going to suit a body shaper nor will you get the right one straight away as some need trial and error.  Try not to be too disheartened if you don’t get the right one straight away and keep persevering as there are different types of shapewear out there for everyone.

We also know that it is very difficult for people to getting out and shopping at the moment due to Covid 19 and hence why many of our recommended products are through Amazon or from online retailers such as Very and Marks and Spencers.  These tend to have much better ways of returning products so you could order different ones until you find one you are actually happy with.

Body Shapers FAQ

What are the best Body Shapers?

The answer to this is simple - the best body shapers are the ones that work for you! You need to find the right shape and size as well as the correct material that will suit you individual needs as we are all different! There is not just one 'best' body shaper!

Do Body Shapers Work?

Let's just say that people have been using body shapers for many many years. Since the humble girdles, body shapers have been sued by both men and women to get that shape in order. So yes, body shapers do work you'll be glad to read!

Can Body Shapers help me lose weight?

We would never advocate just wearing a body shaper to lose weight as that comes down to healthy living too. Some do help lose weight (for some!) such as sports body shapers but you can read about those in more detail on our site.

Can I wear body shapers every day?

We would not say that you should at all. Body shapers are a temporary item of clothing and should be used in moderation to avoid damaging your body.

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