Sleek and svelte!


Women come in all shapes and sizes, and are beautiful. We all need a little help where clothes are concerned. We want clothes that highlight our best features while playing down lumps and bulges. That is where shapewear comes in. Shapewear is a special type of underwear that’s meant to smooth out rolls and bulges, shape, and diminish problem areas on women’s bodies.

Just like clothes, not every piece of shapewear works for every body. While almost every body part has its own kind of shapewear, this is an introduction to the most popular types and designs to suck you in — and sexy you up — no matter what you’re wearing.

The waist cincher/figure belt/girdle

Popularly known as a figure belt, a waist cincher is like a wide belt that’s worn around the waist to help smooth out or compress the tummy and support your back, while helping create a more defined hourglass shape. They are available in a wide range of styles that include front fastening, hook-and-eye closures as well as pull-on styles. It’s perfect under full-skirted dresses or styles that emphasise your midsection. Perfect for apple body shapes.

Thigh compressor

A mid-thigh waist shaper is a high-waist boy-short that covers the body from mid-thigh to just above the waist. The thigh firming panel helps lift your bum and tones your thighs at the same time. This is not your regular skin tight, ladies — this one is made of thick elastic with a double layer front panel that flattens the stomach. Ideal for pear-shaped women. Wear them under pencil skirts, pants and dresses for a booty you’re proud of.


Bodysuit/full body shapewear

Full body shapewear as the name implies, covers all the necessary parts. It starts at the bust and stops just above the knees, like a combination of a mid-thigh waist shaper and a slimming cami. It compresses both the upper and lower body. Bodysuits produce a seamless, smooth line across the entire torso, tummy and booty. Ideal for all body types. This provides maximum coverage and it is perfect for wearing under almost any outfit from trousers and tops, to shorts and tanks, to clingy wrap dresses and skirts.

Slimming camisole

These look like regular tank tops and camis, but are meant to be worn under other clothes. Camisoles help smooth your upper body, flatten your tummy, and hide any “love handles.” Aside from providing support, camis can also smooth out bumps caused by bra straps. They’re more comfortable to wear than a full body control dress and are a good choice if you’re wearing a dress that’s fitted at the top and flared at the bottom. Can also be worn under curve hugging sweater, sheer or lace T-shirts.

Control briefs

Control briefs and boy shorts are perfect for lifting and rounding your bum to create a shapely derriere. Many control briefs also offer light to firm stomach and bum support, making them ideal to wear under almost anything. An inner contour band cups your cheeks, providing a rounded silhouette without the bulk of a padded panty. A front panel flattens your stomach and an extra-wide waistband prevents rollover. The centre seam is solution for visible panty lines. These are perfect for helping shapewear newbies to get a hang of what shapewear is all about.


These cover the hips, waist, and torso. Some extend up to the bust line and support and shape the bust, while others do not. Rigid stays or boning stiffen and structure the garment, while laces tighten the corset and compress your body. Modern corsets are not worn as tightly or as continuously as were the corsets of the nineteenth century, so they are much safer. Properly worn, corsets support good posture. Some larger-breasted women find corsets with a bustier top more comfortable than bras, since the weight of the bust is transferred to the hips rather than the shoulders.

Go on and try any one of these styles, you will thank us later!

Footnote: One has to have realistic expectations of shapewear. Although it smoothes and tones, it does not make you lose weight or drop dress sizes. The right size matters. Buying ill-fitting shapewear will just cause bulges, discomfort and will make you look bigger.

l Linda Dulani is the head blogger at Shotribe.

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