Shapewear is an important part of many women’s wardrobes. It helps to create the illusion of a well sculpted body, with fewer lumps, bumps, and wobbly bits. These undergarments allow women to feel more confident in their appearance, and have a better body image. Choosing the wrong type, size or level of control for shapewear are common mistakes, which this guide helps buyers to avoid, by exploring many of the popular types of shapewear, offering guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of each, along with advice on how to fit the garments.
While restrictive, shapewear should still allow the wearer to perform everyday activities easily, without causing discomfort. Sometimes, it is also necessary to wear the undergarment for long periods, so consumers should choose the lowest level of support, and slowly increase the time that they wear it, until they are able to be comfortable for long periods. Shapewear is available from lingerie retailers and clothing shops. It is also available from eBay, who offer a vast array of shapewear items in different sizes, materials, styles, and control levels, catering to every budget and offering fantastic savings.
The Purpose of Shapewear
The purpose of shapewear is to help a person achieve smooth, clean body lines, and to reduce unsightly bulges and wobbles. This no longer means squeezing into an uncomfortable whalebone corset, and cinching it so tight that the wearer passes out, leading to further health problems. Nor does it mean using breast binders to hide obvious features of femininity. Instead, in the modern era, shapewear is all about sculpting the shape of the body, and enhancing what is already present; accentuating the attractive bits, and helping to hide parts with which a person is least comfortable. Today, shapewear should be form fitting, but comfortable, breathable, and practical, allowing the wearer to complete their daily tasks and perform a wide range of movements without restriction. Shapewear helps women to feel more confident, and can help to boost self-esteem and self-image.
Types of Shapewear
There are a wide variety of different shapewear undergarments available, ranging from bras to full body sculptors and thigh shapers. Choosing the right kinds of items depends largely on which areas the wearer wishes to accentuate, hide, or sculpt, and the available budget. After all, buying a shapewear bra will do little to smooth the appearance of the thighs, or to trim the appearance of the stomach.
Full Body Shaper
A full body shaper is designed to flatten and enhance all areas of the body, from the bust to the stomach, bottom, and thighs. However, some full body shapers only go from the chest to the buttocks. These models are generally more comfortable for novice bodyshape wearers, as they are less restrictive than the those which cover the thighs as well. Full body shapers slim the stomach, waist, and bottom, while lifting the breasts. Some are designed to lift and accentuate the buttocks, and those with thigh panels help to slim and smooth the thighs. These are generally made from a mixture of nylon and lycra, although there are some more expensive cotton shapers available, which are suited to people who cannot wear either nylon or lycra. The smooth appearance of the material makes the shaper undetectable under outer clothing.
Full body shapers can take considerable time to put on and take off, particularly for the inexperienced wearer. Full body shapers are considerably more expensive than other shapewear, although they are favoured by many because they offer complete body shaping and control in one garment, and some models offer back support, encouraging good posture and helping to relieve back pain.
Thigh shapers help to smooth out the appearance of cellulite on the hips, thighs, stomach, and bottom. They also appear to trim the size of these areas by holding them in. Some models are available which only have slimming panels around the thighs, and do not offer shaping panels around the stomach and bottom. Thigh shapers are ideal for women who have cellulite on their thighs and bottom, or who feel that their lower body is somewhat out of proportion to their top half. Models which do not have leg bands are preferred, as no lines are visible through the outer garments, and leg bands can dig into the flesh and be uncomfortable. Thigh shapers are suited to wearing under even tight trousers, and are often the best choice for wearing under bias cut dresses. These shapers are less expensive and less restrictive than other types of shapewear, such as the full body shapers.
Half Body Sculptor
The half body sculptor sits below the breasts, and reaches the bottom or thighs. These undergarments provide similar shaping to the full body sculptor, but do not provide any lift to the breasts. They are slightly less restrictive than full body sculptors, but more restrictive than thigh shapers. They are more expensive than smaller garments, but carry a lower price tag than full body models. For a less clinical, more feminine appearance, lace edged models are available. Half body sculptors are used, not only to smooth out problem areas, but also to create an hourglass figure, cinching in at the waist, to a degree.
A slip shaper is worn under a dress or a skirt, and is designed to control the shape and appearance of the hips, bottom, and thighs. When choosing a slip shaper, buyers must consider the length of the skirt compared to the length of the shapewear. If the shapewear is too long, it will show beneath the dress or skirt, which is not a look most women appreciate. Another consideration when purchasing a slip, is that if the slip is too figure hugging, or too long, walking is restricted, which proves uncomfortable. Full length slips are available, which reach up to cover the breasts, offering full body control. Some models have straps to offer extra support and lift, while others are strapless, to enable them to be worn with strapless and halter neck dresses.
Shapewear knickers are designed to shape the bottom and stomach. Seamless models, or those with minimal seams are generally favoured because they are suitable for use under tighter clothing, without visible lines. Unlike other types of shapewear, these knickers are available in more attractive styles, and are often lace or silk edged, to help the wearer feel more attractive and sexy.
Considerations When Selecting Shapewear
Many people make the novice mistake of purchasing one size smaller than their dress size in an attempt to get a slimmer, more controlled appearance. This should always be avoided. Shapewear which is too small is incredibly uncomfortable, significantly restricts movement, and can even have an impact on health. Additionally, choosing a smaller size can result in bunching and rolling, which increases the level of discomfort, does not offer any control, and is plainly visible under outer garments.
Another common mistake made by novices is to immediately opt for firm control shapewear. This is a mistake, as these garments take time to get used to, and many women new to shapewear experience a great deal of discomfort if they immediately opt for firm control. Instead, when first selecting a shapewear item, buyers should choose light control, until their body is used to the restriction of these undergarments.
Putting on Shapewear
When trying on shapewear, the garment should be first gathered in the hands. The wearer should then step into the garment, and slowly pull it up the body. Once the base of the garment is in place, the user should slowly release the material in small amounts, settling it in place before moving on. When the whole item is in place, there should be no rolls or loose material, and the wearer should be able to stand, bend over, and sit down comfortably.
Buying Shapewear on eBay
Shapewear can be purchased from lingerie and clothing retailers, both online and in-store. Also, eBay offers a huge selection of shapewear, catering to every need and budget. Shapewear can be found by searching from the eBay Home Page. If you know the exact item that you are searching for, entering this information, such as “Spanx bodysuit,” will provide the most accurate results. If, however, you are unsure of the exact type or model of shapewear you require, then using a more generic search phrase will provide many different results to browse through.
Before you confirm a purchase, check that the seller offers refunds and returns, in case the size is wrong, or there is any damage on arrival. Additionally, it is worthwhile checking the feedback scores of the seller before you buy. Sellers with a high percentage of positive feedback have a good eBay reputation, and consistently provide good quality products and a high standard of customer service.
Wearing shapewear for the first time can be somewhat uncomfortable, particularly if the user has purchased the wrong size, level of control, or model. Although tempting to go straight for the big guns, which, in the case of shapewear is firm or extra firm control, this is not a wise choice. Instead, take baby steps, selecting the light control option, and only wear it for short periods to begin with. Never buy shapewear that is too small, and be wary when choosing shapewear such as slips or thigh length shapers, to avoid selecting an item that is too long and can be seen beneath a skirt or dress. This guide allows buyers to select the right kind of shapewear for their needs, whether full body sculptors, thigh slimmers, or shaping knickers. The guide also provides a comprehensive overview of how to fit shapewear, and how to avoid common mistakes. When finished with this guide, buyers should be able to select, purchase, and wear their new shapewear with confidence, and all from the privacy of their own homes, using eBay to find the perfect shaper at the perfect price.