What is shapewear?


Shapewear is a fitted undergarment intended to control the tummy and shape the body. It is an undergarment that goes beyond the regular panty that we wore as young girls. As we transition into womanhood, our body develops and changes, requiring additional support and protection not just below the waist but in the chest and torso area as well.

More coverage and support helps us to maintain our shape and gives us that extra boost of confidence to look and feel our best in any outfit. Ever tried on an outfit only to become self-conscious of the way your body looked in it? It is not your body. It’s the undergarment that is incorrect. The undergarment we choose to wear should enhance our shape and provide a base that allows our outfit and figure to be showcased.

Shapewear today has come a long way from the girdles the Ancient Greeks wore and the steel and whale bone corsets that followed. Throughout history women sought out undergarments that would assist them in molding their body as desired. While some shapewear in history was used with the purpose of flattening the chest and cinching the waist, most shapers today emphasizes the chest, hip and buttocks while also cinching the waistline.

Today, there are various types of shapewear to choose from.


  • Shaping briefs

These are similar to the basic underwear that we are accustomed to but are usually high waist, compresses the tummy area and enhance the buttocks. These can be in the bikini or thong design.


  • Shaping shorts


Shaping shorts are usually high waist and sits just below the bra. The shorts sit mid-thigh or just above the knee and are ideal for slimming the thigh, easing chafing and offers that extra coverage under clothing. Some shorts are seamless and is simply pulled up and on, while others may contain hooks, zippers and even straps. Some shaper shorts offer the added bonus of enhancing the buttocks either by lifting the butt or with extra padding over the buttocks. 


  • Bodysuit Shapers

Bodysuit shapewear offer more coverage and control than the briefs and shorts do. They often can be worn without the need for any other undergarment and is available in a variety of styles designed to complement a range of modern fashion trends. Some types of Bodysuit Shapers include the Bodysuit Thong, Full Bodysuit and the Underbust Bodysuit. These shapewear usually feature adjustable straps and a gusset or crotch opening to allow easy access to the bathroom. The bodysuit shapewear cinches the waist while offering a smooth finish and enhances the hip and buttocks usually with a less constrictive type of material used over these areas than over the tummy.


  • Seamless shapers


Any of the shapewear mentioned above could be seamless or non-seamless. Seamless shapewear are manufactured without visible seams and without hook and eye, snaps or other embellishments that may print through tight clothing. These are meant to be completely invisible under clothing while offering control and a smooth finish.


  • Non-seamless shapers


Non-seamless shapers contain seams, hooks and/or zippers that are major contributors to firm tummy control and the enhancement of curves. With some outfits visibility of these are low or nil. However, with a more fitted outfit measures may have to be taken to conceal the hooks or zipper, for example, by wearing a camisole over it. This, however, is a small inconvenience in exchange for firm tummy control.


  • Waist Trainers

I often get asked the question, “What is the difference between shapewear and waist trainers?” Waist trainers are a type of shapewear that has the appearance of a broad belt. It is worn across the abdomen to cinch the waist through compression. The most common types of material used in waist trainers are latex, cotton and neoprene. Latex being the most high quality of the three. One important feature of the waist trainer is that it should be adjustable so as to allow you to continue adding compression to the abdomen as the waist slims. Pomp Shapewear features latex waist trainers with three rows of hooks for easy adjustment which allows you to use your waist trainer for a longer period of time before needing to invest in a smaller size.

I hope that I was able to shed some light on what shapewear is and give you an idea of some of the different types of shapewear available. Is there a type of shapewear that you prefer? Leave a comment below. I would be happy to hear from you.

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