Shapewear is built to offer support and to create a slim appearance when being worn. It adjusts how the fat and muscles sit on the body and can boost confidence while changing how close fit. To achieve this they are worn beneath the clothing of all types and allow clothing to fall across the body while smoothing any lumps or bumps. Popular for several decades, some are based upon the original corsets that were used to cinch the waist, and have since been expanded to include shorts, tank tops, slips, girdles, and more.
What is Shapewear?
Shapewear is clothing items that are made from stretchy but limiting materials that create the appearance of a different body shape. They shift any spaces of fat and will create a slimming effect by pulling the body close to itself and smoothing bumps or lumps that are visible for a smooth shape of the body. Well-fitting shape control items will smooth any lines and create a flat appearance that is free of any interruption. Body shapers are a popular way to boost confidence by supporting the preferred body shape, bringing attention to the overall shape, and smoothing any lines from underwear or areas that are causing self-confidence concerns.
There are several styles of body shapewear, and they address each area of the body. For wearing dresses there are slips that will both make the dress unable to be seen through, as well as help to smooth the body. Skirt styles are available for those who prefer to wear a skirt and need for the items to be not visible underneath the clothing. They should fit well and not be noticeable on the arms, neck, or legs unless the intention is to display the extra layer and use it to fit the style of the clothing. Tank tops are available in shapewear, and some come with built-in bra support for the breasts, while others are focused on the stomach and mid section. Corset styles are available and will focus on the torso, helping to smooth and contain the body. Some can feel restrictive while others only offer comfortable support and are easily worn for extended periods of time. Shorts will help to shape the stomach, the butt, and the thighs, offering a clean line from the waist to the knees.
When choosing which piece is the right fit or the right support, it may be necessary to try a few different brands and items. They are similar yet different from compression garments in that they offer support and may compress the body slightly, but they are not as strong as a compression garment and should not affect blood flow. Where the support is built-in, it may function as both supportive undergarments as well as replace underwear.
Who Uses Shapewear?
It is often assumed that women use shapewear the most, and sometimes that only women use it. This is untrue, and it is used by people in almost any demographic, from teen years through adulthood. Women often use it under their clothing to feel more supported or to smooth lines and lumps, and men use it for the same reasons. Shapewear creates a smooth line and will hide underwear lines, create the desired shape, and allow for clothing to flow easily across the body.
When clothing is not fitting well or is not creating the desired appearance, body shapers can help prepare the body to fit better within the clothing. It smooths any irregularities and helps to shape the body to match the clothing style while ensuring that the outer of the body is smooth and the clothing will fall evenly and easily down the body.
People who are working on their body, who have had surgery and require additional support, or who are finding pain or discomfort from how the fat or skin sits on their bones may find relief in shapewear. It can create a feeling similar to a hug and redistribute the body mass to a more comfortable balance. While muscles are healing from surgery, they will be unable to support the body in the way they previously did, and it may be recommended to wear shapewear to support the muscles and assist in the healing process. This is true for both men and women, and they perform the same tasks on each body who wears them.
Does Shapewear Replace Underwear?
There are people who will choose to wear underwear with their shapewear, and others who will not. They add an extra layer, and maybe softer against the skin, or they may simply create additional lines and add bulk. If the materials do not go well together movement can cause the underwear to move or bunch in uncomfortable positions as the shapewear moves around it. It will also add lines to the body. Where the underwear meets the body there will be a line created, and as the job of shapewear is to smooth the lines and create a flat and smooth body, wearing underwear as well can limit that effect.
Shapewear that is created to support the breasts can be worn easily without a bra, and this will avoid the lines and clumps that may be caused by a bra beneath the tight-fitting shapewear. Some will prefer to wear one for the extra support and use the shapewear to reduce the lines that it causes, while others prefer to not wear either bra or underwear to avoid lines and to improve their own comfort. To determine which method is preferable it may be necessary to try it each way and see which is the most comfortable.
It is a personal preference to wear underwear with shapewear or not and will vary from person to person. Some will prefer the added support and find the cloth of underwear more comfortable against the skin, while others will prefer not too as a way to avoid the extra layer and potential discomfort if they move in opposite directions.