Shapewear is a dense and deeply polarizing topic. Some women swear by it, and other women want nothing to do with it. Regardless of what you think about shapewear, there’s no denying that shaping garments are a major part of the world of women’s fashion and are worth exploring—if only out of curiosity. This shapewear collection is targeted toward shapewear newbies, shapewear skeptics, and seasoned shapewear lovers alike. It includes an expansive selection of different styles in a wide, inclusive range of standard and plus sizes. All of the styles you’ll find here are sourced from top designers on the women’s clothing and lingerie market.
Before you dive into this collection of shapewear, take a moment to arm yourself with a little more knowledge on the topic of shaping garments for women. From how far shapewear has come from ancient Greece until now to an introduction to the current trendiest styles on the market to several tips on how to choose the best shapewear styles for you, this informative article prefaces your shapewear browsing process with just about everything you need to know about shapewear. The information you’ll find in this introduction to an expansive collection of top-quality shapewear offers you a deeper understanding of shapewear that will help you shop for the best shapewear styles for your body type, style preferences, and lifestyle and boost your confidence while you wear shapewear.
Shapewear has a very long and interesting history. The pieces that modern women wear to smooth and sculpt their figures today are much different from the archaic shaping garments that were once the norm in society.
It’s not a surprise to most people that shapewear isn’t exactly a new invention. Most people are aware of shapewear use dating back a few centuries to when ultra-tight, rib- crushing corsets were commonplace among upper-class Victorian women in the early 19th century. Records suggest, however, that the Victorians were definitely not the first to dabble in corsetry and that the ancient Greeks actually claimed shapewear as their own many, many centuries before sculpting garments spread to the United Kingdom.
Shapewear dates back much farther than most people realize. In fact, the first recorded shaping pieces were worn by women in Mycenaean Greece as early as 1,500 BCE. The ancient Greeks were surprisingly open with their acceptance of women’s sexuality and women’s bodies—at least for the conservative standards of the time. Pre-Athenian invasions, Mycenaean Greek women wore ancient versions of shaping lingerie. These ancient corset-like garments were designed to push up women’s breasts and many of these pieces even lifted the breasts while leaving them free with their nipples completely uncovered. Much like their more modern counterparts, ancient Mycenaean Greek corset garments were also designed to slim women’s waists to create the appearance of a more defined hourglass figure. Early shapewear in ancient Rome also adopted this practice of simultaneously lifting and exposing women’s breasts—nipples and all.
By around 500 BCE, the Mycenaeans were long gone and the Golden Age of Greece had begun. It was in this era of ancient Greece when metal was first introduced as a material for shapewear. Metal girdles were considered very fashionable for women and were used mostly for decoration rather than shaping purposes. However, these metal girdles in Hellenic Greece were still very much associated with women’s sexuality and were also worn as status symbols.
Unfortunately, the Middle Ages marked the period of time when shapewear stopped representing positive sexual expression for women and shifted to be more about societal expectations for women achieving unrealistic goals for their bodies instead. Women during the Middle Ages were often expected to wear bodices that were laced up extremely tightly—much like the infamous Victorian corsets. These corsets were also often slathered with a special type of paste that made the material of the corsets stiff to more efficiently shape women’s bodies into a coveted hourglass figure—and further restrict movement and breathing.
Post-Middle Ages, shapewear in Europe only seemed to become more extreme—and more painful. The Elizabethan Era in 16th-century Europe, heavy shaping petticoats supplemented steel corsets—which were most-likely just as unbearably uncomfortable as their name suggests—as appropriate attire, especially for upper-class women. The Victorian Era in the mid-to-late 19th century—which is the time period which is most commonly associated with ultra-uncomfortable and restrictive corsetry for women— introduced whale bones—yes, really—as acceptable material for corsets. Whale bones were bent into corsets that were designed to mold women’s torsos into exaggerated hourglass figures with an unbelievably slim waist and maximum cleavage.
Things started looking up for standards for women’s comfort and mobility increased in the early 20th century. The total war effort that engulfed the United States and much of Europe during World War I made metal largely unavailable for the production of frivolous items like corsetry. Whale bone corsets fell out of fashion by the end of the 19th century—fortunately—but were briefly replaced by that was just about as restrictive and uncomfortable. The steel shortage during World War I, however, paved the way for lightweight fabrics to replace metal as material for women’s shapewear in the 1920s and 1930s.
By the 1950s, styles that are now commonly recognized as vintage shapewear was on the rise. Waist-cinching girdles were the most popular shapewear styles. These girdles were usually made from nylon or polyester fabrics and sometimes included stiff boning for more intense sculpting. Modern elasticated shapewear styles that are designed to smooth and slim women’s waists, hips, and tummies became more popular throughout the 1990s.
Modern shapewear is similar to the styles that were on the market in the 1990s, but the rise of the body positivity movement throughout the past few years has begun to transform the modern shapewear industry. There are now more options on the market for shapewear that prioritizes comfort and aims to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. These inclusive styles are available in a wide range of sizes—including plus sizes —and are designed to highlight the beauty of natural curves by accentuating them instead of trying to hide them. The shapewear available in this collection is designed to be as body positive as possible. In this collection, you’ll find an expansive selection of shapewear styles that are available in an inclusive range of sizes. The styles you’ll find here aim to smooth and slim in all the right places without restricting mobility and while prioritizing maximum comfort for easy all-day wear sans pain and discomfort.
Shapewear does have a long history, but modern shapewear has increased exponentially in popularity over the past few years. This increase in popularity is due in part to the widespread acceptance and open support and promotion of shapewear and waist trainers by popular female celebrities and style icons. Many body-positive stars of all shapes and sizes—including media personality and business mogul Kim Kardashian, famous rapper Nicki Minaj, well-known singer/songwriter Jill Scott, popular actress Kerry Washington, and more.
This increase in popularity has caused the number of shapewear options on the market to skyrocket. These countless different types of shapewear provide you with an overwhelming number of options. From full body shapers to light compression high- waisted shaping thongs to shaping leggings and camisoles, the choices are virtually endless. This collection includes some of the most popular types of shapewear in addition to more obscure styles in order to fit and flatter the figures of as many women as possible. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you’re faced with on the shapewear market, keep reading for tips on how to choose shapewear and guidance on the best shapewear for your figure and lifestyle.
There are so many different types of shapewear on the market that it can be tough to decide which styles are right for you. If you’re somewhat new to the world of shapewear as a whole, the shapewear shopping process can be especially intimidating.
These simple shapewear shopping tips can help set you on the right track. They are virtually universal and apply regardless of your body type, shape, or size, comfort level, style preferences, or lifestyle.
Determining which area(s) of your figure you want to target with your shapewear can help simplify your shapewear shopping process. This collection includes a variety of shapewear styles that are designed to smooth and sculpt different parts of your body, from your midsection to your thighs and backside.
If you just want to target your tummy and love handles, try a shaping thong panty. If you want to sculpt your thighs and backside, go with shaper shorts. If you want to smooth all over, a full body shaper might be the right choice for you.
Getting shapewear that actually fits you correctly is crucial if you want to stay comfortable and get the results you want out of your shapewear. Measure yourself carefully before you start shopping for shapewear. Once you start browsing, pay close attention to the size charts that are conveniently listed along with each shapewear style in this collection.
Also, it’s important to note that the shapewear styles in this collection are sourced from multiple brands and designers. Keep in mind that you might not be the same size in every style. It’s a good idea to compare your measurements with the specific size chart for each style before making any purchases.
If you’re new to shapewear, don’t buy a high compression style first—even if your goal is maximum sculpting. Your body will thank you if you give it a little bit of time to adjust to wearing shapewear.
Starting with shapewear that offers light compression that gently smooths your figure will keep you comfortable and help you get used to wearing shapewear before you advance to styles that provide higher levels of compression and more intense sculpting. A few of the excellent light compression styles this collection carries include lightweight high-waisted shaping thong panties, shaping leggings, shaping camisoles, and more.
This shapewear collection includes a variety of options that offer shapewear for virtually every occasion and body type. In fact, the idea that different shapewear is suited for different body types or only works for women with a certain body type is a harmful misconception in general. Quality, inclusive, body-positive shapewear that is available in a wide range of standard and plus sizes is suitable for virtually any body type. It doesn’t matter whether you have a straight, athletic torso, a petite frame, or an ultra-curvy figure; you can still benefit from shapewear. When you’re browsing through this collection, don’t worry too much about your specific body type. Instead, consider your comfort level, wardrobe, and lifestyle to make your shapewear decision. As long as your shapewear fits you correctly and is compatible with the clothes you wear, you’re in the clear. The sizes in this shapewear collection range from XS to 3X. This inclusive size range gives women of all body types, shapes, and sizes access to a selection of shaping pieces that will fit and flatter their figure well.
Some women only wear shapewear for special occasions under a fancy formal dress. Other women wear shapewear as a normal part of their daily outfits. Either option is fine, but different occasions require different shapewear styles. The shapewear you wear to a special formal event is much different than the shapewear you wear under jeans and a tank top on any given day.
Most women prefer more intense sculpting for formal occasions than for everyday wear. However, the right shapewear for formalwear depends on the attire you’re wearing.
Full-body shapers are popular choices to wear under full-length formal dresses. Backless or low-back shapewear styles are perfect for revealing formal dresses, including wedding dresses. For body-con dresses or any short, tight dress or skirt, ultra-discreet seamless shaping slips with raw edges are ideal.
Many women who only wear shapewear aren't aware of the number of options available for comfortable everyday shapewear. If you equate shapewear with uncomfortable, restrictive corsetry that you just have to deal with when you want to feel confident, it’s time to update your conceptions of everyday shapewear.
This collection includes a broad selection of different everyday shapewear styles that are designed to offer gentle, effective shaping with maximum comfort, mobility, and discretion under everyday outfits. The light compression seamless shapewear styles in this collection offer maximum discretion and comfort that stay invisible under even the tightest tops and bottoms. The shaping clothes in this collection—including shaping camisoles, shaping leggings, etc.—are also ultra-discreet and so comfortable for all-day wear that you might even forget you’re wearing shapewear.
Many of the shapewear styles in this collection can actually double as lingerie that can boost your body confidence in the bedroom.
Some of the most popular styles in this collection that effortlessly double as lingerie are high-waisted shaping thong panties. Many of the shaping panties you’ll find here feature details like lace overlay that maximize their discretion and add flirty, feminine style to these shaping panties.
Some of the most common areas to find extra fat on your body are your tummy and around your waist and hips. Much to the dismay of women everywhere, females naturally carry more fat around the lower part of their midsection for evolutionary and reproductive reasons. That’s why almost every adult woman has an extra layer of fat around her midsection. It’s extremely easy to accumulate fat that forms a tummy and “muffin top” or “love handles”. While fat in these areas is easy to develop, it can be very difficult to get rid of once you have it. Many women trying to lose weight or get in shape find burning excess fat from their stomach, waist, and hips to be much more challenging than losing fat in other areas.
The fact that developing an extra layer of fat around your midsection is biologically natural and even expected doesn’t make carrying that layer around or trying to get rid of it any less frustrating or discouraging. While you’re working to burn fat from your midsection, you can get temporary control for your tummy and muffin top with Body Shaper or shapewear designed specifically to target visible bulges in these areas.
There is more than one type of shapewear and body shapers that specifically target common problem areas around your midsection. In fact, many different shapewear styles sculpt and slim in just the right places to effectively minimize the appearance of visible jiggling and bulges around your tummy, waist, and hips. That means you have a wide range of style options when it comes to choosing shapewear for tummy control and love handles.
You can find a selection of the most popular shapewear styles for tummy control and muffin tops in this collection. Shaper shorts slim your inner thighs, lift your rear and smooth your tummy and love handles. High waist shapers offer extended coverage that smoothes your entire midsection and accentuates your curves. Tummy control cinchers encircle your midsection to take inches off your waist while smoothing your love handles and flattening your tummy. If you’re looking for something more discrete, this tummy control shapewear collection also includes a selection of innovative panties designed with special high waistbands for inconspicuous tummy control with a sexy, stylish finish.
This collection includes some of the most effective shapewear pieces for smoothing and compressing your tummy and love handles to slim and flatter your figure. The range of shapewear styles you find here is diverse. Each style offers slightly different shaping benefits and various levels of control and compression. The best tummy control shapewear for you depends on how much coverage and compression you want and what visible results you aim to get from wearing shapewear.
The pieces in this collection range from light to high control with many moderate control shapewear pieces in between. All of the shapewear in this collection focuses on control and compression around the lower part of your midsection. Some of the lighter control styles offer gentle, barely-there tummy control with a breathable, comfortable high waist for a subtle, flatter finish. Moderate compression pieces enlist firming fabrics to effortlessly smooth tummy bulges and love handles. The most intense tummy control pieces offer the highest level of compression to give you major smoothing and slimming results without constricting.
The history of shapewear is long and full of twists and turns. These interesting and surprising historical facts about shapewear of centuries and millennia past will give you a new perspective on shapewear and will likely make you feel more grateful for your modern options the next time you’re shopping for shapewear.
When most people think of the origins of shapewear, they picture ultra-tight corsets from the Victorian era. It’s common knowledge that shapewear is nothing new, but many women don’t know that shapewear has actually been around for thousands—not hundreds—of years.
The first evidence of shapewear has been uncovered in ancient Greece. The earliest shapewear styles date back almost to 3000 B.C., which means Greek women were wearing shapewear more than 2,000 years before the ancient Greek philosopher Plato was ever born.
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are two of the most iconic epic poems from ancient Greece. Even if you’ve never read them, their titles are probably familiar to you.
Although these poems focus on the battles of the Trojan War, if you look closely, you’ll find some of the earliest mentions of shapewear—specifically girdles—within the pages of these two renowned epic works.
Can you imagine wearing a corset made of metal? Probably not. In a modern society where leggings are worn as pants and no-bra movements are on the rise, most women value comfort over all else in their shapewear.
If you were a woman living in the Elizabethan era of the late 16th century, however, you wouldn’t have much of a choice but to wear petticoats and corsets crafted from unyielding steel. Shapewear in the Victorian era wasn’t much better, either—Victorian women often wore corsets lined with whalebone.
The modern shapewear women wear today is nothing like the shapewear of centuries past. Shapewear in the 21st century is designed to discreetly smooth women’s curves without feeling suffocating or restrictive. For hundreds—or even thousands—of years, though, shapewear was incredibly uncomfortable and was designed to bind women’s curves and completely hide the shape of their figures.
Flappers in the 1920s were the first women to wear shapewear that resembles modern shapewear styles you can find on the market today. These women revolutionized shapewear by wearing more comfortable styles like shaping bodysuits that were designed to smooth their curves instead of concealing them.
This is perhaps one of the most interesting historical facts about shapewear. During World War II, tensions and secretive behavior were high in America. Citizens were wary of possible spies and traitors from enemy nations and were still recovering their trust in the government after the devastating stock market crash of 1929.
Because so many of their husbands, brothers, and fathers had been drafted to fight in the war, women took on a more hands-on role in American society during the 1940s. WWII was a total war, which means that virtually everyone in the country—on and off the battlefield—played a part in contributing to the war efforts. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of women joined the workforce between 1940 and 1945 to help support their families during this stressful time.
During World War II, women had more access to their family’s finances than they would have if their husbands were not off fighting a war. Many women protected the money, important documents, and other private information they wanted to keep to themselves by stuffing it into their shapewear. In the 1940s, many women wore shapewear that featured special sewn-in secret pockets that helped them discreetly hide personal documents, keys, and other important private items under their clothes without anyone looking twice at them.
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