Ways You Might Be Wearing Shapewear Wrong
Shapewear has been changing women’s figures for decades. From whalebone corsets and Spanx to controversial waist trainers, women from every generation have looked to shapewear, girdles and the like to help them tighten up and smooth out. And whether they’re fighting the battle of the bulge, covering up cellulite, trying to perk things up, or just trying to look as smooth as possible, millions of women wear shapewear of all kinds. Unfortunately, many of us are wearing it wrong. From washing it to putting it on, there is a lot of room for error that can affect your figure and the lifetime of your shapewear.
So whether you’re trying to look better in a bandage dress or give more curves to your shape, here’s how to wear these undergarments the right way.
You’re Flattening Your Behind
You don’t have to minimize your behind in tight shapewear–unless you want to. There’s shapewear that acts like a “booty bra” that lifts and separates your behind while flattening everything else.
When the weather warms up, switch to shapewear made of cotton or microfiber blends designed to keep you cool while holding you in. Nylon and spandex don’t breathe well, which traps in the heat that causes you to sweat.
Pulling Shapewear Over Your Head
All shapewear — even camisoles — should be pulled up over your hips. You’ll avoid getting your arms or head awkwardly trapped, and more importantly, keep from stretching it out when you struggle to pull it down.
You Struggle to Pull It Up
The best way to pull shapewear up is to bunch it up like pantyhose then release it slowly as you pull up. Tugging them up like a tight pair of jeans puts extra stress on the fabric.
You’re Unsnapping Everything
You don’t have to stretch your arms to fasten every hook every time. Any that you can leave closed when you pull it on should stay snapped shut.
You’re Not Trying It on First
Not all shapewear is created equal. Anything from the visibility of the seams to the strength of the panels varies from brand to brand.
Be sure to give it a test run under your clothes before you take the tags and sanitary liners off. Something that doesn’t fit right on the first try can be very irritating after a few hours of wear.
You’re Wearing Them Too Long
Shapers that you wear all day should have lighter support if you don’t want to feel like you’re going to pass out by 5 p.m. Garments that you’re only going to wear for a night out can be extra strong if you’ll only have them on for a few hours.
You’re Wearing the Wrong Ones
If you only have one or two areas that you want to shape, there’s no need to wear a full bodysuit. There are lots of different types of shapewear designed to target certain areas (and let the others breathe).
You’re Going a Size Down
You would think that a smaller size will give you tighter control. But in reality, it just rolls down, creates rolls or falls apart after a few wears.
A better method? Choose the right size for you and then look for a tighter control level (like firm or extra strong) to give you the good support you’re looking for.
You’re Not Taking Your Measurements
Not all shapewear fits the same. A medium that fits you in one brand may not fit you in another. Be sure to look carefully at the size chart to be sure that you’re buying the right size for your body.
You’re Not Following the Washing Instructions
It’s tempting to just throw your shapewear in the wash with all of your other undergarments. It’s better to follow the washing instructions to the letter. Ignoring them can break the spandex down sooner, wearing out your shapewear before its time.
You’re Relying on Too Much Control
If you’re just trying to smooth out your lines and cover up cellulite, medium control is fine. Save strong or extra strong for when you want to reshape your figure under a form-fitting outfit.
You’re Choosing the Wrong Color
Choose shapewear that’s too far from your own skin tone and you will easily be able to see it under lightly colored or thin garments. When in doubt, have a friend check for you while you’re standing out in the sunlight.
You’re Not Giving It a Test Run
You don’t really get to know your shapewear until you’ve worn it for a few hours. Give new shapewear a test run around the house before you take it out for a spin.
That way you won’t be caught out with any embarrassing malfunctions that someone will point out hours after you’ve been wearing it.