Words by Danielle Whiteman
3 Minute Read
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Shapewear is a personal choice based on how you feel.
It isn’t about you needing to look a certain way to look good in an outfit or an instant fix to drop a dress-size.
It’s a part of my styling kit that’s there to use under certain fabrics if it helps to make a client feel good. Styling is all about how it makes you feel!
In recent years, shapewear has become a wardrobe staple, and with the developments in fabric technology, they are no longer as uncomfortable as they once were. Thanks to the likes of Kim Kardashian and her Skims label, shapewear is no longer something to hide or feel embarrassed about. I think it’s safe to say attitudes have come a long way since Bridget Jones and her ‘absolutely enormous panties’! If it makes you feel good…go for it.
I think it’s only right to start with the original shapewear brand. For years, Spanx have been the go-to for shapewear, literally catering for every need. In my opinion the humble Spanx Short is a must have, and I highly recommend the Spanx, Thinstincts 2.0 Shorts, £62 – available in mid-thigh, longer leg, and both mid-rise and high-rise waist. These provide amazing support with their added tummy control and excellent smoothing being made from a thinner nylon to previous styles. I would also recommend the Spanx, Thinstincts 2.0 Bodysuit, £80 (short) if you’re looking for seamless smoothing and support. Depending on your body shape, sometimes it’s better to have support past the bra line.
I’m happy to say that the days of one brand monopolising the shapewear market (often with a hefty price tag) are long gone! Now you can find some of the best pieces on the High Street for a fraction of the price. Matalan’s, Nude Medium Support Control Cycling Shorts, £11, are a great dupe for the Spanx Short with extra tummy control and are available up to size 20 rather than the usual S, M, L etc.
For fabric technology similar to Spanx and super for smoothing with tummy control, one of my go to places is Intimissimi. I love their Raw-Cut Microfibre Shorts, £47. I also love this Intimissimi, Seamless Microfibre Shaping Slip, £69 because it creates a smooth silhouette under some of the more unforgiving fabrics.
I know I already have, but I can’t talk about shapewear without mentioning Kim Kardashian. Kim’s Skims range has blown up the shapewear taboo and even turned it into a bit of a statement with her size inclusive campaigns and fashion forward shapes. I love this Skims, Fits Everybody Square Neck Bodysuit, £56. It’s both a styling kit essential of mine and a personal staple in my wardrobe. It’s a great piece for smoothing that pesky bra line and comes in so many shades and colours, you can layer it under sheer tops (making sure you get a shade closest to your skin tone). And – the ultimate test – it’s also wearable as a top in its own right, as it has some gorgeous stretch to really cinch in that waist.
Moving on from more everyday shapewear, it would be remiss of me not to talk about some red carpet essentials and here are two go-to shapewear pieces I can’t shout about loudly enough!
First would be the Spanx, Suit Your Fancy Stretch Bodysuit, £88. If you’re looking for full length smoothing and support, this bodysuit neutralizes bra lines and pesky VPLs, creating one smooth silhouette, with no lumps or bumps!
I’ve also become fond of the Skims, Barely There Cropped Leggings, £64. Don’t be deceived by the look of these leggings. The fabric may appear thin but it really does give support and is a brilliant option if short shapewear digs in on the leg. A long legging is great for a seamless silhouette – there are no VPLs and with these. Don’t be afraid to cut them to make the length work for you. I’ve been known to take a pair of scissors to a number of Spanx pieces in my time!
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