At a certain age, getting dressed involves more than throwing on a dress, top, or bottom — you’ll also need to consider your shapewear. Having the best shapewear for plus-size women in your closet helps accentuate your natural shape and emphasize your assets as you please — something that becomes especially important for women with curves. Take it from us: The secret to looking your best starts with the perfect foundational garment.
Types of Shapewear
The days of shoving your body into uncomfortably tight spandex are long gone. Constructed with control panels, form-fitting shapes, and lightweight, breathable materials, the shapewear of today is just right for highlighting your voluptuous shape. With the right plus-size shapewear, your body will look smooth and slim, giving you the confidence to strut your stuff. We’ve outlined five of the most popular types below.
Shorts: Shapewear shorts have become as much of a wardrobe staple as leggings. Designed to be worn underneath your skirts, dresses, and pants, these tummy-controlling and thigh-shaping pieces extend from just beneath the bust to right above the knee, smoothing out everything in between.
Leggings: As with shapewear shorts, shapewear leggings have become more and more popular due to their ability to work as both an everyday clothing staple and an excellent piece of shapewear. They’re made from the same stretchy and moisture-wicking materials as some of your favorite workout pieces and even out everything from waist to ankle.
Slips: Designed to create a slimming barrier between you and your dress, slips can also be used as a piece of shapewear when constructed with the right materials. Contouring versions are used to create clean lines and a smooth appearance, making them a closet essential.
Bodysuits: Another common type of shapewear is the bodysuit. Available in various designs, such as bikini cut and full body, shapewear bodysuits cover everything from your bust to hip, with some even extending as far as right above the knee. Best of all, they can also be tucked into a pair of your favorite pants to be worn as a standalone top.
Waist-cinchers: The most classic shapewear style comes in the form of a waist cincher. Modeled after the corsets of yesteryears, these modern-day designs are designed to give you that sought after hourglass shape by compressing the waist and pushing up the bust.
Whether you’re looking for a lacy bodysuit ($51.99, Spanx) or something more low-key, such as a pair of body-shaping shorts ($38, Spanx), we’ve got something for everyone. Keep scrolling to shop FIRST for Women’s picks for the best plus-size shapewear.
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Where to buy: From $44, Amazon
This tummy-control waist trainer, which is made from a proprietary fabric of 75 percent natural rubber and 25 percent cotton, boosts your bust and whittles your waist. Covering the length of your midsection, it works discreet wonders as it slides perfectly under dresses, skirts, and tops. As an added bonus, this piece also helps to support your posture and relieve or prevent back pain thanks to its internal flexible steel bones.
One buyer wrote, “I’ve been using Squeem products since I was a teenager. My mother always wore this cincher, and passed it down to me when I began wearing shapewear. … The purpose of me buying this is to help me fit better in my clothing and to also enhance my work I put in at the gym. I have this on the tighter hook and it still gives me room to breathe and sit comfortably, but still [has] the cinching effect. Totally recommend.”
Where to buy: $30, Addition Elle
Enhance the final look of any outfit with these smoothing thigh shapers, which are designed to give your legs an instant lift. Sitting comfortably under the bust and hitting just above the knee, these long nylon and elastane shorts shape the hips, smooth the tummy, and define the waist. They feature a seamless design for a sleek, line-free appearance.
Where to buy: $46, Bare Necessities
Well-known for its extended sizing, Bare Necessities knows how to create items that allow women to show off their best assets while offering comfortable support, and these pearly smooth microfiber belly-shaper briefs are no exception. Made with the brand’s Wonderful Edge waistband (their supportive band which is lined with silicone for support), you can feel secure knowing they’ll stay in place all day. Their control panel also offers your body a seamless silhouette.
One reviewer called them “the best shaper ever,” going on to write, “I have never found a shaper I like better than this one. Never rolls down and is super comfortable!”
Where to buy: $38, Spanx
Made with soft yarns that offers more even results with less squeeze, these Spanx shorts move, bend, and stretch with your figure with a high waist that streamlines your silhouette to put the spotlight on your curves. They allow for more support and control than a regular pair of underwear, and the ruching in the back gives your behind a lovely shape. They also stay put, thanks to a no-slip elastic band.
One happy shopper wrote, “These are great. They hold you up and in very well. It gives you a great shape and silhouette. Super comfortable to wear all day.”
Shared another: “[They fit] nice and snug and gather all the excess skin I have from a great weight loss. Very comfortable. Replaces having to wear two different things!”
Where to buy: From $37, Amazon
These high-waisted panties are perfect to wear under everyday outfits. Offering 360 degrees of support, every angle can now be your “good” side: The nylon and spandex mix will shape your midriff, and the ruching in the back will make your rear end look taut. In between, the fabulous high-waist style works to keep things smooth throughout the whole length of your torso.
Even self-proclaimed shapewear-haters couldn’t find a negative thing to say about these panties, writing, “They held me in, didn’t roll down at all, and they were actually comfortable.”
Raved another: “These panties smoothed me out and gave me the confidence to wear a dress I haven’t worn in eight years!”
Where to buy: $58, Bare Necessities
Layering tanks are closet essentials, and this one from Spanx smooths and slims while serving as the perfect foundation for your tops. Unlike a waist-cincher, this compression tank shapes your midsection without feeling too tight or uncomfortable. It’s cut with your curves in mindm and is made from a moisture-wicking spandex and nylon blend that can level out your waistline with its targeted tummy panel.
One reviewer gushed, “What I like best about this tank is the lightness of the fabric, which makes it cooler in hot weather. It has nice control without pinching anywhere.”
Where to buy: $24.15, Ashley Stewart
The sleek, satin-like finish of this shapewear bodysuit will make you feel — and look! — sexy. The perfect piece to slip under a dress, it offers full-body coverage, full-body smoothing, and molded contour cups that lend a comfortable lift to the bosom. And, with adjustable straps, you can look forward to the perfect fit.
Where to buy: $50.99 (Originally $74), Spanx
Who said shapewear can’t be sexy? When Spanx created this lace bodysuit, it combined the best of fashion and function for a slimming piece that also looks plenty sultry. It offers all the support of classic shapewear plus a baby pink hue that makes it feel feminine and elegant. There’s full coverage for your backside, easily-adjustable straps, and a mesh lining that targets the tummy to offer greater compression.
One buyer wrote, “I’m obsessed with this bodysuit. It provides the perfect amount of support and smoothing, while also being really comfortable and obviously pretty.”
Where to buy: $52, Bare Necessities
Finally, a bralette that offers extra support for fuller busts! This bralette is not just pretty — it gives you great-looking décolletage while still offering reliable support. With a unique, elastic design that will boost the girls and hold them in without any unnecessary wires or padding, it’s got adjustable straps and an easy pull-on style that provides smooth control and shaping.
Where to buy: From $78, Spanx
Whether you need a little something to wear beneath your favorite skinny jeans or want to wear them solo, these black high-waisted leggings will be your best bet. They fit like a regular pair of leggings, moving flexibly with you as they shape your legs, thighs, and behind, but feature a new-and-improved construction that includes a smoothing addition to the waistband. There’s also no need to worry about awkward seams down the middle, and they won’t ride up in the front — or the back.