Written by Dia Style Adviser, Reah Norman.
The holiday season is the most glamorous time of the year to get dressed! The day-to-night celebrations inspire an abundant adornment of glitz, glam, sparkle, and shine that infiltrates our wardrobes. No matter how you choose to celebrate the season, there are endless festive looks to put you in the holiday spirit. But the first and most important step is less glamorous: undergarments. While having the right bra is really important, shapewear may be required too as these special occasion looks have us feeling like we need to be a bit more locked and loaded than we are in our everyday ensembles.
While you are in no way required to wear shapewear, as you may prefer to flaunt your curves without that extra bit of smoothing and compression, this is a guide that will help you understand how different shapewear garments and silhouettes can work for you under that special occasion look you have planned.
Not all shapewear is created equal. Depending on your body type, the outfit you’re planning to wear, and your desired level of compression, your perfect body shaper will add control where you want it and create a smooth canvas to ensure that the clothing lays perfectly over your body. Make sure to consider your shape, outfit, and the level of compression you desire when you’re looking to purchase your shapewear.
Here, I have highlighted three of the most versatile shapewear styles to cover all of your bases, styles that you can wear again and again as those special occasions fill your calendar. My most trusted shapewear brand is HookedUp Shapewear, which I love because of their awesome design that hooks your shapewear to the back straps of your bra so it won’t roll down even as you get down on the dance floor. The best shapewear shouldn’t create extra lumps and bumps that you don’t have, and if your shapewear rolls down, it can create a bulge, but this HookedUp style eliminates the gap between bra band and shapewear for a completely smooth look.
A high-waisted shaping brief is ideal for mid-section shaping, which is perfect for those of us with “more in the middle” body types. It offers coverage under the bust and through the torso, smoothing the tummy and back area. This is my personal favorite shaper style and can be worn with almost anything. If you’re looking for some coverage in the hips, thighs, and booty, you may prefer the shorts style.
A high-waisted shaping slip not only offers the same coverage as the brief, but it additionally creates a perfectly smooth curve in the hips, thighs, and butt area making it ideal to wear underneath skirts and dresses. This type of shaper is perfect for all body types. I love the lace trim silicone detail on this slip from HookedUp Shapewear as the silicone prevents the slip from riding up as you move. If you are rocking pants or a jumpsuit, opt for the shorts or brief style instead.
A mid-thigh shaping short works well for thigh and leg shaping, which is great for those “more on the bottom” body types. The short style offers concentrated support to the lower half of the body, specifically the hips, thighs, and booty, while still providing coverage to the mid-section. This style of shaper is great to wear under just about anything, as it will keep your pants and jumpsuits looking smooth and also provides the added bonus of thigh chafe prevention when worn under skirts and dresses. If your dress has a high slit that goes up to the mid-thigh, you may prefer to wear the brief option instead so your shaper isn’t visible.
Reah’s Shapewear Shopping Pro Tips:
- Shapewear is splurge-worthy.
All undergarments in our wardrobes should be considered as investments in ourselves. Spend the money for the higher-quality pieces that are made to last. You may only wear shapewear a few times a year, but if you get the right shapewear that can last you for years, you shouldn’t need to replace it often.
- Shapewear shouldn’t be painful to wear.
We’re past the days of painful corsets! If your shapewear is really uncomfortable, you’re likely wearing the wrong size. The proper fit should feel snug, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation, digs into the skin, or makes it hard to breathe. If you experience this, try a size up. You should be able to function normally (and dance!) when wearing your shaper.
- Take care of your shapewear.
When laundering, wash in cold water on the gentle cycle or hand-wash in a mesh bag. Lay flat to dry. Avoid the dryer as it will break down the fabric and significantly shorten the life of the garment.
Whether you are preparing your wardrobe for a whirlwind of shindigs and holiday cheer this season, or just updating your top drawer undergarment collection for everyday wear, you should be able to find the perfect shaper for you without sacrificing comfort and wearability.
is Dia&Co's Style Adviser and lives in Los Angeles, California.