Everything You Need To Know About Shapewear

Feb 12 2014

by Tina Adams

Tina, here.

The Underside of Undergarments: Everything You Need to Know About Shapewear

The delicates. The unmentionables. Shapewear. Underwear. Undergarments. You need them, I need them, we all need them. But what exactly do we need?? A thong that doesn’t give you a wedgie would be nice.


A few of the options out there – so many choices, what is a girl to do? You’re in the right spot for all you need to know about shapewear and lingerie.

First of all, shapewear is not just for those who want to hide pounds. It’s for anyone at any weight. We tell all our clients, and yes we cover shapewear during the Closet Clean-out (but no, we do not go through your panty and bra drawer), that shapewear is more about smoothing than sucking. It is about giving your clothes a smooth surface to lay on top of, and less about sucking you in and making it difficult to breathe. So if you have trouble breathing or moving in your shapewear, you’re wearing the wrong shapewear.

Here’s what shapewear can do for you:


This lady is wearing Spanx’s “Higher Power” style – and wow, what a difference. You can find it here. via thisbugslife

But make sure you wear the right shapewear.

Spanx alert! Kathie Lee is baring too much here, as you can see her black spanx under her dress. Oops, wardrobe malfunction. Either her dress is too short or her Spanx are too long. I really do love the company Spanx. Founder Sara Blakeley is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, and kudos to her. She and I are fellow members of a fabulous organization for entrepreneurs called, appropriately enough, Entrepreneur Organization.

So here is your list of what you need in your shapewear drawer. For an even more detailed list with all the extras plus where to buy, including petite and curvy options, you can purchase our Shapewear Capsule for $9.99 here. Buy Now

1. The right bras. Pah-lease buy new bras if you have not in the past 2 years. For the love of God, buy new bras. The elastic is worn out and your girls are heading south without a good firm piece of elastic holding them up nicely. Nordstrom has very professional fitters who can identify your size and style in a swift turn of the measuring tape. You will be so glad you did this, I promise you.

Do I need to remind you of the now famous statistic that nearly 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra? There is no need for this. Let’s stop the madness, and sagging.

You’ll want a racer-back bra for racer-back tanks and dresses and a bandeau to wear when a cami or slip is too heavy under a thin silk blouse or dress. We tell you what kind and where to find in our Shapewear Capsule.

2. The right camisoles. You need only 3, count them three, and that’s all. You need a white, a vanilla (not nude, not beige, but vanilla), and a black camisole. Done. Oh, a couple other caveats: no lace, no shelf bra, and the material must have some man-made fabric in it so it doesn’t lose its shape. Ann Taylor and Target carry great camis. We tell you when to wear which color cami in our Shapewear Capsule.

Let me be clear. This image is a “No.” You do not want to wear a black cami under a white shirt and you definitely don’t want to wear a colorful cami under a white shirt. Like, say you have on a pink skirt and white blouse – do not wear a pink cami. Wear a vanilla cami.

Ok, so you do need a silk camisole to wear under silk blouses when a thicker cami is too heavy and your thin blouse sticks to it. For the perfect bias-cut silk camisole, check out our Shapewear Capsule.

3. The right undies. I’m a big believer in the thong. TMI? Sorry. But hey, this is getting real and you need to know that visible panty lines happen every day to good people and it’s awful. The thong is the clearest path to eliminating them. Did I lose you here? Don’t worry, I have another alternative to the thong for those of you who refuse (keep reading). A word of advice about thongs: you must stick with it for a week until you no longer feel like you have a wedgie. Hanky Pankies are too pricey for me – I have another source for great thongs at a great price, that won’t give you a wedgie. Buy our Shapewear Capsule for my secret source! Buy Now

Visible panty lines make your pants look too tight when they may in fact not be – she just needs a thong, or possibly since her pants are light, a smoothing biker short undie.

4. Speaking of the biker short, you need one. To wear under thin fabrics and under lighter color pants. And when you won’t wear thongs, because they cover the whole tush so there are no lines at all. Let me be clear: visible panty lines do not happen only when your pants are too tight; they happen when you are wearing the wrong panties and has nothing to do with how tight or loose your pants or dresses are.

Power Panties®, New & Slimproved! product photo Primary Product View V275

The Biker Short, aka your thong alternative. $32 from Spanx.

5. Remember back in the ’80′s when we wore silk or polyester slips under everything? Then we kind of stopped. But now, we need slips for all the gauzy, thin skirts and dresses we wear (as opposed to the tailored sheaths that can stand up on their own) and they’re impossible to find! Keep in mind, your slip MUST be cut on the bias so it moves with you, not against you.

Silk Slips, Chemise - Classy, Delicate Lingerie Styles
Here’s a great slip – not to wear as a slipdress, but as an undergarment, ok kids? I know this was a tricky one, but we’re still covering undergarments. Stay focused. via Organic
6. A Body Smoother. I like the kind with shorts so you can wear with both dresses and pants. They now have this great tape that keeps the bottoms from riding up on your skin and creating an inner tube at your stomach.

Hide & Sleek® Hi-Rise Body Smoother product photo Primary Product View V275

The Spanx Body Smoother – take a look at the before and after below.
Hide & Sleek® Hi-Rise Body Smoother product photo Before And After T326
The Body Smoother. I rest my case. $68 – $72 via Spanx
7. Hosiery. Not too shiny, not too matte. And never worn with peep toe shoes. Match the color to the tone of your skin. For more on how to wear tights and hose, click here.
DKNY Hosiery, Ultra Sheer Control Top Tights - Handbags & Accessories - Macy's
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that my favorite hosiery is Donna Karan, The Nudes Collection. They are worth every penny. Go toeless if you’re wearing them under pants for smoothing, and you can wear peep toes! $20 at Nordstrom
For more of the shapewear you need and how to wear, you can purchase and download my guide to the Perfect Shapewear and Essential Undergarments every woman needs, for $9.99. I give you all the links to find what you need, making shopping an absolute breeze. Never leave your sofa.

Buy Now

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out all our wardrobe services at and contact us here:

All the best,


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One response on “Everything You Need To Know About Shapewear

  1. erikapreval

    Thank you for sharing, Tina! Proper foundations are a must, and you’ve provided some solid advice here. Parents: If searching for slips for your daughters, I’ve only been able to find them at Von Maur department store.

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