Yoga? Yes, but Gwyneth is also a fan of Spanx.
I have a deep and abiding love of shapewear. Like a perfectly fitted bra, a great pair of what Laura Bennett calls “power panties” can completely change the fit of an outfit. There are a variety of options out there for shapers, but I prefer the ones that look like bike shorts, because they do the most work — they hold in your stomach and lift up your backside, all at once. Miraculous.
My “problem area” (I hate that phrase, but you know what I mean) is my derriere; no matter how many miles I run or how many donuts I say no to, my tush just isn’t as firm as it was 20 years ago (go figure). Certain pieces in my closet — a jersey dress, a fitted pair of trousers — look that much better when I’ve got a little extra help underneath. I’m also not a fan of VPL, but I’m not a thong girl, so for pieces that require a smooth back view, a shaper is my go-to undergarment.
Which shaper is the best? It depends on what you need it to do, how long you’re planning to wear it, and how much you want to spend. Here are my three favorites.
Spanx In-Power Line Super High Power, $38
Spanx is the gold standard of shapewear, and the Higher Power line is truly the answer to your prayers. Spanx are perfect for heavy duty shaping; my Spanx make it possible for me to look great in pants that are a full size smaller than what I typically wear. This is the shapewear that whittles five pounds off your midsection, easy. A word of caution, however: this is not shapewear for the faint of heart. Spanx are heavy duty, serious shapers, and while they will slim you and compel you to stand up straight, they’re not exactly comfortable. Wear judiciously for events where you want to look smokin’ hott (class reunions, photo shoots, your ex’s wedding) but don’t plan to eat much or take particularly deep breaths.
Verdict: Red carpet shapewear, but not for all day.
Body Wrap Firm Control High-Waist Long-Leg Panty, $42
Body Wrap is my go-to brand for shapewear; these shapers strike the perfect balance between holding it all in and not squashing any internal organs. I can wear my Body Wraps shaper all day; like the Spanx, it does make me sit up straighter (it’s just not comfortable to slouch over in sturdy shapewear) but unlike my Spanx, I don’t fear for the health of my spleen after a few hours in these. Body Wrap is the perfect option for under clingy dresses and fitted pants.
Verdict: Making a power presentation? These are your power panties.
Hanes Smooth Illusions No Hose Moderate Control High Waist Smoother,
$15 currently $9.99
Hanes line of shapers gets two thumbs up from me for two reasons: one is the fit — they hold everything in without binding, and they are lightweight enough to wear all day, even in summer — and the other is the price. At less than half the cost of the Spanx shapewear, Hanes Smooth Illusions is a perfect solution if you’re looking for an affordable, wearable everyday shaper. The Hanes shaper also has a clever “no leg band” design which eliminates the sausage casing effect that other shapewear can have on your thighs. While this shapewear won’t shave five pounds off your figure, it will give you a smooth, contained line under a dress or pants, and it’s comfortable enough to wear all day long.
Verdict: The perfect solution for your budget and your butt.
Are you a fan of shapers? Which is your favorite?