Shapewear Fitting Made EasyFinding Your Personal Shapewear Size
Perfect Fit Checklist
Almost every look has, at one time or another, been in fashion,
with the exception of bulges. So when designers get together and
declare body-conscious fashions the look of the season, we women need
to make sure our silhouettes are sleek and smooth. The good news is
that achieving such a look no longer requires a girdle of whalebone and
canvas. Sheer power fabrics have made possible a whole new line of
undergarments that minimize and enhance your figure while providing
comfortable support. Shapewear is the answer for any woman who
wants to be in control of her shape -- no matter what curve ball the fashion
world throws you.
Finding Your Personal Shapewear Size
Shapewear comes in a variety of styles- from all-in-ones to
tummy-controlling panties. The many options let you decide where you
want that extra support. Shapewear also comes with different control
levels -- light control to extra-firm control. These control levels let you
choose how much support you want.
This style (also called an all-in-one) gives full
coverage of the body and includes a built-in bra.
For this reason, body shapewear comes in bra
sizes. If you wear a 36C bra, you would buy a 36C
Shapewear that enhances your bust is known as a
bust style. This shapewear style comes in bra
sizes as well.
If hip and tummy support is what you're after, the
hips style shapewear is right for you. The size you
need is based on the same waist and hip
measurements used to determine your panty
size. (See Chart Below).
A long leg control brief is the thigh style. Generally
the bottom of the leg will have a special band to
grip the leg and keep the brief from rolling up.
Many times this style also has a tummy control
panel. Size is again determined by your panty
measurements. (See Chart Below).
The most popular shapewear style is the tummy
brief. It looks almost identical to a brief style panty
and has an extra support panel in front to
smooth over the tummy. Its sizing follows the
small, medium, large format (See Chart Below).
As its name indicates, this shapewear style creates
a smooth contour to your waist. It generally is
made up of a brief with an elongated waistband
that comes up to the bottom of your bra. Its sizing
comes in small, medium, large etc. (See Chart
Shapewear comes in a variety of control levels- from light to very firm. These
levels allow you to choose the amount of support that's right for you.
- Light Control
- This control is light enough to give you
smoothness and shaping without binding.
Control top pantyhose provide about
the same support as light control
- Moderate Control
- For extra smoothness, moderate control
shapewear is the answer. Generally, this
control will have more spandex and possibly
light control panels built in. This control can
be worn up to eight hours without
- Firm Control
- The most popular support level, firm control
can really make a difference if you have a
problem area you want to minimize. Though
comfortable, this level of support is difficult
to wear the entire day.
- Extra Firm Control
- This is the highest level of support available
in shapewear. At this level, you will find
reinforced panels and possibly boning.
Perfect Fit Checklist
- It is important to put your shapewear on correctly. If you don't, you
will have a binding uncomfortable feeling all day. Similar to
pantyhose, gather up the sides so the shapewear is only an inch or
two tall. Step into the legs and pull up until you reach the point where
you would like the shaper to begin. Now, gradually un-gather the
shapewear as you pull it up over your torso. This technique ensures
your shapewear will be in the right place and seams and panels will
- Once you have your shapewear on, sit down. If you have a binding
feeling around your legs or torso, you need to readjust your shaper. A
proper fit means the shapewear is as comfortable sitting as standing.
- Are you a classic pear shape? Women with fuller hips and bottom
should choose shapewear with side panels and extra support in the
- Some women make the mistake of buying shapewear one size
smaller than their size to achieve additional support. This is wrong. A
smaller garment will not fit correctly. Instead, choose shapewear with
a higher level of support. For example, if your shapewear is of
moderate support, consider buying a garment with firm support.
- If you want to wear shapewear but tend to get hot, consider
shapewear made of cotton. There are several manufacturers who
make shapewear with cotton.
If your shapewear doesn't fit correctly, you could be in for a day of
binding and irritating discomfort. Make sure your shapewear fits by going
through this quick checklist.
- Waist stays in place
- Move around in your shapewear after you put it
on. Sit down, bend over, raise your arms. If the waist of your
shapewear does not stay in place, you need another size.
- Legs are not binding
- Sit down, cross your legs, and see if the edge
of your shapewear binds or cuts into your leg. If so, you may want to
consider a shaper with a longer leg length.
- Comfortable crotch
- Check and see where your crotch is positioned.
If it is low, you will have problems walking. If it is too high, your
shaper will feel uncomfortable all day. Adjust the sides of your
shapewear until the crotch lands in the right location.
- Smooth torso
- There should be no bulges or wrinkles visible on your
shaper. If there are, you may need a shorter length or smaller size
shapewear. If the bulges are coming out over top of the shapewear,
you may need a taller shapewear style.
- No rolling
- If the waist or legs of your shapewear are rolling, your
shapewear may have broken down and needs to be replaced.
- Total smoothness
- If the shapewear is not laying completely smooth
in any size, consider alterations.
See our complete Lingerie Fitting Guide here.