The Best Shapewear for Your Outfit

Even the most toned bodies can sometimes feel a little vulnerable under today’s body-con dresses. Luckily, there’s a whole industry behind smoothing your behind (and other areas). Shapewear is as old as fashion itself. Corsets, petticoats, bustles and girdles seem to have existed in one form or another since the dawn of civilization. But good news for contemporary clotheshorses: modern materials are kinder than the cages and laces that dominated many slimming and lifting contraptions of yore.

Nevertheless, the variety of styles can be a bit intimidating as you select helpful underthings. For those uninitiated in the SPANX ranks, here’s a primer on the many types of shapewear and what each kind offers.

Yummie slip


Slips have long been used to smooth the silhouette under clingy dresses. Modern materials like spandex and nylon add even less bulk than traditional lingerie styles–and they help create a crisp canvas for fabrics like rayon and silk to move without revealing too much or bunching up beneath your sheath. While not advisable under super-tight dresses of the bandage or knit varieties, a shapewear slip keeps panty lines and bra straps at bay while subtly slimming the figure under thin fabrics and daring cuts.

SHOP: slips 

Spanx panty

Bras and Panties

If your dress is on the snug side, a shaping bra and panty set will stick closer to your side under the form-fitting fabric. These separates also allow you to select different sizes on top and bottom for greater customization. Shaping bras provide lift, padding and coverage–even under plunging styles; shaping briefs lift the butt while flattening the stomach, and shaping thongs focus mostly on the belly.

SHOP: shapewear bras | shapewear panties


One of the more popular forms of shapewear is the pseudo-biker-short-with-a-purpose. Comfortable in their cling, they eliminate panty lines from your list of wardrobe mishaps. Additionally, these smart shorts come in a variety of control levels, so you can decide if you need light to firm assistance with your … assets. The waistband can hit at different heights–ranging from below the navel up to the ribcage–making the style work under a variety of looks, from pants to skirts to dresses. A versatile shapewear piece that addresses two areas (booty and tummy), shorts are quickly becoming a must-have foundational piece.

SHOP: shapewear shorts

Spanx bodysuit




For full-torso toning, a bodysuit is an all-in-one solution to your dressing needs. From athletic styles that include thigh-shaping shorts to bustier cuts modeled after vintage lingerie, these designs taper the waist without causing banding around your middle or ribs. Bodysuits can create a more even, consistent foundation for dressing, and styles range not only in cut but also in control, from light to firm.

SHOP: shapewear bodysuits

SHOP: all shapewear