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7 Tips on How to Wear Shapewear

how to wear shapewear

Shapewear has come into the zeitgeist in a major way since the mid-2010s. From celebrities and influencers opening up about their shaping garments to many women opting for at least one piece to wear on nights out, it has never been more accessible or fashionable. However, if you’re new to it, you may be wondering how to wear shapewear.

It is nothing to be ashamed of – shaping garments do have a bit of a learning curve to them, but it’s no more complicated than wearing bras, something we all had to learn at some point as well. Join us as we demystify these incredible garments with our 7 tips on how to wear shapewear.

1)     Wear the Correct Size

Shapewear can bring you down to two dress sizes, and it’s no wonder that there’s a persistent myth that sizing down in shapewear will have a better effect. In reality, wearing a size down can cause unsightly bumps and be very uncomfortable.

If you’re a medium in clothing, you’ll be a medium in shapewear. Some shapewear will have specific measurements rather than sizes. However, most will correlate with clothing or bra sizes.

2)    Learn about Control Levels

When considering how to wear shapewear, it’s important to consider the levels you’re looking for. There are three levels of control: light, medium, and firm – which provide different benefits and have various drawbacks.


Light control offers the most comfortable fit while still smoothing the silhouette without constriction. This type of control doesn’t offer much in the way of sculpting or support, but it is the best for daily use and is kind to beginners.


Medium control offers support and control around target areas without being too constrictive. This will sculpt your silhouette and can be worn on a semi-regular basis, giving you the best of both worlds.


Firm control is what most people think of when shapewear comes to mind. This offers the strongest control and support, transforming your figure and making you appear up to two dress sizes smaller. With the highest compression, this certainly isn’t the most comfortable of the options; it is suitable for occasional use.

3)    How to Wear Shapewear and Care for it

Learning how to wear shapewear is only part of the equation – you also need to learn how to care for it. This includes washing and storage.

As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to follow the instructions on the label. Though most lingerie should be hand washed and hung dry. To store, lay flat or (if cut permits) fold in an enclosed drawer, ideally with a drawer separator.

4)    Wear Pregnancy Shapewear if Pregnant

Many believe that you shouldn’t wear shapewear while pregnant. The truth is that it’s perfectly safe when done correctly. If you have questions, consulting your doctor is a great way to be sure of your unique situation.

Anita Bras has a great selection of nursing bras, and we boast a great variety of maternity shapewear. For postpartum and post-surgical wear, Fajas D’Prada has your back, middle, and sides.

5)     No Need for Undergarments

At least for most cases. Read the description of the item you’re buying to ensure this is the case. If you are wearing something with bust coverage, it will provide enough support that you can forgo your bra.

Shaper shorts, briefs, and body suits will often have a gusset to allow you to wear them without panties.

6)    Match Your Shapewear to Your Outfit

The point of shapewear is to look your best in the outfit of your choice. Be sure to match your shapewear type to your outfit.

Fitted Tops and Jeans

Wear shaper briefs, body suits, or camisoles under such outfits. They’ll hug your middle and make everything smooth beneath your jeans. Bodysuits and briefs are better for looks with a tucked-in shirt, whereas camisoles are better for untucked tops.

Skirts and Dresses

Bodysuits return as a great garment choice for skirts and dresses. For smoothing on the hips and thighs, you can use shaper shorts and shaper slips. A full slip will also give bust support, while a half slip will cover the middle, thighs, and hips.

7)    How to Wear Shapewear Easily

Now that we’ve reviewed types of shapewear, their control levels, sizing, and how to care for them, it’s time we discuss how to put them on.

First, ensure your skin is completely dry to avoid sticking. After this, simply step into the garment like a dress and pull it up slowly. Ensure there are no rolls and it’s sitting correctly on your body. Once this is done, you can put on your outfit.