What You Need To Know About Buying Shapewear

What You Need To Know About Buying Shapewear - Style Tips From Alarna Hope

When a special occasion approaches, many of us plan to change our diets, drink more water and buy more exercise gear.

Most of us eventually settle on shapewear to go under that dress we purchased the day we vowed we’d look as good as Jane Fonda, Miranda Kerr or any one who doesn’t jiggle. Unfortunately, over time, we’ve forgotten what shapewear actually does and the types we should get.

So, in order to not be that person who has to get cut out of her shapewear at the end of the night – here’s what I’ve got to tell you about buying shapewear that’s going to work for you.

It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.


Contrary to popular belief, it’s not going to make you drop a dress size, it’s just designed to smooth you over. A while ago, I was Styling in Bondi and had a woman approach me, who thought I worked at the store (this happens regularly), she said ‘Excuse me, I’ve got an event tonight and I need to fit into a size 8 dress I got.‘ I looked the woman over, depending on the brand of the dress she got, she could very well have been a size 8, but the woman standing in front of me looked more like she’d fit a twelve. ‘I need some shapewear, can you show me some?‘ she asked and I told her that I didn’t work at the store and that I was a Stylist.

Need some help in the underwear department? Read Why Get A Bra Fitting!

What You Need To Know About Buying Shapewear

As I was picking up clothing to put aside for a client, I saw the lady pick up two of the same types of shapewear and ask where the fitting room was. At first, I thought she was trying on two different sizes, but when she came out, dressed again in the clothing she went in wearing, she didn’t look too convinced. So, being someone that didn’t want to see a crime against fashion, I approached her. I asked to see her dress and asked ‘Have you tried it on with the dress?’ to which her answer was ‘It doesn’t zip up, but it almost does. It was a really good price, but even two layers of shapewear won’t make it fit.

I explained to the woman that shapewear isn’t designed to make you smaller, just smoother and asked her what the total price of the two items of shapewear was and they turned out to equal more than the price of the dress she purchased. As you can probably guess, I told the woman to return the dress for another size, as it was a beautiful dress, but the fact that she was willing to spend more on shapewear made me wonder about the misconceptions we have about it.


You’ve got to approach shapewear like you do clothing. Think of your body shape and what your problem areas are and always wear your actual size or even a size up. Shapewear is made with each size in mind and they make each size tighter because of this, sizing down will be just like trying to squeeze your foot into a shoe two sizes smaller. It will be hard to remove, painful and will look bad.

Remember that if you wear shapewear that’s too tight, the extra skin you’re smoothing out has to go somewhere and it’s where ever the shapewear ends.


If you’re using the shapewear up top or for your stomach or bust, consider getting fitted for a bra first. Often the right bra can lift your bust and give you a longer, narrower looking waist.


These days, there are so many types of shapewear on the market, but the most comfortable and my favourite are the Nancy Ganz Slims range that feels more like a net and are very lightweight. You won’t sweat as much in them and you can breathe much easier than you normally can when wearing regular shapewear.

Another thing to consider is banning shapewear from your wardrobe, sometimes buying a dress that looks good on you, no matter what can give you more confidence than a flatter stomach or a smaller size tag can ever do.

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