Shapewear has a reputation for being unforgiving, torturous even — the term “sausage casing” came up a lot in interviews for this story. No longer simply a fixture on red carpets, shapewear is now also for civilians who want instant lifting and tucking for special occasions, or even just for everyday wear. To find the best shapewear that’s also comfortable enough to wear to work, we spoke to boutique owners, plus-size stylists, and Hollywood stylists and costume designers about their go-to shapewear styles and brands. Below, their 26 picks, including bodysuits, briefs, and lingerie.
When it comes to shapewear, celebrity stylist Ali Levine says to always consider “the Four f’s: fit, form, fabric, and fashion.” This Bali body briefer, she says, delivers across all four categories. The stretch lace looks chic, while the softly lined underwire cups and hook-and-eye closure will show no lines under your clothes. “Very sexy, as well as slimming and trimming for the body. To me, it’s the perfect blend between comfort, function, and fashion. Great price point as well!”
Of course, we couldn’t write a story about shapewear without mentioning Spanx. As Levine says, “We all think Spanx when we hear shapewear.” Dina Scherer, a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper, and the owner of Modnitsa Styling, likes this Spanx bodysuit because it’s possible to wear it with backless dresses or low-cut tops. Its design has openings that show skin in the front and back, but its mid-thigh-length legs and padded cups mean it still provides ample support. If you’re looking for a more traditional, full-coverage bodysuit, Spanx also makes this mid-thigh, strapless option.
For open-bust bodysuit option, Levine recommends the “Miraclesuit” by Bare Necessities, which shapes the midriff, tummy, thighs, and bottom with its stretch microfiber and mesh material. The bodysuit also has an open-crotch design so you don’t need to wriggle out of it to go to the bathroom. Plus, the legs are sheer, so they’ll be virtually invisible under your cocktail dress. “It’s a great shaper for the red carpet that’s very smoothing.”
And should you want something to wear under a strapless dress, Levine says, “The TC Shaper gives you that perfect foundation for your body.” The strapless sweetheart neckline and push-up demi bra looks great under most necklines, and it shapes your stomach, waist, and back. “It sculpts your entire body,” says Levine. “I’ve used it for awards shows like the Emmys and Oscars.”
For something that can actually transform your figure, Levine tipped us off to Jackie London, a New Jersey–based store that offers both shapewear and fitness pieces. Unlike the bodysuits above, the Bodyshaper offers a higher degree of compression and support to pull your waist in — almost like a waist trainer. “Jackie London has a great bodysuit. I’ve used this for celebs for the red carpet and it changes their silhouette, truly!” Jackie London has a couple different bodysuits, from a below-the-bra option, like this one, to a more seamless all-in-one bodysuit.