Be Your Own You's Ultimate Shapewear Guide

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Shapewear styles

We all know shapewear is an invaluable tool, but there are so many kinds to choose from- what do we choose and how do we use them?

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The different types of compression
  • How to choose the right shapewear garment for your goals
  • Some suggestions you might like to try based on your body type

Let’s get started.

What’s The Occasion?

Choosing shapewear and the right compression first depends on how you see yourself wearing them; everyday? For part of the day? Or for a special occasion? (the firmest and least comfortable of all shapewear compressions). These compressions will be categorized by control/firmness like this: Light/Medium, Firm Medium/High, and Extra-Firm/High.

All Day/Everyday Wear

Shapewear that’s safe for all-day, everyday wearing provides light control with what is considered medium firmness. It shapes you but doesn’t necessarily push parts of you into other areas of your body. You will appear smoothed and you will appear smaller, however, higher controls might actually reduce your size (because you’re fat is being compressed).

Higher compression isn’t always favorable though. The tightness of the garment can force tissue into other areas of the body and cause an unnatural look (think thigh being pushed out of bicycle-short-like shapewear in an unnatural way) and can be uncomfortable.

Hours In Comfort 

If you only need to be in shapewear for part of the day, like for an 8-hour or less work shift, the medium/high firmness of “Firm Control” will accentuate and contour you but also easily move with your body.

Special Occasion 

Extra-Firm Control and High Firmness will be the most restricting, but you should still be able to breathe. The firmness of this type of shapewear is great for formal events you want to look your absolute best in or if you are having your pictures taken. The firm control will make you feel toned and probably influence your posture in a good way. You likely won’t feel comfortable in this after several hours because it simply isn’t submissive to our natural form.

FYI - Most Shop Skinnygirl shapewear is safe to wear every day (light/medium control), so if you find yourself uncomfortable wearing them for hours, you’re likely wearing the wrong size!

What Parts of Your Body Would You Like to Give a Little Extra Help?

Knowing which parts of your body you’d like to target will help you select the right shapewear piece AND its compression pattern for even greater attention to detail. 

Popular target areas are the stomach, the butt, the thighs, the back in the bra-zone, and the breasts. 

Some people want to target all of them all the time! And for those people, we’ll just recommend right now The Full Bodysuit Waist and Tummy Control Shapewear. It comes in black and beige and will smooth any unwanted lumps and bumps in all of the “zones”, giving you an hourglass figure. 

For particular targets and especially considering the types of outfits you’ll be wearing the shapewear with, you might consider shaping shorts, tank tops, waist cinchers, or underwear.

Here Are Some Shop Skinnygirl Favorites And The Areas They Assist: 

Shaping Camis 

These have sold out more times than we can count. Shaping camis can sometimes kill 2 birds with 1 stone by acting as a top alone, sleepwear, or shapewear beneath a different shirt. If back fat is a concern for you, shaping camis and The Full Bodysuit Waist and Tummy Control Shapewear are your best friends. 

Shaping Boyshorts 

Shaping boyshorts give control to the tummy, hips, and thighs and are the perfect shapewear for dresses in particular because the control does not noticeably end anywhere because of the coverage they offer.

These will offer the best possible coverage Tummy Control High Waist Boyshort Panty - 2 Pack because of the high-waist and length of the short, but we have many colors, patterns, and lengths of shaping boyshorts to choose from.

Tummy Control High Waist Boyshort Panty - 2 Pack


Shaping Briefs

In pants, shaping briefs smooth the tummy and offer back coverage and control as well. Wearing shapewear might actually make you more comfortable in pants as if you have more room in them and offer you posture support.

We love our sexy shaping panties!

How To Shop The Details

“High Waisted”

Shapewear items that are labeled high waisted will have the most midsection coverage and will give you the best hour-glass figure! Bodysuits are great for smoothing, but a high-waisted version of another garment type will be more comfortable and allow you to move more freely.

“Extra Control”

Any Shop Skinnygirl Shapewear items that say “Extra Control” are likely a little more firm than everyday (medium-high). These may not be suitable for everyday wear (We’re just considering your comfort level, that’s all!).


Shapewear labeled “Seamless” are made to be discreet! Panty lines or edges of this shapewear should not be visible beneath your clothing.

Look At The Pictures, Zoom In, See The Compression Patterns

 It’s very important to look at the garment pictures and zoom in on the detail, specifically the compression pattern and especially on Shop Skinnygirl because Shop Skinnygirl shapewear has a lot of intricate compression designs to give you the most customized shape! 

For example, let’s look at these 2 pieces of shapewear.

Seamless Shapewear Brief Panty With Diamond Shaping Panel - 3 Pack



This shaping brief has such an obvious compression pattern that is addressing the front of the tummy and “pouch” by angling the compression down and to the sides.


Extra Tummy Control High Waisted Shaping Panty - 2 Pack

Close Up Image

This high waisted brief is, as we mentioned before, creating an hour-glass figure, but the particular pattern of compression is accentuating the waist most. Can you tell?

What’s Your Body Type?

Apple ShapeApple

Apple-shaped women have broad shoulders, typically broader than their hips. If you are apple-shaped, you likely carry the most weight in your tummy.

Your ideal shapewear wardrobe should consist of any of our shaping boyshorts, however, this one will give you the most seamless coverage and it comes in nude so you can wear it under anything: High Waist Boyshort Panty - 2 Pack. Or this boyshort that controls the lower abdomen and sides most with its unique compression design Slip Boyshort Panty - 2 Pack. These boyshorts are all you need to look good under any outfit, including dresses and jeans! An apple-shaped woman would also benefit from the full coverage of The Full Bodysuit Waist and Tummy Control Shapewear for special occasions.


Pear Shape

Pear Shaped

The most common feature of the pear-shaped woman is her well-endowed hips and thighs. If these assets are prominent, you’re probably pear-shaped. Pear-shaped women are probably most victimized by panty lines, so if pear-shaped, you should always reach for seamless styles.

For you, we like the coverage that the Tummy Control High Waist Boyshort Panty - 2 Pack offers for any and all outfits. For a seamless everyday underwear that makes you feel fabulous, we recommend the High Waisted Seamless Boyshorts - 3 Pack and finally, for a more breathable option for beneath skirts, The Shapewear Cincher - 2 Pack. It can be worn 3 ways!


Rectangle Shape

Rectangle Shape

Women whose shape is more like a rectangle or “banana shape” to some, have little difference between their shoulder, bust, waist, and hip measurements. If you’re a rectangle who is lacking a little in the bum (no shame! This is Bethenny’s Achilles heel), don’t worry! Most of Shop Skinnygirl’s shapewear compressions exclude the derriere, allowing your booty to pop.

To accentuate a curve in your torso, you’ll want to avoid high-waisted shapewear and go for mid-rise panties and boyshorts. The Seamless Shapewear Brief Panty With Diamond Shaping Panel - 3 Pack would be an excellent choice for you, as well as the High-Waisted Shaping Thong Panty - 2 Pack. Although it’s high-waisted, it allows your natural booty to pop most! Because of your shape, you can get away with wearing shaping camisoles as tank tops by themselves, plus the Seamless Shaping Cami With Built-In Removable Cup - 2 Pack has chest enhancing qualities you might appreciate.


hourglass shape


Hourglass-shaped women have a bust and hips of similar measurements, but a smaller waist in between. Congratulations! Hourglass-shaped women have the bodies most women wear shapewear to try to achieve. Our recommendation of a solid shapewear wardrobe for you would be:

The Full Bodysuit Waist and Tummy Control Shapewear (to smooth and accentuate your entire figure beneath dresses and on special occasions), the Extra High Waist Seamless Shapewear Panty Brief - 3 Pack in Medium Heather, Sedona Rose, and Black for a fun, everyday tummy-controlling secret, and the Seamless Racerback Shaping Tank - 2 Pack to work out or run errands in with great support.



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