Let’s be honest: Even celebrities who are known for their awesome bodies, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, and Tyra Banks, swear by body shapers and have gone on record praising the magical results. But how do you find the best body shaper for you?
It’s all about fit
The biggest secret to finding a good body shaper is correct fit. Make sure you know your measurements, or go to a reputable store that can help you find the right size. Forcing yourself into shapewear that’s too small is a recipe for strange lumps and bumps, as well as discomfort. Special events are meant to be enjoyed; you can’t enjoy anything if you feel like a sausage!
You should also have reasonable expectations for your body shaper. These garments can help make you look extra sleek in your clothing; if you’re looking to drop four inches from your waist or get into a dress two sizes smaller than you usually wear, you’re probably not going to have much luck.
Test it out
Finally, you should test your body shaper out as much as possible. If you can, try it on under the outfit you’re planning to wear it with to be sure it looks perfect. Sit down, bend over and squat (yes really!) in it to be sure you can move around comfortably without it bulging or rolling down.
Got all that? Perfect. Now here are the five best body shapers that we love—and you’ll be surprised to find that not all of them will cost you an arm and a leg.
Originally published February 2015. Updated July 2017.