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While shapewear isn’t exactly the sexiest contender in the undergarments category, it’s arguably one of the most practical. While your lacy bra and matching panties undoubtedly look amazing when that’s all you have on, comfortable shapewear can transform your ensemble, and even give you an added boost of wardrobe-malfunction-proof confidence.
Whether you plan to take advantage of the four-course meal and open bar in your slinky slip dress or figure-grazing bodycon, shapewear not only has the power to suck in a bit of belly bloat, it also smooths and slims so that your outfit falls in the most flattering manner (if you’re going for that look, of course). There are plenty of different varieties designed to target different concerns, ranging from tummy control tops to hip-slimming undershorts. Unfortunately, while these figure flatterers offer the ability to “suck you in,” the streamlined effect often comes hand in hand with major discomfort and cut-off circulation—two things that can put a damper on an otherwise fun night out, whether you’re attending a wedding or a formal work event where you don’t want your curves to be the center of attention.
Even if you’re not concerned with faking the illusion of a sleeker silhouette (because let’s face it, you look amazing regardless), shapewear also offers the off-label benefit of doubling as a wardrobe malfunction defense measure when you’re wearing a thigh-grazing mini or super-breezy dress that’s become blacklisted in your closet thanks to one too many Marilyn Monroe-esque mishaps on windy days.
It’s basically an under armor wardrobe staple that just makes you feel more comfortable regardless of your sartorial concerns. With that being said, too-tight of shapewear can leave you waiting for the moment the night ends so you can rip off your corset-like undergarments for some relief instead of enjoying your evening out. Fortunately, we’ve found a few shapewear pieces that flatter the figure without cutting off your circulation. You’re welcome.
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1. Yummie 3-in-1 Slimming Tank Top
You can wear it in three different ways: with frontal panels for tummy control, one front panel and one back panel for 360-degree shaping, or two back panels to smooth out love handles and muffin tops.
2. Robert Matthew High Waisted Shaping Shorts
They’re designed with a breathable blend of nylon and spandex so your curves are controlled but you can still move without feeling restricted. This pair also features light boning for an amplified slimming effect.
3. Maidenform Flexees Hi-Waist Boyshort
This pair comes in black, white or nude, which is the perfect shade for wearing under a semi-sheer little white dress for added confidence or under a slinky slip dress for a streamlined look.
4. Bali Women's Lace N' Smooth Shapewear
For a piece of shapewear that smooths and contours but looks a little bit more elevated than your average style, Bali’s lacey one-piece fits the bill. It’s designed with 27 percent nylon and 28 percent spandex for an extra comfortable fit.
5. Spanx Lightweight Shapewear Bodysuit
Spanx is one of the first brands that put luxe shapewear on the map, and they’re definitely still one of the best on the market. This seamless one-piece style shapes and smooths without being overly tight and restrictive. It’s perfect for wearing under dresses or fitted tops.