There’s a lot of shapewear out there, and it’s not always easy to tell which are the real stars and which are going to give you a stomachache.

That’s where this guide comes in.

The best shapers never overpromise, underdeliver or make you suffer. On matters of both comfort and style, they let you play up your favorite features, encourage you to walk taller and make you feel more confident than you did without it. They help your body and your clothes look the way you most want them to.

That’s all buyer Heather Viskovic ever stocks in the Bare Necessities shapewear department. These are her five favorite pieces that do it all, the go-tos that create a smooth foundation for every occasion. So whether you’re a shapewear evangelist or skeptic, now you’re in the know with her must-have picks for a picture-perfect season.

Best Tummy Control Shapewear:

For all of the tush and tummy control with none of the visible panty lines, this bustline-grazing pair of panties is the way to go. Relying on similar design principles as Miraclesuit’s famously flattering swimwear, this garment’s smooth-stretch, triple-layer panel flattens the stomach and sides while Wonderful Edge Leg silicone ensures it stays right where it belongs. It comes in three shades and a terrific range of sizes and, apart from its impressive shaping abilities, reviewers also appreciate the incidental posture-boosting back support this brief provides.

Best Bodysuit Shapewear:

Under a dress, skirt or jumpsuit, this multitasker smooths and slims. So much design intelligence went into this one: The patented “flexible fit” underwire cups accommodate a wide range of chests, so you don’t need to concern yourself with getting your bra size just right, or if your top and bottom halves aren’t exactly proportional. Single layer shaping resists static cling, meaning you can wear it to work with a structured suit as easily as to a wedding under something sheer. Laser-cut edges leave no telltale lines behind. Convertible, fully adjustable straps work five ways so no matter what silhouette your top has, this one-and-done piece can stealthily do its thing.

Best Shapewear Leggings:

Commando delivers where so few others manage to come through: From XS to 3X, anyone can get in on the haute, hot look of leather without spending a million dollars. Besides the on-trend design, the waistband smooths the tummy for a first-rate, second-skin fit, while the four-way stretch microfiber fabric firms and compresses top to bottom. These go-everywhere pairs are not only highly figure-flattering, they look so luxe that they elevate even a basic T-shirt.

Best Shapewear Shorts:

Listen, not everyone was naturally blessed with a perfect peach. For a more amazing rear view served up with a side of serious lower-body slimming, make these shapers your secret weapon. Firm-control shorts give you a measure of modesty under a skirt or dress, plus tummy/hip/thigh-enhancing under all of those as well as pants (including trousers, jeans and even leggings). They’re surprisingly lightweight and comfortable considering how much power they pack, and they stay totally out of sight because of their laser-cut edges. Add to all this a pair of booty-sculpting pockets—no uni-butt here—and you’ve got yourself a remarkably good back story.

Most Affordable Shapewear:

For everyday tummy taming, turn to these Bali briefs. A modest silhouette in ever-so-slightly shimmery neutral colors, they come in pairs that wear comfortably whenever you need or want a little smoothing. The targeted toning comes from the pretty floral lace panel in the center that is, it must be said, rather sexy. Reviews prove their popularity and effectiveness on everything from fit to comfort without riding up or losing their shape, from size small to 3XL. At this price, it pays to stock up.

Best Plus Size Shapewear:

Who knew one piece could do so much? Our buyers, that’s who. They love this shaping brief (sizes 1X-3X) from the experts at Spanx because it slims the midsection—front and side—and sculpts the butt without VPL or cutting off circulation. Looks can definitely be deceiving: While incredibly lightweight, the control it offers is unbeatable. What’s more, you can connect it to your bra of choice to fashion a bodysuit that fits you securely, head to toe.

Updated 7.14.2021

Bare Necessities: Editor Bio

From the desk of: Brooke Glassberg

Editor at Bare Necessities

Brooke oversees all the words here at Bare Necessities. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, Food Network and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.


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