When it comes to famous women talking about their shapewear, it’s hard to know what to believe. Some big names like Kim Kardashian are outspoken about their choices, others prefer to keep their dressing secrets under wraps. One thing is clear, though. Shapewear is widely embraced amongst those who live their lives under the harsh gaze of the paparazzi lens. And why not? These garments are all about maximising a woman’s confidence. So for those who constantly experience criticism of their appearance, they’re a vital tool.
The reason that many celebrity women choose daily shapewear is that they are never off duty. The pressure to look streamlined at all times must feel immense. But more importantly, daily confidence in your shape is what every day shapewear is all about. Oprah Winfrey is all about confidence and so it follows that she’s an every day shapewear user!
This classic shapewear basic is a standard piece in many celebrity wardrobes. From Katy Perry to Michelle Obama, control briefs are a firm favourite for every day wear. Gillian Anderson said “I always have them on” and Gwyneth Paltrow has famously worn them for over a decade!
Back in 2014, Lily Allen took to Instagram clad in shaping shorts alone. As a stunt it certainly drew attention, but it also helped to smash the taboo of shapewear, normalising it for women around the globe. Shaping shots are a versatile and reliable shapewear for every occasion. Beyonce in 2017 simply snipped off one leg of her shaping shorts to accommodate a dress with a side split. Pure genius! Shaping shorts are standard amongst the royals too, with both Zara Tindall and Princess Beatrice choosing them to layer under daily dresses.
Special occasion shapewear is a whole other ball game! Most high profile women will use some form of shapewear to pair with a gown for an awards ceremony or public event. These pieces of shapewear are very much dictated by the overwear and the requirements demanded by a garment.
Under a red carpet gown, a control slip is a favourite foundation to ensure a clean silhouette. Especially under a floatier T-shirt dress favoured by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Tina Fey. The great thing about a slip for formal celebrity events like award ceremonies, is that they can be worn explicitly under a sheer gown. Either in a nude shade as we’ve seen from Rihanna or contrasting black or colour to make an impact like Beyonce or J-Lo.
Depending on the style of gown, a body cinching corset features heavily on the red carpet. Some celebrities even make it integral to their look. Just look at Beth Ditto to see how it’s done. Emily Blunt, Nicole Kidman and Gemma Arteton have all worn corset style formalwear which integrates shapewear explicitly into their look.
This is the terrain of the expert body shaper. The ‘Shapespert’ if you will. Our hero here is Kim Kardashian, who has offered detailed tips on how to use multiple layers of shapewear to complete a look. And she takes a range of approaches, which just goes to show that there is no right and wrong here. Kim says:
Sometimes I wear two pairs of body shapers on top of each other… I put one pair on after the other, and if there’s a longer pair, I always put those on first. But usually, I wear two pairs that are the same length. I try not to layer two different lengths, because I don’t want there to be visible seams; I want there to always just be one seam.
So, why is it important that celebrities choose shapewear? And why do we care? Well, it’s all about understanding what’s real. In a world where photoshopped images surround us, it’s good to know that celebrities make the same choices as the rest of us. These women are human, and their confidence is as anchored by shapewear as yours and mine. That’s reassuring, so let’s celebrate it!