Selecting and investing in the right shapewear takes time and planning. The wrong size or fit can simply displace the weight elsewhere, causing unsightly bulges. Find the perfect style and fit though and your silhouette will be perfectly smoothed and cinched in.
However, as we all know with that favourite bra that’s no longer comfortable, underwear does have a shelf life. So that favourite bodysuit that’s always given you goddess curves? Well, over time it will inevitably end up at best ineffective, or at worst downright uncomfortable.
But why is this? Shapewear is made of amazingly durable, elastic and breathable fabric. However, over time its components will start to lose shape and functionality. As the shapewear wears out, it will no longer have the ability to retain its shape and sculpt your form.
How long your shapewear lasts depends on a number of factors, including:
How often do you wear the garment?
Obviously, a piece that’s worn daily will quickly lose shape and elasticity. We all own light control pieces that we like to wear daily, these pieces will only last a few months. However, when treated correctly, expensive pieces that we only wear for special occasions can last years.
How do you wash your lingerie and shapewear?
We recommend hand washing your shapewear in a mild detergent for delicate fabrics. Even the lightest of spins on a washing cycle will break down the fabric, causing bobbling and small tears. If you do have to use laundry detergent, make sure it doesn’t contain bleach, softeners or fragrance. These additives will quickly break the material down. Also, and this is imperative, never tumble dry your shapewear pieces! Not even on the lowest heat, as this will shrink the fabric and warp any underwires very quickly.
How do you store your shapewear?
Obviously this is an issue of space, but if your shapewear is simply stuffed into a drawer, it won’t hold its structure well. Think of how it’s displayed in stores – while many of us don’t have hanging space and glass drawers to display our pieces à la Victoria’s Secret, it doesn’t take much planning to create bespoke spaces. Our top storage tips for lingerie and shapewear include using drawer liners to prevent snagging and buying separate lined baskets to lay bras and shapewear flat. We also recommend hanging expensive pieces such as shaping slips and bodysuits on slotted or velvet hangers, and strapless pieces on skirt hangers. One final tip – store your shapewear away from direct light.
So you’ve followed all these rules, but sadly even after the most careful of handling, shapewear does have an expiry date. But how can you tell? Here are our tips for when it’s time to retire the garment and invest in something new:
The fabric is worn
This is the most obvious sign. Bobbling or thinning of the material meaning it’s losing its stretch. You might even see small tears appearing in mesh panels, or ‘hairs’ of elastic poking through straps.
The colour is faded
While your shapewear isn’t outerwear, if the colour has started to ‘fade to greige’ then it’s time to head for the store.
The wiring is painful
This relates to bras, and shapewear with built-in bras. If the underwire is suddenly digging into your skin then it’s a sign that the wire is exposed or slightly warped. This is really uncomfortable, so as sad as it might be to part with that old favourite, it’s definitely time for the bin.
The cups have lost shape or your straps are loose
If you’re constantly having to adjust the straps of your bra or shapewear, then it means one of two things: either the cups have stretched or the elastic has gone on the shoulder straps. Either way, there’s no longer adequate support for your breasts. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it can also give you poor shaping and in the long term lead to back ache and discomfort.
You know when something just isn’t fitting right. This can be because a piece has shrunk over time, but it can also be due to weight fluctuation. If the straps are digging in or the weight is causing unsightly bulges elsewhere, then for whatever reason, the shapewear is probably now too tight for you. Conversely, if you’ve lost weight then it’s also time to get re-measured for new shapewear, to ensure your figure looks at its best.
If your shapewear collection is in need of a refresh or an update, then get in touch with us today at [email protected]. We have a fantastic range of plus size shapewear. The collection is hand selected by our experts, so you can be sure of our quality and value.