Buying shapewear a size down is a common misconception. But to be honest, we can kinda see the logic in it. The point of shapewear is to slim and trim, right? So if you go down a size in shapewear when purchasing, you’ll be contained in that smaller dress size and… Abracadabra: slimmer you! Right? Sorry – wrong… This couldn’t be more wrong, actually. But if the logic is there, how come it doesn’t work in practice? We delve into why it’s best to stick to your dress size when purchasing shapewear, and how to get the best fit for your garments.
We’re always on about the silhouette in the land of shapewear, but what is it? Well, imagine a shadow or outline of a human. It may be many different sizes, but what makes it appealing (and sexy!) is the smooth line that identifies your humanity (or curviness, if you will!) If the outline is jumbled up by your shapewear pushing your body into unnatural places, then that doesn’t look so nice. This is what too-tight shapewear results in.
The problem is really caused by aspirational sizing. Buying a smaller size of shapewear will not magically make you that dress size; a size is just a number, after all. The purpose of your shapewear is to refine your shape and smooth your curves. Garments that are too tight will simply create lumps and bumps. Even worse, you’ll be pretty uncomfortable and your shapewear won’t stay where it should. Shapewear should be about reinforcing your confidence, not causing you pain.
Your Dress size
Many shapewear pieces, from bodysuits to control briefs, are sold with a dress size reference. However, as we know, dress sizes vary on the high street with up to two inches difference in some cases. For shapewear, this isn’t such a problem. Control items are made with lycra and other stretch fabrics. In this way, many individual garments are designed to cover a few standard dress sizes.
Dress Size Limbo
If you tend to hover in between two or more sizes, though, what do you do? Firstly, consult a size guide if there is one available. Use your waist measurement as your main indicator. So if you’re choosing between shaping shorts that are 14-16 or 18-20 and you tend to hover between a standard size 16-18, measure your waist only and go for the dress size that this is most in line with.
Especially if your size could be in a grey area, then, it’s important to get it right. To find the right place to measure your waist, bend slightly to one side and mark the crease or indentation. This is your natural waist. Straighten up and measure snugly around this point. Always round up to the nearest whole inch.
Another peril of sized down shapewear is that it’s more likely to move. One of our top tips to avoid shapewear roll down is to simply buy the correct size! In this way, your own body is the best tool to prevent your shapewear from budging. Wearing the correct size gives you the right level of compression, and your shapewear will sit snugly and securely. For extra security, simply use the natural anchors that your body provides. Connect high rise control briefs to your bra, for example. Or choose a control slip or body suit. This uses your shoulders as an anchor for your shapewear and keeps it in place.
At Elle Courbee we strive to offer you the most comfortable shapewear styles in sizes that fit. So you can trust our sizes to keep you looking naturally great and feeling ultimately confident!