If you want to let it all hang out, that’s your prerogative, but if you’re looking for a smooth silhouette, you should immediately invest in the right shapewear. From high-waist thigh trimmers to stomach-slimming tank tops, there’s a plethora of plus-size shapewear styles (available both online and in stores) that can smooth out the bumpy bits, help your clothes hang better, and even encourage better posture (which makes you look taller and thinner. bonus!).
And while we’re on the topic of sleek silhouettes, stats show that more than 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and as you may know, the fuller figure or fuller bust you have, the more obvious it is when you’re stuffed in the wrong size. Take a trip to a specialty bra store or to the lingerie department of a major department store and get a proper bra fitting. We can’t emphasize this enough, having the correct bra size keeping your lady lumps in check will not only have you feeling more locked and loaded (so to speak) but will also make you look at least 10lbs thinner, Guaranteed.
1. Best Overall Shaper:
Julie France Léger Ultra Light Boxer Shaper, $60
This high-waisted shaper goes on like a traditional waist-shaper, but extends up to your bra line, and down to mid-thigh if you’re tall, knee-length if you’re under 5’4″ or so. There’s extra firm control throughout the torso. It’s fantastic for smoothing out most of the common “problem areas” faced by women, including the belly, the thighs, hips and butt. Another feature of this great piece is that it’s made with ultra-lightweight yarns, so you won’t sweat yourself to death even in warm weather when wearing this shaper. This was the deciding factor that put it out in front of all the others we tried. It comes in natural (tan) and black, and in sizes up to 3X. Buy it here.
2. Best Shaping Tank:
Yummie Tummie Stephanie 2-way Shaping Tank, $38
Now, a lot of women don’t really consider the option of a shaping tank top, but this is definitely one to try! Wearing a shaping tank as a layer under another top can help in amazing ways. It offers full coverage, it smooths out potential trouble spots like under the arms, or above the bra strap in the rear, and as an added bonus, the Yummie Tummie Stephanie 2-Way Shaping Tank top is also made with a special temperature-regulating fabric that makes it perfect for hot summer days! The other neat feature of this one is that you can actually reverse it from a v-neck to a crew neck. It really is like 2 tanks in one! Available in Black, White, and “Hush”, a blush pink color. Try them all! This tank comes in sizes up to 3X, and according to the manufacturer, comfortably fits up to a G cup bra size (but shh, our founder wears an H cup and had no trouble).
3. Best Shaping Panty:
Seamless Firm Control Shaping Brief by Bali, $28 for 2-Pack
These panties are perfect for full coverage everyday. They’re made with a 4-way stretch fabric for extra firm shaping and control, with a “tummy panel” that holds you in without sacrificing comfort. The high-cut style eliminates muffin top–hooray! Perfect to wear under skirts, dresses, and high-cut pants. They come in sizes up to 2X.
4. Best Everyday Panty for Larger Sizes:
Comfort Choice No-Show Microfiber Brief, $7.99
This no-show microfiber brief by Comfort Choice reduces the appearance of panty lines while it hugs to your curves in all the right places. We tested it out, and there’s no sliding, no riding, no tugging or pulling. Just a smooth, invisible, everyday fit. You’ll love the flattering fit, full rear coverage and moderate tummy control for a wonderfully comfortable sensation under it all. Feel great, look even better under your figure-flaunting fashions. The best part? This panty is available in panty sizes up to 16 which is the equivalent of an 8X (75″ hip). Can’t go wrong with that.
5. Best Minimizer Bra Up to Cup Size H:
Bali Satin Tracings Minimizer Bra, $36
This minimizer not only holds the girls firmly in place, but the wide cushioned straps and cushion-tipped underwire means that you’re comfy at the same time. Our team has tested and tried many, many bras in all price ranges, and the Bali Satin Tracings Minimizer was the overall winner for value, comfort and effective minimizing. Bali says that their technology translates to bustline reduction up to 1 3/4″. We aren’t sure we’d go that far, but this bra was comfy, well priced and readily available even in the tricky small band-large cup size combination. It even comes in a few pretty colors with fun names like Pink Sands and Private Jet, in addition to the standard Nude, Vanilla, White and Black.
6. Best Bra for Large Band/Small Cup Size:
Glamorise Magic Lift Full Figure Support Wire-Free Bra, $34.99
A common complaint among plus size women is that it’s very hard to find a bra that fits properly if you wear a large band size but small cup size. Well guess what? This bra fits the bill–it’s available in sizes as difficult to find as 50B! Additional bonus: it’s not just made in white; this one even comes in a gorgeous “Blue Ice” color similar to a smoky lavender. Yay! Big girls want pretty bras too!
7. Best Shaping Unitard:
Nancy Ganz Firm Control Wear Your Own Bra Bodyglove Unitard Plus Size, $53
OK, we know this type of garment looks a little weird in the picture. But trust us: if you want full body shaping, but still want to wear your own bra (instead of ruining the whole effect with a built-in bra that rarely fits right), this shaper is for you. It’s a unitard that offers firm control shaping from bra line to mid-thigh, including around the mid and upper back, where pesky bumps are often lurking. This is the ultimate shaper to wear under body conscious or clingy garments. It may look like a 1920s mens bathing suit, but believe me, when you wear it, you’ll feel and look super sexy! It can take the place of bike shorts to prevent “thigh rub” under dresses, but offers additional smoothing in the torso area. In practical terms, there’s a split just where you need it, so you can use the facilities without having to stuff yourself back into your shaping garment in a tiny bathroom stall. Love this! Last but not least, it’s available up to a size 4X.
8. Best Bike Shorts:
Woman Within Bike Shorts in Comfy Stretch Fabric, $12.99-$15.99
In describing the unitard above, we mentioned bike shorts, and we know no list of shaping or undergarments for plus size would be complete without including them! Chub Rub is a real thing, and millions of Plus Size women swear by bike shorts as their go-to garment under dresses, skirts and tunics. We tested a number of styles and price points, and were surprised to find that the best ones overall were from Woman Within. Woman Within has a pretty awful user experience (the checkout process takes forever!) but if you can force your way through, these bike shorts are actually worth it. They come in a number of colors, ranging from standard black and grey to pretty plum, turquoise and even hot pink. And at $12.99 to $15.99, there’s no complaining about the price. Best, best, best news: they come in sizes up to 5X.
9. Best Footless Tights:
We Love Colors Nylon/Lycra Footless Tights, $16
Hands down, the winner. We Love Colors makes these footless tights in 51 (!!) colors. That’s more flavors than Baskin Robbins! They’re comfy, effortless, cute, and available up to size EE. You just can’t go wrong with them. Aside from all that, there’s no tacky-ish lace at the ankle.
10. Best Spanx Product
Spanx Slim Cognito Shape Suit Plus, $113
No list of shapewear could be considered complete without at least one Spanx product. Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, pioneered the modern shapewear industry, rescuing us from the bony, uncomfortable, hot and horrible looking girdles of the past. Spanx has continued to evolve their product offerings, and this newest product, the Slim Cognito Shape Suit Plus, is pretty amazing. It’s basically a full bodysuit and bra in one piece, but made of breathable, stretchy, comfy fabric. Our tester actually said she forgot she was wearing a shaper–on a 90 degree day in New York City! Adjustable straps, and multiple “zones” of shaping, ensure an excellent fit. As with most Spanx products, this is a pricy item. But if you’re looking for allover shaping in a one piece and you trust the Spanx brand like we do, it’s worth the investment. Available here at AbbeyPost in sizes 1X, 2X, 3X.