Should You Go Down A Size In Shapewear When Purchasing?

Have you ever bought a dress that fits you perfectly around the bust, arms and legs, but it clings a little on the hips. If only the silhouette of the dress could be absolutely smooth, it would look so much better!

Enter shapewear! Shapewear can slim the body and hold all of it in place. Shapewear will give you a more sleek look underneath your clothes, squeezing you in to give you a more polished look. 

Should You Go Down A Size In Shapewear When Purchasing (2)

Shapewear should be an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe- but there is one issue. So many women simply don’t know what size to purchase to get the full effect. 

In this guide, we will go over one of the most common questions we get asked- should you go down a size in shapewear? Read on to find out! 

How Does Shapewear Work?

Shapewear is worn underneath the clothing as a type of underwear that helps keep everything in place. 

Shapewear can come in many forms- whether that is high waisted shapewear to pull the tummy in, or spanx shorts to keep your legs comfortable, or even corset-style shapewear that can lift the bust and slim the waist.

Shapewear is designed in such a way that it creates a slimming effect, and smoothes out the silhouette. It can give you a sleeker overall look for your outfit. 

Shapewear works by using special seam placement to smoothen out lines, along with paneling and compression to avoid lumps and bumps.

You may feel that it squeezes you in to flatten the stomach, and lifts your overall appearance. 

Should You Size Down In Shapewear?

When it comes to wearing shapewear, the first time you wear it you may feel very uncomfortable, and that you cannot really move properly. This could be due to ill-fitting shapewear. 

The key with shapewear is having the proper size. Many women are under the impression that they need to size down so that the shapewear fits tightly and can really suck you in.

The issue is that a smaller size in shapewear will not all of a sudden make you that size.

Every single body is different, and we all have lumps and bumps in different places, and that is fine and completely normal! But, that does mean that you have to buy shapewear that fits your specific body. 

When purchasing shapewear, you should be buying the same size that you normally wear. For instance, most shapewear products will come with a dress size. So, if you are a size 18, then purchase a size 18 in shapewear. 

If you normally wear a size large, then purchase a large size in shapewear. 

If you buy a smaller size, then the shapewear may not actually work as intended.

For instance, if you are being sucked in too tightly, then you could end up with lumps and bumps anyway that spill over or under the shapewear because it simply does not fit properly. 

Your shapewear could also end up rolling down, which is the most annoying thing! There is nothing worse than your high rise shapewear panties rolling down constantly, and you have to hike them up all evening. It’s not a good look! 

Shapewear should be about accentuating your silhouette and making you feel more confident. You don’t want to be worrying about it falling down or your curves spilling out of it!

Having the right size can ensure that the compression works properly, and keeps your curves in all of the right places!  

Should You Go Down A Size In Shapewear When Purchasing (2)

Should You Buy A Size Up In Shapewear?

No, you should not size up in shapewear unless you are in between sizes. Shapewear should fit perfectly if you want it to work. So, check a size guide before purchasing and use your own measurements to see which size is right for you. 

This should ensure that you have the perfect fit, and your shapewear smooths and lifts your body shape to make it look even better than it already does!

How Do I Know My Shapewear Size?

If you are unsure which size shapewear to purchase, then you will have to measure yourself, and ensure you do not fall into the sizing myths!

As mentioned above, many women are under the false impression that if they buy a size 12 for example, and they are a size 14, then the shapewear will hold them in and compress their body to make it a size 12.

This is simply not the case.

When purchasing shapewear, choose the right size for your body type. Instead, measure your body with a measuring tape. If you are a half-inch around your bust or hips, then round up to the nearest inch. 

It is a good idea to get someone to help you measure so that it is accurate. In addition, most shapewear such as shaping shorts and briefs or cami tops will come with dress sizes. 

If you are normally in between sizes, then measure your hips or bust and use the brand size guide to see which garment would fit best. 

For shapewear that has a cup size, such as a corset or bodysuit, then you will need to use your usual bra size, or measure your bust to find the correct size. 

You also have to consider your body shape when purchasing shapewear. If you tend to go out at the hips or lower belly, then a pair of shaping shorts would work well for you.

For other curves, a shaping bodysuit could be better for the dress you want to wear. 


To summarize, shapewear should be an asset, not a problem! 

Having the right size shapewear can really make a difference to your overall silhouette and your curves! 

Many women believe that shapewear should be really tight in order to work, but this is not true. It is far better to purchase shapewear in your correct size, to achieve the full effect!

Jessica White
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