Spanx Make Me Look Fatter (Do They Really? How to Fix)

Spanx and other body shapers are a popular way to smooth out your figure and give you that extra boost of confidence. However, some women find that these garments actually make them look fatter.

The problem lies in how the garment is designed and you wear it. When you wear a body shaper under your clothing, it pulls in your stomach from the top, making it look as if your hips are wider than they really are. This can cause the garment to bulge out at the bottom or even create an hourglass-shaped silhouette.

If you’re worried about this happening to you, try the following tips.

How To Know Your Size

The first step in getting the right fit is to know your size. Spanx makes it easy to find your size by offering a complete range of sizes from S-XXL and an online sizing chart that can help you find the right fit for your body type.

Chloe Elise measuring her waist with a tape measure
Video | xoChloeElise

If you’re unsure about how to measure yourself, follow these simple steps:

Stand straight with your arms at your sides. Have someone else measure around your waistline, where the bottom band of the panty should sit. Write down this number. This measurement is the “Hips.”

Bend over at the waist and measure around the fullest part of your hips/buttocks area (where you’d like Spanx to sit). Write down this number (it may be larger than the Hip measurement). This measurement is called the “Hip-to-Waist Ratio.”

Another way to get an accurate measurement of your hips and waist, stand with your feet together and measure around the widest part of your hips (usually about 8 inches below your natural waistline) using a soft measuring tape or string. Then measure around the smallest part of your waist (usually about 1 inch above your belly button). Do not pull the tape tight — keep it loose enough that it doesn’t dig into your skin when you breathe in; this could cause inaccurate measurements.

How to Get the Right Fit

The critical thing to know about Spanx is that they’re not one-size-fits-all. So the thing to consider when shopping for Spanx is what kind of shape it’s supposed to give you. For instance, if you’re looking for a tummy-slimming bodysuit, then you’ll want one that fits snugly around your waist and stomach area (but not too tight). If you want something that gives your thighs a little extra definition, consider getting shapewear with built-in thigh slimmers.

AKILAH J showing her spanx shapewear
Video | AKILAH J

Furthermore, while shopping for Spanx, you also need to check the size chart. You want to make sure you’re buying the correct size. For example, if you’re a size 2 or 4 in regular pants, get a size 2 in Spanx. If you’re a size 8 or 10 in regular pants, get an 8 in Spanx (or even possibly a 6).

If you’re a size 14 or 16 in regular pants, get a 12 or 14 in Spanx. In most cases, if you have large hips and butt, go up one size from what you’d wear in regular pants — it’ll help smooth out those problem areas without making your waist look more prominent.

If you have minimal waist definition or curves overall but long legs and arms (like me), stick with your average pant size and avoid any sizes that are labeled “flowy” or “full coverage.” The only exception here might be if you want to wear them under dresses or skirts — those require full coverage so that they don’t show through the fabric of your dress/skirt.

Be Aware of Details About the Garments

One other reason that people think they’re wearing the wrong size is that they’re not paying attention to details about the garments. So it’s essential to pay attention to the fabric and fit of your garment because if it’s too tight, it can make your body look misshapen. If it’s too loose, you may not get the desired effect.

How to Choose the Right Type of Spanx

Thessely Juliet showing her spanx shapewear
Video | Thessely Juliet

To get the most out of your Spanx, you’ll have to choose the right type of Spanx. There are many different types of Spanx, but they can be broken down into three categories: body shapers, corsets, and waist cinchers. Body shapers are usually made of nylon or spandex and offer smooth shaping and slimming. They’re good for covering up problem areas or hiding lumps and bumps when wearing fitted clothing. Corsets are steel-boned garments that flatten the torso and give a defined hourglass silhouette. Waist cinchers provide compression around the waist without adding extra bulk to other areas of your body.

But before purchasing any one of the above, you need to consider two things; what your body can bear and your desired shape. You have to keep the balance between these two.

Does Building a Shapewear Wardrobe Help

Spanks come in various shapes and sizes, so consider a few different pairs. Keeping a variety is also essential as our tastes change over time, so to fulfill these needs and maintain a good figure, you should also have your own proper shapewear wardrobe. Here are some suggestions of different kinds of shapewear that are currently available.

Jen the Realfluencer discussing about shapewear wardrobe
Video | Jen the Realfluencer

Thigh Shaper

woman wearing high waist thigh shaper
Video | Zivame

Thigh shapers help reduce the appearance of cellulite and minimize the size of thighs. They are an excellent solution for women who have difficulty fitting into their clothing due to large thighs. Thigh shapers can be worn under pants or skirts and dresses and shorts. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors so that they will suit every woman’s needs.

Butt Lifters

woman wearing a shaper thong
Video | Shapellx

These garments smooth out the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks while giving you a more lifted look. Butt lifter panties are designed to lift, firm, and shape the butt. They are available in various styles and sizes, so you can find one that fits you perfectly. (1)

Shaping Camisoles

QVCtv anchor showing three different colors of camisole shaper
Video | QVCtv

A camisole is a top worn under another piece of clothing to provide support, structure, and shape. It can also be worn on its own for a more casual look. The most common reason for wearing a shaping camisole is to smooth out lumps and bumps in your upper body area. Many different types of shapewear are available for this purpose, but the most popular are shaping camisoles.

Tummy Control Panty

woman wearing a control-tummy shaper

The tummy control panty is shapewear with a built-in tummy cincher. The tummy control panty can be worn under any clothing, but it is beneficial for those with a post-pregnancy belly or women who want to slim their midsection for a special event. Many women choose to wear this style of shapewear on its own as an alternative to wearing a bra and panties together. (2)

Braless Shaping Slip

This is a slip that has no cups and no boning. It is designed to smooth out your silhouette rather than give you shape. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for something that can be worn as a dress on its own or under a dress or skirt.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) stretch marks –
(2) post-pregnancy belly –

Video References



Thessely Juliet

Jen the Realfluencer





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Maggie Walker
Maggie Walker

Certifications: Fashion Design (BA)
Education: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Lives In: Chicago
Maggie has invaluable experience working in the fashion industry. Regarding fitting and clothing, only a select few can match up with her experience.
She oversees every aspect and has put her heart and soul into MadisonPlus.

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