The Best Shapewear for Women: Sculpting Confidence and Curves

At Madison Plus, we believe in celebrating every body type. While embracing our natural curves is empowering, there are times when we seek a little extra support to enhance our silhouette. Enter shapewear: the unsung hero of many outfits. Whether you’re donning a form-fitting dress or simply want a smoother appearance under everyday attire, the right shapewear can make all the difference.

Shapewear has evolved from being a restrictive undergarment to a wardrobe essential for many women. Here’s our guide to the best shapewear for women, designed to sculpt confidence as much as curves.

High-Waisted Shaping Shorts

High Waisted Shaping Shorts

Perfect for: Form-fitting dresses, pencil skirts, and tailored pants.

Details: These shorts often come with silicone waistbands to prevent rolling down and are made of breathable, stretchy fabrics that move with your body. Some versions also offer rear-enhancing panels for a lifted look.

Why we love them: Beyond just tummy control, they offer thigh chafing protection, making them perfect for warmer months or tropical climates.

Shaping Bodysuits

Shaping Bodysuit

Perfect for: Bodycon dresses, jumpsuits, and evening gowns.

Details: These all-in-one wonders often feature adjustable and convertible straps, allowing them to be tailored to various necklines. Some even come with a cotton gusset to eliminate the need for underwear.

Why we love them: They offer a seamless look, ensuring no visible panty lines, and provide uniform shaping, making them a versatile choice.

Control Top Leggings

Control Top Leggings

Perfect for: Casual outfits, gym sessions, or lounging at home.

Details: Made with a blend of spandex and soft fabrics, these leggings offer flexibility. The control top usually extends to the mid or upper waist, providing a toned look.

Why we love them: They combine the utility of everyday leggings with the benefits of shapewear, making them a staple for any wardrobe.

Open-Bust Camisoles

Open Bust Camisole

Perfect for: Daily wear under shirts, blouses, or blazers.

Details: These camisoles are designed to be paired with your favorite bra, ensuring no compromise on bust support. They often feature micro-smoothing technology for a sleek finish.

Why we love them: They’re a discreet way to achieve a smooth silhouette, making them ideal for daily wear.

Waist Cinchers

Waist Cincher

Perfect for: Outfits where you want to emphasize a narrow waist or under structured dresses.

Details: Often reinforced with boning and made with layered compression fabrics, waist cinchers offer targeted cinching. They usually come with adjustable hooks, allowing for a customized fit.

Why we love them: They provide an instant hourglass shape, making them perfect for special occasions.

Shaping Slips

Shaping Slip

Perfect for: Sheath dresses, wedding gowns, or any outfit requiring a smooth base.

Details: These slips often come with adjustable straps and a non-slip hem, ensuring they stay in place. They’re designed to streamline the figure without flattening the bust.

Why we love them: They offer dual benefits of shaping and modesty, especially under semi-sheer or clingy fabrics.

Tips for Choosing the Right Shapewear

Know Your Size

While it might be tempting to size down for extra firmness, doing so can lead to discomfort and even health issues. Always measure yourself and refer to the brand’s size chart. Remember, shapewear should smooth and sculpt, not constrict.

Understand the Levels of Control

Shapewear often comes in different control levels – light, medium, firm, and extra firm. Light control is suitable for everyday wear, while extra firm is often reserved for special occasions or outfits.

Prioritize Comfort

Look for features that enhance comfort. Cotton-lined gussets, breathable fabrics, and silicone-lined edges (to prevent rolling or sliding) can significantly improve the wearability of shapewear.

Consider the Outfit

Think about the outfit you’ll be wearing over the shapewear. Plunging necklines, backless dresses, or sheer fabrics will all require specific types of shapewear.

Opt for Seamless Designs

For form-fitting dresses or thin fabrics, seamless shapewear ensures no visible lines, offering a smooth silhouette.

Choose the Right Color

While nude is a versatile choice for under light-colored outfits, black or deeper shades work well under darker clothes. Some shapewear also comes in fun colors or patterns if you want to mix things up!

Pay Attention to Fabric

In warmer months or climates, you might want to opt for moisture-wicking fabrics. For colder seasons, some shapewear offers a light thermal layer.

Easy Maintenance

Check care instructions before purchasing. Some shapewear can be machine washed, while others might require hand washing.

Try Before You Buy

If possible, try on shapewear before purchasing. This allows you to see how it fits, how easy it is to put on, and how it feels after wearing it for a while.

Invest in Quality

While there are many budget-friendly options available, investing in high-quality shapewear can offer better results and increased durability.


Shapewear is more than just a garment; it’s a confidence booster. Whether you’re looking for subtle contouring or more defined shaping, there’s a piece out there for every woman and every outfit. Remember, it’s all about enhancing your natural beauty and feeling your best, no matter the occasion.

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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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