Body Compression Garments – Best Suit Shapers Guide

Body Compression Garments Review Guide

A Body Compression Garments, or a body shaper, is often used to give the illusion of a smooth line along your figures. Here is some important information you should consider before making a purchase.

What are Body Compression Garments?

Body Compression Garments are meant to be worn underneath the clothing to accentuate a slimmer figure. Most of the time, women will wear these garments underneath a dress or a professional outfit. Every person wants to present their best look possible. No one has the perfect body, but a compression garment underneath the clothing can help you slide into your favorite pair of jeans, or show off your slim waist in a little black dress.

Compression garments and shapers are not exclusively meant for special occasions. While you shouldn’t wear the shapers every single day, these garments are great for casual or formal events. They have to ability to make you appear slimmer within every outfit.

In order for you to get the full benefits out of the shapewear, you need to make sure you are properly fitted. With the correct size and type for your body, your posture improves, your confidence shines through, and you look fantastic.

In fact, body compression garments and body shapers add more to your life than a more svelte waistline. With these garments under your clothing, you can actually improve your blood circulation throughout your body, and support the muscles around your upper back, lower back, or wherever the most pressure is in the garment.

Uses for Compression Garments

Compression garments and body shapers are able to handle a lot of different tasks. With multiple styles and brands, you can’t pass by any lingerie section of a department store without seeing rows and rows of these designs. The fact is, these garments are able to handle a lot of different tasks.

Temporary Body Shaping

The most popular reason for using compression garments and body shapers are to temporarily give you a slimmer figure. The garments that do this generally are things like corsets or underwear with a high waist. The whole point of a temporary body shaper is that it should be able to give you a smooth line along whichever area you need to slim. At the end of the night, you can take these off. However, your body will still remain the same shape as it was before.

Support for Pregnant Women

Maternity shapewear is starting to gain popularity. Unlike shapers that temporarily slim the body, maternity shapewear focuses on the supportive aspect of these compression garments. They can be worn daily, and generally help by alleviating some of the pressure on the bottom of the stomach or the back. Pregnant women often have a lot of pressure on their back from carrying their baby, so they need as much support as possible.

Maternity shapewear is able to alleviate pressure on the back, which means that women with varicose veins get a little bit of relief. These veins can become painful while standing, preventing adequate blood circulation throughout their legs. Additionally, when the shapewear is positioned below the stomach, it is able to lift the weight of the uterus, which eases the pain and pressure off of the cervix.

Better Circulation

Even if you aren’t pregnant, you can still have the same benefits of improved circulation. Compression garments are more than just tools for a slim figure or to support a pregnant woman’s stomach; they are also a handy tool that many doctors recommend after losing control of your extremities.

Sometimes, after surgery or medical treatments, your arms or legs can swell up. This swelling is often due to lymphedema. Essentially, your blood won’t circulate properly, so the body part swells. By using a compression garment on the area, you are able to assist the body in regaining the circulation and strength that was previously there.

Weight Loss

Body shapers and compression garments have gained significant popularity as a method of weight loss. The concept seems to be that by constricting the body part on a regular basis, you condition your fat and muscle to remain in that shape permanently.

Many companies sell products that make these type of promises in regards to weight loss. One concept behind the shaper’s ability to help you lose weight is by sweating while you’re wearing the garment. This isn’t just a concept that obscure companies have adapted; nowadays, even beauty companies like Avon will market these fitness compression garments. Realistically, sweating can help you eliminate calories, which occurs while participating in any amount of cardio. However, sweating alone cannot help you lose major pounds. If you sweat too much, you risk dehydration.

However, there is some truth to this theory. You will automatically sweat more when you’re wearing such a tight-fitting garment. However, any weight you shed will most likely be water weight. This type of weight is easy to gain back in no time. All you need to do is get hydrate and you will gain back any water you perspired.

Additionally, a compression garment can cause you to lose weight from the constriction of your body. While there are no reports currently that this effect is permanent, you can wear a waist trainer daily to try to modify the way that your waist is shaped. This process is no different than the way that wearing high heels every day can change the shape of your foot. While you may not lose weight, you can train the weight to be distributed differently.

How Body Compression Garments and Body Shapers Work

Depending on the type of compression gear you get, the best quality is made by sewing together separate pieces, cut into a pattern that helps to slim your waist. Often, this shape is made by sewing together elastic or rigid fabrics, which are designed to have a little stretching. These materials accommodate many body types, and helps to give a smooth line.

While you’re wearing the shape wear, your fat is moved into the area where your muscles are compressed from the garment. Basically, the shaper moves your fat out of the way, or provides enough space to squeeze your fat in.

Most shapewear has the ability to slim your waist, thighs, and other areas of your body by up to two inches. You can simulate the effect that the shapers have on your body by sucking in your stomach or pressing down on your fat to flatten it. The only difference is that you have a garment to hold it there all day, rather than your hands. Basically, you are simply making the fat on your body more compact. The excess skin is condensed.

If you choose the right shapewear, the fat from your waist and abdomen is redistributed to an area that is naturally plump. Usually, that means it will redistribute to your breasts or your rear end.

How to Choose the Right Shapewear

The only way to truly get the most out of your shapewear is to find the right size and type for your body. Choosing the wrong shapewear can result in an unflattering figure. Luckily, there are a few rules you can keep in mind when choosing your garment.

  • Choose the right size.
  • Choose the right constriction.
  • Choose the right style.
  • Choose a breathable fabric.
  • Be realistic.

Choose the Right Size

When shapewear first became available to the general public, no one understood how to size it properly. The garments themselves were too snug for the average consumer, which would cause your fat to spill out over and under it. Basically, the original design defeated the purpose of wearing it at all.

The best way to find the right size for you is by going to a store where you can try on the garments. Many consumers want to shy away from publically trying on and purchasing shapewear, but shopping online doesn’t afford you the same ability to see how a garment looks on you, rather than a model. You are generally able to view a wide variety of brands and designs, which makes it easy to find a good fit.

A fitting room assistant at your local store should be able to guide you during this purchase. The most accurate way to size the new addition is by measuring at the hips and waist, if you are getting shapewear for slimming your torso. If you want to buy the shapewear to wear with a specific ensemble, it is in your best interest to bring it along with you. Matching the shapewear with your desired outfit helps you to make sure that you get the smooth line you want.

If you put on shapewear that is slimmer than you should be wearing, you put yourself at risk of compressing your vital organs and nerves. Always check the sizing guide for the company that you are seeking out the shapewear from. When you put on the garment, it should feel snug against your body. However, there should be no digging into your skin, for this is a sign you chose a garment that is too small.

Choose the Right Constriction

One of the biggest factors in the effectiveness of your shapewear is finding the right constriction for what you need. The shape and style of the shapewear is just as important as finding the right size.

As a general rule of thumb, a garment with medium constriction is able to smooth lines. This type of garment is great for smoothing out a “muffin top” or getting a thigh gap.

However, if you want to transform your shape entirely, you need a garment with strong constriction. This level of slimming is what you will usually find with a lace-up corset or a waist trainer. Strong constriction is also used in garments that are designed for weight loss and contouring.

Choose the Right Style

Whether you are trying to smooth out line or change your shape, you need to make sure you have the right style of garment for the job. There is more information about the different styles in the next section of this review, but the best way to pick is by choosing garments that have long lines. For instance, the best way to slim your waist and smooth lines are with panties that have a high waist.

Choose a Breathable Fabric

Most likely, you will be wearing your shapewear for at least a few hours. During this time, no matter how nice the weather is, the extra level of fabric will cause you to be warmer. To avoid getting overheated and feeling more uncomfortable than necessary, you should choose a breathable fabric.

When sweat gets trapped against your skin, it makes it possible for the garment to begin to rub along that part of your body, which can cause irritation and redness. Often, cotton material is the best choice, since it is both breathable and absorbent.

Be Realistic

You need to remember that shapewear and compression garments aren’t miracle workers. Just like any other clothing item, you can only accentuate your body and in the natural shape of it. You can smooth lines, define your waist, but you cannot physically change your figure from what you have. Whether you’re trying to lose weight from the garment or just smooth out your excess fat on your hips, remember that you can only conceal so much of your weight with one.

 Types of Body-Shaping Garments

There are multiple types of body-shaping garments that you can get. In order to determine the best type for your particular body, you should first ask yourself which part of your body you want to slim down. Some shapers are designed to bring in your waist, while other can give you that coveted thigh gap. Choose the garment you need by the look you are trying to achieve.

Waist Trainer

Waist Trainers have gained recent popularity among celebrities in weight loss efforts to get a smaller waistline. A waist trainer is specifically designed to be used during exercise so you can sweat out water weight and, hopefully, tighten your waistline in the process. Generally, waist trainers cover the area around your waistline, sometimes extending down to your hips.

These garments are not designed to be worn as a slimming item underneath your regular clothing.


Most people are familiar with the design of a corset. While many companies advertise different designs and lengths for a corset, this garment is defined as “a tight-fitting garment that fits from below the chest to the hips. Some corsets are available with clasps, giving you multiple options at which to tighten the garment. However, the most customized figure can be achieved by choosing a corset that laces up, since it adjusts to the specific proportions of your body.

Thigh Shaper

Thigh shapers are designed to give your thighs a slimmer shape. Most times, these garments came be worn under pants or under dresses, since the waistline can be high, if needed. Thigh shapers are usually made with elastic or spandex, giving you the ability to move around easily, rather than having to take small steps out of constriction.


Tights and pantyhose are generally used as a fashion accessory. However, these types of garments can also be used as body shapers. Tights are fitted from the waist to the ankles. Depending on the style that you choose, you can find tights that slim and smooth your whole leg, thighs, butt, hips, and waist. The fabric can smooth panty lines, which gives you a flawless look in any outfit.

Previous style of tights would have a waistband that rolls over, creating a plumper look on the consumer. However, there have been many advancements in the constructions of this type of garment. Unless you are choosing a discount or value brand, you should not have any problems with the waistband.

 Full Body Suit with a Chest Cut-Out

When you want to get an overall slim figure, you need to find a model that is able to slim your body in the right places, but without concealing your naturally-flattering figure. Choosing a body suit with an open bust will lift the breasts, which shows off the slimness of your waist.

If you are purchasing an entire body suit, it is best to go somewhere that you can try on the ensemble. Body suits are not designed for every size and body type, so seek out the assistance of your lingerie department’s associate for the best look.


While they aren’t the most attractive garments, they are able to eliminate panty lines and slim down your lower torso. Choosing panties with an extended waist to help create a natural and smooth line at the hips. Most of these styles have a stomach panel that flattens your excess fat along the front of your torso.

 The Risks of Using Body Compression Garments and Shapewear

By following the tips for finding the right garment for you, you can avoid many issues that you may face while wearing shapewear. Some dangerous choices you can make involve wearing the wrong size of shapewear, along with wearing the garments for too long.

Shapewear compresses the fat on your body, which can be dangerous in the wrong size. Choosing a size that is too small for your body can prevent your blood from properly circulating through the compressed area. This type of compression can cause tingling, blood clots, compressed nerves, compressed organs, and excessive sweating. If you experience any of these problems, you need to take off the garment immediately. If the side effects do not subside, speak with your doctor to assess further damage.

Additionally, teenagers should avoid using shapewear all together. Their bodies are still forming through puberty. By using shapewear, they may damage their growing body and circulation from all the compression.

If you are wearing the right shapewear, you should feel slightly compressed, but still comfortable.

 General Pricing for Compression Garments

Your cost is greatly influenced by a number of factors, but the biggest factor is whether you are using the garment for a medical purpose or a cosmetic purpose. If you are using the garment for medically-necessary purposes, your medical insurance may cover the cost, since it would be treating a specific condition.

However, for shapers that are designed to enhance your figure, you can expect to pay as little as $20 for a full body garment from a value brand, or as high as $7,000 or more with one of the high-fashion brands. You can look through many different resources to figure out the right design for you.

Some companies that sell shapewear include:

  • JCPenny
  • Bali
  • L’eggs
  • Maidenform
  • Vedette Shapewear

Essentially, there are hundreds of brands that make shapewear for average size, petite, and plus-size women and men. You should choose your shapewear by the features and the fit, rather than the brand.

Our Final Thoughts

Shapewear and compression garments are great ways to accentuate your figure, lose weight, or provide medical help. You should follow the guidelines listed above to find the right fit for the most flattering results.


  1. If it says don’t wear more than an hour….DON’T WEAR MORE THAN AN HOUR!! There’s a reason for those disclaimers! My best advice is to go to a chiropractor and see if there is some adjustments that can be done to re align the things you moved out of place. Make sure to do your research and find a GOOD chiropractor though. If you’re in the Chicagoland area I can refer you to one who is seriously a miracle worker! I was told I’d need back surgery, after going to him and following his program, my back was 100% healed, no back surgery needed! My other possible thought would be acupuncture. I don’t know much about it, but I know it affects all kinds of nerves and muscles. Hope you get relief!!

  2. So I wore a body suite that said not to wear over an hour. Unfortunately I put this on prior to a Bible Study and had on for about 3 hours. Ever since then, I’ve had rubber legs wish make it difficult to walk-I look like I’m off balance or…had too much to drink.

    Not only do I feel uncomfortable from the waist down, a tingling numbing feeling, my legs feel stiff…

    I’m not sure what to do to alleviate this situation except go to the doctor about this. Is there any way to treat this with rest and…NO MORE of the suit?!! :( :)


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