15 Shapewear “Don’ts” to Beware in March (and Every Other Month)

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15 Mar

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By Adam Welsch
Naomi & Nicole®

2055 years ago today, Julius Caesar was assassinated by Marcus Brutus, and more than sixty other co-conspirators, at the Theatre of Pompey in ancient Rome.  This fate befell Mr. Caesar despite being alerted by a seer a short time before that he was in danger.  This warning was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his play, Julius Caesar, as the admonition, “Beware the Ides of March.”

Since today is the Ides of March, it seems like the right time to revisit fifteen shapewear “don’ts” that all intimates shoppers should beware today (and all other days).  In no particular order:

  • Don’t Size Up or Down Your Shapewear

When shopping for shapewear, make sure to buy pieces that reflect your true size.  Don’t purchase styles that fit the body you’d like to have; purchase ones that fit the body you have today.  Trying to squeeze into a smaller size will only create additional problem areas.  If a garment of the correct size feels too tight, try switching to a lower level of control; if it feels too loose, try moving to a higher level of control.

  • Don’t Ignore Care Labels

Care labels are required by law to appear in clothing for a reason.  To ensure your shapewear retains its full functionality and enjoys a long life, follow its laundering instructions closely.

  • Don’t Avoid the Fitting Room

Not only does shapewear come in a wide variety of silhouettes that address different problem areas, it comes in various levels of control.  Since shapewear can only work if it’s worn, spending some time in the fitting room in front of mirror will allow you to see whether a garment delivers the results you’re looking for and, more importantly, feels comfortable.  The more pieces you try on, the more precisely your selection will solve your problems comfortably, and the happier you’ll end up being with your purchase.

  • Don’t Wear Waistline Styles If You’re Larger Around the Middle

A brief, thigh slimmer, or pantliner whose top sits at the waist can create a muffin top for those who are larger around the waist.  If you fall into this category, choose instead the hi-waist version of each of these silhouettes, or opt for a bodybriefer or torsette.

  • Don’t Put Shapewear on over Your Head

Many an unsuspecting shapewear customer has made the mistake of trying to pull on a body-shaping cami or bra slip over her head, only to find herself trapped in it.  The nature of shapewear fabric and its tight fit cause this outcome.  And, it’s only made worse when the piece is also made with a silicone-finished edge that’s designed to keep the garment in place once on the body.  So, what’s the moral?  Always step into your shapewear.

  • Don’t Wear Seamless Shapewear If You’re Looking for the Best Shaping Results

Seamless shapewear may be smooth, but its circular-knit construction (similar to that of pantyhose) can’t control and shape the way seamed shapewear can.  Why?  Seams allow fabrics of differing degrees and directions of stretch to be placed side-by-side to provide targeted control and a superior fit.  And seams don’t have to create lines that show through clothes.  Stitch-free seams, made with adhesives, now can be found on shapewear styles providing light, Comfortable Firm®, firm, and extra-firm control.

  • Don’t Forget to Consider the Call of Nature When Selecting a New Piece of Shapewear

Certain styles of shapewear can make using the restroom a cumbersome task.  Make sure to take this consideration into account before purchasing an all-in-one piece, and when deciding to wear one for a special occasion.  It’s also a good idea to practice using any garment with a hook-and-eye closure, or an “open” or “split” crotch, at home before wearing it out in public.

  • Don’t Be Complacent about VPLs, Ride-Up, or Roll-Down

Shapewear doesn’t have to ride up and cause wedgies, roll down and bind the waist, or cause visible panty lines.  Look for garments made with breathable, silicone-finished edges on their waists and leg openings that can prevent all of these traditional problems for occurring.

  • Don’t Wear a Bodybriefer, or Any Garment Providing Extra-Firm Control, If You’re Tall

A bodybriefer will become overly stretched, and end up providing insufficient, uncomfortable coverage, when worn by someone who’s over 5’ 10”.  If you’re tall, choose a separates combination instead, such as a waistline brief and a cami.  And, avoid extra-firm control styles, since their large amounts of control will prevent you from taking proper advantage of the stretch in the spandex of their fabrics.

  • Don’t Wear a New Piece of Shapewear without First Washing It

In addition to all the people who handled the garment during its construction, other customers may have tried it on before you purchased it.  Like all new clothes, it’s best to throw that new piece into the washing machine right away to ensure that any germs, dust, pollen, or chemicals lying on its surface are removed.

  • Don’t Fall for the Tricks in Before-and-After Shapewear Ads

If you see ads featuring models who slouch, pitchmen who wield slippery tape measures, models who wear blouses with lots of slack, or any other sales tricks, run the other way and look for another brand of shapewear you can try on for yourself.  That way, you’ll be able to judge its true performance.

  • Don’t Choose Elective Cosmetic Surgery over Shapewear

If you’d like to change your appearance, wearing shapewear offers many advantages over undergoing elective, cosmetic surgery.  For example, it’s less expensive, less painful, and more convenient than surgery, and delivers results that are more easily changed.

  • Don’t Sacrifice Your Favorite Bra for Control of Upper Body Problem Areas

There’s no need to forfeit your favorite bra if you want a solution to address problem areas on your upper back.  Instead of wearing a bodybriefer, turn to a torsette instead.  It will allow you wear your favorite bra, while both controlling back fat and covering the lines produced by your bra’s straps.

  • Don’t Buy a Piece of Shapewear without Having the Answers to Three Questions Clear in Your Mind

Make sure to identify the specific problem area on your body you’d like to address, determine how often you’d like to wear the garment, and figure out which level of control will bring you the greatest satisfaction given the piece’s combination of comfort and performance.

  • Don’t Rely on Shapewear as a Substitute for an Exercise Regimen

Though it can help hide some weight gain, shapewear can’t strengthen your heart, build your muscles, or reduce your blood pressure.  Wear shapewear in tandem with getting regular exercise and eating well to ensure that you will look and feel your best for years to come.

Which shapewear “don’t” do you most often “do?”
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CC Image courtesy benleto on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/benleto// CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy get directly down on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/65172294@N00// CC BY 2.0

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