There’s No Such Thing as a Silly Shapewear Question

17 Feb

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By Rachel Rumsey
Naomi & Nicole®

Since I began working in the underwear and shapewear industry, I’ve had people ask me a variety of questions about intimates. More often than not, I’m asked questions that have been asked of me before. I’ve always tried to provide answers in a way that puts people at ease because I realize they may feel a little awkward asking them. And since people sometimes become self-conscious asking such questions, I know that there are some that are too embarrassing to be asked in person. Looking at online forums, I’ve seen confirmation of that. In an effort to help, I’ve asked and answered some of the most common and embarrassing ones below:

  • Is it OK to sleep in shapewear?

While occasionally sleeping in shapewear shouldn’t hurt you, I don’t advise doing so on a regular basis.  It’s a good idea to let your body and skin relax while you sleep.  A good night’s sleep is important, and its ability to rejuvenate the mind and body has many short- and long-term benefits.  Wearing shapewear is simply not as comfortable as wearing no shapewear at all, and that difference can easily be sufficient to disrupt your body’s normal sleep cycle.  If you are interested in sleeping in shapewear, talk to your doctor about it to see if it would be the right choice for you.

  • Should panties be worn with shapewear?

You should wear panties with shapewear if the garment has no cotton crotch.  Many pieces of shapewear do have cotton crotches that allow the garments to function as the only underwear you’ll need.  If a crotch is built into the piece of shapewear, and panties aren’t needed, it’s definitely more comfy to wear the piece without that extra layer.  The shaper will also be smoother since there won’t be any extra lines from the panties.  Of course, if you share shapewear with someone else, you should employ the buffer of wearing a pair underneath.  Otherwise, they’re just unnecessary.

  • Can I wear a pantliner as pants?

No, you should not wear a pantliner as leggings or pants.  Pantliners, like tights, are designed to be worn underneath other items.  They’re great pieces of shapewear to have in your stash, but just like your hi-waist briefs, they’re underwear not outerwear.  If you wear a pantliner under leggings or slacks, it’ll help you look toned and make your pants look great.

  • How do I know which hooks to use to fasten the crotches of certain styles of shapewear?

You should use the shortest length that makes the garments as tight as are comfortable to wear. This will help keep them in their correct positions on your body, and prevent wedgies and minimize show-through lines.  Bodybriefers are usually made with hook-and-eye crotches.

  • How high should I pull up a hi-waist style?

A hi-waist garment should be pulled up to just under the bra band.  This will prevent bulges and the dreaded “Muffin Top” from forming at your midriff.  It’s also the way the garment was designed to be worn, so when pulled up to this height, it should be comfortable and stay in place.

  • Can I try on shapewear before I buy it?

Yes, you can try on shapewear before buying it.  In fact, I highly recommend that you do so.  The most important point is to make sure to keep your panties on.  Also, after you’ve made your purchase, make sure to wash the garment before wearing it for the first time.  Remember that it will have been in the hands of many people before you brought it home.  Trying on a garment is a great way to learn about the different styles of shapewear available, and will help you determine what you like, what fits your needs, and what fits your body’s shape.

  • Is shapewear comfortable?

Yes, shapewear can be comfortable.  The most important factor in ensuring shapewear’s comfort is getting the garment’s size right.  If you wear the correct size, the garment should be comfortable.  That said, differing levels of control, ranging from those that simply smooth to those that greatly shape, will feel differently on your body.

  • Should I feel like a sausage?

You should never feel like a sausage.  You may feel support, and a hugging sensation, but you should always be able to breathe normally.  If you’re wearing the correct size, you should also be able to adjust the garment to fit your body comfortably.  Always pay attention to the sizing chart that the brand should provide.  If you do feel like a sausage, you’re probably wearing a size that’s too small for you.  If moving up a size or two doesn’t work, try a similar style in a different brand to see if it fits you better.  You’ll know a piece of shapewear fits correctly when it’s comfortable, smooth, and doesn’t pinch.

  • How do I use the bathroom?

You should always be able to efficiently use the bathroom.  If you choose a garment that has a snap or hook-and-eye crotch closure, simply unfasten it and tuck it up out of the way when nature calls.  If your garment has a split crotch – commonly incorporated into bodybriefers with legs that have a mid-thigh length – you may want to pull the garment down to use the facilities, or practice at home before wearing it in public.  Some people have no problem using spilt crotches; others struggle with success.  You’ll have to decide ahead of time how to deal with the situation.  Just don’t wait until you’re all dressed up and under pressure.

  • If I wear shapewear of a smaller size, will I get more shaping and better results?

No.  If you wear shapewear that’s too small, it will be uncomfortable and result in bulges at the edges of the garment.  This will create problem spots rather than address them.  If you want a greater amount of shaping, you’ll have to move up one or more control levels.  Try firm or extra firm control in your correct size to get better results.

If you think of any questions that I missed, please ask! I’d love to answer any you have. I work with intimates, so I’m not embarrassed by them. You may also try looking at our other posts if you have additional questions about underwear, panties, shapewear, or bras. We’ve covered a lot of topics and may have already answered your question in detail.

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CC Image courtesy Colin_K on flickr CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy blakewest on flickr CC BY 2.0

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