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Selecting Shapewear for Your Prom Dress

5 May

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Marcy Montgomery Jones
Naomi & Nicole®

If you’re in high school, you’ve probably been daydreaming of Prom Night since you were a freshman.  You’ve wondered, “Who will I go with,” “What will I look like,” and “Will I remember the night forever?”  (Your mom probably can’t believe you’ve reached this rite of passage so quickly.)  It’s that time of year when every high-school girl can, for one night, feel like a star by going to her prom.

Prom Night might involve several firsts for you.  You may receive your first mani, pedi, or professional hair styling, take your first ride in a limousine, wear your first evening gown, and/or wear your first piece of shapewear.

If you’ve never worn shapewear, or don’t know what to wear under your prom dress, don’t worry.  The tips below will take the mystery and confusion out of the experience for you.  So grab your mom and read this together, or forward it to your best friend, before you go on your shopping excursion.

Here are some basics points you need to know about shapewear:

Prices – Shapewear is available at a variety of prices, so it fits anyone’s budget.  By determining what you and your mom are willing to spend, you’ll be able to select your retail destination.  Big-box, mass-merchandisers carry national brands of shapewear at prices ranging from $9.00 to $22.00 per piece.  Luxury department stores sell premium shapewear brands with prices that range from $29.00 to $72.00 per piece.  Almost all department stores sell shapewear, so you’ll have plenty of destinations from which to choose.

Sizes – Ladies come in different sizes and so does shape wear.  Available sizes typically range from medium to 2XL.  Smalls and plus sizes can be found at some brick & mortar retailers and many e-tailers.  Of course, remember to get permission from a parent or guardian before making a purchase on the internet.

Styles – Shapewear also comes in a variety of silhouettes. There are styles that address your bottom half, others that address your top half, and some that address both.  If you’re buying a shaper specifically for a special occasion, like your prom or a wedding, the silhouette should be chosen based on the cut of your dress.

Levels of Control – Shapewear is categorized by its level of control which correlates to the effect it can have on the body.  These levels include light, Comfortable Firm®, firm, and extra firm control.  For example, if you want to smooth out a little tummy bulge, you should try on a light or Comfortable Firm control style.  On the other hand, if you bought your dress as an inspiration to lose ten pounds, and didn’t achieve that goal, a firm or extra firm control garment might be your best bet.

If you really want to shop like a pro, be prepared.  Take your prom dress, along with your mom, aunt, grandma, or best friend, to the lingerie department.  Talk to a sales person or a fit specialist about your big, upcoming event, and ask for help selecting the piece of shapewear that’s right for you.  Either one may ask you to first put on your dress to see how it fits in order to make the right selection.  If a sales person isn’t available, ask your shopping buddy for her honest opinion.  When you try on the dress without shapewear, look for any muffin tops or bulges you don’t like.  Then, cover them with some shapewear, try on the dress again, and see whether there’s been an improvement.  Always make sure to look at yourself in a full length mirror, checking your front and the back view, to evaluate the garment’s effectiveness.

Congrats!  You’re in the home stretch of high school and you deserve a night of celebration.  With some proper planning and the right piece of shapewear, you’ll look red-carpet ready in your prom dress.  If you have any questions, post them below in the comments section.  Have fun and stay safe.

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CC Image courtesy Varin Tsai photography on flickr CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy Joe Shlabotnik on flickr CC BY 2.0

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