plus size lacy bodysuit

Buying Plus Size Shapewear: Everything You Need to Know

by Lisa Martinez
March 5, 2020
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Shapewear always been unforgiving and unfair.

Back in the day, when shapewear came in the form of corsets during the 40s and 50s, they were forced on women so that they would look a certain way. The famous “pigeon” shape of the Victorian era was a difficult look to achieve for women; as they were made to wear these super tight waist cinching corsets throughout the day to achieve a small waist. It was cruel and unfair.

But now, we’re way past such awful and ill concepts. It’s not about looking slim or having a small waist anymore; it’s more about being yourself, accentuating your good features and most importantly, being comfortable.

plus size shapewear

Brands are coming up with different types of shapewear with unique and useful features to help women be comfortable and confident in their bodies. It’s important to wear shapewear that doesn’t change who they are, but still allows us to flaunt their features.

Given that we have a wide variety of shapewear in the market today offered by multiple brands, it can be confusing for women to choose what they need. And to make matters worse, some retail shopping assistants often sell smaller sizes to plus size women, which is a wrong way to go.

Additionally, some of them don’t last as long or don’t offer the kind of contouring and comfort promised by the brand.

So how do you choose perfect fitting, reliable shapewear?

This is a guide that will help you nail your shapewear selection; from what kind of shapewear to have to the best places to buy plus size shapewear, here’s everything to know.

How to Choose the Right Shapewear?

Here are a few curvy girl oriented golden pointers to keep in mind.

plus size bodysuit

Buy shapewear in the right measurements – As mentioned earlier, it’s very important to buy shapewear in YOUR sizes, not smaller sizes. In fact, if you get smaller sized shapewear, it’ll hug you in all the wrong places and cause more lumps and bulges, apart from being extremely uncomfortable.

This point can’t be stressed enough; you’re buying shapewear to accentuate your own great features, not to look thinner! You need to know your body measurements and refer to a size chart. If you’re not sure, you can go a size higher, it still would look good.

Choose the amount of support – Yes, there are different levels of support offered by different shapewear. Depending on whether you want to look sculpted and contoured or whether you just want to smooth out a few bulges, you can choose shapewear that provides the required support.

For example, if you’re going for a formal dinner party and you want to look snatched all night, you can by all means go for firm support.  On the other hand, if you just need something to smooth out your waist curve for pants, then you need something with less support.

Choose shapewear according to the outfits and occasion – Do you need your butt to be accentuated for that sexy pencil skirt? Or do you need to enhance your waist curve to wear that bodycon? Are you wearing leggings and you need toned thighs? Or do you need something comprehensive for your wedding gown?

These are the kind of questions that you need to ask yourself when choosing shapewear. Thanks to a number of wonderful brands out there, you can get appropriate body flattering shapewear that will enhance all your naturally blessed features.

Here are few basic pieces that you may want in your wardrobe.

Essential Shapewear Pieces to Own


As we all know a bodysuit covers the bust, the waist, the back and the butt. It provides necessary shaping and sculpting across your torso and your abdomen. Some styles of bodysuits also extend below the butt to shape the thighs.

plus size lacy bodysuit

Clearly, it is one versatile piece that provides shaping in all possible places that tend to get unflattering lumps. It will suit anything from bodycon dresses to tight fitting crop tops and leggings to even casual t-shirts and jeans. In fact if you were planning to own just one kind of shapewear for your whole body, go for the bodysuit style.

High Waist Hipster Panties

Some plus size women tend to have issues of lumps and bumps more on their abdomen and hip regions. High waist hipster panties will help you solve these problems and achieve a smooth look. They cover the waist, the abdomen and the butt.

Also, if you’re looking to wear leggings or jeans or pencil skirts, hipster panties will help you. But be sure to get the right size, otherwise it will cause your tummy or love handles to spill out above your hemline and look unflattering again.

Plus Size High Waist Hipster Panties

Shaper Shorts

Shaper shorts are meant for the butt and the thighs. There are different variations of this piece with different levels of support and extra shaping for the butt. These are excellent if you want to pull of tight fitting pencil skirts, shorts or leggings and jeans. They help accentuate your butt without allowing too much focus on the unflattering bulges.

Apart from these basic ones, you can also get your hands-on certain styles with specific features depending on your occasion and outfit. It’s up to your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Now no matter what style and support level you get, if the outfit doesn’t serve the purpose in an efficient way, then it’s a complete waste of money. So where do you get good quality shapewear that you can rely on for an important day?

Where to Buy Plus Size Shapewear?

You can buy shapewear from a place as random as Amazon and as specific as ShapewearUSA.  Here’s some celebrity, influencer and customer approved brands that you can rely on.


SKIMS plus size shapewear

SKIMS is literally the buzz word when it comes to shapewear these days. Started and owned by Kim Kardashian West, the brand offers perhaps the widest range of options in shapewear. SKIMS came into was started because Kim found a lack of appropriate shapewear in the market.  She initially started cutting, dyeing and sewing up pieces at home for her own use and then started SKIMS.

Whether it’s in terms of color, fit or the support and coverage area, SKIMS offers solutions for women of any body type and complexion.

Bare Necessities

Bare Necessities is a brand that has been serving size inclusive clothing for years now. And they’re particularly known for their super comfortable shapewear available in extended sizing. They’re also known for their Wonderful Edge Waistband incorporated across most of their shapewear, which is lined with silicone for extra support. It also prevents the piece from rolling down throughout the day, which is a common problem among other brands.

Ashley Stewart

ashley stewart plus size shapewear

Ashley Stewart is another brand that offers carefully designed shapewear for plus size women. With three separate support levels and a wide range of coverage and shape options the brand caters to plus size women specifically. They also have detailed size charts and descriptions for each piece to help you pick the right kind of support. Apart from that the brand also offers curvy girl ambassador programs to connect with women that represent what the brand stands for.


Spanx is a brand that has been in the business of shapewear for years. In fact, it’s almost become synonymous with shapewear. People nowadays say, “I’ll wear Spanx underneath for this bodycon” rather than “I’ll wear shapewear”. That’s how much the brand has revolutionized shapewear in general.

While many new shapewear brands have emerged over the years, Spanx products consistently shout quality, comfort and reliability.

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