Shapewear—those compressing undergarments that seem to magically make you look five pounds lighter—is the unsung hero of the fashion world, and of fashionable women all over the real world as well. Ever wondered how all of those celebrities look so great on the red carpet? Sure, they have personal trainers and nutritionists, but they are also, more often than not, wearing their Spanx.
Shapewear really is pretty amazing, and if you’ve worn it, you know what I mean. It compresses to make you look thinner, and it also works wonders to smooth out bulges and seam lines that show through delicate or clingy fabrics, like silk. The only problem is that it can be pretty uncomfortable, especially if you’re wearing it for hours on end. I’ve heard this complaint especially from women with thicker waists, and women who are fuller in the hips and thighs. And it makes sense: Shapewear is meant to be tight and compressing, but it is invariably cut with only one body type in mind—that of your average size 2 store mannequin. If you don’t happen to fall into that category, it can be too tight in the wrong places, and leg and torso openings can dig into your skin.
Thankfully, someone has finally taken into account that not all women are shaped like the models we see in magazines and ads. Wacoal is introducing a new line of shapewear called ControlFreak that is specifically made for curvier women. If you’re thicker through the waist and hips, try the Apple style, which is proportionately cut with more-generous leg openings and has panels to smooth the midsection. If you’re more bottom-heavy, try on the Pear, which also features tummy control and relaxed leg openings for full thighs, as well as panels to shape and make the most of your curves.
Wacoal ControlFreak Shapewear, $38; wacoal-america.com.