The worst thing about dresses is the single, straight line down your entire body. While there are several flattering styles available to suit just about any body type, every bump, lump or unflattering curve will be shown from some angle. This, of course, is why we have undergarments.
Full body shapers
These stretchy yet tight undergarments fit from the upper thigh to the shoulders. Not only do they stand in for the standard bra and underwear, they tuck and smooth all the unflattering areas. Full body shapers are usually invisible, erase panty lines and can be worn under just about any dress with straps. If you’ve got an all around fuller figure, these are your best bet.
The downside of full body shapers is that most don’t breathe as well as they say they do. This may leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable by the end of the night. If you get one that’s too big, you’ll just add bulk without smoothing; if you get one that’s too small, you’ll have unseemly bulges and/or rolls. Also, if you have a larger chest, they can smoosh more than shape, leading to the dreaded “uniboob”.
Lower half shapers
These act much like full body shapers, except they come up only to your rib cage. These are perfect for avoiding to aforementioned “uniboob” and hiding figure flaws under strapless dresses. If you have a bit of a tummy, you’ll be better off with one of these and your typical bra than a full body shaper.
The absolutely correct size is especially important with these. If you get one that is too small, you’ll end up with extremely unattractive (and probably painful) bulges on your back. If the size is wrong in either direction, the portion that covers your rib cage will continuously fold or bunch downward.
Many lower half shapers come up only to your waist. Unless you have no extra pudge anywhere but your lower tummy, do not purchase one of these. They are excellent at nipping in abdominal pudge, but push anything else up, and over, the top of the waist band.
For those who have larger than normal chests, these bras can be a life saver. They gently, and discretely, tuck in your breasts to reduce them by up to two cup sizes. This, of course, is a must have if purchasing dresses is next to impossible because of your chest size.
Be extremely careful and choosy when purchasing a minimizing bra. You should be professionally fitted and try on a wide variety of styles. You don’t want anything that is too tight in the band, as that will lead to unattractive rolls, or anything that feels constricting around your chest. You may need to visit several stores and part with a fair bit of money to find the perfect one.
Control top panty hose
Much like the lower body shapers, these shouldn’t be worn if you worry about anything be pushed above the waist band. These are perfect for smoothing out small lower body imperfections, but fail at really “controlling” the abdominal area. They also suffer from the rolling down problem seem with the shapers.
If you’re wearing a full body shaper, don’t pair it with control top hose. You’ll end up feeling restricted and miserable. Instead, opt for thigh high hose, with either a garter belt or an elastic lining along the top.
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