Shapewear Defined for the Clothing Industry & Consumers
Fashion Terms   Shapewear Factories

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What is shapewear?

Tight-fitting underwear or under garment intended to control and shape the figure.  This type of garment was typically utilized by women but has become available for both genders.

Another name for shapewear is a foundation garment.  Shapewear is basically an undergarment designed to temporarily alter the wearer's body shape, to achieve a more fashionable figure.

As long as select and wear the proper garment, shapewear should be relatively comfortable. Although you can buy shapewear online, it is suggested that you go to a store to try on several brands and styles.  If you're buying for a specific dress or outfit, bring it with you.

Too-tight shapewear may lead to health problems.  Please keep in mind that comfort and health is more important in most cases than appearance.

If you're pregnant, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor about whether you can use special maternity shapewear or none at all.

Garments may be categorized according to level or shape control offered - for instance, light, medium or firm. The simplest foundation is a body-liner or bodysuit, which are an ultra-light-weight leotards, and offers a light touch of smoothing. These are available in a unitard style (shortened legs) or a camisole-leotard style. The leotard offers greater control from a body-liner, and is available in boy-leg and capri-leg lengths, with spaghetti straps, low cut necklines, and even scoop backs, to cater for the outer wear under which the garments will be worn. These softly smooth the figure and provide light support. Micro-fiber camisoles and boy-leg briefs or "hot pants" are also available. Girdles are often called "body shapers" or "contour garments".

Women have worn foundation garments such as corsets and brassieres historically.  Often they have been essential to the fashion trends of the time.  Better known today as “shapewear,” these garments include body briefs, bodysuits, bras, control panty hose, control panties, corsets, garter belts, and girdles.