It’s functional, comfortable and makes us feel good – is there anything shapewear can’t do?

They are lauded by celebrities, rarely off the red carpet and even help us mere mortals to look our best.

The most famous name in shapewear is undoubtedly Spanx. Created by Sara Blakely in 1998 when she cut the legs off her control-top tights to hold in her wobbly bits, they became a global phenomenon after being noticed by Oprah Winfrey in 2000 – and the rest is history!

Now there are scores of designs available – plus some great examples from other manufacturers – to make sure you look great under whatever you wear.


The first style of note is the shorts to waist variety. This is the original shapewear design and tones the thighs, bottom and tummy.

Our favourites are the Spanx In Power Line Super Power Panties, simply because they work so well and are so comfortable to wear. Wear these and it’ll be the closest you can get to a washboard tum and toned bum without spending hours at the gym.

If you want a bum like J-Lo, shapewear shorts are designed to help! They have structure around the derriere to create perfect curves. Try Trinny and Susannah’s Magic Knickers Bum and Thigh Pants  do a similar job for those on a budget.

Shorts to Bra-line

Anyone after a little more structure for their tummy and torso should look in the shorts to bra-line category, which reaches right up to just below the breast for snug support and a sleek waist. Spanx Slim Cognito Mid-Thigh Bodysuit does the business and because it’s seamless, it’s ultra discreet and gives a stunning outline.

Available in white (listen up brides-to-be) Cette’s Evolution High Support Pantie has an attractive shiny finish and will create an enviable streamlined hourglass figure. Also available in black and nude, these are perfect under any dress on any occasion.

For a lighter level of control, great for everyday wear, try the Spanx In Power Line Super Higher Power shaping shorts – these are the same as your favourite Higher Power shorts but with amped up tummy taming panels, ultra flat seams and super sleek finish.


If you’re lucky enough to have super-toned thighs but still need some added confidence when it comes to your tummy, a product from our briefs to waist category could be the answer. We think Spanx nails it here again thanks to its Spanx Higher Power Briefs – which is the first ever high-waisted shaper to combine a breathable cotton panty with the strength of a shaper.

Great-looking as well as functional, they will give you a washboard tummy and could double up as outerwear over your tights if you come over all Lady GaGa (apparently some girls really are doing this!).

You could also try briefs to the waist, rather than bra line, including the super powerful Slim Cognito seamless panties, and the sleek but powerful Slimplicity panty.

Slips & Camis

Finally, if you’re looking for more freedom but would still like an all-over streamlined finish, why not give a camisole or slip a try? Trinny and Susannah have their fantastic Body Smoother Skirt and ‘All In One’ Bodysuit products, which could let you drop a dress size while leaving others none the wiser, thanks to their seam-free finishes.

And Spanx again rises to the challenge with its Slimplicity Camis and Full or Half Slips. The latter are ideal under sheer dresses.

With so much to choose from, we’d better let you go to browse the shapewear section – we’re sure you’ll find, as Sara Blakely points out, that it “makes looking smooth, toned and slimmer in your favourite clothes mission possible!”.

Sara, we couldn’t agree more – and shapewear’s got our vote as the best fashion invention of the decade!

Happy shopping!


Read More