Yes, There is Such Thing as Pretty Shapewear

Look, I know around the holidays shapewear gets an extra push because everyone talks about how you have more parties with formal clothing and “oh my god, you eat so much!” In my view, just forget that. Wear shapewear if it’s pretty and it makes you feel pretty, not if it makes you feel like ground meat squeezed into a sausage casing. That’s not to say that something plain can’t make you feel great, but plain doesn’t have to be ugly and I’ve noticed that wearing pretty things makes me feel pretty. In this case, pretty doesn’t have to be girly or frilly– fill in sexy or stylish or sleek as it may apply to you.

Cotton Club Dolce Vita Vitti Body £179

I love the shape of this Cotton Club bodysuit. It’s got clean, gorgeous lines and the sheer panels add a hint of extra sex appeal. If I was going to choose shapewear for a superheroine, this would be it. I don’t really know anything about the fit specifically, but I love the nipped waist shape it makes.

Scandale The Shapewear Dress, $79.16

Scandale The Shapewear Dress, $79.16

This promotional photo for Scandale’s shapewear dress is great because it’s unabashedly sexy. The shapewear dress is simple and it has a shininess that usually turns me off, but somehow it all works. Definitely pretty enough to be worn on the outside and even better to make  you feel pretty and secure underneath.

Kiss Me Deadly Plum Vargas Longline Girdle, £45

There are so many great things about this Kiss Me Deadly longline girdle. The suspender clips are perfect if you’re a stockings kind of person. Also, the color is so lovely and rich, as well as being easy to combine with any black lingerie set. No need to fit it to your bra size, either, which is always convenient.

Rosy Sensual Shaping Brief £52

I’m afraid I can be a bit biased on this site and not give nearly as much due where panties are concerned, spend I do to bras, suspenders and other exciting lingerie contraptions. This Rosy shaping brief, however, demands all my attention. I love the fact that it is black, but anything but plain with its gorgeous combination of patterns and textures. Plus, it’s got shaping properties, which makes it even handier to keep in the lingerie drawer.

Wolford Sophia Forming Dress $162.50

This Wolford “forming dress” has two of my favorite characteristics of shapewear: 1. a cut-out at the top that allows for a separate bra to be worn with it– I know both small- and large-busted folk sometimes have problems with the  ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that can be a characteristic of shapewear that tries to fit both bust and body. And 2. a delicious, beautiful color that takes all those assumptions that shapewear should be neutral and throws them out the window. I’ve seen this magenta in person and it is magnificent.

Fraulein Annie Falling In Love Pearl Panty Girdle £48

I’ve talked before about how much I love Fraulein Annie, but I haven’t specifically addressed the whole shapewear angle. I adore her panty girdles and her shaping knickers because they are so frilly and girly and sweet all while serving a very practical purpose, and this lovely, pale confection is a perfect example.

Wolford Elisa Control Panty High Waist $70

Houndstooth is such an under-used pattern for lingerie– it feels like it ought to be on some sort of formal business attire but looks wonderful and graphic as a large sheer pattern. When I saw it I knew I had to include this Wolford panty. I think the combination with the bra really makes the matching pieces look perfect.

What Katie Did Glamour Merry Widow, $120

Lastly, I chose this classic, retro piece of shapewear from What Katie Did. Lovely and ladylike, this piece is perfect under a more vintage style dress and is definitely pretty enough to getting a star spot on this list. Pale pink is a neutral, but it’s also attractive in its own right.

I really like how each of these pieces of shapewear have their own distinctive personality and say something about the wearer, rather than being a uniform shape and shade that suggests that everyone should fit into a certain mold. Any of you think you’ll give shapewear a try with some of these? Or are you a long time shapewear fan who has been wondering how I’m so late to the party?

7 Comments
  1. Lovely pieces, ‘specially the WKD, KMD, Fraulein Annie and Rosy pieces.

    So correct. Just because we wear shapewear to attone for our sins doesn’t mean that shapewear should have all the flavor of a communion wafer.

    I mean good gracious how difficult is it to pretty up a garment that is hugging a gorgeous curve after all?

    Best – Petra

  2. My general problem with shapewear, pretty or not- and I have tried quite a few of them over the years- is that this type of clothing is not what I would call “sustainable”.
    It may feel somewhat tolerable as you put it on at home, but once you’re at the event-dinner/party/dance/ whatever it is you’re attending, it gets too itchy/tight/warm/sweat-inducing/uncomfortable garment you wish you hadn’t ever worn to begin with.

    Please tell me I’m wrong and there is such a thing, I’ll gladly buy it!

    The subject, or at least my usual whining about it, reminded me a piece by Daphne Merkin that appeared few years ago in a New York Times Fashion supplement that I think is still relevant. Luckily I found the link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/style/tmagazine/07girdle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  3. Another fab article! Love the Kiss Me Deadly Longline Girdle, such a pretty colour!!! and the Rosy Sensual shaping briefs. As you say, they may be black but Oh my!!!

  4. I have the KMD vargas longline girdle and the WKD merry widow. The merry widow is pretty uncomfortable but that might be in part due to not getting the right size buying online. The Vargas on the other hand is so utterly comfortable. My most worn non-bra/knicker underwear item. Looks amazing on as well. I use it on stage for burlesque performances and wear it under slinky dresses. I plan on buying backups

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