The ultimate guide to shapewear

Imagine walking into your favourite clothes shop, picking out the most figure-hugging dress you can find and knowing it’ll look fabulous on you. Sound like a pipe dream? Then it’s about time you discovered the body-sculpting magic of modern shapewear.

Forget worrying about vpl, fixating on ‘flaws’ or fretting about squishy bits. Today’s body shapers can smooth away virtually every body hang-up you can think of, from bra bulges to muffin tops. And thanks to some incredible new fabrics and innovative features, you don’t have to worry that you’re going to overheat or squash any internal organs, either.

The best shapewear helps you look and feel confident in any outfit you choose. But you’ll need to make a few decisions before total fashion freedom can be yours. Should you go for a waist cincher or tummy control pants to nail that pencil midi? Would your bodycon dress look best with thigh shaper shorts or an all-in-one control slip? And what should you choose for general silhouette-smoothing as opposed to total body transformation?

Luckily, our ultimate guide to body shaping underwear is here. Not only will it talk you through the amazing collection of firm control shapewear on offer here at Pour Moi, it’ll also help you find the right piece to match both your outfit and your body-shaping requirements. We’ll even explain how to get the damn things on. So get ready to fall in love with the shape of you, once and for all...

What is shapewear?

Although it may feel like Kim Kardashian invented the concept, both men and women have used body shaping underwear for centuries. Bustles, corsets, girdles and codpieces helped the wearer achieve the most fashionable silhouettes of the time, and materials such as whalebones and wood were commonly used in their construction.

Luckily, shapewear technology has moved on considerably since then and today we just can’t get enough of the stuff. Sales of shapewear increased by a massive 75% in the period between 2009 and 2013, thanks to huge improvements in design, comfort and control.

What makes today’s shapewear so effective?

In the last decade, breakthroughs in fabric technology and lingerie design have given us slimming underwear that can sculpt our bodies better than ever.

Fabrics that are lighter and finer, meaning that even firm control shapewear feels cool and comfortable. Vpls and bulges over the top of our shaping underwear are kept to a minimum thanks to invisible bonded edges that keep everything feeling incredibly smooth.

Targeted panels made of tighter weaves and power mesh can change our bodies like never before, allowing us to achieve a fabulously slimmed down look, in some cases one whole dress size smaller. And forget Bridget Jones-style granny knickers because these days you can even get shapewear bodysuits made of a special lace that can’t be seen under your clothes.


What types of shapewear are available at Pour Moi?


Ideal for: total body transformation and maximum results

While the Definitions range has a matte finish that’s great for everyday, the glossy Hourglass collection feels satiny sleek and that little bit extra special. Providing firm shaping and all-over slimming, extra compression panels made of layered power mesh target problem areas for incredible results. With garments that can whittle your waist, smooth your hips and banish any bra bulges, some can even make you look like you’ve dropped a dress size in an instant.


Ideal for: general silhouette smoothing and sleek appearance

When you look smoother, you’ll also look slimmer. With a gently supportive feel, the Definitions collection is designed to provide a flawless finish and a great base for your clothes. Ideal if you were looking for some light shaping, the bonded edges give an invisible finish. Matte and comfortable, all the items in Definitions are made of a lightweight microfibre material that can be worn everyday.

Pour Moi uses the latest fabric technology to bring you two very different shapewear collections, each with its own levels of shaping and control.


Ideal for: shaping your body while looking pretty and feminine

In addition to our two shapewear collections, we also have some pretty shapewear bodysuits by Charnos. The Superfit Full Cup Bodyshaper has a super firm tummy control panel to give you a fantastic shape, but its delicate lace looks fabulously feminine.

What shapewear is best for me?

With so many different kinds of shapewear available, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need. Of course, if you’re buying for a special occasion, your outfit will dictate your shapewear - a strapless dress needs strapless shapewear, for example. But if you’re buying shapewear to tame your tummy, whittle your waist or slim your hips you have a variety of different options at your disposal. Our guide will help you decide.

Waist cincher

Ideal for: creating a tiny waist and hourglass figure

Wear with: body con or strapless dresses, high-waisted skirts and blouses

Tummy control briefs are great for holding you in and some light shaping. But for truly dramatic, Jessica Rabbit-style curves nothing beats a waist cincher. Looking a little like a waspie corset, waist cinchers are the most transforming pieces of shaping underwear you’ll ever wear, bar none. They’re made of a very wide band of material that wraps around your waist and secures at the front with a vertical row of hooks and eyes.

The material feels incredibly tight and, with boning to pull you in even more, a waist cincher can make a dramatic difference to your figure. Put on the Hourglass Firm Control Waist Cincher and you’ll look as if you’ve dropped an entire dress size from all the right places. Plus it makes you stand up straight, and improving your posture will work wonders for your silhouette, too. You could also wear it with a pair of thigh shorts underneath if you were looking for a full shaping bodysuit.

But while the Hourglass waist cincher is perfect for an event, wouldn’t it be nice to get a shapely waist every day of the week? Our Definitions Hook And Eye Waist Cincher is the perfect option to wear on the regular. It’s made from a super soft control material to give you the best possible silhouette without being too restrictive.

Back smoothing waist cincher

Ideal for: whittling your waist while smoothing out any back or bra bulges

Wear with: any tight fitting outfits that call for smooth lines and extra shaping

What’s better than a waist cincher? A waist cincher that can smooth out your back at the same time! The Hourglass Firm Control Back Smoothing Waist Cincher is perfect for giving you a waspish waist without any back or bra bulges to ruin your smooth hourglass look.

With straps that go over your shoulders, it won’t ever fall down so you can relax and enjoy complete freedom of movement, too. Plus the higher back design eliminates the gap between your bra and your cincher so back fat can’t protrude, creating a slimmer silhouette.

All-in-one shapewear control slip

Ideal for: creating a tiny waist and hourglass figure

Wear with: body con or wrap dresses

Whether it’s a wrap dress at the office or a body con for a wedding, when an outfit calls for all-over smoothing from the neck down to your knees, a shapewear slip is your best option. With adjustable shoulder straps to hold it in place, there will be absolutely no fears of it rolling down or creating any lines that ruin the look.

Our Definitions Wear Your Own Bra Control Slip will give you a nice clean line under any form-fitting outfit, and is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day at work.

But special occasions call for a dramatic impact, and for that you can’t beat our Hourglass Firm Control Wear Your Own Bra Slip. With extra control panels in layered power mesh that will target your waist and hips, there’s an even stronger panel in front to hold in your tummy. It’s so effective, it can make you look like you’ve dropped a whole dress size.

Shapewear shorts

Ideal for: smoothing your tummy, whittling your waist, slimming your hips. Some can shape your bum, too.

Wear with: pencil skirts, fitted dresses, strapless dresses, trousers in clingy materials or even jeans

If your main body hang-ups are thigh bumps or love handles, a pair of shapewear shorts will make you forget they even existed. They are basically like stretchy cycling shorts with lots of built-in slimming features.

With the ability to shape your thighs, slim your tum and smooth your hips, high-waisted shorts can even make muffin tops a thing of the past. But the Hourglass Firm Control High Waist Short have an extra trick up their sleeve - targeted panels to improve the shape of your bum.

Size-wise, make sure you don’t go too small, otherwise shapewear shorts can cut into your leg leaving you with a strange thigh bump.

Tummy control briefs

Ideal for: smoothing your tummy, slimming your hips. High-waisted versions can whittle your waist.

Wear with: short skirts and dresses, trousers

Control pants are possibly the most useful style of shapewear out there. These magic knickers are big enough to be useful, but small enough to sit neatly under pretty much every outfit you can think of. They can’t be seen even under the shortest of mini skirts and come in a number of varieties...

Tummy control thong

Some control pants can squash your bum, making it look a little flat. If that sounds like you, thong shapewear will keep things looking peachy.

The perfect piece of slimming underwear to wear under tight trousers and light fabrics, the thong style banishes vpl while the lightweight but high tension fabric will shape your waist. Choose from the Hourglass Firm Control Thong for maximum tummy sucking in, or go for the Definitions Shaping Control Thong for everyday wear.

Mid-waisted tummy control briefs

Probably the most comfortable style of shaping underwear money can buy, mid-waisted styles are easy to get on and off - great when you need a loo break at an event! They feel a lot like normal knickers, but come with added slimming support that can help you nail a variety of looks.

Choose the Hourglass Firm Control Brief for maximum slimming. It has contoured power mesh panels to shape your tummy and hips under skinny jeans, mid-waist trousers or low back dresses. Or opt for our Definitions Shaping Control Brief for a smooth silhouette with no vpl.

High-waisted tummy control briefs

If you carry weight around your middle, a mid waistband can give you a little bulge over the top. High waisted options are the best control pants for tummy because they cover both the waist and the midriff, ending up just under your bra.

Our Definitions High Waist Shaping Briefs will give you an exceptionally smooth finish. But if you’re looking for dramatic results, choose something firmer. The Hourglass High Waist Brief, take a little more effort to get on, but they make a big difference to your wobbly bits.

How should shapewear fit?

Always buy shapewear in the size you are right now, not what you would like to be. Contrary to popular belief, choosing a smaller size does not look more slimming. In fact, ordering a size too small could actually create bulges where you never had them before! It could also make your shapewear ride up, roll down or even stretch it to the point of failure.

When it comes to an item like a waist cincher, never force what doesn’t fit. While you want it to be tight, having to yank it around to put it on means you’ll risk damaging the garment.


How do you stop high-waisted shapewear from rolling down?

It’s more than annoying when your shapewear won’t stay in place. If the waistband of your tummy control briefs starts to roll down it’ll just keep going until you feel like it’s going to slice you in half. But not only does it feel uncomfortable, shapewear that rolls down will be clearly seen through your clothes - not a good look at your once-in-a-lifetime event.

Luckily, high-waisted shapewear from Pour Moi has some design tricks up its sleeve to make sure it always stays put. Most of the grip is provided by an elastic waistband that is soft enough to feel comfortable, but tight enough to stay in place with no rolling

But all the design technology in the world will not stop shapewear from rolling down if you’re wearing the wrong size. Go too small and you may find the material’s stretched too tight and it’ll start to roll. Go too big and the waistband won’t be able to grip you well.

If you’re sure you’re in the right size and it still rolls down, it might be because a super high waist is not the correct fit for your frame. For example, petite frames (5ft 3 and under) may not be long enough in the body for the waistband to sit comfortably. Or you might have a particularly small rib cage.

If this is the case and you still want to try high-waisted shapewear, there is a trick you can try. Pull the waistband up as high as it will go and tuck it under your bra! Or, if your dress is forgiving enough you could fold the waistband down to form a lower, tighter band.


Can shapewear ever be pretty?

Yes it can! The Superfit Full Cup Bodyshaper looks like gorgeous, lacy underwear whilst firming up your wobbly bits. It doesn’t look like shapewear at all, but still has good tummy control right where it matters. You won’t be embarrassed to be seen in this sexy shapewear.


Is there a right way to put on shapewear?

There is. While some everyday pieces of shapewear can be thrown on just as easily as normal underwear, a firm control item (like a piece from our Hourglass collection) needs special attention. They’re designed to be really tight, so to get the best out of your shapewear you need to take your time getting it on. Here are our tips to make the process a little easier.

1. Always step into your shapewear slips, rather than trying to pull them on over you head

2. Put shapewear shorts on like tights by bunching up the legs. Get the bottom right first before adjusting the legs.

3. Don’t put shapewear onto damp or moisturised skin - it needs to bone dry, so use talc!

4. Put your shapewear on over your tights! Because Hourglass is made of a special shiny material, putting tights on over it can make them fall down.

5. Go slowly and be patient.

How do I put on a waist cincher?

Having trouble putting on your waist cincher? You have a few options available to you. Pour Moi garment technologist Lois Siciliano suggests you work from the top to the middle, then fold the cincher back on itself to help you get to the hook and eyes on the bottom.

Or, put the bottom of the garment around the narrowest part of your waist and start fastening from here. As you work your way up the cincher, pull it down over your tummy.

You’ve read the guide, now it’s time to shop! Pour Moi shapewear has everything you need to get party ready in no time. Isn’t it time you tried it for yourself?

Pour Moi Insights