An Introduction to Shapewear & Short Process Of Body-Shaping
Since the beginning of time, and as far back as we can see in history, women have utilized one form of body-shaping underwear or the other. This underwear creates a smoother and thinner silhouette of the wearer, increasing her social acceptability and admiration from both men and women alike.
Table of Contents
- The Physical Effect of Shapewear
- The Romantic Effect
- History of Shaping Underwear
- Shaping Underwear vs Enhancers
- Types of Shaping Underwear
The Physical Effect of Shapewear
Body shaping undergarments work by compacting the fat cells of the body. Once the fat is compacted, the wearer becomes automatically thinner. A second effect is that depending on the type of shaping underwear, the fat could be adjusted either to the sides, upwards to the cleavage, or downwards to the buttocks. Having sculpted the body to meet current body-shape trends, a woman appears more desirable, sociable, popular and worthy of emulation.
The Romantic Effect
While women might use body-shaping underwear to improve looks, it has a different effect on men. Men in general, tend to perceive the curvy and perky physiques of younger women and girls, as more attractive. Shaping underwear incidentally increases these features in a woman's body. Younger women who have not had kids are known for flat, well-rounded tummies, while older women are known for larger abdomens. By smoothing out the abdomen, augmenting the hips, breasts, and laps, a woman can awaken those primal feelings of desire in a man. That's why shapewear is considered romantic.
History of Shaping Underwear
The use of body-shaping garments dates to ancient times. Ancient artworks and carvings from around the world, portray society's infatuation with the feminine shape, dating back to thousands of years BC. From ancient Greek women, who wore girdles to push their breasts out while clinching their waists, to the use of steel corsets in the middle ages of Europe, every society has in one way or the other, prized the curvy and perky feminine shape, and even till this day. The distinction between ancient and modern shaping-underwear is that the modern variety is much more comfortable, because of the use of better materials.
Shaping Underwear vs Enhancers
It is important to note that shaping underwear is used to minimize undesirable traits like body fat, while enhancers are generally used to augment body parts. Padded bras, for example, are enhancers, but a corset, which shifts abdominal fat both upwards and downwards, is a shaping underwear.
Types of Shaping Underwear
Different types of shaping underwear have evolved over the millennia from different cultures, each with the sole goal of modifying the female shape in one way or the other. The most widespread of this body-shaping underwear are as follows:
A bodysuit often referred to as the body, is a one-piece garment, which covers the torso and the crotch. Bodysuits are generally effective in smoothing out the tummy and creating smoother waists. There are also bodysuits with thigh-slimmer’s, which are then considered complete or all-in-one body shapers. Bodysuits generally do not include bras, or they just cover the cleavage without any shaping function.
A Girdle extends from beneath the breasts downwards below the hips. Girdles became popular as shaping underwear during the first-half of the twentieth century. The focus was to create a vertically rigid, smoothly curved shape, which in that era, was attributed to respectable dressing. It should be noted that girdles lacked boning like corsets, which made girdles much more comfortable to wear. The girdle was also generally used to hold up stockings.
The corset is probably the best-known body-shaping undergarment throughout history. It is used to either hold the torso for a while in any desired shape or to train it and create a more lasting effect. Although men were known to have worn corsets at some points in history, it was essentially a woman's garment. Corsets were traditionally used to create smaller waists or larger bottoms. Historically, corsets contained boning, which was practically a metal cage that the corset was built around.
These are more modern body-shaping underwear, specifically designed to gently shape the tummy while acting as very normal panties. Control panties vary in design and can be cut as briefs or as boy-shorts, or any other fancy design. The important feature is that they rise above the waist, and help to shape the tummy.
There are 2 variations of control tights. One reaches down to the feet, while the other stops above the knees. They can be used to shape the buttocks, hips or thighs, depending on their weaving or reinforcement structure. Some tights will also reach up to the tummy for a flattening effect.
Control Slips I Corselet
The control slips or corselet is a tight form of the traditional slip, which has been worn since millennia by women under their outer clothing. The slip was used mainly to protect the body from coarse garments. A corselet is in effect a brassiere and girdle sewn together, just like chemise lingerie, but it is tighter. It will often include suspenders for holding up stockings.
Camisoles are sleeveless tops for women. They can also be used to shape the torso in one way or the other.
Brassieres traditionally covered more of the chest than they do today. In addition to supporting or shaping the breasts, traditional brassieres were also used to create a trimmer figure, usually together with a girdle.
7 Tips on Making the Best of Your Body-Shaping Undergarments
Since there are so many kinds of body-shaping underwear, people often get confused about the right way to make the best of their undergarments. The following 7 tips are important to follow when deciding on which shapewear to purchase or put on.
#1. Stick to your size. You must resist the temptation of trying sizes that are smaller than you. While it seems that they may compact the skin more, they may cause bulges, including being quite uncomfortable to wear.
#2. If you are buying a new dress, then take your body-shaper with you. This allows you to factor in everything you need to get your actual dress size.
#3. Always step into your body-shaping underwear. This allows them to last longer and serve you well.
#4. Different dresses need different types of support, so build a body-shaper wardrobe that allows you to always dress perfectly for the occasion.
#5. Do not only stand in the mirror in your shapewear, always observe yourself completely in the dress as well. The undergarment is meant to support your outer dress, so make sure it is that way.
#6. Body-shaping underwear will also benefit you if you are slim, it is not only for plus-sized women.
#7. Perhaps the most important tip here: Know your body. This means you should know your good aspects, as well as your problem zones. This enables you to make the good better and to minimize the problem zones.
Every woman has at least, one or more issues with her body. This is the way it has always been. The only thing you can do about it is to find out which part of your body you need to reshape, and then get hold of the proper body-shaper.