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How to Choose and Use Shapewear

Building a Shapewear Wardrobe continued...

Slip. If you're going to wear a slip under a dress, why not choose one with a little extra smoothing power? "I use slips on the red carpet all the time," Banks-Coloma says. A good slip can eliminate bulges and panty lines under thin or sheer dresses. Bring your dress into the store with you. There are many options for necklines and straps, and you want one that won't poke out of the dress, Joy says. If you're wearing a skirt, you can choose a half slip that starts at the waist (and pair it with a camisole, if you like).

Mid-thigh shaper. These look like bicycle shorts that extend up to the waist (or higher) and can cinch your thighs, butt, hips, and abdomen. "If you have bulk on your thighs and not around your stomach you can get a short that comes up to the waist," Banks-Coloma says. "But if you have bulk all over, you should find one that comes up to just under the bust."

If you go too tight, the band on the top will roll over. "Be careful if you have a flat butt that the shaper doesn't make it look flatter," Joy says. If that's the case, look for a butt-boosting style.

Finally, always do a "sit" test with your outfit, Joy says, so your shapewear doesn't peek out from under your clothes.

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