I used to wear shapewear because I thought I had to. Mom suggested a tummy tucker and so I wore one. No wonder I hated the thing. Shapewear can serve a purpose besides keeping us from taking a deep breath. If you wear plus size shapewear strategically (and in the right size), it can actually make you more comfortable.
No really. Some women like the added support shapewear can provide their tummies or thighs.
Why Wear Plus Size Shapewear
Our models don't wear shapewear, but they're built like models and Vikki Vi clothing has a relaxed fit. You may slip into something slinky like the Maxi Tank Dress and discover that there's a spot where the fit isn't as relaxed as you'd like. Shapewear can smooth you out (without squishing), giving your clothes a cleaner line.
If you're like me, your first introduction to shapewear may have been shame-based. You were told to wear it in a futile attempt to conceal a recent weight gain or to create an hourglass silhouette. You wore it because you felt bad about yourself. You tolerated ill fitting, uncomfortable shapewear because you didn't know there was a better way.
You may have given up shapewear along with the accompanying self loathing. Going back to wearing shapewear doesn't mean you don't like your body. You wear a bra to fight gravity - shapewear is the same. And just like bras, when they fit properly, they're actually quite comfortable.
When you buy shapewear, go up a size. At least. I have no idea why a size 2X girdle is too small for someone who usually wears a 2X. It just does. If your shapewear is uncomfortable, or fat spills out at the top or bottom, you need a bigger size.
Of course, finding plus size shapewear at all can be frustrating. (Angry shout out to all the stores that sell plus size clothing but not plus size belts or tights.) I've got some resources.
Yummie makes shapewear up to size 3X, which is really a 2X. Sites that have shapewear up to 5X (really 4X) include Diva's Curves, Her Room, and Marena. If you have sensitive skin, some of those sites also carry post-surgical compression garments that are gentler on the skin. Her Room has some shapewear up to 10X.
What Shapewear Can't Do
It can't change the shape of your body. If you're pear shaped, putting on shapewear won't reduce the size of your lower half so much that you're magically an hourglass.
What Type of Shapewear Should I Get?
That depends on what you're going to wear and what you body shape is. If you're apple shaped, that means something that will cover your tummy. This could be a long tank, high waisted shorts, or high waisted briefs. If you're pear shaped, you want coverage for your tummy, hips and thighs. High waisted shorts or a high waisted half slip will serve you nicely.
A long tank can also smooth out your back. Though, let's face it. If your back is lumpy, then you're not wearing the right size bra. Back fat is like the muffin top - it's created by too tight clothing.
Do I Have to Wear Shapewear?
Nope! Not ever if that's what you want. But if you want to wear styles you've been avoiding, or think you might enjoy more supportive undergarments, go for it. You're not betraying the sisterhood by wearing plus size shapewear. You do you.