Body shapers have been used since the early 1900s to enhance a woman’s figure and form. This undergarment, which tightens the contours of the body, can decrease a woman’s dress size by three or more sizes. There are a variety of body shapers that target different areas of the body, so women need to make sure they purchase the correct garment for their trouble spots.


Girdles are the most common type of body shapers, and are used to reduce the bottom and tummy, and lift the breasts. They have been worn by women since the early 1900s, but became increasingly popular throughout the retro decades of the 40s, 50s and 60s. The girdle is a panty undergarment that sometimes comes with its own bra top. Girdles are made of a flexible and elastic fabric, and if sized correctly, can easily slim a woman down by at least three dress sizes.

Waist Cincher

The waist cincher, unlike the girdle, is a one-piece cloth belt worn just around the waist. The cincher specifically tightens the mid-section of the body, enhancing a woman’s form by flattening the belly and giving the body the illusion of an hourglass shape. Because it brings in the waist, it gives the body the illusion of appearing smaller, seemingly decreasing a woman’s size by two to three dress sizes.

Body Wrap Shapewear

Body wraps molds the body’s three B’s — breasts, bottom and belly — with its either Lycra or Tactel microfiber material. The body wrap is essentially a one-piece suit (resembling that of a bathing suit) and comes in tan, white or black. The suit is looser than a girdle, yet form-fitting enough to flatten the belly which gives the illusion of an instant tummy tuck. The built-in bra compartment lifts the bust, and the bottom of the suit slenderizes the bottom, giving it an automatic lift. The body wrap comes in a leg pantie form as well. This specific type slims down the thighs and hips at least three dress sizes, and flattens the tummy.