Body shapers can help eliminate inches and hide imperfections on almost any area of the body. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the corset dates back to 16th century Spain. Modern body shapers are based on the same centuries-old concept as the corset: How can you make the body you have look better? Whether you are wanting to shape your bust, stomach, thighs or buttocks, there are few basic principles that will help you pick the best body shaper for you.
Pick a price range. Body shapers are available at big-box stores such as Target or Walmart and are priced accordingly, but quality and lasting power may be low. For higher quality items, try department stores or specialty lingerie stores, but be prepared to pay a bit more.
Select the firmness of control. Body shapers are available in every variety from gentle to extra-firm control. While extra firm control will make the most difference in your shape, it will also be the tightest and, potentially, the most uncomfortable.
Decide whether or not you want boning. This is mostly a concern for waist and stomach shapers, where you may have the choice of a garment with rigid strips of plastic or metal encased in the fabric. Boning adds great shaping power to your piece, but it restricts the way that you can bend your torso.
Consider the coverage of the shapers you are looking at. If you are looking to shape only one area of your body, coverage is not an issue. However, if you would like to control multiple areas, look at what coverage each piece offers. Some are meant for thighs and buttocks, while some will cover thighs, buttocks and stomach. One step further and you can have an all-over body suit that will control everything between your knees and your decolletage.
Check the fit—the most important aspect to choosing the best body shaper. It is essential to try the piece on and see how it affects the look and shape of your body. When trying on a body shaper, pay attention not only to what it does for the controlled area, but also to what happens at the point where the body shaper ends. Does your stomach look great, but the shaper is so tight that it creates a bulge at your hip? While the goal is to look smaller, it is important to pay attention to the overall look you are creating.
If you choose to buy online, check the return policy. The fit of a body shaper is so important, make sure you can return it, if necessary.