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Shapewear is Not the Devil!

Divas....let's talk shapewear! Better yet, let's talk about the stigma associated with shapewear, or spanx, or girdles, or whatever you feel comfortable calling them. Before I continue, let me just say that shapewear is not only for those women who are overweight. Shapewear is not only for those women who have a little extra weight on their mid-sections, or who are looking to slim their thighs. Shapewear is for everyone! Ask Kim Kardashian. Kim is always coming under fire because she unapologetically wears shapewear. Say what you want about Kim's choice, but you can't say that she doesn't look amazing in her clothes.

I recently had a conversation with a seasoned female colleague regarding professional apparel and shapewear, and we both agreed that shapewear can be instrumental in presenting a polished look in the professional world. We both admittedly have worn some sought of shapewear to the office because it made our particular outfit look better. Whether it be full slip or a pair of control-top hosiery, I've worn it. And guess what...I, like Kim, look amazing in my clothes, too...yeah I said it!

Honestly, I don't know what the big deal is with shapewear. My colleague, who has been making her way up the corporate ladder for 20 years, has said that it is borderline unprofessional when women choose not to wear shapewear in a professional environment when appropriate. Her biggest issues: "back rolls and booty jiggle." Her words...not mine! But I can't disagree with her. I'm a little bit old school when it comes to booty jiggle. I grew up in the house with a grandmother who made me wear "panty girdles" under my dresses to church to minimize booty jiggle. It wasn't appropriate for church, and it's not appropriate for the office...but that's just one Diva's opinion.

So my question to you is this: Why is there such a stigma against shapewear? Why do some women feel ashamed to acknowledge that they wear shapewear? In speaking to other women, the consensus seems to be that shapewear is associated with being overweight or out of shape. Some associate shapewear with being fake, or presenting a faux silhouette to hide flaws. Whatever the negative connotations may be, I can only see good in wearing shapewear, as necessary, in professional environments. And for those of you who have no problem with shapewear in the office, below is a quick mini-guide to wearing shapewear with your most common office wear. For those of you who think that shapewear is the devil, check out the guide anyway....maybe I'll change your mind! Enjoy!

A Professional Diva's Guide to Shapewear

Sheath Dresses
What Shapewear Can Do - Shapewear can diminish the appearance of back fat and/or back rolls, and can also flatten your stomach to create a smooth look underneath a sheath dress. Shapewear can also minimize booty jiggle. Don't judge the terminology...especially since you know what I'm talking about!

Type of Shapewear - Full slip shapewear is the perfect way to smooth your back and your front in one shot. Be sure to get a brand that includes a bra with adequate support. If your goal is to only smooth your stomach, try half slip shapewear. This will also eliminate booty jiggle. Also, be sure to select a nice pair of hosiery to give polish to your legs; many brands have a control top option that can also provide light support to smooth your stomach and eliminate booty jiggle.

Dresses Made of Jersey Material
What Shapewear Can Do -Jersey material is common for traditional wrap dresses. While extremely cool and comfortable, this material is notorious for showing back rolls and rear-view muffin tops. Depending on your body structure, booty jiggle may also be an issue.

Type of Shapewear - A shapewear body suit may be appropriate here. The body suit resembles a swim suit, and can smooth your front and back. Be sure to get a brand that includes a bra with adequate support. If you are concerned with booty jiggle, try a body suit with a full panty or short.  As I said before, a nice pair of hosiery with a control top option may also provide light support to smooth your stomach and eliminate booty jiggle.

Full-Skirted Dresses
What Shapewear Can Do - Full-skirted dresses tend to cinch at the waist, so having a smooth waist and stomach is essential to the look.

Type of Shapewear - You can achieve maximum smoothing of the waist and stomach with high-waisted shapewear. This type shapewear could come in the form of a panty, or shorts. Not only does it smooth out the waist and the stomach, but it can also combat booty jiggle (so long as the panty is not a thong).

Pencil Skirts
What Shapewear Can Do - The pencil skirt is a staple item for professional women; however, the pencil skirt loses its thunder when accompanied by booty jiggle. Additional failure occurs when the belly isn't smoothed out adequately.

Type of Shapewear - Half slip shapewear is the perfect tool to avoid pencil skirt catastrophe. It eliminates booty jiggle and it smooths the stomach...at the same time! Or, you can select a shapewear panty or short. You can also go for the full slip if you are looking to tame your upper body as well. Whichever you choose, booty jiggle will not be a problem!

What Shapewear Can Do - Booty jiggle...booty jiggle is the issue here...booty jiggle is the difference between a polished professional and a....jiggling professional. I won't discuss any further, because you get it!

Type of Shapewear - Hosiery with high support is the best option here. While I am not a fan of full leg shapewear underneath pants (too much bunching), I do like hosiery. With hosiery, there are many options to tame different areas. Control top tames the tummy and booty jiggle. There is also all-over, shaping hosiery that can tame thigh jiggle.

What Shapewear Can Do - Blouses are essential business wear for women...back rolls, however, are not. Shapewear can help to smooth your back when wearing blouses.

Type of Shapewear - A shapewear body suit would be perfect here! It will smooth your back and your waist, and if you get one with a supportive bra...double win! If you are wearing your blouse with a pencil skirt and you need some all-over smoothing, full slip shapewear will do the trick.

What are your thoughts on shapewear? Heavenly? Or devil's work? Let me know! 


  1. Are you planning to cut that extra fat from your tummy? Now would be a good time to do it as summer is just around the corner, which means less clothes and more body exposure which means you can’t hide that little tummy hanging in front of you under a coat or a sweater anymore.

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  2. This is quite the well thought out article addressing both sides of the argument, which I greatly appreciate! It’s always good to see all sides of the box so to speak. Personally, I’m torn; I know woman have body issues due to society and their ‘ideal’ of the perfect woman. I don’t condone a ‘quick fix’ like shapewear if that is ALL you plan on doing to make yourself healthy, however I do believe that if a little tummy tucking or leg smoothing piece makes you feel more beautiful, go for it! Just as long as you don’t RELY on the shapewear to improve your looks and use it to make yourself feel good inside and out while you continue working on being healthy, I think shapewear isn’t a bad thing.

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    Wall Squat
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