For some, it’s hard to wrap their heads around the idea that there is more to shapewear than the peddling of a constrictive—and unrealistic—body type. After all, the name itself harbours untoward connotations with regard to one’s self-image, suggesting that certain forms are in need of “shaping” or improvement. And while that might have held some truth in the past, it hardly reflects the conversation surrounding shapewear today.
2022 has brought about a new viewpoint, where such pieces are not thought of as fatphobic, nor are they designed with the sole purpose to slim and smooth curves. Instead, brands have put in thought to craft inclusive shapewear that enhances, contours and sculpst one’s silhouette and are also available in a variety of sizes and hues to suit a diverse range of consumers.
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Take Kim Kardashian’s Skims, for one. While the company may have gotten off to a rocky start, it has since garnered acclaim from fashion bigwigs for its thoughtful and all-encompassing designs. Skims products go up to 4XL in terms of sizing, come in a dizzying array of nude colours that work for many skin tones, and has recently branched out into maternity bras that provide extra shoulder-stability for nursing mothers. In short? It ticks all the boxes as to what makes up a progressive, inclusive shapewear label of today, granting support and solutions in equal measures.
And they’re far from the only option out there. We’ve gathered the best of the lot for your perusal, from brands hawking an eco-friendly ethos to those that are pushing out highly-breathable buys. Everything you need to know, below.
1 / 5
Skims’ game-changing inventions include their Full-Control Tights that are constructed in a manner that prevents rolling, pinching, or sagging; their Fits Everybody range that stretches to twice its size without losing its shape; as well as their Maternity Nursing Sculpting Bra that is equipped with double layer jersey cups to prevent leakage. It also should be noted that select designs go up to 5XL beyond its typical XS—4XL size range—with pieces available in a staggering nine core skin-toned hues.
Available at Net-a-porter.
2 / 5
The lingerie label expanded upon their already extensive repertoire with a series of shapewear pieces that echo their inclusive philosophy. This translates to S to XXXL sizing, five different nude shades, and a variety of fits to suit one’s needs ranging from a full bodysuit to shorts and briefs. What’s more, their #LoveYourShape campaign showcased a broad range of bodies and individuals such as transgender activist, Jordan Adrienne, as well as plus-sized influencer, Natasha Singh.
Available at Knix.
3 / 5
Boasting experience within the field for the last 75 years, Rago shapewear goes up to 8XL and a G cup. They also come with the added bonus of being hand-crafted with meticulous detail, and comes in a large assortment of styles ranging from thongs to waist cinchers. It should be noted, however, that their pieces come in mostly shades of black and white rather than nude options.
Available at Rago.
4 / 5
Founder and CEO, Kamakshi Agarwala, prides herself on having created shapewear using the thinnest of and most breathable of fabrics. Comfort level aside, sizing is available in S—XXL, with the brand’s dedication to sustainability ensuring that zero plastic is used in packaging so as to keep their ecological footprint to a minimum. Eco-conscious shoppers will also be pleased to know that each piece is free of labels or tags—details of the item are, instead, disclosed discreetly at the back of the product.
Available at Butt Chique.
5 / 5
This UK-based label was established with the intention of creating better underwear for women everywhere. This was done utilising technology from both the sports and space field, allowing for high-performance compression that doesn’t compromise on comfort—aka their signature ‘HeroPanels.’ Their threads are available in up to size XL and in a wide range of shades.
Available at Net-a-porter.