Shapewear should be fitted – we all know that, since if it wasn’t well fitted it wouldn’t hold you in where you need it to! However, knowing what’s just right or too tight can be tough, especially if you're new to the world of shapewear or waist training.
The key to answering, “how tight should my shapewear be?” is this: it should be comfortable.
Choosing the perfect shapewear can be difficult and often many mistakes are made, and the most common mistake is buying the wrong size. In order for the shapewear to do its job, you have to make sure it fits perfectly.
So what should you expect your shapewear to feel like?
• It should feel tight and secure around the area that it’s covering
• It should be comfortable to breathe, move, and bend in, provided you have good posture (i.e., if it’s uncomfortable while you’re slouching, it’s trying to correct you!)
• Your skin will most likely feel warm under the shapewear garment, if you’re wearing a latex waist trainer, you can also expect some sweating
There are three key levels of compression: Moderate, High, and Waist trainers, which are the highest.
Moderate Compression Shapewear
A moderate compression garment is great for beginners, those who just want a little extra support, and daily wear. A moderate compression garment should offer you a firm hold, but not distract you from your activities as you move about your day. It should smooth the areas you want it to, and not sag.
High Compression shapewear
It is normal for the high compression garments to be a little uncomfortable, at least at first, because they’re designed to give your body full-support. Fajas (from the Spanish word “wrap”) were originally imported from Colombia, one of the world's cosmetic surgery centers, where it was used mostly for postoperative wear by recovering liposuction patients to keep swelling to a minimum and ensure that the skin tightens properly. They are still worn for post-op today, but are also popular for use with women who just want complete support and enjoy that “holding” feeling.
Most high compression garments are suitable for full-time wear – especially those that mention post-op. You may struggle to get them on at first, but once they’re on they’re completely safe to wear long-term.
Waist Trainers are tight for training purposes, rather than for support. Physically, your waist trainer should feel tight, and warm in the mid-section areas but should not restrict your breathing. This isn’t a corset – so don’t wear one that’s so tight that it feels like it.
Waist trainers will likely make it more difficult to bend over fully, at least when you first get them. If you’re wearing one to workout, you should expect to be able to move around easily, while still feeling like a bear hug around your middle.
With a properly fitted waist trainer, you should see obvious hourglass curves immediately. If it’s too loose and there isn’t a noticeable difference in your waistline straight away, you’ll need to change to a smaller size. Once it’s fastened and in place, it should very much stay put around your waist!
You should not wear your waist trainer for longer than 8 hours, and build up slowly in the beginning. We have a great guide on how long to wear your waist trainer for here.
Always Measure Properly, and Listen to Your Body
The most reliable method of choosing the correct size waist trainer or shapewear is to measure properly. For a waist trainer, measure right above your navel (your narrowest point). You should then refer to the size chart and find the corresponding size. If you’re not sure, you can always contact our team and we’ll guide you to your perfect fit.
The Shapewear garment you choose will depend on what you want to achieve, as some are best for a confidence boost every day, some are best for special occasions, while waist trainers should be worn with a training period in mind.
Regardless of the Shapewear you choose, you shouldn’t have to tug hard to pull the material onto the body. If this is the case, it’s probably too tight for you. Your Shapewear should not show bulges under clothing, otherwise the garment is either too big or too tight, and isn’t able to work effectively.
You should always feel confident and sexy in your Shapewear, and when done right, Shapewear can transform the way your body shape looks, while giving you a whole new level of confidence!
Lifestyle, Health & Wellness Blogger from the U.K