Here’s the thing about shapewear in 2020: there are tons of different kinds! What started as a stretchy pair of shorts is now panties, tanks, leggings, and much more. Most shapewear for comfort and style reasons can be worn as a base layer with no underwear required, but there are exceptions to the rule. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at the most popular types of shapewear and whether or not you should wear undies with them.
With shapewear thongs, briefs, and panties, there is no need to add another layer of underwear. It will only trap heat and cause bunching that will affect the look of your clothing. Luckily, shapewear bottoms look like regular undies! The only difference is that they often have a wider band to hold in the tummy and sometimes feature design elements like ruching to create the look of a perkier bum. Oh, and they have different levels of compression to smooth and sculpt. I recently tried some shapewear leggings on my Instagram and I’m in love!
Shapewear bike shorts, whether short or mid-thigh, can definitely be worn as undies. Most of the time, you’ll be wearing your shorts underneath a dress, jeans, or a skirt and won’t want more than the two layers. If you are wearing bike shorts as exercise clothes, however, you might want to wear a thong or invisible underwear for comfort and coverage.
Here’s where things get tricky! Are shapewear leggings a long form of underwear or, are they pants? While some women wear their shaping leggings without underwear, many women will wear lightweight, invisible panties with their leggings. Panties without seams and with tapered edges work best to avoid creating unwanted lines.
Shapewear Tanks and Tops
Obviously, a shapewear tank or cami has nothing to do with your underwear, but what about your bra? While shapewear tanks hold everything in and smooth the torso, they do not squeeze your chest and can be worn with a bra as you normally would. The good news is that the stretchy tank will smooth bra bulge.
Shapewear Skirts and Slips
Most women will prefer to wear underwear under shapewear skirts and slips. While a shaping skirt is great for smoothing under a dress and providing a base layer for sheer fabrics, it’s just not enough coverage when you sit down. Just make sure you pick undies that don’t create panty lines.
There’s no hard and fast rule for how to wear your shapewear — it’s entirely up to what makes you feel good. Many shapewear pieces are best when worn as undies for breathability and to prevent unwanted lumps of fabric. However, if you feel more comfortable wearing underwear under your shapewear, go for it!