Our Blog

What Is Shapewear?

January 23, 2023

Ever slip on a dress that’s almost a perfect fit? Or how about a pair of jeans that leaves lumps and bumps in areas you would prefer a smoother and more seamless look? That’s what shapewear is designed to help solve  — smoothing out any extra bumps and lines while accentuating your natural body shape. Learn more about shapewear, how it works, and which type is ideal based on your body type and styling needs.


What Is Shapewear?

Shapewear is an underpinning or foundation garment designed to be worn underneath your clothing. Think of it as a second-skin base layer to help enhance your favorite styles in your wardrobe. Initially, shapewear was known for being uncomfortable and restrictive; however with modern innovation and luxury-technical fabrics, it has become more comfortable, lightweight and breathable.


Modern-day shapewear, like those by Commando, use new stretchy material blends that mold to the body, are super soft, and can be raw-cut, which means they lay perfectly flat against the body. You can choose from many different shapewear styles based on your specific needs, no matter what they are. 


What Does Shapewear Do? Shapewear Benefits

What doesn’t shapewear do — that’s the real question. 

Shapewear helps clothing fit better and smooths bumps and lines that may naturally show when you wear certain dresses or pants. Shapewear provides targeted solutions for everyday looks. Each piece of shapewear uses different levels of compression to ensure a flattering fit with a broad range of silhouettes available to meet your styling needs. 

Some benefits of shapewear vary by type of garment. For example:

  • Invisible shapewear is designed to make it look like you’re wearing nothing underneath your clothes. It smooths bra and underwear lines to create a seamless look. We like to say Commando is "better than nothing". 
  • Higher compression shapewear can focus on the stomach while accentuating the hips for an enhanced hourglass shape.
  • Low compression shapewear is also highly effective in creating a seamless and invisible look while comfortably enhancing your figure and silhouette
  • Most shapewear, especially slips, can also provide an opaque layer under sheer outfits, even with the silkiest of dresses gliding over the garment with ease. We’ll just say it: every dress looks better with a slip. 

Does Shapewear Really Work?

The short answer is yes

Whether you’re looking to accentuate your figure or to smooth out your stomach, thighs, or other areas, shapewear is an effective way to enhance your silhouette and hide any bumps or lines. Shapewear can make wearing your favorite items easier. 


Plus, the different levels of compression in modern shapewear means you can wear some shapewear comfortably for the day or create a stunning silhouette for evening wear. In Commando shapewear, you won’t be running home to take it off. 


Types of Shapewear

There are many different shapewear silhouettes to choose from. Each piece of shapewear is tailored to address specific needs - all with the aim to support, control, or enhance your styling approach. Different styles of shapewear may fit better with different garments: a control thong for a bodycon dress versus a half-slip that helps an a-line skirt drape just right.  Find out more about the different types of shapewear before you buy so you can be sure you’re getting what you need. 


Shaping Briefs & Shaping Thongs

A timeless solution to many styling needs, shaping briefs and thongs are particularly ideal for shorter hemlines or more tightly fitting styles.  All of Commando’s shapewear is elastic, trim-free, and has a raw-cut finish, which means they’ll lay flat against the body, so there are no visible panty lines.


Shaping briefs and shaping thongs: 

  • eliminate visible panty lines 
  • provide support & control through the waistline, especially for those styles with a higher rise 
  • are a versatile underpinning that can be used for a myriad of styling challenges 
  • can be worn visibly under sheer or mesh styles with confidence 
  • are often a celebrity stylist’s go-to shapewear solution 

If you’re new to shapewear, shaping briefs and thongs are a great entry point given their versatility and comfortability. 

Shaping Shorts 

A shapewear classic silhouette, shaping shorts provide smoothing support for your midsection, bottom, and thighs. 


Shaping Shorts can:

  • smooth visible panty lines 
  • protect your thighs from chafing
  • smooth your stomach and midsection, if you choose a high-waisted shapewear short 
  • can be worn under pants, dresses, or shirts to provide a flawless foundation 

Commando’s classic shapewear shorts are designed specifically to leave you feeling smoothed, not stuffed.

Shaping Bodysuits 

As one of the most versatile shapewear garments, shaping bodysuits:

  • are best suited for tucked-in tops or dresses
  • provide high coverage, so they can smooth any bra or panty-lines 
  • can act as a “one and done” undergarment - eliminating a need for any additional undergarments
  • can support different necklines 
  • often can work double-duty as a ready-to-wear top

Shaping Slips 

If you’re looking for an underpinning that provides full body coverage, shaping slips may be the right choice. We believe slips are one of the most important pieces in your wardrobe, so we made them better. Commando currently holds a patent for weighted hems to prevent ride-up. 


Shaping slips and half slips: 

  • create a smoothing, lay flat effect under dresses or skirts 
  • are lower compression than shapewear bodysuits or shorts
  • can be full-length (shaping slip)
  • can be half-length (half slip)
  • can provide light compression to support the upper torso (stomach or mid-sections) 

Control Leggings & Control Tights

Control leggings and contour tights help support, enhance & control target areas including your bottom, midsection and thighs. 


All commando hosiery features our patented raw-cut waistband that comfortably lays flat against the body. This seemingly simple feature makes our tights phenomenally comfortable, wear-all-day pieces.  


Commando leggings also feature our signature internal smoothing waistband that supports, controls & enhances your mid-section. This internal waistband leaves you feeling confidently secure - not uncomfortably cinched.


Commando leggings and tights can: 

  • be worn under your favorite dresses, skirts, or pants to smooth any bumps or eliminate underwear lines
  • provide extra coverage for your legs and thighs
  • support and control your mid-section 
  • act as a second-skin base layer 
  • be worn as ready-to-wear styling solutions 

How To Choose Shapewear

Choosing shapewear is a personal decision based on the areas you’re targeting and your style of clothing. Identifying what you want to wear and the part of the body you want to focus on can help you choose your shapewear style.  It’s also important to consider the color of the garment you need your shapewear underpinnings for - a white fabric will look best paired with a nude-toned shapewear style, whereas a black skirt or dress will pair best with a black piece of shapewear. 


The most important factor when it comes to selecting shapewear is selecting the right size. Squeezing into a size that is too small can cause discomfort and won’t have the desired “flawless foundation” effect. The ideal piece should feel breathable, not restrictive, and comfortable, while still providing you with the desired supportive, controlling and enhancing effects you’re looking for due to the compression style you choose. Use the design and compression of the fabric to support and enhance your figure, not the size of the shapewear.


You can also choose your new shapewear undergarments based on material and compression level. If you’re looking for targeted smoothing across the midsection and thighs, we recommend our Zone Smoothing collection.


No matter what your styling goals are, Commando shapewear provides a flawless foundation that will make you feel confidently smoothed, not stuffed or uncomfortably tucked. Commando’s range of shapewear styles will empower you to feel your most confident in any outfit.  

Back to all blog posts