How to Tell Front and Back in Women’s Shapewear: A Helpful Guide

Women's shapewear is a popular garment designed to enhance natural curves, provide support, and create a more streamlined silhouette. However, one common challenge that women may encounter when wearing shapewear is determining which side is the front and which is the back. This can be especially tricky if the garment lacks clear indicators or labels. While it may seem like a simple task, it's important to pay attention to the construction, design, and details to correctly discern the front and back of shapewear. By closely examining factors such as the presence of a zipper, hook-and-eye closures, or adjustable straps, as well as identifying key features like shaping panels and coverage levels, you can confidently distinguish between the front and back of women's shapewear, ensuring you wear it correctly and comfortably.

Is Shapewear Supposed to Be Uncomfortable?

Shapewear is designed to enhance your natural curves and provide a smooth, streamlined silhouette under your clothes. When properly fitted, it should gently hug your body without causing any discomfort. The key to finding comfortable shapewear is choosing the right size and style for your body type and specific needs.

To ensure a comfortable fit, take accurate measurements and refer to the brands size charts before making a purchase. It’s also essential to consider the style of shapewear you need. For example, a high-waisted brief can offer targeted support for your midsection, while a full-body suit can provide shaping from your bust to your thighs.

When wearing shapewear, it’s recommended to start with short periods of time and gradually increase the duration as you get accustomed to the sensation. It’s not meant to be worn for extended periods or during activities that require a lot of movement.

Different Types of Shapewear and Their Specific Benefits

Shapewear is undergarments that can smooth and contour the body. There are various types, including briefs, bodysuits, waist trainers, and thigh slimmers. These garments can provide different benefits depending on the individual’s needs. For instance, briefs can shape the abdomen area and control love handles, while bodysuits can target multiple areas like the waist, thighs, and buttocks. Waist trainers can cinch the waistline, creating an hourglass figure. Thigh slimmers can smooth and shape the thighs and lower body. Overall, the specific benefits of each type of shapewear vary, aiming to enhance the wearer’s body shape and confidence.

For those unsure about what size to get for their shapewear, founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, suggests buying the same size you wear in clothes. She advises that if you’re a small in clothing, buy a small in shapewear, and so on. It’s important to avoid anything too snug, as it can cause bulges and discomfort, resembling a busted can of biscuits.

How Do I Know What Size Shapewear to Get?

It’s essential to know your size when purchasing shapewear to ensure a comfortable and flattering fit. According to Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, a renowned shapewear brand, the easiest way to determine your shapewear size is to buy the same size you usually wear in clothing. If you typically wear a small, then opt for a small in shapewear. This guideline applies to all shaping garments and smoothing base layers.

Wearing shapewear that’s too tight can lead to unsightly bulges and uncomfortable compression. Picture a can of biscuits that’s been popped open, and you get the idea. It’s crucial to strike a balance between a snug fit and a comfortable feel. The shapewear should gently smooth and sculpt your figure without causing discomfort or visible indentations.

To further ensure an accurate size, it’s advisable to measure your body using a measuring tape. Take measurements of your waist, hips, and bust to compare them with the size charts provided by various shapewear brands. These charts will help you find the corresponding size based on your specific measurements.

Furthermore, pay attention to the specific areas you want to target with your shapewear. Different types of shapewear serve specific purposes, such as cinching the waist, lifting the bust, or smoothing the hips. Consider the problem areas you wish to address and choose the appropriate style and size accordingly.

It’s worth noting that shapewear tends to have varying levels of compression, ranging from light to firm. Depending on your preferences and the level of control you desire, you can select the appropriate compression level. Keep in mind that a higher level of compression may require a slightly larger size for a comfortable fit.

By following these guidelines and considering your specific measurements and targeted areas, you can make an informed decision and confidently choose the right shapewear for your needs.

Different Types of Shapewear: This Topic Could Go Into Detail About the Different Styles of Shapewear Available, Such as Bodysuits, Waist Trainers, Thigh Shapers, Etc. It Could Discuss the Specific Area Each Type of Shapewear Targets and Provide Recommendations for Which Types Are Best for Certain Body Shapes or Outfit Styles.

Shapewear comes in various forms, each designed to target specific areas of the body and enhance your silhouette. These include bodysuits, waist trainers, thigh shapers, and more. Bodysuits provide overall coverage and support, while waist trainers focus on slimming the waistline. Thigh shapers help smooth and shape the thighs. It’s important to choose the right type of shapewear based on your body shape and outfit requirements. For instance, if you want to smooth your midsection, a bodysuit or waist trainer might be best. Opt for thigh shapers if you want to sculpt your lower body. Consider your body shape and personal preferences when selecting shapewear to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness.

Source: 4 Rookie Shapewear Mistakes You Should Avoid


In conclusion, determining the front and back of women's shapewear relies primarily on understanding it’s design and features rather than solely relying on labels or tags. By paying attention to the construction of the garment, including the placement of zippers, hooks, or closures, and taking note of any shaping or support features, one can easily discern the intended front and back. Additionally, observing the overall fit and comfort can provide further clues. While manufacturers may occasionally incorporate discreet labels or markings to assist wearers, it’s essential to develop a critical eye and familiarize oneself with the garment's structure to confidently identify the front and back of women's shapewear.