EV­ERY WOMAN’S SE­CRET WEAPON • STICK TO YOUR SIZE:

Body-shap­ing un­der­wear is your an­swer to a flaw­less sil­hou­ette. We put a range of gar­ments to the test.

Fairlady - - HOME TRUTHS - TEST HOUSE ED­I­TOR TAS­NEEM LAR­NEY

BUYER’S GUIDE

Don’t be tempted to size down for ex­tra firm­ness. Body-shapers are de­signed to en­hance your sil­hou­ette ac­cord­ing to your ac­tual size. Any­thing too snug will cause bulges, rolls and dis­com­fort. Al­ways try the gar­ment on be­fore buy­ing to check for fit and com­fort.

• SHAPERS ARE GEN­ER­ALLY MADE OF NY­LON AND SPAN­DEX

(both syn­thetic fab­rics), which is great in colder weather when you want to re­tain body heat, but you will prob­a­bly sweat in sum­mer. Ny­lon or 100% span­dex can pre­vent the skin from breath­ing. A cot­ton blend is bet­ter for breatha­bil­ity and will keep you cool and com­fort­able for long pe­ri­ods. Feel the fab­ric to get a sense of how the gar­ment will shape: light­weight shapers are more likely to smooth out tar­geted ar­eas, while heav­ier pieces usu­ally have com­pres­sion zones that will suck and tuck your body into shape.

• DE­TER­MINE WHICH AREA OF THE BODY TO FO­CUS ON:

The level of com­pres­sion and con­trol (light, medium or firm) you want in a par­tic­u­lar area de­pends on the in­ten­sity re­quired for the body or tar­geted ar­eas to high­light the curves. Re­mem­ber: more con­trol, less com­fort.

• THE GAR­MENT SHOULD STAY IN PLACE

rather than roll down when you sweat. Sil­i­con edg­ing en­sures that the shaper doesn’t creep down – though sil­i­con can cause an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion, so be sure to check if it will af­fect you.

• EN­SURE THAT THE SHAPER HAS A COT­TON GUSSET

for hy­giene rea­sons, and hook-and-eye clo­sures for con­ve­nience.

• BONDED SEAMS OR SEAMFREE OP­TIONS

cre­ate a smoother look un­der cloth­ing.

Ma­chine-wash­ing can be harsh on the fab­ric so hand-wash in­stead. Lay the gar­ment flat to dry as twist­ing may cause it to lose its shape. Do not tum­ble-dry to pre­vent shrink­age.

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