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Best shapewear for women 2023: The best Spanx, Miraclesuit and other control undies for tummy, hips and thighs

Flatter your figure with a brilliant piece of shapewear. Our buying guide and mini-reviews will help you find your perfect fit

Whether you want to enhance your curves, slim your shape or smooth your silhouette, you’ll achieve it with the right piece of shapewear. The best shapewear is a marvel of engineering, able to powerfully boost or flatter your natural-born figure without leaving you gasping for breath.

The best shapewear for women: At a glance

How to buy the best shapewear for you

Which shapewear is best for you?

First, think of the area you’d like to smooth and then choose a type of shapewear that’ll conceal it best. You can assume that most shapewear comes with built-in tummy control; shorts are great for lifting your bottom and slimming your hips and thighs while slip dresses are the best for carving a svelte silhouette.

What size should you get?

It’s important that you choose your correct size. Shapewear that’s too small will feel uncomfortable and be a struggle to squeeze into. It may also end up looking even less flattering by making your shape appear oddly pinched and lumpy – and that’s definitely not the look we’re aiming for.

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The best shapewear to buy

1. Miraclesuit Instant Tummy Tuck Hi Waist Brief: Best shapewear for instantly slimmer waist and tummy

Price: £52 | Buy now from SimplyBe

These super-sleek knickers from shapewear supremos Miraclesuit will whittle and smooth your tummy, waist and hips in an instant, and keep them that way all evening. Be warned, they’re not the kind of control knickers you’ll forget you’re wearing! They’re lovely and silky but pretty solid and corset-like, with a firm ‘power mesh’ lining that promises to flatten back fat and muffin top as well as hips and tum. And boy, does it work. If the waistband is on the big side for your shape, you may find it rolls down from the top, so some buyers recommend that you err on the small side when buying.

Key specs – Control level: Extra firm; Material: Nylon 82%, elastane (spandex) 18%; Machine wash: Yes; Sizes available: 4 (M-3XL); Colours available: 1

Buy now from SimplyBe

2. M&S Collection Firm Control Sheer Shaping Full Slip: Best shapewear to smooth your whole silhouette

Price: £30 | Buy now from Marks & Spencer

M&S’s ‘Wear Your Own Bra’ Firm Control Slip is a brilliant foundation garment to smooth your whole figure underneath a dress or skirt.This sheer dress utilises firm control zones that lift your bottom and slim your hips and thighs for a smoother line. Meanwhile, the cupless design means you can pair the slip with your favourite bra, and its built in Tummy Control panels sculpt your midriff for a flatter appearance.

M&S Collection’s shapewear slip dress has adjustable straps for the perfect fit and uses a lightweight, soft material that stretches easily while providing ample control. We found that the slip finishes just above the knee although taller ladies said that it fits like a mini dress. The slip would look prettier with a built-in bra however that’d make it harder to find a true-to-fit size.

Key specs – Control level: Firm; Material: Polyamide 61%, elastane 39%; Machine wash: Yes (40C); Sizes available: 9 (8-24); Colours available: 2

Buy now from Marks & Spencer

3. Miraclesuit Shape Away Extra Firm Body Briefer: Best bodysuit shapewear with tummy control

Price: £80 | Buy now from John Lewis

The Shape Away Body from Miraclesuit is a great choice if you want more support than traditional briefs but aren’t a fan of thigh-skimming shorts. This ultra-firm body isn’t for the faint of heart though – the fabric and slimming cut provide more compression than most – and Miraclesuit recommends sizing up if you’re not used to firm shapewear. The results are worth it, however, helping to define your torso and nip in your tummy, waist and hips.

The Shape Away Body has a step-in style which means it can be paired with your favourite bra, and adjustable straps and a no-slip edge around each leg opening keep it from moving during wear. The hook and eye gusseting also do their bit to really cinch you in. Our thoughts? This bodysuit isn’t the cheapest but it’s the best of the bunch if you’re serious about toning your tum.

Key specs – Control level: Extra firm; Material: Nylon 84%, elastane 16%; Machine wash: No (hand wash); Sizes available: S,L,XL in nude, M in black; Colours available: 2

Buy now from John Lewis

4. Spanx Maternity Mama Shapewear Shorts: Best maternity shapewear that grows with your bump

Price: £30 | Buy now from Selfridges

When you’re expecting, your shapewear needs will be somewhat different from usual. You certainly won’t want any compression points whatsoever on your growing bump – just some extra support underneath it, and around your bum and thighs. So Spanx has carefully designed its super-soft Maternity Mama Shape Shorts to grow with your bump and offer support exactly where it’s needed. The VPL-free shaping shorts can be worn postpartum too, to help you feel your most confident after the little one’s arrival.

Key specs – Control level: Medium (non-compression on bump); Material: Nylon 85%, elastane 15%, plus cotton gusset liner; Machine wash: No (hand wash); Sizes available: 2 (S,M); Colours available: 1

Buy now from Selfridges 

5. M&S Collection Anti-chafing Thigh Slimmer: Best light thigh-slimmers you can wear every day

Price: £18 | Buy now from Marks & Spencer

Grown-up women’s thighs rub together, it’s a fact of life. When you’re in jeans or tights, it’s not too much of a problem. But in the summer months, when you want to wear a skirt or dress without the clammy extra heat of tights underneath, chafing thighs can really get you down. So M&S has created a pair of slimming shorts that are light enough to wear in summer, short enough to wear under skirts without showing, and perfect for eliminating the dreaded thigh rub.

These shorts aren’t firm or long enough to give you supermodel thighs. But they do have a smoothing and gently slimming effect, not only on your thighs but also on your tummy. A fab new arrival in the M&S Collection.

Key specs – Control level: Light; Material: Elastane 54%, polyamide 46% (plus cotton gusset); Machine wash: Yes (40°C); Sizes available: 8 (8-22); Colours available: 2

Buy now from Marks & Spencer

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