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12 Best Shapewear Pieces for the Summer

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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Shapewear isn’t always the most comfortable thing to wear. Thanks to Lizzo, it might be getting more inclusive and colorful, but it’s still a hassle. And don’t get us started with summer shapewear. Adding on tight layers in the heat? An odyssey.

To find the best shapewear for summer shaping and layering, we reached out to fashion expert and celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy and ThirdLove founder Ra’el Cohen for their insight.

Which fabrics should you look for?

“Look for sculpting options that are made of lightweight fabrics (like cotton) and allow effortless airflow,” Conroy explains. “Breezy selects mean you won’t overheat and feel uncomfortable, which is the name of the game.”

Which kinds of shapewear should you avoid?

Conroy suggests you shy away from using shapewear with too much fabric and heavy materials. “Plunging your curves into a bodysuit can be an instant recipe for sweating in the heat. There’s just too much fabric that won’t be able to moisture-wick as temperatures rise.”

Which shapewear is best for underneath summer dresses and shorts?

Instead of bodysuits, Conroy recommends targeting your stomach and hips by wearing a shaping high-waist brief, control thong, or shapewear shorts. These options offer support without making you feel uncomfortable because of the excess fabric and heat.

Ultimately, Conroy says, finding the right shapewear is like dating. “Depending on your clothes, you might need a different style. And that’s okay.”

Read on to shop the best shapewear of summer 2023, including some of Conroy’s favorite styles from brands like Skims, Spanx, Knix, and Commando.

Best Shapewear Shorts

The Best-Selling Shaping Shorts

The best-selling high-waisted short from Spanx features bonded panels for shaping and flattening.

Available in sizes XS to 3X.

The Best Size Range

Shapewear favorite Skims offers shaping and lifting shorts with an open gusset, which Conroy highly recommends because it keeps your areas ventilated.

Available in sizes XXS/XS to 4X/5X.

The Best Seamless Shorts

If you want more coverage but don’t want to commit to a bodysuit, this shaper short features a cotton gusset and compression that shapes the stomach and lifts the butt.

Available in sizes S to 3X.

The Best Cooling Shorts

These shorts come in different lengths (5-inch, 7-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch) and are made to be worn in the summer to provide a cooling effect. While they aren’t compressive like typical shapewear, they do offer smoothing out and are light enough to wear even on the hottest of days.

Available in sizes XS/S to XL/2X.

Best Shapewear Thongs and Briefs

The Best Smoothing Thong

Another option is this seamless thong from one of Conroy’s go-to brands. It comes in a variety of neutral tones and offers light compression thanks to its blend of nylon and spandex.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

The Best Sheer Shapewear

“You don’t want your shapewear secrets to be the talk of the town,” Conroy shares. “Keep it low-key under dresses and shorts by wearing shapewear styles with seamless flattening tummy panels and bonded seams. These won’t ride up and prevent unwanted lines.”

Available in sizes 34 to 46.

The Best Shaping Briefs

Beige shapewear might get some slander, but these briefs from Boux Avenue sculpt and shape your figure without sacrificing comfort, and that’s all that matters.

Available in sizes 6 to 16.

The Best High-Waist Briefs

Available in three neutral shades, this high-waisted style offers breathable hold and shaping at the stomach and waist.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

The Best Compression Briefs

The bands across these briefs offer strong, targeted compression at the stomach and waist. You can grab one of the five colors in a brief, short, or thong option.

Available in sizes XS to 3X.

The Best Color Options

This lightweight shaping brief feels as comfy as your everyday underwear and comes in ten different colors.

Available in sizes S to 2X.

Best Shapewear Tops

The Best Shaping Tank Top

When it comes to shapewear tops and bras, Cohen normally recommends ThirdLove’s Sculpt Cami, which is currently out of stock but is similar to its Comfort Stretch Cami. “It’s smoothing support vanishes under clothes.”

Available in sizes XS to 3X.

The Best Shaping Bra

Another shaping-bra recommendation from Cohen is ThirdLove’s Classic T-shirt Bra since it grants the needed support without the bulkiness of built-in bra shapewear.

Available in sizes 32AA to 44H.

Our experts:

The Best Shapewear for the Summer