There’s no denying that shapewear is easier to wear in winter. In the summer, when the weather is already hot and sticky, the thought of pulling on a piece of skin-tight control wear is enough to bring on a hot flush. Which is problematic for those outfits or occasions crying out for a well-chosen piece of shapewear. Like a wedding, for example.
But there’s no need to overheat if you wear shapewear in the summer as long as you choose your pieces carefully. Here are some of our top shopping tips for summer shapewear.
Stay away from heavy duty control in hotter weather. Firmer support often (but not always) means heavier, thicker fabric, and in the heat you’re going to want a little less restriction anyway. Opt for ‘smoothing’ products instead that are aimed at giving you a sleek silhouette without changing your shape too much.
Look out for fabrics that are breathable and moisture-wicking (ie that transport the moisture from perspiration away from your skin and through the fabric so it can evaporate). These will ensure that if you do sweat, it won’t stay trapped against you skin, making you feel uncomfortable.
Target your shapewear to your problem areas. Summer isn’t the time to go for the all-in-one, knee-to-shoulder shaping suit. Think about your problem areas and the outfit you’re wearing, and choose the most suitable item of shapewear. For example, shaping briefs if you’re just concerned about your tummy or low-waisted thigh slimmers if it’s your legs that are the problem. If you keep the coverage as minimal as possible, you’ll stay cooler.
You could also consider buying shapewear that can be worn as outerwear rather than as underwear. There are numerous shaping vests and tops that can be worn as part of an outfit and reduce the number of layers you need to wear.
Finally, take a look at some of the shapewear ranges specifically designed for summer wear. These combine lighter weight fabrics with cooling fibres and finishes to help you stay cool and comfortable. Here are some of our favourites.
Spanx Skinny Britches
The Spanx Skinny Britches range is the iconic shapewear brand’s super lightweight and breathable range, made from an ultra thin fabric that doesn’t feel like traditional shapewear. It doesn’t offer the most powerful shaping level of the Spanx brand, but provides firming and smoothing that is ideal for wearing under clingy dresses. There are eight styles in the range from thigh slimmers to thongs, body shapers and a skort – a cross between shaping shorts and a skirt. Prices range from £24 to £92 and the range is sized from XS up to 3XL in certain styles.
Wacoal Cool Definition
This shapewear collection from Wacoal launched last summer and claims to actually cool your skin down by up to 2 degrees. This cooling capability comes from S’Cafe yarns, which are made from coffee grounds – yes, really – and also make the fabric quick drying and aid in odour control. The fibre is also eco friendly. The range offers a number of shapes including high and regular waist shaping briefs and a thigh shaper and comes in black or nude in sizes XS-2XL. Prices start at £32.
M&S Sleek & Sculpt
The new Sleek & Sculpt shapewear collection from M&S only launched last month and combines a ‘second-skin’ fit and seamless support with a new thinner fabric with a Cool Comfort moisture-wicking finish. This ensures that garments are not only lightweight but help to stop you overheating. It’s a stylish collection that includes waist and thigh slimmers, a vest and body and a shaping slip and comes in sizes 8-18. It’s also affordable, with prices ranging between £29.50 and £39.50
Buy: Marks & Spencer
Miraclesuit Sexy Sheer shapewear
Miraclesuit claims its shapewear will make you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds, and its Sexy Sheer range is designed to ensure you stay cool and comfortable at the same time. The collection, which includes bodyshapers, briefs, thigh slimmers, waist cinchers and a slip, has sheer panels of light, airy material to keep air circulating, combined with firm support panels that adjust to your shape for a more tailored fit. Prices range from £32 to £54 and garments come in sizes S-XL.
Yummie Tummie Outlast shapewear
Popular US shapewear brand Yummie Tummie by Heather Thomson has a new range of garments made using Outlast, a thermo-regulating technology first developed for use by NASA astronauts! Essentially it helps to maintain a comfortable body temperature by storing heat when you’re hot to keep you cool and releasing it when you’re cold, so it’s perfect for all seasons. The range currently only includes bras and tank tops, including the Stephanie 2-way tank which is available in the UK from Net-a-Porter.com for £35.