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The Best Shapewear for Every Type of Dress

We call these undergarments "wonder-garments" because of the near-magical way they make any day or evening dress look flawless.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Senior woman in front of mirror getting ready, wearing a pink dress.Focus and Blur/Shutterstock

The best-kept smoothing secrets

The wrong undergarments can quickly turn a fashion do into a fashion don’t. Underwear lines, bras that cut into your back, and thongs that stick out are just a few consequences of choosing poorly. How can you avoid becoming a fashion victim? By following these tips for pairing your outfit with the perfect shapewear to flatter your body and accentuate all the right places. And while you’re at it, don’t miss these smart solutions to common underwear problems.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.


Under a strapless dress

From $29.89

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When it comes to a strapless number, the right bra is essential. But every woman knows that strapless bras are notoriously problematic, usually because they’re constantly falling down. “Our Peyton Convertible Strapless stays up with ease, doesn’t pull or tug, and has a closure-free back to give you a smooth, clean look under your clothes,” says Madelyn Ulrich, Senior Designer at Yummie by Heather Thomson. “Plus, it’s lightly padded and has seamless cups that maintain structure and offer 360 degrees of flexible, all-day support.” For more ways to look fabulous effortlessly, don’t miss these fashion secrets from personal stylists.

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Under a halter neck

From $54.99

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As with strapless styles, some women avoid halters simply because they can’t find the right undergarments. We’re happy to report that those days are over! With the Va Bien Firm Control Plunge Bodysuit, you can show off your toned shoulders, arms, and back with beautiful backless styles (and plunging necklines) with confidence. This ultra-versatile bodysuit features a deep plunge neckline, patented ultra-lift underwire cups, convertible straps (so you can rock both crisscross and halter styles), and built-in boning for tummy and lower back smoothness. Find out the 5 types of dresses that show off your favorite body part.


Under a bodycon dress


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When it comes to date night or an evening out with your girlfriends, a curve-hugging silhouette rules. But, of course, confidence is key, and one of the ways to guarantee you look your best in fitted or body-hugging styles is to wear a shaping slip. The Yummie Convertible Slip will give you comfortable, seamless coverage. Plus, it has a silicone strip at the hem to keep it in place. “What makes this slip essential is that it highlights only your best assets, giving you zoned compression that targets the areas where you need smoothing and shaping, and not where you don’t,” says Ulrich. “It maximizes movement potential, so you won’t feel ‘stuffed in’ and can freely transition from day to night.” Elevate your look with these simple fashion upgrades that make you look expensive.


Under a racerback


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While there are products available on the market that can slide through bra straps and pull them together, making them suitable for a racerback, they typically don’t deliver the smooth appearance you want for a refined dress. B.tempt’d by Wacoal’s Future Foundation Wireless Racerback bra is the next generation in support. Comfortable enough for everyday wear, this bra will go unnoticed under any top. By the way, these are the bra myths you can (and should) ignore.

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Under a mini

From $30.00

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When it comes to showing some leg, the last thing you want to do is show some shapewear. A high-waisted short—like the Yummie Cleo High Waist Short—gives you ultimate coverage from top to bottom, without riding up or falling down. (Translation: There’s no chance of your undergarments peeking out.) If you want to emphasize your gams, make sure you know these 13 outfit tricks to fake longer legs.


Under a work dress


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When you’re in a professional setting, tights are often a better choice than bare legs. But wearing tights over shapewear can feel ridiculously bulky. The solution? Jenny Iannelli, ITEM m6 marketing manager for communications and trade, suggests a shapewear/hosiery hybrid. Try ITEM m6 Opaque Shapewear Tights, which reduce cling and tame your tummy, thighs, and rear. They also offer the chic, office-appropriate look of your favorite pair of tights. Wondering what you should wear to work? Don’t miss these 14 easy style tricks that could earn you a promotion.


Under a knit dress


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Knit dresses can be forgiving with tiny imperfections, but they can simultaneously accentuate major ones. For these reasons, your best bet is pairing your favorite knit dress with curve-hugging shorts. Shapewear like Spanx Higher Power Mid-Thigh Shaping Shorts will pull in your tummy while lifting and smoothing your derriere. Even your thighs will get love from this firm control garment. Next, check out these tips on how to make your favorite knits last longer.

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Under an evening gown


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For a black-tie affair (aka when you’ll be donning a full-length gown), a bodysuit is a terrific option. Rather than having to find two shapewear pieces that work together, a one-piece creates a streamlined shape from top to bottom. Plus, there are plenty of styles to choose from, depending on your figure and the specific silhouette you plan to wear. If you’re wearing a low-cut dress, you might want to opt for a style that lets you wear your preferred bra, like the Comfree Shapewear Bodysuit Full Body Shaper Tummy Control Open Bust, which focuses on the upper half of the body and cuts just below the bum. Read up on the classic dresses every woman should own. (Hint: An evening gown is one of them.)


Under a high-waisted skirt and top

From $34.80

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While not a dress per se, a sophisticated two-piece ensemble often stands in for a dress. A high-waisted skirt slip, like the Yummie Hidden Curve High Waist Firm Control Shapewear Skirt Slip, is a slimming essential. It smooths your upper hips, thighs, tush, and belly while providing the flexibility to wear whatever style you like on top. In addition to investing in great shapewear, try these style tricks to look slimmer in your clothes.

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Priscila Martinez
Priscila Martinez is a freelance writer and award-winning brand specialist living in Los Angeles, California. She covers topics like health, beauty, fashion, travel, celebrity, workplace and the public relations & entertainment industries. She writes for publications like Forbes, Adweek, Mane Addicts, Radio Disney's Sweety High, Extraordinary Health, Asia Times, and dozens of other publications.