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Which shapewear shorts are best?

The right pair of shapewear shorts will not only make you look slimmer, but they’ll also make you feel more confident, no matter what you’re wearing. The great thing about shapewear is that they fit perfectly under loose-fitting and tight-fitting clothes alike.

Whether you’re heading out for a night on the town or simply going to the office, we suggest the Tummy Control Shapewear Shorts by Werena. They are versatile, flattering and provide the support you need without sacrificing mobility or comfort.

What to know before you buy shapewear shorts

What is shapewear?

Shapewear is an undergarment worn to contour the wearer’s body shape in a way that’s both slimming and flattering. There are various types of shapewear, including dresses, bodysuits, slips, tanks, underwear and shorts. Most people wear these garments to tighten up certain areas like the waist, tummy or calves. You can wear shapewear underneath nearly any regular outfit, including dresses, pants, shirts and regular shorts.

Level of control

Not all shapewear provides the same level of control or compression. Some manufacturers include a chart with their products that shows the different levels of compression, while others simply indicate the amount of compression offered in a specific product. When it comes to the level of control, most shapewear falls into one of the following categories:

  • No compression: These undergarments offer minimal shaping and mainly exist to smooth out the targeted area or areas.
  • Minor compression: This type of shapewear provides a light degree of compression. It can firm up and control minor trouble areas, such as a tummy bump, while also providing some lift to the wearer’s backside.
  • Medium or moderate compression: Along with providing a higher level of control and shaping, this shapewear will smooth out any unwanted bumps and provide more support to the rear.
  • Firm compression: Best for those who want full control of their curves, firm compression slims and contours the body, making it ideal for tight-fitting outer layers.
  • Extra-firm compression: Although it’s slightly more restricting, extra-firm compression offers the most body contouring and control.

When purchasing shapewear of any kind, look for a good balance between the size, cut and level of control it provides. That way, you’ll have the best possible fit.

Health risks

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are some common risks associated with wearing shapewear that are worth noting. Most of these issues are the result of prolonged use and higher compression levels.

Some people experience pain or irritated skin around the area the shapewear covers. This is mainly due to the undergarment being too small or too constricting. If left unchecked, it could result in an infection or other skin reaction.

More serious issues include restricted blood circulation or difficulty breathing. Since high-compression shapewear puts a lot of pressure on the bladder and digestive tract, it could also result in a loss of bladder control or indigestion.

To prevent these issues, always choose shapewear that fits and is comfortable enough to move around in. If it’s digging into your sides or extremities, you need a different size or cut.

Additionally, avoid wearing extra-firm compression shapewear for extended periods. In general, a couple of hours should be safe. However, if you’re starting to feel faint or uncomfortable, remove the garment immediately.

What to look for in a quality pair of shapewear shorts


Shapewear shorts consist of the same materials as other types of shapewear. The most common materials are the synthetics: Spandex and nylon. Both are elastic and do a great job of contouring the figure. These fabrics are best for colder climates or when you need an extra layer of insulation.

Some shapewear is made from cotton or blends that include cotton and synthetic materials. Cotton is lightweight and breathable, so it’s a good option for warmer weather.

Size and fit

When it comes to shapewear shorts, there are several sizing options available. Some are high-waisted and provide support to the backside, stomach, thighs and upper legs. Depending on the length, the shorts may hit the top of the knees or be several inches shorter or longer.

Ideally, the shapewear you choose should offer the coverage you want and be firm enough to smooth out your figure without restricting your ability to move or breathe. Most products come in sizes ranging from extra-small to double extra-large. If you’re in between sizes, your best bet is to go up a size.


Most shapewear come in one of three colors: white, black or nude. Some manufacturers make undergarments in brighter colors like reds or blues.

Choose the color that most closely matches the outfit you plan to wear over it. For instance, if you have a dark-colored dress or pants, then a pair of black shapewear shorts is a good choice. However, certain color combinations don’t look as great. If you’re wearing light-colored attire, choose nude colored shorts instead of white ones.

How much you can expect to spend on shapewear shorts

On average, shapewear shorts cost between $10-$40. The pricing varies based on the material, size and brand.

Shapewear shorts FAQ

How should I wash shapewear?

A. Most shapewear is delicate, so you’ll want to check the washing instructions that come with it first. If there aren’t any instructions, hand-wash the garment with a mild detergent and cold or lukewarm water. Let it air dry.

Is shapewear just for women?

A. Although the sizing may be different, anyone can wear shapewear clothes and receive the same benefits.

What are the best shapewear shorts to buy?

Top shapewear shorts

Werena Tummy Control Shapewear Shorts

Werena Tummy Control Shapewear Shorts

What you need to know: If you want extra support and a slimming look around your stomach and thighs, these high-waisted shorts are the ideal choice. 

What you’ll love: The shorts come in black and beige with medium to firm control. They’re elastic, durable and anti-chafing. With four steel bones around the waist, they provide excellent contouring and have a flattering, lifting effect on the backside.

What you should consider: The lines of the undergarment show through on thinner outerwear.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top shapewear shorts for the money

Bestena Slip Shorts

Bestena Slip Shorts

What you need to know: These seamless shorts are mid-length and offer excellent coverage, making them perfect for wearing under a dress or tight jeans.

What you’ll love: Available in black, white and nude, these lightweight shorts have a barely-there look and feel to them. They’re tagless and extremely soft, so they’re less likely to irritate the skin. 

What you should consider: They can roll up during prolonged use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Shapermint High Waisted Body Shaper Shorts

Shapermint High-Waisted Body Shaper Shorts

What you need to know: Designed to smooth out and support the waist, thighs and backside, these high-waisted shorts are durable and comfortable.

What you’ll love: Made with nylon and Spandex, this undergarment is firm, flexible and breathable. The anti-slip technology helps keep them in place. Plus, they’re seamless and nearly transparent around the thighs and upper legs, so they look great even when wearing form-fitting clothes. The shorts are also machine washable.

What you should consider: There are some minor stitching issues around the seams.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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