Smart Shapewear for the Trickiest Outfits

SUMMER 2018
By Kelsey Mulvey for Modern Muse

Pour the frosé and break out your favorite warm-weather attire — summer is officially here. But while your collection of off-the-shoulder shirts, skirts, and sundresses may be indisputably chic, between the body-hugging silhouettes, plunging necklines, and asymmetrical sleeves, sometimes it's hard to figure out what to wear underneath them.

To help you look and feel your most stylish, we found shapewear for the trickiest summer outfits. (Don't worry, you can thank us later.)

Wearing a Body-Con Dress? Try a Bodysuit

A form-fitting dress — like this one from Ted Baker ($220) — is a great way to accentuate your natural curves and look like a total boss, but we don't blame you if you're hyper-aware of every dimple on your body. You're human. If you want to smooth out your already enviable figure without adding any awkward panty lines to the mix, pick up Spanx's OnCore Open-Bust Mid-Thigh Bodysuit (from $98). Available in two colorways, this option uses Spanx's Level 2 support system to smooth and shape your silhouette.

And don't worry: the brand also incorporated a double gusset opening so you can quickly tear the bodysuit off should nature call.

Going Backless? Try an Adhesive Bra

Unless you're rocking an AA cup, chances are you don't feel comfortable going out and about sans bra. So what are you supposed to do when a cute, backless top — like this halter number from Urban Outfitters ($44) — tugs at your heartstrings? Pick up an adhesive bra, obviously. Fashion Forms' iteration ($40), which you can buy at Neiman Marcus, gives your girls the support they need without any superfluous shoulder or back straps. Pretty genius, right?

Wearing Short Shorts? Try Compression Panties

It's been almost 40 years since The Dukes of Hazzard premiered, yet we're still in awe of Catherine Bach for rocking those incredibly short denim cut-offs. Want to recreate the look this summer? Pair these We the Free shorts from Free People ($68) with Nancy Ganz's curve-shaping G-string ($30), which you can buy at Neiman Marcus. With the control and comfort of compression shorts, but the sex appeal of a traditional thong, this might be the sexiest shapewear money can buy. We think Daisy Duke would be proud.

Wearing an Asymmetrical Top? Try a Convertible Bra

Practically every woman owns a strapless bra and for good reason — they're the perfect antidote for both unconventional necklines and super thin straps. But they're also notorious for slipping and being incredibly uncomfortable. If you're tired of fussing with your shapewear, trade in your strapless bra for a convertible model. Available at Bloomingdale's, Fine Lines' bra ($46) comes with two detachable straps and can be worn in six different ways: strapless, regular, low back, halter, halter low back, and criss-cross. If you're looking for a comfortable option for Kate Spade's asymmetrical top ($148), we're sure you can pull off a one-shoulder style too.

Wearing a Plunging Neckline? Try a Bra That Goes Just as Low

How low can you go? Well, it depends on your shapewear. Whether you're rocking a deep V during the holidays or Free People's plunging wrap top ($68) this summer, a low neckline is always tricky — especially when going braless isn't an option. Enter Aerie's Backless U Plunge Bare Bra ($28.95). Not only will this bra work with all your depth-defying tops, but it'll also give you some great cleavage, which is a must for all plunging necklines. Like Fashion Form's bra, it has adhesive cups and wings, so it's perfect for low-cut tops that are also backless. Aerie says this stick-on bra can be worn up to 25 times, so we recommend buying a few.

Wearing a Tight Top? Add a Contouring Tank

Curve-hugging tops — like this one from Diane von Furstenberg ($298) — are known to cinch your waist and amplify your figure. But if you want to add some reinforcements, enlist Wolford's contour-forming top ($170). This seamless cotton tank is designed to act like a second skin as well as smooth your waist and hips. If you ask us, it's the perfect way to give your torso some extra support without committing to a full bodysuit.

Wearing a Pencil Skit? Add Slimming Shorts

How is it that fitted skirts have been a wardrobe mainstay since virtually the beginning of time, yet we still don't own the proper shapewear for them? That's where TC Intimates' sheer shorts ($58) come in. Available at Bloomingdale's, these lightweight shorts hug your waist, hips, and thighs to create a seductive, pencil skirt-approved hourglass figure. As for which skirt to wear, this Nili Lotan option ($495) from Barneys New York can easily transition from the office to happy hour.