Is It Bad To Wear Shapewear When It's Really, Really Hot? The Answer

June 28, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Shop

I’m a die-hard shapewear wearer. I have a little muffin top/pouch situation that looks so much better when I wear it. It really is amazing what a difference a thin piece of fabric can make– I know it sounds granny, but it’s true. I feel so much more confident when wearing it (no, I’m not a paid spokesperson for the shapewear council, lol).

READ MORE: Is Shapewear Really Bad For You? The Answer, Once And For All

I’ve written about my favorite pairs before–these thongs, for one, as well as this super lightweight pair from Yummie Tummie that is perfect for summer. As the days get hotter, it does feel a little awkward pulling on bike shorts under my dresses, though–like I’m already so worried about sweating, is it crazy to add a layer of clothing to the mix that will just make me sweat *more*? On the one hand, I want to look good in my summer dresses, but on the other I don’t want to be a sweaty mess.

So–should you wear shapewear on really hot days?

The answer is yes–but choose wisely.

Tight clothing prevents air circulation which can induce sweat (not only more sweat but it can make you sweat faster). The best clothing to wear on hot days is loose-fitting, cotton-based clothing so your skin can breath. But if you absolutely *must* wear shapewear (like I do), there are some styles that are better than others. Don’t just reach in to the drawer and grab any old pair–read my tips:

READ MORE: How To Clean Shapewear So It Lasts For A Long Time

Go for pairs that advertise “slimming,” not “shaping.” The heavier duty shapewear–advertised for things like compression, sculpting, paneling, lifting, shaping, reinforcing, etc., is too thick for hot days. Slimming shapewear is often more lightweight and is simply made for smoothing out lines.

Go for less coverage. Try a style that has less coverage than you normally wear. Just like you wear less clothing when it’s hot (sleeveless tops instead of log sleeves, skirts instead of pants), you should wear less shapewear when it’s hot, too. Decrease the amount of fabric you’re wearing by opting for a boy short instead of a bike short, or even a thong, and definitely something where the torso isn’t all the way up to your arm pits (a style that starts around your belly button line or lower should work best.)

READ MORE: The 9 Most Comfortable Shapewear Products, According To Real Women

Go for breathable fabrics. A breathable fabric is one that takes in moisture and “breathes” it out–think cotton (breathable) versus silk or synthetic materials (not breathable, the moisture actually beads up). Any piece of clothing that is right up against your skin has got to be able to absorb your perspiration and circulate it throughout–not cause it to pool on the surface (that’s what gives you swamp a$s, for example).

Go for shapewear that can be worn as outerwear. Kill two birds with one stone by wearing shapewear clothing. Yummie Tummie and Spanx both make clothing that has built-in shapewear–like leggings and jeans with tummie control, and tanks and dresses with midsection paneling. This way, you won’t have to wear excess layers of clothing.

So–there you have it! Wearing shapewear during the summer is possible–it just requires a little more thought. Let me know in the comments: what are your style tips for dressing for summer?

[Photo: MelRodStyle]



Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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