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Friday Q&A: Does Shapewear Have a Lasting Effect?

9-20-how-does-shapewear-workOne of the questions we’ve been seeing a lot lately is: women have been asking whether shapewear can have a lasting effect! For example, if you wear it long enough, will your body retain the shaping effects of the shapewear after you take it off? If you’ve wondered whether shapewear can have a lasting effect, or how shapewear works, today’s Friday Q&A is for you!

Question from Katty:

How does shapewear work? I’ve never had any experience with shapewear before, and I was wondering if they only helped improve your figure when wearing it, or if it slowly improves your figure overall over time. In the end, will it change your body to the desired shape?

Question from Jordan:

Will shapewear tights have a lasting effect? I’ve recently gotten shapewear tights to help my figure, and it’s an instant and obvious effect, which is great! But what I’d like to know is, if you wear them often enough (5 days a week, for example) would they leave a lasting fat distribution after a while so you didn’t have to wear them as much?

Wow, ladies, you have some high expectations! Wouldn’t it be great if our shapewear did last for a while, so we didn’t have to cram ourselves into it and we’d get lasting effects from it?

Unfortunately, that’s not how shapewear works. Wearing shapewear day after day does NOT provide any lasting effect. It only works while you’ve got the shaping garment on.

There are potentially a couple of cases where that isn’t exactly the case, though… some women, for example, who have worn bras with bra straps that are too tight and the straps dig into the shoulders (typically because the bra band is too large, so it’s not providing enough support and too much of the weight of the breasts is resting on the bra bands) – in the event of bra straps that dig into the shoulders for 12-18 hours per day, every day, for years… that kind of pressure can cause deformation over time. But it’s something that requires YEARS of wear, and it’s usually a lot more pressure than a shaper would exert on any one part of the body.

Shapewear inherently can’t do this because of the way it’s designed. Most types of shapewear feature control panels that are built in that help hold the jiggly bits tight, for lack of a better way of putting it. Thigh shapers are tight around the thigh. Tummy trimmers often have control panels in the tummy area. But this pressure is spread across a wide area – the entire tummy, for example, or all the way around the thighs. This isn’t enough to cause deformation – deformation requires a higher level of pressure in a concentrated area.

For example, if the band around the bottom of the thigh shaper is too tight and digs into your leg, and you wore the shaper every day, all day, for a long period of time (months or years) – it could cause deformation where the band of the thigh shaper is positioned. But that would take a long time, and a lot of pressure.

So in summary: no, shapewear isn’t some kind of super-powered garment that can magically change your body. But when you’re wearing it, you can enjoy that trim look without having to go to the gym all the time and change your diet – which is ultimately the only way to make long-term changes to your body (short of plastic surgery, that is!)

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