These 21 Shapewear Staples Are Less Than $50 (Because Contrary to Popular Belief, They Don’t Have to Cost Hundreds)

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Summer is coming and we are more than ready for the warm weather and the fashion. Whether you’re looking to give your body extra support or you want to sculpt your curves a little more, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on shapewear. From compression shorts that protect against unwelcome gusts of wind to high-waisted thongs that create a sleek silhouette, there are plenty of high-quality pieces that will give you what you’re looking for without breaking the bank.

The Top 5 Shapewear Under $50 At A Glance

Where to Buy Shapewear

Shapewear is sold almost everywhere these days, but it takes a while to find the brands that are well suited for your body; what you find the most flattering and comfortable. That said, we have a few go-to sources. Nordstrom carries some of our top brands for shapewear, including Skims, Commando, Spanx and Yummie. If you want something affordable that’s backed by plenty of reviews, Amazon is the way to go; look for brands like Maidenform and Shapermint. (Both of tend to have thousands of five-star ratings and thorough reviews for many of their shapewear products, so you can see the opinions of customers who are looking for similar qualities as you.)

What Materials Are Best for Shapewear?

Shapewear gets its supportive-yet-stretchy feel primarily from two types of materials (or a blend of both): spandex and nylon. These two fabrics are durable and sculpting.

  • Nylon: This strong fabric is typically made for fitted garments like workout clothes, socks and of course, shapewear. According to, it is made of synthetic fibers, so you won’t find organic options.
  • Spandex: Also known as Lycra and Elastane, reports, these materials are great for keeping shape over time and giving that extra bit of sculpting. It’s also known for offering breathability and wicking moisture.

Best Mid-Thigh Shorts

1. Spanx Higher Power Shorts


  • Why We Love It: ultra high-waisted, four color options
  • Size Range: S to 3XL

Sculpt your shape to enhance your natural curves from your mid-thigh all the way up to your bra line. They score a two out of three on the Spanx support level scale giving them a medium to high amount of hold. The no-roll, wide waistband keeps your tummy supported, while smoothing and lifting your booty. "Smooth comfortable every day all day support especially nice when worn with slacks and leggings, but could be worn with a special occasion outfit. The high waist feature comes up to the bra band to provide a smooth bust [through] mid-thigh appearance—easy to wear," says one customer.

Most Supportive Maternity Briefs

2. Skims Maternity Sculpting Briefs


  • Why We Love It: nine color options, full bum coverage
  • Size Range: XXS to 5XL

Whether you’re pregnant and still trying to keep it a secret, or you just want to give your belly a little extra support when you’re out and about, these sculpting briefs will give you the smoothing and snugness you need. The sizing is based on your pre-pregnancy size, so no need to size up unless you’re wanting them to be a little less fitted. The core area isn’t compressive so you don’t worry about it pressing on your stomach too tightly. Plus, there’s a silicone band on the waist to prevent rolling.

Best Smoothing Underwear

3. Aerie Smoothez No Show Underwear


  • Why We Love It: six color options, ultra high-waisted
  • Size Range: XXS to XXL

If you’re not in the market for super sculpting shorts and just want a bit of smoothing, a pair of seamless undies are a great, comfortable option. “I wear these under leggings, dresses, shorts, basically anything with a higher waist because it gives me just that smidge of support without feeling too tight,” says commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. They come in six colors, and don’t worry, they have a cotton gusset, too.

Sexiest Sheer Shapewear

4. Skims Sheer Sculpt High-Waisted Thong


  • Why We Love It: nine color options, very high-waisted
  • Size Range: XXS to 4XL

We wish we could wear these out all by themselves because that’s how sleek they are. The sheer material is very sexy to wear for a special occasion under your favorite outfit, and it’s a snug and supportive material that offers light support and smoothing. The high-waisted fit sits just under your bra line for full tummy coverage and it’s made of a nylon-spandex blend for stretch and hold. 

Best for Thigh Sculpting

5. Shapermint High-Waisted Body Shaper Shorts


  • Why We Love It: tummy control, booty contour
  • Size Range: S to 4XL

Extra support from thigh to midsection is great if you’re wanting some sculpting for whatever outfit you’re throwing on. These shorts span from just above the knee all the way up to your bra line. The bum has a little less thickness so it won’t flatten your booty and has contour construction to give it a nice lift. Need more convincing? These shorts have nearly 19,000 five-star ratings, and reviewers love how comfortable they are. “I truly love that it does not roll off on you when you sit down or bend over and that it makes my body look even greater [in] different outfits that I wear,” says one customer.

Best for Butt Lifting

6. Nebility Butt Lifting Shapewear


  • Why We Love It: sheer, booty contour
  • Size Range: XXS to 5XL

As you can see on these shapewear bottoms, there are some sheer cutouts, and while this may look super cute, it’s not there for the aesthetics. The criss-cross band is there to help flatten and lift your waist and your bum. The back of the shorts have a fully sheer bottom with a middle seam that helps contour and lift your butt for a shapely and firm look. And with nearly 27,000 five-star ratings, we’re already sold on this garment. “This shaper worked great to help flatten the lower belly area that other shapers often miss. It was comfy, easy to get on, and easy to pull up and down when needing to go to the bathroom,” says one customer.

Best Shorts with an Open Gusset

7. Skims Sculpting Shorts


  • Why We Love It: booty lifting, strong support
  • Size Range: XXS to 5XL

The worst part of shapewear? Getting it off when you have to use the restroom. Since these garments fit so tightly and the material is so strong, it’s a bit of a challenge getting them off and on multiple times through an event (and don’t even get us started if we have on a jumpsuit). These shorts have all the sculpting and smoothing capabilities of regular shapewear, but they also have an open gusset so you don’t have to remove them whenever it’s time to run to the ladies room. “The shorts hide any kind of cellulite on the back of the legs and really snatch your waist in…Purchased my true size and they fit great and didn’t roll down at the top whatsoever,” says one reviewer.

Best Light Compression Thong

8. Commando Classic Control Thong


  • Why We Love It: light compression, not too high waisted
  • Size Range: XS to XL

These undies are high-waisted, but not quite reaching your bra line for those of you who don’t want ultra-high- or low-rise undies. The material is lightweight and feels like you have nothing on, according to Dubyak. “They’re just so comfy, I love wearing them for workouts under leggings and biker shorts to give my belly a little extra snugness,” she says. They come in four neutral colors, too.

Cutest Bodysuit

9. Yummie Ruby Thong Bodysuit


  • Why We Love It: gusset snaps, thong bottom
  • Size Range: S to XL

This bodysuit offers light control, so you can wear it every day if you so desire. Thanks to the thong bottom, it offers truly seamless shaping. We love that you can wear it by itself or under other clothes if you're just looking for extra support. It has a scoopneck front and back neckline, too. "I've had this bodysuit for a couple years now and I grab for it constantly, it's stretchy and supportive and is just a nice staple to have around," says Commerce Editor Olivia Dubyak.

Best for Low Back Outfits

10. Skims Barely There Shorts


  • Why We Love It: low back fit, smoothing
  • Size Range: XXS to 4XL

High-waisted shapewear is great, until you need something lower for a low-back outfit. This pair of shorts has a high waist that scoops down low into the back so they won’t be hanging out at the top. These shorts have a lighter support but will still help smooth your butt, midsection and thighs. There’s also boning in the side seams to help keep the construction of the shorts in place all night long.

Best Boyshort Pick

11. Spanx Everyday Shaping Boyshorts


  • Why We Love It: thick waistband, seamless construction
  • Size Range: XS to XL

Like the boy short undies you can’t stop wearing, but with the added benefit of medium hold for the tummy, waist, hips and bum. The brand considers the support like a "firm hug" and a level two shaping fit. "I love the Shaping Boyshorts. I wore them once and ordered two more pairs right away! They provide great shaping and still are comfortable to wear the whole day," reports one happy customer.

Best Light Compression Thong

12. Commando Control Top Thong


  • Why We Love It: thong bottom, high-waisted
  • Size Range: S to XL

Because sometimes your go-to thong doesn’t offer enough support for your midsection. Wearing these under a dress that's super lightweight and body skimming is a game-changer according to Commerce Editor Olivia Dubyak. "I'm a self-proclaimed shapewear connoisseur and these are my favorite picks for when I don't want to wear a full shapewear short or bodysuit. It offers a lot of tummy control without feeling too constricting," she mentions.

Best Maternity Compression Shorts

13. Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Compression Shorts

Belly Bandit

  • Why We Love It: full compression, high-waisted
  • Size Range: XS to L

Made of breathable nylon fabric, these shorts have three medical-grade compression zones for your belly, bum and thighs.They’re also a smart piece for a postpartum wardrobe, as they can aid with a speedy recovery with the tummy and pelvic support. Unfortunately these shorts are only available in two colors at the moment, nude (a light almond shade) and black.

Best Mid-Rise Thong

14. Spanx Smoothing Thong


  • Why We Love It: mid-rise, hip coverage
  • Size Range: XS to XL

Mid-rise thongs are great for jeans or shorts that aren’t super high so you aren’t showing off your undies when you bend over. This pair sits on your hips with snug-yet-comfortable support for your waist and the thick band reaches the full way around the back, too. The brand describes the support as more smoothing than sculpting since the fabric is buttery soft and there isn’t too much squeezing around the waist.

Best Open-Bust Bodysuit

15. Maidenform Firm Control Bodysuit


  • Why We Love It: mid-thigh length, highly supportive
  • Size Range: S to XXL

This bodysuit is designed to offer your tummy, hips and thighs as much shaping and sculpting as possible. The material is said to be strong and firm to hug your shape tightly and the thighs have a lighter material for less of a squeeze. The bust area is open so you don’t need to worry about the fabric squishing your chest or interfering with low necklines, too. Plus, it has more than 4,600 five-star ratings. “This sounds like a cliché, but wearing it feels like a gentle hug or squeeze. It compresses without sucking the breath out of you. I also love that it goes over your shoulders, as that helps smooth out back fat and side-of-bra bulge (as opposed to pieces that end right below your bra),” says one customer.

Best Cooling Shapewear

16. Yummie Cooling FX Briefs


  • Why We Love It: brief cut, silicone strip around waistband
  • Size Range: XS to 2XL

Behold: shaping briefs that were made for summer. Woven with cooling yarn technology and designed for maximum breathability, you’ll never wear another sundress without these. And if thongs aren't your thing, you're in luck, because these briefs have full bum coverage. "I wore the Yummie shapewear out on a very hot and humid 110-degree day and was worried it would be hot and an uncomfortable, but [it was] just the opposite. I could hardly tell it was there and I received many compliments on how nice I looked—it flattened my stomach and it stayed in place," says one reviewer.

Best for a High Slit Outfit

17. Skims Solution Short


  • Why We Love It: one-leg coverage, strong support
  • Size Range: XXS to 5X

No need to worry about rolling up the leg of your shapewear when you’re wearing a high-slit dress or skirt, because this set of shorts made it slit-friendly. You can get one for the right or left side based on whatever side your slits fall on the most (or just grab both!). It has the same strong support as the other Skims shorts and sculpts your thigh and midsection. It’s available in nine colors, and we recommend adding yourself to the waitlist as the colors tend to frequently run out due to the popularity.

  • Why We Love It: fun colors available, seamless
  • Size Range: S to 3XL

Not just any old cami, this one has slight compression to smooth and sculpt, so you can easily wear it under any sweater or top. Bonus: It’s also made with a temperature-regulating knit so you don't overheat wearing it under clothes. "It is just what I had expected and more. I have a couple of other Yummie camisoles that have held up wonderfully [and] the shaping is comfortable and stays tucked in my pants nicely," says one reviewer.

Most Comfortable Waist Cincher

19. TC Waist Cincher


  • Why We Love It: supportive, flexible boning on sides
  • Size Range: S to 2XL

A waist-trainer that you can actually breathe in? Finally. This helps sculpt and slim your entire midsection without feeling like you have an uncomfortable girdle squeezing you in all the wrong places. It's made of a nylon elastane mix for a sculpting and smooth feeling material. The side boning will ensure this complements your curves and the top and bottom seams have an elastic casing to keep it fitted and secure to your chest and waist.

Most Lightweight Shorts

20. Yummie Ultralight Seamless Shaping Girlshort


  • Why We Love It: lightweight, thick waistband
  • Size Range: S to XXL

Light shaping for those days when you just need just a little extra support. Made to feel ultra lightweight under your outfit, these little shorts will give you a slight sculpt without feeling like a full pair of tight shapewear underneath. They're made with a seamless construction and the knit waistband is designed to hold in your midsection. Plus, there are two silicone strips on the legs to keep the material from rolling up.

Best Sculpting Bodysuit

21. Irisnaya Bodysuit Shapewear


  • Why We Love It: adjustable straps, butt lifting
  • Size Range: XS to 4XL

This affordable bodysuit is great to give you tummy control and lift your bum without extending all the way to your thighs. And, thankfully, it features full-coverage bottoms, so you won't experience any cutting into your butt cheeks. There's extra compression in the midsection to keep your tummy supported and sculpted, whether you're wearing this just with a pair of jeans or under a top.

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PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.

Liv Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor. She writes across the board in fashion, beauty, wellness and home, focusing on products that can elevate your everyday life. She loves trying new products, sharing her honest experiences to help you decide whether what you’re buying is worth it or not (Augustinus Bader is a must-have).

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Olivia Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor and textbook Capricorn. She studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has gone from New York City to...

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