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Best Summer Shapewear

Tomima Edmark Bra Fit Expert Lingerie Expert

It’s “Hotter than Dutch love!” (Wisconsin). “A real barn-burner!” (Pennsylvania). “Hot enough to roast a lizard!” (South Carolina). “Hotter than a stolen tamale!” (Texas). Or, “Awful Selsery”(Kaskaskia, Illinois). No matter where you are or how you say it, right now, the smoldering heat of summer is here. And for many of us still chipping away at our annoying “quarantine 15”, the thought of shimmy-shaking into something tight and impermeable to help look a little smaller and smoother has very little appeal right now.

Well, I write to you with good news. My cracker-jack shapewear buying team has found summer shapewear with breathability, wicking qualities, and even cotton content. You can now beat the heat while staying smooth, cooler, and perhaps a little bit sassy.

Let’s begin by defining what “breathable” means. I remember vendors espousing this term several years ago during one of our markets. So, I asked one company president how it’s determined. His answer was simple: raise it to your mouth and if it can be easily blown through, it’s breathable. Makes sense. Breathable fabrics have small openings that allow perspiration to escape to the outside of the garment. They are knit or woven loosely so have a light hand and some sheerness. Here are a few of our most popular breathable shapewear pieces.

Lingerie and lace go pretty much hand-in-hand. And lace is the ultimate breathable fabric – light and perforated. So, it should be no surprise that a best-seller for many years has been the Bali Lace ‘N Smooth Shaping Body Briefer. As our laydown shows you, its lace is sheer, yet with firm control. This shaper comes in bra sizing and has mesh-lined underwire cups. The crotch is cotton and can be opened and closed. It’s an airy one-piece solution that looks so terrific, it can be worn as an outerwear top.

Bali also makes this body briefer in a firm control camisole version. It comes in sizes M to 3X and can be worn over the bra of your choice. A very pretty way to have breathable shaping while wearing your own bra. Be sure to consult our size chart and select the size that will work for all 3 of your body measurements. If you pick a size too small, it will curl up on you.

Wicking fabrics have been around for over 20 years and it was Under Armour that did a great job of marketing its attributes. Moisture-wicking is the action of moving your skin’s moisture quickly away from your skin’s surface to the outer layer of the fabric, whereby it quickly evaporates. This action prevents your sweat from soaking into the fabric and staying trapped against your skin.

The most popular wicking shapewear silhouette is the biker short. In fact, many women are opting in to this silhouette and turning it into their everyday panty. Why? Because it truly is the ultimate invisible panty. Unlike a thong, it gives you invisible support and smoothness from waist to knees. And, they come in all the shapewear control levels – light to extra firm.

A biker short silhouette works great under anything formfitting. I grab a pair pretty much every time I put on a slim skirt, dress, or thin pants. A light/moderate control biker short is super comfortable to wear and has just enough support to reduce jiggle, give your backside a little boost and smooth out minor bumps. The firmer control versions can provide some compacting to help you get into those pants that have been feeling a little tight lately.

Yes, there really is shapewear with cotton content. The choices are fewer and a bit more expensive. The reason being the challenge in getting the fabric content of cotton and spandex right so its hand will be soft, but also smooth to allow other garments to glide over the surface. The more expensive, long-filament cotton creates a smoother surface.

We all like our jeans and leggings, but in the summer they can feel very hot. A secret gem in this category is the brand Lysse. Their leggings and bottoms are made in cotton but are also carefully crafted with unique inner shaping panels, rear lifting features, 360-degree smoothing, hidden key pockets, and other features in a variety of silhouettes designed to keep you looking your best. Here are just a few great summer options.

We’ve now spoken about women’s summer shapewear. What you may not know is that our HisRoom site, too, has summer shapewear for the men in your life. He too can look smooth and beat the heat while working, playing, or working out. Check out his summer shapewear options that are breathable, wicking, and contain cotton.

A Final Thought…

Label this a pet peeve of mine. I get crazy annoyed when seeing ill-fitting bras photographed on models in marketing. It’s tough enough to find your correct bra size, so at the very least, the photography should show you how a bra should look and properly fit.

In this final thought, allow me to show you several peeving examples I’ve found lately. And, for fun, I’ve also mixed in some examples of properly fitting bras. I’m calling it my YIKES! or YEAHS! Test. Make your choices and then click the button below to see if you qualify as a bra fit expert. In my answers, I’ll detail where the YIKES! bras went wrong.


Tomima Founder & CEO


The right bra can change the way you feel about everything. Find the right style and fit in just a few minutes with our exclusive Bra Fit Quiz.

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