My big NO NOs of shapewear

Since wearing ‘proper’ underwear, I have learned many tricks and lessons about how to put it on, how to wear it, selecting the right pieces for my body, etc. To prevent you from making similar mistakes, I have put together a little list of things that you shouldn’t do or buy. This post will be followed by another called ‘My HELL YEAH’s of shapewear’, listing great things to look for when selecting new pieces.

Doing up garter clips

For some reason, a lot of people seem to be attaching their clips only half the way. By this I mean that the little button is not being pushed all the way down to the end of the clip. The clip has a ‘neck’ specifically designed to keep the button in place, so make sure you push it all the way; not fastening these clips properly means that after a few steps, you run the risk of your clips coming undone and your stockings ending up around your ankles. Not a good look…

The image on the left shows how the clip should look if it’s done correctly, the image on the right shows how it shouldn’t be fastened.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.09.51 pm

Attaching back garter clips

It doesn’t really matter where you attach the front clips, as long as they are done up properly, as I mentioned above. However, when it comes to wearing fully-fashioned stockings with keyholes at the back, there is one very important rule: Do not clip your garters to the keyhole. The main reason that stockings have welts in the first place is to provide a strong band on nylon to attach your suspension to without causing snags, there is twice as much nylon, thus making the welt twice as strong as the rest of the stocking. Clipping your suspension to the keyhole only gives it one layer of nylon and runs the risk of snags and rips. The photos below show the correct placement of the clip on the left, and the incorrect placement on the right.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.29.02 pmPlastic garter clips

Plastic clips are just a big no no for me, I don’t own anything with plastic clips and I never will. They are just not strong at all and quite frankly, they are not as pretty as metal. Plastic clips are more prone to breaking and coming done and should be avoided at all costs. If you find a piece of shapewear that you absolutely have to have and it has plastic clips, I would suggest also buying metal clips swapping them (warning: in most axes this will involve sewing).

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.31.46 pm

When it comes to metal clips, there are several types, the main two are pressed and wound. The pressed ones are absolutely fine but the wound metals clips are much nicer and you will mostly only find wound metal clips on vintage pieces. (Wound metal on the left, pressed metal on the right).

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.39.56 pmThin straps

I have previously reviewed a suspender belt from Target that had very thin straps. The verdict was of course that thin straps are just not supportive enough, meaning that you could (again) run the risk of having stockings sitting around your ankles.

My golden rule is ‘the thicker the strap, the stronger it is’.

The image on the left shows a good thick strap whereas the image on the rights shows something that will not support your hosiery (What Katie Did on the left and Dita Von Teese on the right):

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.50.46 pm

There are many other things, such as using ribbons to lace up corsets or having bits of string as a suspender belt that I will not go into in this post, however I would love to hear your thoughts on aspects of shapewear that you avoid.


3 thoughts on “My big NO NOs of shapewear

  1. Elinor,
    I really appreciate your advise, having been a devoted stocking-wearer for years, your comments are oh so true. I only miss one piece of advise on suspenders: 6 straps are better than 4 straps and 8 straps are better than 6.
    Keep up the good work.


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