**hang tight. VIDEO COMING SOON.
I reviewed a ton – so you wouldn’t have to. Yup. Spent TONS of money on all of these. Well, also because I am vain la. But hey, you ladies benefit!
Before we start though – I need to emphasize a few points – all our bodies are different. So what works for you, might not work for me and vice versa.
I have a pear shaped body, with very pronounced hips with a small waist (or at least I HAD a small waist). I also have a long torso that I’ve been told, is more similar to the Caucasian torso/build. So what I will do, is give you suggestions depending on your budget, body shape, and what you are looking for.
One of the things you will need to be aware of, are shapewear terms like:
- Light control (Medium) – for people who have some bulges to smooth out. Or items that are suitable for everyday wear.
- Firm control (Medium-High) – for people looking to accentuate their curves. These pieces are usually more stretchy and should move with your body, while giving you curves.
- Extra-Firm control (High) – usually for people who have special occasions and want to look amazing in structured dresses like gowns and wedding dresses. Usually these pieces will have more structure, and will “suck you in” a lot more. Take note that while they should lift and shape you in all the right places, you should still be able to breathe and move comfortably, and be able to stand and sit without any issues. If you feel too constricted, or can’t breathe, then size up. You don’t want to be THAT damsel in distress, fainting cos of a tight corset.
Also, the biggest thing you need to know is – Shapewear does not help you lose weight.
I guess if it is tight enough and very uncomfortable, you will probably eat less. People who do waist training are a whole different ballgame. And while the do have itty bitty waists, having a corset or waist trainer that is too tight, can create permanent damage.
But the benefits of shapewear lie more in improving your posture, reshaping your body, and pushing your fat into the right places.
FAT IS MALLEABLE. Think of it as that mountain of butter you see at Toast Box. You can mould and shape it and basically make it into a sculpture, you just need the right skills and tools.
So if you are using a waist trainer, or any sort of shapewear, you need to have it fit right, if not, you will cause permanent bulges of fat in the wrong places.
If it fits too tightly on the top of a waist trainer, it can create lumps of backfat. If it is too short for you, it will push the fat downwards and create lumps of fat on your hips. (Which, I now have thanks to a combi of ill-fitting underwear and the wrong shapewear for me..) But – this shows that yes, they are effective, but you need to choose something that is right FOR YOU.
How it all started
So, I’m not sure about you, but the day I popped #miloGMT, my FIL asked – “eh why your tummy still so big. Got another one inside ah?” He then proceeded to helpfully give a long lecture on how I should do jamu as well. (Of course I had arranged to do jamu – but I also had a C-section, so that had to wait.)
It was not the best of times – I was leaking, bleeding, aching – and I basically was just called fat. So you can bet your bottom dollar that it affected me! So, I’ll bring you through my journey of trying the different pieces, before ending with the one that I have settled on, and still use on occasion even now, one year after my baby.
Dale Medical Abdominal Binder (4 panels)
Price – Bought at Guardian for about $100 +++, but you can purchase on Qoo10 at $70 plus (I think I was considered an extra-wide stretch.)
Pros: This was the very first binder I used in the hospital suggested by my doctor. It was good as post-C-section binder, as it was mostly used to keep stuff in. I imagine my guts spilling out of my C-section if I removed it and my bandages. But it kept everything in place.
This was a non-latex hospital grade binder which was good for me because I’m allergic to latex.
The four panels were helpful for me as I have a long torso. And it wasn’t as hot as I expected.
Cons: This is more to keep everything in place post-surgery. This is in no way a trainer of any sort, that will help you get your figure back.
Takes a long time to dry.
Definitely can be seen under clothes.
This doesn’t even fall under “light control” in my opinion, as it is really not for smoothing bulges, but more keeping your post op belly and bandages in place.
P.S. I also used Scholl compression stockings while I was still in the hospital.
Many mom’s who go through C-sections, find that their lower half swells up a lot post-surgery. I was advised to bring compression socks, so I brought these, but they were not worth the $70 plus I paid. Within two wears, there were huge holes. Even though I used an XL.
I found that using my workout compression leggings were much more effective at helping with the swelling on my legs. My verdict for these are : Don’t even bother. Get a really good pair of sports compression leggings instead.
Sweets mama hospital grade 100% Maternity binder
Price – $50 for a bundle of two at Mummy’s market
Pros: While these were very cost effective, I found their efficacy as a binder similar to the Dale’s. Very light compression. It was mostly to hold bandages etc in place. But, this was light and very breathable, but is definitely a good alternative for a post surgical option.
Dries faster than the elastic binders.
Cons: Low compression.
Can be seen under clothes.
Price – a present from a friend. But you can get them at $92 at PupsikStudio
My friend, who had a C-section a month before I did swore by the Belly Bandit. She loved it so much, she got me two! One in L and another in XL.
If you see in my video, the one’s I had, had BB logomania coughed up all over the binder – whereas those offered in Singapore now, are a different model – a Bamboo option. While I haven’t tried those, I will tell you this.
I think these are definitely more suited to an apple body shape. I was an XL in almost every single brand, but even the L was large for me and sat in a weird way on me. It was a little too short for my long torso, and because I have a narrow waist, it always left a gap on the top.
That said – my friend 100% swore by these and said they were the best in terms of compression and comfort for her. And everything else I used, like the Dale – she hated and found the rolled up.
So if you have an apple body, this might be the best buy for you. As it did not work for me…
Pros: Best for apple bodies. Firm compression.
Cons: Bad for pear bodies. Definitely can be seen under clothes. I have a small underbust so there was a huge gap on the top of the shapewear, so it just floated.
Takes ages to dry.
Only has one row of Velcro. If you slim down beyond that, you can’t really tighten the belt any further. I’m usually an L-XL in most of the local sizes. But with this brand, even the L was loose for me at the underbust.
Compression: 6/10 (if it works for you)
Shaping: N/A for me.
Superwoman Tummy Tucker
I bought so many products from this Singapore label. Who knew that a Singapore brand could come up with such good, affordable products.
Price – I bought 2 for $89 at a Mothercare sale. You can buy a set of this + their liquid shaper mist at $49 at MummysMarket.
Pros: SUPER VALUE FOR MONEY.
Very good compression.
Had boning to support you all around, and 4 rows of hooks to adjust as you slimmed down.
Excellent waist trainer.
Cons: A little short for my torso. Takes about two days to dry.
For people who don’t understand what the wrong body shaper can do for your body – in my case – I used this for a about 2 mths. It very effectively helped my flatten my tummy. VERY EFFECTIVELY. However, as my jamu lady pointed out – as it was too short for me, it squished my fat downwards, so I now have two slight bulges above my hips. So now I am using something with more full body compression to correct that.
Here’s a big BUT.
BUT – because most of you in Singapore have conventional Asian proportions, this would probably work like a dream for you, you lucky ladies.
Btw I also bought their shaping underwear and arm compression, but their sizing was a tad inconsistent. And if I went more into tummy control underwear, this article would never end. So… next!
Shaping: 7/10 (if it suits your body length)
Squeem Perfect Waist Firm Compression Waist Cincher Shapewear
Price – $89 on Pupsik. Now you can get it at $79 on Pupsik.
Pros: This was the most luxurious feeling of all the different shapewear, it had almost this.. microsuede feel. It came in beautiful packaging as well. So this definitely was one of my favourites in the waist trainer department.
This also, as a waist cincher, was the best length for me and worked the best. It probably is more suited to the western body frames, but it could reach my underbust and my hips, which many of the other waist trainers could not.
Very effective compression. Was tight the whole way rather consistently.
Cons: Only 2 rows of hooks
Very hot. Least breathable of all the waist trainers. And takes very long to dry when you wash it. (About 2 days.)
Siluet PL1 Postpartum High Compression Mid-Thigh Full Body Shaper
Price: I bought these on Singsale for $60 each. You can find them at US$59 on their website.
This is HIGHLY effective. And the good thing about full body shapers is, there is less chance of unsightly bulges because you are essentially smoothing everything down.
The biggest issue for me was actually fitting into one. When I first tried to squeeze myself into an XL, I was depressed for a week after because I could barely reach up to my thighs.
When I finally could fit into it, and squeezed my ass into the XL – I couldn’t get out of it in time to pee. So, I actually had to buy myself a shepee to fit into the little hole they provide.
Don’t even bother if you need to do a number 2.
Pros: Highly effective.
Can’t be seen under clothes. (Even though it is purple. Strange.)
Cons: You can’t go to the bathroom.
SO SO HOT.
Brazilian sizing is whack. (I tried on the L in the video and couldn’t even squeeze into it.)
Compression: 11/10. Maybe a little too tight?
And now we come to the end of my shapewear journey, where I finally bit the bullet and called the number I saw on so many ads on Facebook.
Price: $1500 and up.
Ok people – before you balk, just as I did – let me walk you through the process of how I became a little bit of a convert.
Before you go on reading. Please be kind. I still had some ways to go with weight loss in the following pictures, but I wanted to be honest about the process to fellow moms, so do bear in mind I definitely was not as in shape as I would have liked to be when I tried the shapewear on.
Unlike all the other products I’ve mentioned before, D’elegance has boutiques where you are personally measured and fitted for your shapewear, not only to find what fits, but what works for you. I had the honour of being fitted by the founder herself – Ms. Elida Teh.
So one of the first things I noticed, besides the very comfortable fitting rooms, was how warm and open she was. She told me that she herself had a tough pregnancy when she was younger, where she put on a lot of weight, much like myself. That too kickstarted her journey to finding the right shapewear for herself.
While she measured me, she very kindly pointed out the areas I could work on, and even flashed me her own tush. THAT LADIES, WAS WHAT CONVINCED ME TO TRY IT OUT.
I’m not going to reveal her age, because that would just be gauche, but let’s just say that I have never seen a higher/tighter tush of a lady of her years. It was so high off the ground and so perky and lifted – and all this, without exercise, she confided. Just from years of wearing her shapewear.
Being no fan of exercise myself… I was SOLD.
Elida chose the bra, bodysuit, thigh girdle, waist training corset and the French panty for me.
Because each piece has a different purpose – I can even help you break down the pros and cons of each piece!
The fabrication of all their shapewear is the lightest, and “airiest” of all the different brands, and definitely the most breathable.
If you see the photos, they look like they are made of “stocking” material and are entirely see through. (The mannequins have light, and so you can see how thin the material really is. Compared to some of my other shapewear which I am sure would not hold up to this test.)
The areas with more compression are actually disguised with lace panels. Though the items are see through, they have a very strong compression, which was very surprising. Most of the items have either firm, or extra firm control.
Compared to all the other brands, this was the only brand that was made of this stocking-like mesh fabric. So in terms of “heat” – wearing this shapewear was definitely more bearable than the other brands in our climate, especially for long term use. Which for this label, is recommended to help shape your body, permanantly.
Another plus point for me was, because the shapewear was expensive, I only got one set – BUT – because the material is so light, I’ve handwashed the shapewear at night, and they are usually dry in the morning and ready to be used all over again.
Despite the fact that I’ve handwashed the items almost daily – all the compression wear is still functioning as well as when I first got them. The only item that has seemed to “stretch” a little, is the bra.
I definitely did register some huge changes in my measurements before and after using the shapewear on the day itself. With my tummy -what they call the abdomen line- having the most drastic change of going down by 11cm. You can see my measurements below.
(The arrows going up indicate lift, and how much this has been lifted. So as you can see, my hips and bum got a little bit of a butt lift as well. About 3cm.
More significantly, the boobies, which after breastfeeding were slightly southeast and southwest, were then tucked in (by 6cm) and lifted (by 7cm).
Very expensive. And even though they will recommend shapewear that suits your body type the most, no two bodies are the same, and so fits will be different.
I was also rather disappointed that they haven’t developed anything for the arms yet, as that is one of my problem areas, and after streamlining my body it felt like my arms were even chunkier in comparison.
I found that my arms really swelled up during pregnancy and even during breastfeeding, even my masseuse was constantly trying to massage them down, and mentioned that my lymph nodes in the area were constantly blocked. (This is a known health issue on my part, so that could be one of the reasons.)
But maybe this is something they can toy with the future, having shapewear that helps tone up the arms too, since I know many women who are conscious about their arms.
Bra – Pros:
The band around the body/ribcage is wider than most bras, it does help keep everything in more. And the bra straps are set further apart on your shoulders, what does happen is that when you are taught to wear this bra properly, you sweep all the fat from your back, and pull it all into the bra cups. And everything is together and more lifted. It was only after trying this bra that I realized even with some underwire bras I have, because of the way the bras sit or pinch, bulges are created at my back, or I get “arm scallops”.
With this design, everything is all tucked in, and my boobs were considerably lifted, and definitely looked a lot fuller and perkier.
Long term usage did help shape everything back in. And I’ve found since I haven’t been wearing the shapewear as often of late, my body has seemed to be “melting” back out of shape.
Seriously damn ex. At $318 dollars I expect a bra to be made of gold thread, or at least, most options with designs. Which sadly, are unavailable. The bras are very functional and sturdy. The lace patterns are… slightly on the more dowdy side, and are definitely no La Perla. (I.E. I mean this is the sexy type of lingerie a partner will be raring to take off you.) And you can’t really wear anything strapless with this.
The only thing that you can wear with something strapless is their bustier corset. It has VERY firm compression, and significant push up. I’ll just let this photo do the talking for me.
Unfortunately, at the time, Elida did not recommend I get this piece as I still had some more weight to lose, and she didn’t want to risk me getting unsightly back bulges as a result of using this. (If you look closely at the photo, you can see what she means on the right side of the photo.)
But this is definitely the piece I am looking forward to buying next.
Thigh girdle – Pros:
As you can see in the picture above, Elida fit me first with the bra, and the thigh girdle. Even with the thigh girdle, you can see the problem area that I hate the most – my muffin top! But this is already a stark improvement compared to BEFORE I donned the shapewear.
Even the ass is cut in a 3D style for juicy bums. And after using this for two months, I noticed a considerable difference in how lifted my bum was thereafter. (It really is starting to defy gravity!)
The compression on the lace panel in front is really superior, and it’s not just a pretty feature on the girdle.
It helps shape and smooth down the bulges of muffin top fat I had over my hips!
This was one the items I started wearing rather regularly.
Thigh girdle – Cons:
I have a long torso, so even though it does come up higher than most brands, it still rolls down for me (you can see a little bit of this happening in the first photo below when I wear the bodysuit over it). It doesn’t stay right under the bust line as it should. But, compared to other brands, it definitely fared much better.
It also is rather long, so you are restricted with what you wear. Only knee length skirts and pants. You basically have to start dressing like Kate Middleton. Or the Queen.
My thighs are relatively slim in comparison to the rest of my body, so I didn’t register a change in measurements in my thigh area with the girdle which I was slightly disappointed by.
Bodysuit – Pros:
So after you wear your bra, and your girdle, this goes on top of it. (I know. It all sounds so sexy doesn’t it.) The best thing about this piece is it has onesie snaps at the bottom for easy pee access.
After wearing it on top of the girdle, it gives a considerably firmer compression on your tummy, waist and above the hip, and it really smooths out any lumps or bulges. As you can see in the second picture above, it really smoothed out my muffin top completely.
The bum also is cut 3D, which you will notice if you lie the garment flat.
The straps, which are meant to sit slightly outside the bra straps, push any other unwanted fat bulges back (this really helps eliminate the arm scallop/fat armpit look), and gives the underbust a little more support.
I wore this bodysuit with the bra on days when I was wearing something shorter, and still wanted some support and control with shaping.
Bodysuit cons – Cons:
As mentioned before, I have a big bum. And despite the fact that the bodysuit is cut 3D to make provision for that, my bum was still bigger than provided for, (I believe that they catered for more petite Asian bums, and not so much this Bollywood Butt), so quite often, the bottom area would ride up and I would get a wedgie from the suit.
Waist trainer/corset – Pros:
FWAH. I didn’t think I could get an even slimmer waist, but when I used the girdle, bodysuit and corset, I shaved a whopping 11 cm off my waist.
It really gave deadly curves, and when wearing all three, my posture was always good and I was sitting ramrod straight like a princess.
BUT, the compression was extremely firm and gave me even more of a waistline.
While not the most convenient, going to the loo is manageable because Auntie Elida recommends you flip up the corset, before you unsnap/peel off everything else.
Waist trainer/corset – Cons:
By the time you wear all three, it definitely takes a little getting used to and it might feel a little constricting.
The hooks are at the back, and because of the firm compression, there is no way to wear this piece on its own, by yourself. Once you hook it up in front, you can’t turn it around to wear it in the proper direction. It is physically impossible. If you intend to wear this and this alone, I would highly suggest you have someone hook it up for you, while it already is in position.
This corset was designed to be worn while you are wearing the girdle under, fastening the hooks in front, and then twisting with all your might so they align with your spine at the back.
You will work up a sweat before you are done.
The compression really works, and you get a much more svelte waist, but I’m not sure if it is worth the hassle.
Elida explained that the firm compression is under the lace panel that is on the front of the corset, and putting hooks there would have compromised the efficacy of the compression.
While I understand the logic, this was a piece I felt I could have skipped and maybe gotten the strapless corset instead only because it was really hard to wear when I was by myself.
Overall, while the d’elegance set is definitely most expensive of the lot, I am STILL wearing these pieces from time to time, mixing and matching them up. The $54 dollar lace and cotton panty seems excessively pricey, but it also is the most comfy pair of panties I own now which don’t bunch at all.
So all in all, even though they cost the most, I forsee myself wearing these pieces for a long time to come, getting more wear out of all the different items on an everyday basis. More bang for my buck in the long run.
So is it perfect? No. The shapewear system still has it’s flaws, but it is the most effective one out there of all that I’ve tried.
Compression: Depending on the items 8/10 – 10/10
Would I still recommend it – Heck YES. But only if you can afford it! In fact I’d recommend anyone to try it, not just women after pregnancy!
Fast forward to me this year, on the 29th of May, just ready to host an award show, in a super unforgiving dress, and only my thigh girdle on.
A totally unedited photo, wearing a dress I definitely would not have dared to wear if not for the shapewear. SO KABOOMZ ladies. There it is.
As always, be forgiving of your beautiful body that bore you a child. I know there are lots of women in Singapore especially who really go super skinny after pregnancy… I am not one of them. And if you aren’t either, I hope this post makes you realise, you are not alone.
WE CAN DO THIS MOMMA’S!