How to choose the best Christmas party shapewear

Looking forward to the festive party season – but dreading squeezing into a tight outfit? Here’s a comprehensive guide to choosing the best Christmas party shapewear.

As we feel the weather turn, and look forward to Halloween, Bonfire Night and cosy evenings in front of the fire, most of us head out to buy chunky jumpers and slippers.

But when it comes to shopping, there’s an event on the horizon that shouldn’t be ignored: the Christmas Party. Yes, offices around the country are already planning their yuletide festivities and that can mean only one thing. It’s time to start thinking about that party outfit!

Sparkly dress, sequinned mini or jumpsuit, jewellery and heels, we all have a checklist. But the one key element that most women overlook until the last minute is the foundation garment – the shapewear that ensures a smooth silhouette, ensuring you accentuate, streamline and hone your curves.

With even skinny celebs donning Spanx, it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, selecting the right shapewear will enhance your natural shape, ensuring you’re comfortable and confident, and make all the difference to how you look and feel on the big night.

How to choose the best Christmas party shapewear

But with so many options out there, making the right choice can be as hard as choosing the outfit itself. According to plus size shapewear specialist Elle Courbee, there’s an option out there for ladies of all shapes and sizes.

Here’s a brief guide, to help you make the right choice for your figure, as well as your outfit, and help you step out with confidence.

Tummy control

If you’re just looking to nip in your waist, then look no further than control briefs. High-waisted options, in particular, are perfect for controlling that pesky muffin top, and will look great under all outfits – from killer party dresses to high-waisted trousers and slinky skirts.

If you go for ultra-high waisted briefs, look for ones with built-in detachable straps, to attach the briefs to your bra. This will avoid the dreaded ‘roll down’ that can make shapewear really uncomfortable, and result in constantly having to adjust your party outfit.

With no-VPL and thong options, you needn’t sacrifice a smooth silhouette for firm control, making this the most versatile piece of shapewear you can own.

Hip, thigh and bottom shaping

Shaping shorts are an excellent option if you’re looking to slim down your tummy, hips and bottom. The compression fabric will superbly sculpt those curves and minimise any cellulite. And if you’re also looking for butt lift and enhancement, there are even shorts with built-in support to give your rear a lift.

This shapewear is a great option for all tight-fitted outfits, but if you’re wearing a skirt or dress, check your shorts won’t show under your hemline, or you’ll risk a Kardashian-esque exposure.

As with all shapewear, make sure you order the correct size. Wearing a smaller size won’t enhance the slimming effect, it will simply be really uncomfortable and cause unsightly bulges.

Overall torso shaping

For overall shaping from your bust to your hips, then look no further than a bodysuit. For the best hourglass silhouette, choose seam-free no-VPL options.  This shapewear suits all types of outfits – from slim-fitting tops and minis, shorter dresses and high-waisted trousers.

If you prefer to wear your own bra, look for bodysuits that fit under your bra. Not only is this less restrictive, but it will also allow you to customise your foundation garment to your neckline.

Control from bust to thighs

If you’re looking for maximum control, from your bust down to your thighs, then there are two options available: an all-in-one bodyshaper with built-in shaping shorts or a control slip.

While the all-in-one option will suit all types of outfit, obviously the slip is designed to be worn under form-fitting dresses. Again, there are under-bust options, allowing you to choose that plunge bra for a killer low-cut cleavage.


From outerwear to underwear, corsets have come a long way from their asphyxiating Victorian incarnation. If you’re looking to enhance those curves, without compromising on bust or hip size, then look no further than the latest corsetry and waist cinchers.

These tend to work best under dresses, but can work equally well under separates and are the best option for achieving that hourglass silhouette. Go for plain cotton or satin and choose seam-free, in a nude colour, to ensure your shapewear remains concealed.

Leg shaping tights

If you’re planning to wear a dress or skirt, chances are you’ll need to wear tights, so why not choose some sheer, luxe shaping tights, for tummy, hip and all-over leg shaping? Choose from barely-there nine denier for an elegant below the knee cocktail dress, or opaque leg smoothing tights to wear with a sparkly mini.

Not only will shaping tights give you sleek pins, but given that they also come with circulation-boosting powers, you’ll be able to hit the dance floor for that much longer!

Cleavage enhancing

We all remember the marvel of the Wonderbra. The cleavage-boosting, gravity-defying effects on even the least well-endowed was a real game-changer for women the world over.

It seemed that there were three categories of women:

  1. Those needing a boost in size.
  2. Those looking to minimise.
  3. The lucky few who just needed a normal level of support.

However, we’ve recently seen new bras come to the market that are designed to ensure a smooth silhouette free of unsightly lumps and bumps.

These aren’t minimiser bras, these are normal padded bras with built-in underarm and back-smoothing panels, designed to smooth down back fat and define your cleavage. These new shapewear bras are excellent for all outfits, unless you’re planning on wearing a strapless number.

Arm shaping

A relatively new addition to the shapewear arsenal, this clever shapewear slips over your arms and fastens behind your back, or under your cleavage, slimming and shaping those bingo wings.

If you’ve found the perfect shift dress but aren’t comfortable showing off your arms, then this is the option for you. There are also lace options available that will add a touch of modesty to your outfit, without sacrificing the glamour. This undergarment is designed for any sleeveless outfit, but especially suits dresses and jumpsuits.

Go for shape AND comfort

So whatever your body shape, or party outfit, there’s a shapewear option for you. One final word of caution though: when it comes to the right level of control, choose the one you’re most comfortable with.

Don’t completely sacrifice comfort for shape. Extra firm control with built-in boning may give you an amazing figure, but if you can’t sit down for long or easily move around the dancefloor, you’ll have a miserable night.

Instead, follow our simple guide, choose the lightest control you can get away with, and you’re sure to have a brilliant night.