Buyer Beware 3 Shapewear Surprises No One Is Telling You

None of us wanted to join the roller derby. No, I’m not talking about skating to win. I’m talking about what happens when your shapewear begins rolling like a caterpillar with you inside it. It’s the most common and unwelcome shapewear surprise.

Shapewear Red Flags

We’re too busy for leisurely shopping trips and lunches, so we order online. For most of us, it’s absolute shopping magic! Unfortunately, unless your body meets the exact size requirements of some shapewear, you may have to deal with unexpected surprises.

Despite your best efforts, it happens. Here are 3 tips to avoid – or minimize – some of the unwelcome shapewear surprises you encounter.

1. The Roll-Up/Roll-Down


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The roll-down is more common: Your shapewear looks and feels great. Your body looks and feels great! Now, all you have to do is not sit down for the next 4 hours:

  • When you sit, your thigh-trimming shapewear rolls up. The circulation in your leg is stopped because your femoral artery has been squished to the size of sewing thread.
  • When you sit, your abdominal shapewear rolls down. If you’re lucky, it stops somewhere near the waist. If you’re not lucky, your shapewear twists down to your knees so fast it’s like a spandex rollercoaster.

2. Buyers, Be Wary!

In 2014, a shapewear company said caffeine-infused girdles helped eliminate cellulite. You may find that hard to believe, but a lot of buyers believed it. However, it’s not just fly-by-night companies. Even shapewear leader Spanx® was sued by a company called Sleevey Wonders® (You gotta love that name.) for false advertising when it introduced an arm-slimming shapewear sleeve.

Shapewear claims keep the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) busy! The fact is, shapewear vendors can say anything until they’re caught. They are counting on your good nature and too-tired-to-return-it attitude. Some of the tactics they use include:

  • Bait-and-switch – You bought one thing; they shipped another and then encourage you to “try it anyway.”
  • Going-out-of-business – Furniture retailers do it, and so do online shapewear companies. You think you’re getting a bargain, but the manufacturer is “getting” you.
  • Green deceit – The company claims the shapewear was manufactured using eco-friendly processes. Meanwhile, fish in China are dying because of chemicals used to make your shapewear.
  • Up-selling – You order what you want, but the shipper says that shapewear is out-of-stock. You are then encouraged to pay a bit more for a better girdle.

3. Difficult Return Policies

Read return policies carefully before you order online. Your shapewear arrives and is nothing like what you thought you bought. You then attempt to contact the company to return or replace:

  • Returns are accepted only when postmarked on the Tuesday following the date of delivery.
  • There is no “customer service.”
  • You get caught in an endless phone-loop and never connect with anyone.

Sometimes replacement is your only option for a product that was badly manufactured in the first place.

Shapewear Shouldn’t Hurt

Beauty is the smile you give yourself when you look in the mirror! You should feel good about yourself. Confidence reveals more about us than our bodies do. But a healthy body is critical to quality of life. Everything else is just…well, window-dressing. What you think and feel about yourself is what really matters.

As you shapewear-shop online, guard against shapewear surprises and shop for the body you have, not the body you want. Women especially tend to endure discomfort for the sake of beauty, including feel-good-about-myself beauty. If your shapewear causes any discomfort, it’s not for you. Remember… Feeling beautiful feels good.