When it comes to fashion, few categories are as contentious as shapewear. As the name implies, shapewear is a type of undergarment that controls and shapes. Think girdles for the tummy and Spanx for the thighs—these are pieces that help create a smoother-looking silhouette and in most cases, enhance the look of natural curves. Practically speaking, shapewear also improves the feel of certain fabrics that can cling or bunch, such as silk or linen. Once upon a time, shapewear was practically synonymous with discomfort, but nowadays—and thanks to a group of standout fashion brands—it has evolved into something that can be worn all day and comes in an impressive range of styles, from full bodysuits to thongs to the classic tummy control brief.
More often than not, shoppers are looking to buy shapewear for a special occasion, like, say, a wedding or graduation. There are also shoppers who want shapewear that can be worn with an everyday “uniform,” such as a pencil skirt or silky slacks. For women of color, comfort and type aren’t the only important shapewear factors. It's also important that the color options be just as inclusive as the sizing. Flesh-toned shapewear is especially helpful when it comes to wearing fabrics that are slightly sheer.
How We Found The Best Shapewear For Dark Skin
This Top 10 list represents the best shapewear for women with deep skin tones. Not only does it include a range of shorts, tanks, bodysuits, and more, but each one is also renowned by reviewers for being ultra comfortable and affordable. With the help of Rank & Style’s proprietary algorithm, they were also scored against a diverse range of shopping data, including expert recommendations, shopper reviews, social media buzz, and notable mentions in publications. Scroll on to see which styles made the cut.
Next up, check out the Best Thong Shapewear.
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Maidenform Firm Control Embellished Unlined Shaping Bodysuit
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This firm-control bodysuit is a fabulous everyday option, thanks to a power mesh lining that provides tummy control without being overly constricting. The dainty lace detailing along the built-in bra cups is also designed to look stylish, whether hidden away or peeking out under a sheer top.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Of the six color options, four are varying shades of nude.
Honeylove SuperPower Short
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: The SuperPower shapewear shorts are aptly named; with their targeted compression, flexible boning, and breathable, sweat-wicking fabric, the effect is truly magical. These special features prevent the shorts from rolling down, squeezing too tight, or getting stuffy.
USER REVIEW: "I have tried so, so, sooo many pairs of shapewear. I am the shapewear queen. So obviously when I saw this ad, I had to try it out. This is, by far, the BEST shapewear I have ever put on!! It’s like you wrote down every complaint I’ve ever had about shapewear and found a solution for all of it. BRAVO!"
Empetua All Day Every Day High-Waisted Shaper Shorts
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Like biker shorts but better, these shaper shorts sit high on the waist and are made with a breathable, nylon-spandex material that prevents thigh chafing. Still, the compression level is as high as it gets.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: For those who find that they’re different sizes according to their waist and hips, the brand recommends sizing according to hip measurement.
SPANX Everyday Shaping Briefs
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: These everyday panties are beloved for their barely there look and feel, thanks to minimal stitching and a seamless hemline. The waistband offers targeted compression for the tummy and backside.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: This shaping level is meant to feel like “a firm hug.”
Commando Classic Control Short
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Shoppers who want light compression will love these classic shapewear shorts, made with luxury microfiber and raw-cut edges to minimize bulging and bunching. The shorts are also made with an exclusive honeycomb construction that increases the garment’s breathability.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: The shorts were also fit-tested by real women to ensure shopper satisfaction.
Maidenform Cover Your Bases Firm Control Smoothing Slip Shorts
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: A must-have for summer, this shapewear short is outfitted with a proprietary Smoothtec waist and leg band that has cooling technology. Still, the gusset is a comfortable cotton-spandex blend.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Reviewers say these are best for shoppers who want light compression.
Honeylove Superpower Brief
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Like the thong on this list, the brief offers the same custom feel, with optional straps and flexible boning to hold the undies in place. Plus, the sheer fabric along the backside is unlined for a smooth-looking silhouette.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Not sure what size to get? Hit the “Sizing Help” button, where the brand will make a recommendation based on a short series of questions.
Spanx Thinstincts 2.0 Mid-Thigh Short
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: So often, shapewear shorts are on the longer side, landing just above the knee. This standout is a mid-thigh version that can be worn under short skirts without showing. The proprietary Lycra FitSense fabric offers light compression and wraps all the way around the waist.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Plus, the unlined leg openings minimize bulging where the end of the fabric meets the skin.
Skims Sculpting Bodysuit Mid Thigh W. Open Gusset
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Kim Kardashian won the praise of fans and skeptics alike with her sexy shapewear line. One of the most popular pieces is this high-compression bodysuit, whose open gusset provides tummy control with the added benefit of a backside lift.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: For those who want a more comfortable everyday fit, size up.
Spanx Thinstincts 2.0 Open-Bust Mid-Thigh Bodysuit
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: There are shapewear bodysuits, and then there are Spanx shapewear bodysuits. This best-seller is open-bust style, meaning shoppers can wear any kind of bra without sacrificing the tummy and thigh control. The straps are also adjustable, while the gusset is constructed for easy access during trips to the bathroom.
SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Its shaping level is medium on a scale of low to high. Or Spanx's words, "like a firm hug."