My Colleagues Convinced Me That These Sculpting Clothes Actually Work

As I sit at my WFH desk in a Skims two-piece lounge set, I'll be the first to say some of my favorite items in my wardrobe have sculpting properties. They make me feel held in and secure (almost like the clothing equivalent of a weighted blanket), and due to the technology involved, often come with some of the best quality material in general.

I'm technically never not in the market for a few new items that promise a sculpted end result, but these are the kinds of things are better off purchased under the guidance of word of mouth rather than blindly. As such, I tapped a few of the most trustworthy people I know when it comes to all things fashion: our editors. We're sharing the tried and true contouring items that make us feel our best, and we're not just talking shapewear, either (expect deets on jeans, swimsuits, and more). Below, discover the holy grails that are bound to blow your mind.


"This bodysuit is the queen of all bodysuits. It has an incredible fit and hugs your figure without being so tight that there are any bulges. I always feel instantly sculpted when I put it on. The secret to this bodysuit is all about the material: it's like a thicker tights material (aka it's the stretchiest fabric on earth). One reviewer confirms, 'Let's be honest—when I pulled it out, I was like did I order a bodysuit made out of tights material? Slipped it on, and it is absolutely comfortable, flattering, lightweight, and breathable!'"— Kat Collings, Editor in Chief


"If you're not really a shapewear person—I tend to find it a bit too tight and restricting—this underwear from Spanx is the perfect entry point. They smooth, soften, and hold you in, but don't have that feeling of excessive control. I probably have five pairs and they're game-changers for wearing under skirts, dresses, and looser pants."—Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, senior market editor


"I was shocked when I first donned this dress. I had never tried shapewear before, but the Instagram viral dress from Skims convinced me to give it a go. Really, I didn't expect much, but when I first looked in the mirror, my jaw dropped. I had an hourglass figure! Where did that come from? BRB, adding it to cart now in more colors."—Sierra Mayhew, associate editor


"I don't really wear shapewear or sculpting products, but when I do wear something fitted and want undergarments that have the perfect fit, I rely on Skims. It doesn't dig into my skin or feel restraining, but gives the smoothing I need."—Yusra Siddiqui, Assistant Market Editor


"I'm sort of picky with leggings, so I'm always thrilled when I find a new pair (especially when they're affordable, as leggings tend to wear out somewhat quickly). My latest acquisition is Everlane's Perform 24/7 Leggings. All I ask for in leggings is that they're comfortable, flattering, and stay up. These do all that and more. The material is almost silky soft, but still thick enough to wear when it's chilly out. Plus, they come in two lengths and a bunch of cute colors and are a reasonable $68."—Allyson Payer, senior editor


"I thought all white tees were made equally, but I was so wrong. This cropped tee from Express is like your favorite pair of compression leggings—it sculpts, lifts, and smooths everything out for one pulled-together look. I'll definitely be buying multiple."—Anna LaPlaca, editor


Admittedly, I used to roll my eyes at the idea of sculpting jeans, but this pair from DL1961 feels like a once-in-a-lifetime find (yes, I mean that in as dramatic of a way as it sounds). I discovered them at a time when I wasn’t the happiest with my body, and literally wore them on repeat. They have the right amount of stretch and are extremely comfy in comparison to the typical pair of jeans. Not to mention, the sculpting effect up top looks amazing juxtaposed against the flare at the bottom.


"Not only are Isa Boulder's swimsuits a work of art, but they also have an incredible sculpting effect that makes me want to wear them exclusively."—Kristen Nichols, senior editor


Now, a Few More Sculpting Styles You May Also Love

The stretch-cotton knit fabric will shape up your workout.

Complete with NYDJ's signature lifting and shaping technology, these have the upper hand on standard trousers.

You may not typically put much thought into pant pockets, but with these jeans, they're done intentionally. Ann Taylor introduced a new pocket style meant to smooth and shape, and the performance stretch material of the denim itself is sure to result in a contoured effect as well.

These exposed seams aren't just a majorly cute accent to this pencil skirt (though they're that, too), but they actually also aid in creating a slimmer fit.

While some sculpting garments meant to be worn underneath clothing may leave you with visible lines and a general sense of lumpiness, this Spanx bodysuit caters to that feeling of second skin that we all love, staying effectively hidden under even the tightest of dresses.

This top is soft as butter, but not to be underestimated in its power to shape and form.

This bra comes with the contouring cups and the seamless lines your T-shirts have been waiting for.

With an added power mesh panel at its front, this isn't your average one-piece swimsuit. What's more, its matte finish will make for an even smoother-looking end result.

Constructed with an Airlift sculpting fabric, Alo calls these airbrushing in legging form. Enough said.

There's just no way a pair of trousers from Spanx won't turn out to be the best trousers ever, especially when made from a smoothing ponte fabric.

While not advertised as a sculpting piece, this double lining fabric hugs all of the right places, and even comes complete with a lifting effect in the bust area.

You can enjoy some contour action with ribbed styles, too. Made with cotton, nylon, and elastane, this biker short has compression properties to hold everything in place during workouts.