Note: Everlasting Occasion is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Do Spanx Work? [Here Is What You Need To Know Before Buying]

If you have a big event or occasion coming up, you may be considering getting some shapewear. Chances are, you’re looking at Spanx. They are without doubt the go-to option. But do they actually work? Are they worth the investment, and are they going to make a difference in how you look and feel? Let’s find out!

So, do Spanx work? Spanx is a very effective brand of shapewear. Due to the high-quality materials and design, Spanx can help smooth out clothing lines and bunches while also holding in areas of our bodies a little more tightly than if we weren’t wearing any compressing garments at all.  

Of course, whether or not they work depends primarily on your definition of the term.

But, if you are simply wondering whether they do what they advertise, the answer is absolutely – yes.

We’re off to a good start.

But talking of beginnings, it has not always been this way.

Spanx has been around for what seems to be forever, but to begin with, it had a little bit of a taboo reputation.

They were a hidden secret that many women did not feel comfortable sharing. 

Originally many women were quite embarrassed to talk about it altogether. 

Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then.

And a lot of this has to do with Kim Kardashian. Once she started openly telling the world she wore the – there was no turning back.

Shapewear has been in ever since. 

Nevertheless, there is an art to wearing Spanx.

They may seem simple, but there are actually particular ways to wear Spanx and different styles for different needs. 

And as mentioned, Spanx isn’t the only company out there that works on keeping some areas in place. 

So without further ado, let’s take a much closer look at how they work and what they do!

How Do Spanx Work?

You just throw them on, and they do their magic, right? Well, sort of! Spanx works by allowing our clothes to fit properly over our bodies like a beautiful silhouette. They snug our bodies in just a bit to create a smooth flattened-out look with our clothes.

But if they aren’t sized correctly, they can actually create more budging than you may have had in the first place. 

Spanx essentially has three levels to choose from when it comes to your compression fit. 

  1. Smoothing
  2. Shaping
  3. Sculpting

Depending on which of the three years you get and what style will determine how they function. 

What Do Spanx Do?

Let’s break down our Spanx into different levels and the different types of Spanx you can wear. 

This will give us a better idea of how they function beyond smoothing out lines and making sure our clothes fit us fabulously!

Smooth Spanx

Smooth Spanx is supposed to feel like a second layer of skin.

It is the least tight of all three compression layers and should feel no more than a light hug, according to their website. You can expect the following from smooth Spanx.

  • Lightweight Fabric
  • No Visible Panty Line
  • Clothes Fit Better
  • Modesty Layer
  • Secures and Smoothes Your Curves

Shaping Spanx

Shaping Spanx gives you a nice firm hug. 

This will give you a little more compression than your smoothing Spanx but won’t be as tight as the final layer. 

This will offer targeted support to certain areas and provide a small lift. It will offer all of the above qualities and the following:

  • Extra Tummy Support
  • Conceals Lumps and Bumps
  • Firms All Over and Slims Your Waist
  • Comfortably Shapes Your Silhouette

Sculpting Spanx

The Sculpting Spanx level 3 is the super firm hug that you have been missing! 

This is the tightest compression and provides “total transformation,” giving you the best possible results. 

This is the maximum slimming type of wear for Spanx. It offers everything from level one and two but also the following:

  • Maximum Compression
  • Flattens Tummy and Sculpts Hips and Things
  • Total Transformation

Spanx Shapewear Options

There are many different styles and shapes to choose from because different clothing will require different shapewear underneath. 

Let’s go over the general styles and how they are meant to function. 


The all-over shaping from head to toe that you need. 

Great for jumpsuits and tight dresses because it gives you support from the top all the way down to your thighs. 


These look like your biker shorts from the ’80s. 

In fact, that is essentially what they are. They are meant to focus on slimming your tights for tight skirts and dresses. 

Waist Cinchers

This shapewear most accurately represents a corset but may have the underwear aspect built-in. 

It’s meant to bring in your waist and smooth over any top that may have bumps and lumps around that area.  


These are your second skin primers for your dress. It offers that smooth look that we may get in level one of our Spanx shapewear. 

How Well Do Spanx Work? 

Spanx has an excellent reputation and many satisfied customers. Their shapewear is known to work very effectively, so long as the right style is selected and is purchased in the correct size with the right level of compression.

Let us now look at each one a little more closely:

Getting The Right Fit

Making sure you get the right size in your Spanx is crucial when it comes to whether they will work or not. 

If you get a size too small, you will actually see exaggerated muffin tops as the shapewear will end up squeezing things into the wrong places rather than soothing and keeping it together.

On the other end of things, if you order too loose of a fit, you are going to get different creases and lines that would defeat the purpose of the Spanx.

Spanx may recommend different sizing based on their charts for different styles and levels of compression. 

The Right Style

As mentioned above, there are certain styles that will serve different purposes. 

If you want to focus more on your waist, you are going to look at the waist-cinching styles rather than the thigh slimming Spanx. 

Having said that, you may want to focus on one area, but your clothes may need a different type of Spanx.

For instance, you may buy a waist cinch when your top is actually quite flowy, and your pencil skirt is really tight. 

This is where you may do better with a bodysuit or thigh slimming option. 

Levels of Compression

Some dresses may need a slip and hardly any compression at all. 

Other outfits may make you feel that you need more sculpting and push you towards the sculpting level because it offers maximum slimming and support. 

This ultimately will be up to you but also may depend on the types of clothing you are wearing. 

What Works Better Than Spanx?

Sometimes customers of Spanx will say that the shapewear line, along with others, will actually cause more bunching or have the Spanx itself rolldown. 

This can be frustrating as it would be hard to adjust the shapewear underneath any kind of clothing. 

While Spanx definitely has a cult-love kind of brand loyalty, there are some other options that consumers rave about. 


Shapellx is a premium brand of shapewear that will smooth, shape & sculpt you your body so you look fantastic and feel beautiful.

They have an extensive range including bodysuits, waist trainers, shorts and panties, bra and underwear, and even plus sizes too.

This is the brand I personally love to order from.

Check out the Shapellx collections.


Sculptshe is a highly reputable shapewear brand, with a range of different products available depending on the need.

You can shop via control area and/or compression level so you can ensure you get the right shapewear to suit your needs.

Check out the Sculptshe collections.


Shapewear has taken on a whole new meaning since one of the world’s biggest influencers created its own line. 

Kim Kardashians Shapewear line Skims has constantly been sold out time after time. 

This high-quality brand offers a multitude of styles, colors, and levels of compression for every need. 

Something that customers rave about with Skims is the ease of putting on the pieces. 

Often shapewear can take a little hiking and adjusting to get it into place, but Skims was surprisingly easy for most to put on based on their tiny size. 

That’s A Fit!

Spanx and shapewear, in general, are great solutions to many problems that women have when trying to make their evening gown fit just right. 

Spanx comes in a variety of compression levels as every woman will have a different level of desire for fit. 

Some may only require a second skin or a slip, while others may want to have a tight, firm squeeze that sculpts.

Users have to remember that if they want it to work the way it is supposed to that they need to order the right size. 

Spanx and other shapewear companies have sizing charts because the different levels of compressions and different styles will require different sizing. 

Second layers of skin may match up perfectly with the same size, whereas the tightest level may require a size up. 

Shapewear comes in different styles because you may need to focus on different areas to make it work. 

A bodysuit does really well with a dress, whereas thigh slimmer’s work really well on pencil skirts and jeans. 

Shapewear from other brands like Skims, Maidenform, HoneyLove, and more are great options as well. 

They all get the job done in one way or another.

You may need to try a few different brands out for yourself to see what the best fit is for you and the most comfortable shapewear. 

And if you do end up getting some shapewear, just be sure not to wear them with underwear; that mistake can be costly!

Oh and learn how to pee in them. That would be my advice!

Read my other related shapewear content: