spirit of black dress image Did you know that what you wear under your dress is as important, if not more important, than the dress itself? What’s the point in finding the most amazing frock, but then not having the underwear to show it off to its best effect? If you really want to do your dress justice, those irritating lines and bumps have to go! With lots of different shapewear brands on the market, Team LBD set out to bring you the best support knickers and clever bra solutions that really, really work. You have our word that every item in our new LBD Shapewear Collection will exceed all your expectations, every time!

The challenge

We spent a very glamorous few weeks wriggling into all sorts of Bridget Jones-esque pants, from the UK’s most popular brands, as well as road-testing clever bras solutions that can be worn no matter how revealing your dress is. We wanted to find shapewear that really smoothes out muffin tops, cinches in your waist, avoids the dreaded VPL and creates a seamless figure, not to mention the perky butt we hear celebs raving about. Plus, bras that can be worn under the most awkward of dresses that actually stay in place and give support without being seen.

The conclusion

Is all shapewear equal? Absolutely not! Whilst we found the lighter control styles comfortable, they just didn’t give the support we wanted, and let’s face it, if you’re going to invest in shapewear, you might as well opt for something that’s going to get you as damn close to supermodel svelte as possible. After trying the cheap and cheerful, the outright extortionate and everything in between, we made our decision. Drum roll please. Well, it turns out the celebrities really do know their shapewear from their underwear and without a doubt, Spanx was the brand that lived up to expectation and beyond. Beautifully made, with brilliant attention to detail, the control knickers go right up to below your bra-line, meaning there’s not so much as a glimpse of a bulge or lump anywhere on your mid-riff, whilst clever ‘sticky’ hems keep them perfectly in place. The fabric feels comfortable, yet supportive, and really does nip and tuck you in, whilst the butt lifting seams instantly add some oomph, creating a round, smooth and perky dereiere. Spanx may not be the cheapest but they’re undoubtedly a worthy investment. Prices start from £33 (but considerably cost-effective if you consider you can wear these again and again, and with its effects being compared to liposuction, it’s much less painful too!). As for the bosom department, there’s nothing worse than finding the most beautiful dress and then struggling to find a bra that works under it. Well, that’s where the ever-so-clever Fashion Forms comes in. We were delighted to discover this US brand that makes bras that ‘stick’ on, meaning no need for any straps. Perfect for backless, plunging and cut-away dresses, they go up to a D cup and really hold you in place. Meet our new best friends, now available on LittleBlackDress.co.uk: Go Bare Backless Strapless Bra, £25 This crafty design is both backless and strapless, using a special stick-on design that keeps everything in place, trust us; we did some very thorough checks! Made from molded foam with underwired cups, this bra gives brilliant shape and support, whilst the sticky sides last a minimum of 25 washes. Perfect for all sizes, shop from size A to D – sizes A and B come with a bump pad for a little extra lift. Shop it now. Recommended for: Wear it with any of your backless or strapless dresses and it’s great for cut-away dresses too. U Plunge Backless Strapless Bra, £25 This cleverly designed style means at last you can wear a bra with your plunging dress and have a great cleavage too. Giving you a sultry lift and a little push-up, this bra uses self-adhesive wings for the ultimate backless strapless, plunging look. Using shaped and gently padded cups, along with the under-wiring, there’s plenty of support and it comes with a detachable strap that can be worn with a halterneck-style dress. Shop it now. Recommended for: Perfect for plunging dresses and low cut styles, we even spotted Lady Gaga wearing this very style by itself under a fishnet top! Spanx Super Higher Power Shorts, £35 Figure-fixes: Bum, tum and thighs. Recommended for: Maxi dresses, pencil dresses, strapless styles and jumpsuits. These are the queen of Spanx. If you’re looking for the all over nip and tuck, look no further than these body-transforming short-style briefs to give you a flawless finish. Sucking in your tummy, lifting your bottom dramatically and making VPLs and muffin tops disappear instantly; we’re really not lying when we say these control shorts are magic. Starting just below your bra and ending mid-thigh, these bad boys create a seamless finish and a figure to envy. Shop it now. Spanx Higher Power Brief, £33 Figure-fixes: bum and tum. Recommended for: Dresses with thigh-high splits, mini dresses and playsuits. Great for everyday wear, these super soft briefs pull right up underneath your bra to pull in your tummy, dispel love handles, and their special design even lifts your bum to create a perky behind even teenage girls will envy! There’s another reason why we love these, as this style stops just below your bum there’s no worry that someone might catch them peeking out, so they’re great for when you need some suction under a mini dress. Shop it now. Spanx Super Higher Power Tights in sheer nude, £28 Figure-fixes:Bum, tum, thighs and legs. Recommended for: pencil dresses, skater dresses and bodycons. Do you ever pull your tights over your tummy to attempt create a smooth line, but it just doesn’t work? Then these are the tights for you. Essentially a pair of Spanx Super Higher Power control shorts with sheer nylon stockings built in, they have all the power of nipping in your waist, bottom and thighs, plus give legs a lovely natural sheen. A great value product too – if the tights ladder, simply snip the legs off and use as a pair of control shorts. Shop it now. Spanx Simplicity Open Bust Slip, £89 Figure-fixes: Bum, tum and thighs. Recommended for: Designed especially to be worn under dresses. Although this item is more expensive, it is an absolutely worthwhile investment if you love dresses. Worn alongside your own bra, this slip transforms your figure, lifting everything upwards, and creates an absolutely seamless silhouette. It features built-in knickers for extra tummy control and has a hook and eye fastening for easy bathroom access, whilst the thigh-smoothing skirt has a sticky hem to keep it firmly in place. Absolute genius. Shop it now. Shop the LBD Shapewear collection here.