Types of Foundations

Three Types of Foundations — from ultralight to firm

There are three basic types of foundations that I suggest to my clients, depending on their figures and how much shaping they’d like to have: body liners, leotards, and shapewear (i.e.; girdles). I’ll talk with you during your appointment or phone consultation about which may be best for you and the design you’ve selected.

The simplest foundation is a body-liner or body stocking, and is much like an ultra-light-weight leotard. It’s the absolute minimum next to going naked. I recommend these for the slimmest of figures and those which don’t require a bra for support. You’ll protect your gown from body oils and perspiration, and your look will have only the lightest touch of smoothing. This is an excellent choice for clinging fabrics and close fitting design lines. These are offered in a unitard style (legs may be shortened) and a camisole-leotard style. (The styles show below are usually offered by dancewear retailers. I recommend River’s Edge Dancewear.)

Body Liners, camisole and full-body styles. Leg length can be altered to suit.

A step up in weight and control power from a body-liner is a leotard. Today’s styles are available in boy-leg and capri-leg lenghths, with spaghetti straps, low cut necklines, and even scoop backs. These provide about the same support as the leotards you remember from ballet or gymnastics class. With 1970’s fashion back in vogue, you may even have one in your wardrobe today. These will provide the same protection from body oils, and in addition to soft smoothing, they also provide light support everywhere. I recommend these for slim to average figures, and those which can substitute the support of a leotard for a bra.

A new variety of leotards come in a range of cuts and colors. Leg length can be altered to suit.

Also in this category are micro-fiber camisoles and boy-leg briefs or “hot pants.” These are offered by makers like Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Ralph Loren, DKNY, and so on. They are often marketed as seamless and are great every-day underwear for fitted clothing styles. Depending on the cut and fabric of your garment, either a one-piece leotard or a two-piece camisole and brief set may be more appropriate.

Microfiber camisole and boy shorts.

The third category of foundations–girdles–are often called “body shapers” or “contour garments”. These products are offered by a variety of makers with which you may not be familiar: Rago, Goddess, Vabien, among many more. They are made with much more Lycra spandex than the 10% lycra / 90% cotton blend of most leotards, and they offer the best of shaping and support.

This is my favorite category of foundation garments because they are the truest for creating that glamorous vintage look. If you think Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe looked that curvaceous without any help from girdles, then you’re in for a surprise…because you can have their hourglass looks too! I recommend these foundations for all figure types, and especially for the full figured …

  1. Open Bottom Girdle
  2. Body Briefer or ‘All-In-One’
  3. Panty Girdle
  4. Long Leg Panty Girdle