Before we dive in, I want to take a moment to applaud your presence here today. You made it, and your courage in the face of men’s underthings will be rewarded handsomely with a new lease on life for your torso.
Gone are the days when men’s shapewear was limited to compression tops or even just tight-fitting shirts peppered with a bit of elastane. Today’s garments are as varied and detail-obsessed as they are durable and comfortable. Bodysuits. Vests. Padded tank tops. If your body has a will, the shapewear industry has a way.
Rest easy, friend. The long road that meanders through the best men’s shapewear doesn’t have to be an awkward one. We’ve got this.
In order to be among the best men’s shapewear options, a garment needs to have a few key characteristics. It should be comfortable, target specific areas, and allow for a wide range of motion.
My top pick, the Spanx Sculpt Cotton Crew Neck, has all those features and more. But if you’re budget-conscious, you don’t have to settle—Esteem Apparel will help keep your torso in check without breaking the bank.
When I first set about compiling this list, I knew I wanted my top pick to be devoid of pretension and unnecessary bells and whistles. It should also be a type of garment the average guy already wears on a regular basis. And with that, the esteemed designation of best body shaper for men goes to the Spanx Sculpt Cotton Crew Neck.
For starters, it comes in basic black and white, which helps maintain its anonymity under your top layers. It’s also rife with useful technical features like its sweat-wicking, breathable fabric, anti-odor properties, and a thoughtful opaque material designed to keep your chest hair invisible.
Material: 81% Cotton, 19% Elastane | Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Whole-torso smoothing | Care: Machine Wash
Just because you might be on a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for poorly made, ineffective products. Amazon, as you might expect, has tons of men’s shapewear options. Among its top-rated, for good reason, is Estee Apparel’s chest compression shirt. It cuts right to the chase in terms of performance, providing a deliberately tight fit designed to lift the midsection and make the dreaded man boob disappear.
It’s the kind of shirt you’ll want to stock up on if the word gynecomastia means anything to you. And since it’s sleeveless, you don’t have to worry about it peeking out from your t-shirts or polos.
Material: 90% Spandex, 10% Nylon | Sizes: M-2XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Chest & Abs | Care: Machine Wash
Spanx again? Spanx again. And, spoiler, it won’t be the last time the Sultan of Shapewear (Titan of Tights? Commander of Compression?) shows up in this list. The Sculpt Cotton Brief has some solid features, like a crotch cradle with a built-in fly for easy access when nature calls.
Flat seams help reduce chafing, while its unique blend of fabrics keeps moisture moving right along. Also key to this particular type of garment is Spanx’s incorporation of anti-odor properties. Translation: As far as tighty whities go, these are right up there.
Material: Body: 81% Cotton, 19% Elastane; Pouch: 84% Cotton, 13% Elastane, 3% Nylon | Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Crotch & Butt | Care: Machine Wash
Which brings us to the part where we talk about your forthcoming fake butt cheeks. Hey, we all need a little help somewhere, and mine is not to judge if one of your opportunities for physical improvement happens to be your ass.
That’s where DoLoveY comes in, not only with an impossibly Amazon-y name but with a pretty stellar pair of briefs. There’s no seam to give away your padded position, plus said pads are removable and just the right size to give you a little lift without coming off cartoonish or overly noticeable.
Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex | Sizes: S-6XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Crotch & Butt | Care: Machine Wash
There’s a fair amount of crossover between undershirts, shapewear crewnecks, and compression shirts, to name a few. That said, most guys are looking for a few specific features in an undershirt. It’s a garment that’s presumably going to be worn daily, so comfort is key. As are breathability, moisture- and odor-control, and allowing for a wide range of motion.
This undershirt from Tommie Copper has all of those properties, plus integrated shoulder panels to encourage better posture. It’s also integrated with UPF 50 for a bit of added sun protection if you plan on wearing it as a base layer for workouts.
Material: 86% Nylon, 14% Lycra Spandex | Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 4 | Best For: Waist & Belly | Care: Machine Wash
Shapewear vests not only create a soothing hug-like effect throughout your torso, they also help keep things high, tight, and jiggle-free. Leonisa is on top of its shapewear game, as evidenced by this feature-filled Firm Body Shaper Vest. One of the main advantages of a shapewear vest is the ability to easily get in and out of it thanks to a front zipper.
The bottom section is double layered for maximum ab compressione. Meanwhile, crossed bands across the upper back are a good reminder to maintain proper posture, and the nude color stays hidden under your clothes.
Material: 82% Polyamide, 16% Elastane, 2% Cotton | Sizes: S-4XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Torso | Care: Machine Wash
Looking to go all-in with a full body getup? You’d be hard-pressed to find a better bodysuit for the price than Underworks’ shaper. Made of nylon and spandex, it’s cut in a way that accentuates the good parts and hides the ones you want hidden.
A double compression panel works overtime to tighten your chest, torso, hips, and thighs—to say nothing of the confidence boost it’s poised to give you. And if you’re already thinking about how bathroom trips are going to work in this thing, Underworks has beat you to it. A zipper runs along the back for easy access.
Material: 76% Nylon, 24% Spandex | Sizes: S-4XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Chest, Torso, Hips & Thighs | Care: Hand Wash
Yep, I know. That word up there. The good news is that no one has to know it’s technically a “girdle” but you and I. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to talk about how this thing will have your love handles quaking in their boots. (Just go with it.)
Thermoregulation is a focus here. Its jade fiber works overtime to keep your midsection cool and comfortable at the same time. As far as shaping, targeted compression around your waist and stomach will keep you feeling good in your top layers without restricting your movement.
Material: Polyamide, Nylon | Sizes: S-3XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Chest, Waist & Belly | Care: Machine Wash
As promised, Spanx rears its shapely head once again to present us with the Ultra Sculpt Seamless Tank. The Spanx crew neck is my number one pick, partly because the crew neck is such a universally worn shirt. Arguably coming in a close second is another workhorse, the tank.
Like its sleeved counterpart, this one is seamless to keep it hidden under your top layers. It’s also designed to reduce odor, wick sweat away, and provide top-notch targeted compression to your abs, chest, and lower back.
Material: 93% Nylon, 7% Elastane | Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 2 | Best For: Abs, Chest, & Lower Back | Care: Machine Wash Cold
One of the top-rated compression shirts on Amazon, Athlio’s Cool Dry Short Sleeve Compression Shirt is comfortable, durable, and basic in all the right ways. It’s the shirt you’ll pop on when you’re playing sports, hiking, or generally being active while listening to ‘80s European synth pop, preferably something by Alphaville or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Just seems like that kind of shirt.
Anyway, your chest, waist, and midsection will be in good polyester-and-elastane hands, and this three-pack also offers sun protection—a feature you don’t often see in compression shirts.
Material: 85% Polyester, 15% Elastane | Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 14 | Best For: Waist & Belly | Care: Machine Wash
2(X)ist is an annoying word to type and say. But, perhaps more importantly, it’s a company that makes some damn fine shapewear. To that end, my best men’s shapewear pick in the boxer briefs category is its Shapewear Form offering.
You’ll get all the breathability and range of movement you’d expect from a typical pair of boxer briefs. But you’ll also have the added benefits of a six-inch waistband to keep your love handles in check, plus a contoured pouch in which to comfortably store your bits and bobs.
Material: 80% Cotton, 20% Spandex | Sizes: S-XL | Colors: 1 | Best For: Waist | Care: Machine Wash
What To Look For When Buying The Best Men’s Shapewear
Shapewear works by compressing specific areas of your body to create a more contoured and flattering look. It’s this compression that can make or break a garment. To find the right fit for you, first identify which areas of your body need attention, then compare the best shapewear for men that targets those areas with compression.
Fit And Feel
It doesn’t matter how well a product is reviewed or how many social media influencers are praising it. If your shapewear doesn’t fit and isn’t comfortable, you’re never going to wear it. Choose comfortable and functional materials—spandex allows for a wider range of motion, while cotton and microfiber garments offer breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and tend to be gentler on the skin.
The best men’s shapewear not only targets specific areas but comes in a variety of styles. A vest, for example, creates a slimming effect through the chest and midsection without weighing you down with more material than is needed. Waist shapewear is more targeted still and uses even less material. Figure out the areas you want to target and choose an appropriate style from there.
Thankfully, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the best men’s shapewear for your body type. Styles run the gamut, but the Sculpt Cotton Crew Neck from Spanx takes the top spot thanks to its useful technical features and universal style.
If you’re expecting miracles from this type of garment, you may be in for a rude awakening. That said, if you choose the right fit, material, and style for your specific needs, the best men’s shapewear will absolutely work.
Experts and health professionals advise against wearing shapewear for prolonged periods of time to reduce the risk of cutting off your circulation. Other potential disadvantages include, but aren’t limited to, skin irritation and digestion issues.
No two men’s shapewear manufacturers will fit the same way, so always take a look at each company’s sizing guide. A general rule of thumb is to go with the same size you’d wear with your normal clothes.
Depending on the areas it’s targeting, the compression provided by men’s shapewear can help reduce pressure in your lower back and potentially improve your posture. Ultimately, though, what’s good for you is subjective and depends entirely on how it makes you feel.