The Best Workwear with Secret Shaping Powers

The Best Workwear with Secret Shaping PowersDuring the holidays, do you reach for workwear with secret shaping powers? I asked freelancer Ashley Wermick to look into it for us — thank you again, Ashley! – Kat

Between the eggnog, freshly baked cookies, and other seasonal treats, it’s easy to gain a little something extra during the holidays. And when you want to create a smooth, streamlined figure, body shapers are a fast fix. However, Kat tasked me with finding something even better: clothing lines that have shapewear already built into each garment.

There’s no need to shimmy and struggle into Spanx when you have this fashion-forward attire hanging in your closet. Check out these five brands that will instantly suck you in, so you can enjoy another sugar cookie (…or five):

shapewear-for-work-project-gravitas1. Project Gravitas

Featuring high-quality clothing made right in NYC, Project Gravitas’ pieces are meant to flatter every shape and figure. Their office-appropriate dresses and skirts all have discreet shapewear sewn right in, offering medium control and made of a moisture-wicking material.

Prices: $175 to $395

Sizing: 0 to 16, with option for shorter hem-length

Availability: Online only

Pictured: Indira Dress ($295 at Project Gravitas)

trouser-with-shaping-power-nydj2. NYDJ

NYDJ’s patented Lift Tuck® technology is designed to make you look one size smaller. While slimming denim is what the brand is widely known for, they also offer trousers, dresses, tops, and athletic wear with the same figure-flattering construction.

Prices: $60 to $198

Sizing: plus, petite, and regular (00P to 28W)

Availability: Online (Nordstrom, etc.), NYDJ stores, most major department stores, select boutiques

Pictured: Teresa Modern Trouser in Future Fit Denim ($62-$95 on sale at Zappos)

sheath-dress-with-shapewear-nue-by-shani3. NUE by Shani

NUE, by designer Shani Grosz, is a collection of dresses that blends modern technology with figure-flattering techniques like ruching and darts. From chic sheaths to cocktail frocks, all NUE dresses utilize built-in compression fabric to make you appear a full size slimmer.

Prices: $135 to $420

Sizing: 2 to 16

Availability: Lord & Taylor, Bluefly

Pictured: Ponte Knit Dress ($273 at Bluefly)

shaping-top-for-work-miraclebody4. Miraclebody

You may be familiar with Miraclesuit swimwear, but the company also has a clothing line full of cute and comfortable casualwear. Denim is made with a “tummy control panel” and contoured waistband, while tops come with a slimming inner liner and built-in shelf bra.

Prices: $72 to $135

Sizing: 2 to 16 and S to XL; 16W to 24W and 1X to 3X

Availability: AmazonBloomingdale’s, and select boutiques

Pictured: Tobi Solid Twisted Wrap Top ($22-$86 at Amazon)

pencil-skirt-with-shaping-power-for-work-shape-fx5. Shape FX

Though it looks like this line has been discontinued, you can still find Shape FX items at several online retailers. (And, bonus, at heavily discounted prices!) Look toward this brand for body-shaping tops and pants, as well as workplace-ready dresses, skirts, and blazers.

Prices: Starting at $19

Sizing: 2 to 28

Availablity: SpiegelQVC and resale sites like TradesythredUP and eBay

Pictured: Ponte Knit Pencil Skirt ($34.82 at QVC)

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Social media picture via Pixabay.


  1. I am a big beleiver in SPANX. I used to think it was onley for women over 50 with a tuchus but as a cute women in my mid 30’s with a tuchus, it works for me too!!!!!!

  2. Oh wow, Project Gravitas has really beautiful, class-looking workwear. I just wish 1/2 of the stuff I liked didn’t have exposed zippers!!!

    • Agree, never heard of these people before (and not particularly in the market for shapewear) but it looks gorgeous. Anyone tried it in person? I’d love to hear a review.

      • Yes! I have one of their dresses that I bought after reading about them here or another blog. I have to look at the name but it’s a lovely wool fabric with short sleeves.
        Some of the other styles were slimming but too bod con to be suitable for work.
        I’m in NY so I requested to visit their showroom so I didn’t have to guess at sizing. Ultimately same size I wear in MM la Fleur, maybe one up from J Crew.
        But the staff was lovely and I’ve been happy with my purchase thus far.

  3. Minnie Beebe :

    Am I the only one surprised to learn that Spiegel still exists?? I remember the catalogs coming in the mail as a kid, and being a little weirded out by the extreme color coordination of all the outfits.

  4. Project Gravitas and NUE both look gorgeous, but the price point is a bit high. Anyone have experience with NYDJ?

    • Anonymous :

      Love NYDJ. I wear a ton of it. Super comfy and well made.

    • I have at least 6 NYDJ dresses. They are my go to for days when I need to feel pulled together but not in a suit. Some people don’t love the built in shapewear but I swear by it — it does a wonderful smoothing and shaping without making me feel like I’m in sausage casing all day. I’ve had most of them for about a year now and they’ve held up well in the wash.

      • Do they travel well or do they wrinkle easily?

        • They travel super well. They come in a variety of fabrics (mostly synthetic, sadly), but my three faves are a thick ponte that I’m pretty sure is impossible to wrinkle. I also have a couple jersey ones that don’t wrinkle easily, and I have one that’s a crepe-ish material that I can’t speak to since I haven’t travelled with it yet.

          Here are pics if you want to see them on a real person:

    • Wearing a pair of NYDJ skinny pants right now. Before I tried them, I was worried that they would appear matronly. Not the case at all. I own two pairs that are very flattering and wear like iron.

    • I’ll be the voice of dissent here. They looked really horrible on me. I’m a petite hourglass with a 10 inch difference between my waist and my hips. I had some of their corduroy pants and they were like super frumpy mom jeans on me. I think I just don’t have the right body type for them. That said, the fabric itself was nice and the pants seemed well made overall.

  5. Four months ago, my best friend was informed by her boyfriend of 1.5 years that he wanted to go on a “break”. My best friend being the practical sort, assumed this “break” was permanent and started pursuing other personal and professional interests (including applying to MBA programs). Through the grapevine we heard that ex-BF was basically f-ing every woman within a 2 ft radius, and while the news initially bothered her, she shook it off and went on with her life. My friend met someone in her Kaplan class that she has started dating, and she has no interest whatsoever in reuniting with ex-bf. Ex-BF is furious, to the point of calling here a sl#t and [email protected] to others in our social group and even on social media (he apparently thinks it is a girlfriends moral obligation to push the pause button on her life until BF figures out what she wants!!.) Friend is furious, and calmly explained that she has no obligation of loyalty to someone if she has no idea what the future hold (and he is not acing exclusive to boot)! She is really stressed out and is considering legal options. What can she do?

    • Senior Attorney :

      My advice would be definitely don’t engage with him. Block him on social media and trust the members of the social group to be able to tell who’s the nogoodnik in this situation.

    • She can cut off contact with him, report him to syte administrators, and live her own life.

    • What on earth legal options? Block him and move on.

    • legal options?? Is he stalking her?

      Block him and move on, as others have said. People that know both of them will figure it out. And consider it a bullet dodged that she didn’t inadvertently waste more time with him.

    • So first – disengage, block him, and trust that other mutual friends will realize who is being crazy. If he has begun stalking/threatening her – then absolutely save those communications and turn them over to local police.
      On a happier note – I met my now husband at a GMAT class after disengaging with a toxic on-again off-again BF.

      • Anonymous :

        I know someone who did the same, except it was an LSAT class. Who knew Kaplan brought so many people together!?

    • Allesandra :

      What a complete loser. The guy can go out and F*** every woman within 2 feet (i.e. at will) and then he gets mad at his ex-GF for starting up a relationship with someone else, even tho they are broken up and there is no evidence whatsoever that she is F***ing the new guy? Come on! Without an engagement ring, or a firm understanding that they will only F**** each other, both men and women should be free to F**** anyone they please. Otherwise, you are dealing with a totalitarian society where women do not count.



    report him

    Just awful…

  7. Looking for gift (?? Maybe) advice. My aunt, who is a single mom and close to my age – so she’s more like a peer/ friend, has a son who is mentally ill and pretty unstable. I just found out that her son (my cousin) has been in a hospital for the past two days and will likely be in some kind of mental hospital for the near future. It’s just a crap situation all around. I don’t live in the same area at all as my aunt, and I want to send her something nice for the holidays, because it’s pretty clear Christmas will be miserable for her. I already have a card written… but what can I send her? Anything? Gift basket of treats doesn’t seem right but maybe it is?? Wish I could visit but I live across the country with a newborn.

    • I’d put together a gift basket of a nice comfy robe or throw, a silly movie (or amazon gift card to rent one), some tea or hot cocoa mix, and her favorite candy. Or a gift card for a massage. If you know their area, perhaps have some food or groceries delivered to the house, or send her a seamless gift card so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking?

  8. For the gift, if she enjoys reading, maybe some good escapist books. In this type of situation, I usually send a copy of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, plus a mystery, plus something funny. But follow her taste.

  9. NYDJ Talls :

    I would also like to add that NYDJ makes special tall sizes that are only carried at Long Tall Sally. They are the bomb diggity, and come in way more sizes and are in stock more regularly that NYDJ’s own tall selection on their websyte, which varies, but is usually slim pickings. I recommend NYDJ at LTS instead. Hope that helps the talls.

  10. Also check out Lysse. I picked up some workwear dresses in this brand for $15 at a warehouse outlet in DC and was stunned by the great feel of the fabric. They were lined with built in shape wear. The fabric is thick, matte, and athletic feeling. Great leggings too.

  11. Any word on the possibility or ease of tailoring these items? Seems like it would be impossible or difficult. According to one of the Project Gravitas size charts,my waist is a size 6, my bust is a 10, and my hips/butt are a 14.

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