03/12/2013 03:16 EDT

Figure Flattering Shapewear For Every Body Type

los angeles ca august 29 ...

Shapewear in general seems, at first glace, to be a one-minute miracle. Can I drop a dress size? Sure! Will you make me as bootylicious as Beyonce? Why not?!

The last time I wore a shapewear garment with a body-conscious party dress, I saw a photo of myself afterwards and burst into tears (true story). This season, however, I’m going to get it right and make shapewear work for me instead of against me.

Related: Sexy Lingerie for around $100

According to Toronto-based fashion consultant Erin Nadler, it’s important to have realistic expectations about foundation garments. “Yes,” she says, “shapewear can address problem zones, like tummy, thighs, and even bust—but it can’t make you look like you’ve dropped an entire dress size.”

Some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid styles with a large band around the top edge that land right at the waist and promise a heavy duty slimming effect. “Instead,” says Nadler, “opt for a high-waisted band that ends just under the bust. This will deliver a smooth silhouette—no bulges.”
  2. Choose pieces that make you feel sexy, not dowdy, and that can perhaps even double as lingerie or be worn under a sheer blouse.

Related: 10 Fabulous Festive Party Dresses

Here are a few of my favourites:

Photo gallery The Best Shapewear For Your Figure See Gallery

WATCH: Tips for finding the perfect shapewear for your body