Why shapewear isn’t a great thigh-chafe solution

Why shapewear isn’t a great thigh-chafe solution

It’s an easy trap to fall into, assuming shapewear will help prevent inner thigh chafing. It makes sense on paper that whatever covers your thighs could protect them—but it’s not so simple. Shapewear serves a very different purpose than garments built specifically for avoiding inner thigh chafing (aka chafewear). Unfortunately for us, dressing for comfort requires a bit more thought and research. Lucky for you, we've done the deep diving for you.

What is shapewear?

What’s in a name? Well, everything, in this case. Shapewear is exactly what it sounds like. They’re undergarments that help smooth out, sculpt and refine your silhouette, often with the intention of supporting and sucking in the belly area, or lifting the booty. They’re typically made of silky material in various intensities of compression with the goal of giving your body the feeling of being hugged. 

You’ve likely heard of the brand Spanx, which is almost synonymous with the shapewear industry itself and has had a rebrand in the past few years, with celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and Lizzo launching their own lines Skims and Yitty, respectively. Shapewear’s reputation of being uncomfortable and restrictive is slowly changing, but the reality stays the same: the intention of shapewear is to shape our bodies and help our clothing look better on us.

Does shapewear prevent thigh chafing? 

The quick answer is no. The longer answer is a little more complicated. While some brands of shapewear might work in a pinch, they aren’t made with anti-chafing in mind. Some shapewear products are made from materials that don’t lend well to breathability—and we know that lack of breathability and, thus, excessive sweating actually causes chafing. We also know that too-tight garments can lead to rubbing and irritation in the most delicate places. 

Although it’s possible to buy shapewear that fits you just right, it can be a tall order when the goal is to cinch. And let’s be honest: it’s hard to find comfortable shapewear. Avoiding thigh chafe is all about comfort, so why wear something that isn’t comfy?

What is chafewear?

Chafewear has one goal in mind: to keep your tender thighs happy and chafe-free. They come in a variety of styles and designs, with two of the main ones being shorts and bands. They’re specifically designed to reduce friction between your thighs.

How does chafewear prevent inner thigh chafing?

Sweat and friction are the two main causes of inner thigh chafing—and that’s exactly what chafewear was made to combat. Designed to reduce friction and keep sweat at bay, these ones are made from thin, stretchy, cooling and moisture-wicking fabric that doesn’t bag out or budge while you live your best life wearing them. They provide a barrier between your thighs to protect them from friction, and keep you cool and dry even on the sweatiest of days. Better yet, they don’t make a noisy swishing sound when your thighs touch while you walk, making them virtually undetectable.

For a long time, there were very few anti-chafing shorts on the market that weren’t really just shapewear in disguise. Whether you want to wear shapewear or not, that’s your prerogative. Here at Thigh Society, we don’t tell anyone what to do or wear—but we do offer you an option that’s comfortable, preventative and backed by plenty of thigh-loving research.

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