The much-belated underthings post, part two! Thank you for all your questions and comments on the first post. I really appreciate the feedback! In this post, I’ll talk about shapewear tips and tricks for the lower body, putting everything together, and miscellaneous resources.
Ah, underwear. I typically bypass this step as many of my other shapewear products have built in undergarments or I use dancer’s tights. If you’re not comfortable with that, many lingerie companies offer some type of “invisible” or seamless undergarment so that you can avoid VPL (visible panty line). Be sure to test with your costume before hitting the con floor!
Also, color matters. Any kind of colored undergarment is likely to show through unless your fabric is super thick. Nude or flesh-colored underthings are great, because they’re less likely to show. Keep that in mind and check before heading out (there’s a recurring theme here…).
Dancer’s tights are sooooo much better than standard tights for costumes. First off, they’re super thick and durable. These babies are meant to take a beating with dance rehearsals (I spent many years practically living in dance tights due to drill team).
I wear dancer’s tights even if I’m wearing a full bodysuit. They’re great for smoothing out the legs and provide an extra layer of warmth. At SciFi Expo, I wore 2 bodytights under my Rogue suit and I was quite toasty with my outdoor photoshoots even though it had snowed just a few days earlier.
Also, dancer’s tights don’t have that color change at the mid-thigh like many fashion tights do, which is great for creating a natural look. You can get dancer’s tights from your local dance supplier or online. I like Bodywrappers, Capezio and Blochs.
BONUS: The reason I took forever to publish this post is because I wanted to try out an amazing new technique: sewing spandex boot covers to dance tights! I heard about this technique via the SCF and it’s absolutely fantastic. If you have trouble keeping thigh highs up and hate fashion tape, this is the answer.
- Put on your tights and completed spandex boot cover. Pin boots to tights with PINS FACING DOWN. Use as many as you need. It’s helpful to have a friend (or very patient significant other) get the pins in the back. Very carefully peel tights and boot cover off.
- Head to your sewing machine. Using a zig-zag stitch (with a stretch-friendly needle), hold boot cover to same stretch as your tight and VERY SLOWLY go around the boot cover.
- Cut off the foot part of your tight. This will prevent tight twisting and make it easier to get your base shoe in. Do leave a bit of length on your tight. Just above the knee is good. Otherwise, the cut part of your tight will try to roll up.
- Put on your boots/tights and go kick some super villain butt.
Body liners are helpful if you’re wearing a thin or light-colored leotard and don’t want to sew in a liner. You can get them online or at your local dance store. To be honest, sewing in a liner is an easier approach since you won’t have to worry about matching up hole openings, but it’s an option.
Putting it all together
When I’m prepping to put on my spandex costumes, I typically put everything on in this order:
- Corset (with barrier layer for comfort and cleanliness issues)
- Dance tight #1 (typically a full-body tight)
- Spandex waist cincher (with attached undergarment)
- Dance tight #2
- The costume itself
I used to use one full-body dance tight as my barrier layer, but it wasn’t quite thick enough and made bathroom breaks difficult. Hard to use the restroom if you have to lace yourself in and out of a corset each time!
For the dudes
I don’t think there are a lot of guys following this post, but if there are, please, please, please, cover your junk if you’re wearing a spandex costume. Spandex does reveal all. The best way to do this is using a dancer’s belt. These are used by male dancers for performances and if they work for guys wearing white leos/pants under stage lights, they’ll work for you. Check out this guide for more info. Compression briefs are a good second, but you’ll have seam lines show through.
Other helpful resources
That concludes my posts on underthings. If you’ve got any other tips or questions, let me know in the comments!