In this article, we’ll review popular shapewear brands Skims, Spanx, and Honeylove.
Shapewear — what an ingenious invention! It feels like everything you put on looks better with it. Rather than having the muffin top puffing over the tops of pants or skirts, or the rolls that pop over panties and bras, shapewear smooths and tucks all of that to create a seamless look. It’s a wonderful undergarment that helps women feel more confident in their clothing, and makes styles fit and flatter in the best way possible.
Spanx became the gold standard of shapewear, when it first brought the idea away from uncomfortable corsets to use modern (and more comfortable) materials. Now equally popular competitors Kim Kardashian’s brand Skims or up-and-comer Honeylove have a huge following as well.
While Honeylove, Skims, and Spanx all sell direct-to-consumer via their website, you can also purchase Spanx and Skims from certain department stores. Let’s take a look at the differences between these three brands and their products to help you determine what’s best for you.
Why buy shapewear at all?
Shapewear covers panty lines and fixes fat bulges and things you might consider problem areas on your body. It can help lift and smooth to create an appearance women feel more confident about, and it also makes clothing fit and look better. It works great under two-piece outfits or dresses, and you can find pieces to work with just about any piece of clothing. Modern lines have options for women of different skin tones, shapes and sizes.
Shapewear actually has a long history in different forms, but modern shapewear is basically credited to the brand Spanx. Its founder Sara Blakely got inspired when she cut the feet off control-top pantyhose to smooth her panty lines. She developed the idea into an undergarment made of Spandex with a specific design to create a smooth, shapely appearance. She found that, if constructed the right way, it would smoothing bulge, cover underwear lines and reposition fat in ways that are considered more flattering.
Skims is a competitor created by Kim Kardashian West who call its products “solutionwear,” saying it gives “solutions for everybody.” The Skims line focuses on enhancing the body – as Kim says in interviews, “We don’t want to flatten anything. We still want everyone’s bodies to look like themselves and still not feel so restricted.”
Honeylove’s shapewear is called Sculptwear™. It was designed with stage performances in mind by a world-touring vocal performance artist, Betsie Larkin. She said shapewear wasn’t entirely working for her on the stage. She worked with a corsetry expert and an evening gown designer to create shapewear that shifts to minimize the right areas while accentuating the right areas, with structure to keep it from rolling down and also to improve posture. Honeylove also made it look sexy and flattering, so you wouldn’t mind getting caught seen in it, whereas people often want to hide their other shapewear.
With each brand, the pieces vary in cost depending on the type you pick. They also come in a range of sizes that include plus sizes, and in different color choices so you can have the right color to go under each wardrobe choice or to match your skin tone.
Spanx vs Skims vs Honeylove: What sets them apart?
If you’re considering buying some shapewear, it could be confusing to differentiate Honeylove, Skims and Spanx. After all, they all sell products that smooth and distribute your shape and empower you all at the same time. So what’s the difference?
We created the following chart to give you a head-to-head comparison of each shapewear:
Spanx vs Skims vs Honeylove: Comparing The Top 3 Shapewear Brands
|Where to buy||Spanx.com, Amazon, Spanx retail stores and department stores||Skims.com and Nordstrom||Honeylove.com|
|Types of shapewear||Bodysuits, mid-thighs, waist cinchers, footless + capris, panties, tanks + camis, slips||Bodysuits, panties, shorts, slips, waist trainer||Shorts, briefs, thongs, tanks|
|Other offerings?||Leggings, clothing, activewear, bras, panties, hosiery, menswear||Bras, underwear, loungewear, accessories||Leggings, bodysuits, pants, tanks, camis, bras, and panties|
|Special offers?||10% off for email signup, $20 off for each friend referral||❌||❌|
|Pricing example||Suit Your Fancy Strapless Cupped Mid-Thigh Bodysuit $148||Sculpting Bodysuit Mid Thigh $68||The Original SuperPower Short bodysuit $89|
|Shipping||Free||Free on orders of $75+||Free|
Spanx focuses on shapewear to use with various outfits. It’s been around the longest, so it has a great range of options to choose from. If you want shapewear on the bottom with your own bra on top, you can find that. Want a full bodysuit? You can find that. Want a piece that shows your cleavage? Spanx has it. And they sell a lot of items beyond undergarments that also shape your body.
Spanx‘ full list of offerings include pants, leggings, skirts, swimwear, bras, panties and a whole lot of activewear. The range of products offered is something that sets Spanx apart. You’ll get a full one-stop-shop e-commerce experience on its website with (too?) many options.
Skims focuses on the body rather than the clothing, with the goal of enhancing and giving a solution for every body type and issue. It gives a lot of options, with solutions beyond shapewear to include bras, underwear, loungewear and accessories. Their shapewear comes in medium, high and super high support levels, so you can pick what you need — a real differentiator from others like Honeylove and Spanx. Skims’ categories and collections basically give you a shapewear piece for any body-enhancing goal you might have. Kim Kardashian seems focused on helping women of all shapes and sizes. The brand continues to add new offerings to the product line, like Skim’s sculpting loungewear.
Honeylove has only recently expanded its product line beyond shapewear. It mainly targets the bottom half of a woman’s body, with options including shorts, a thong, and two types of briefs that all support and cover the midsection.
The brand recently added a tank designed to lift and smooth on the top and middle, as well as absorbent leggings that are moisture wicking. The pieces offer specific functions, so for example the queen brief is focused on comfort while the thong is designed to show no panty lines. All of them apart from the queen brief include specially designed panels in the midsection to create just the right balance of compression and release. And the design is made so the waistband stays in place – rather than rolling down – to improve posture.
A major difference compared to Spanx and Skims is that Honeylove shapeware is designed to look a lot like lingerie or sexy undergarments. In other words, it’s not something that you’d be embarrassed to be seen in (perhaps if things go well after a hot date 😉 For women worried about any stigma around shapewear, Honeylove is designed to make you feel sexy and is a great option. See the before and after photos below if you don’t believe us!
Honeylove Shapewear Before and After
Curious how effective shapewear can be when it comes to, er….shaping natural curves? Check out the following before and after pics from Honeylove shapewear customers to get a sense of how transformational their pieces can be.
Honeylove before and after: Boldness Tank
Honeylove before and after: SuperPower Shorts
Is shapewear leak proof?
While certain garments from Spanx, Skims and Honeylove are made from absorptive materials, none are specifically designed for menstrual or urinary leakage. The biggest exception is Honeylove’s leggings, which feature a super absorbent inner gusset and sheer-proof fabric that allows you to wear them worry-free without underwear.
If you’re looking specifically for undergarments that are ultra leak-proof, however, we recommend checking out Modibodi and RubyLove, both of which specialize in period-proof panties. We actually published an entire review comparing Modibodi and RubyLove, if you’re curious to learn more. The TLDR? Modibodi is our favorite for highly absorptive undergarments. You can get 20% with code AFFFIN20.
Skims vs Spanx vs Honeylove: Which shapewear brand is best?
So Skims, Spanx and Honeylove all give you the smoothing and tucking you want from a piece of shapewear. They all offer the basic bodysuit design and have other options to choose from. They all carry a range of sizes, including plus sizes. And they all ship to your doorstep for free. So let’s take a closer look at some of the differences to see if one brand would suit you better than the others.
The prices vary greatly by the item you choose, which make them hard to compare. But in the chart above, I took a comparable item—the basic bodysuit—to see what each brand charges. With this comparison, Kim Kardashian’s Skims and Honeylove were more competitively priced than Spanx.
For a body suit that gives coverage in the middle and thighs (plus top for Spanx and Skims), you can see that Skims has the best pricing. Honeylove’s shapewear costs a bit more but is still a good value for the extra fashion design and style points.
Spanx generally offers the largest selection of shapewear, but comes with the highest price tag. And since competitors offer products that seems pretty comparable quality-wise, it leaves me wondering — is their higher price tag it? That said, each has a range of options, so once you identify the piece(s) you want to own, it probably makes sense to compare prices piece by piece.
Comparing Bodysuits – Honeylove vs Spanx vs Skims
In our opinion, one of the most important shapewear items is the bodysuit, which all three brands offer. The bodysuit is probably the best shapewear for tummy control. And all three brands, Honeylove, Skims and Spanx, all have different strong points, so this makes the bodysuit a GREAT piece to compare between them.
Honeylove’s signature bodysuit is the “Cami,” which is more expensive than what you’ll get from Spanx and Skims (we typically see it priced at $99). But it’s also the most stylish, and actually looks and feels pretty great; you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in it by your date – they probably will actually LIKE it! You also aren’t going to need to wear a bra with it.
Skim’s closest comparison is their sculpting bodysuit with snaps (although their low backed bodysuit also looks similar; it’s currently sold out, so we can’t say too much about that one). It’s less expensive than Honeylove’s bodysuit, at only $62. You probably won’t want to wear a bra with it, although you should definitely put it on with your dress before making that decision final – everyone’s body is a bit different! And while the styling isn’t as exciting as Honeylove’s, it still doesn’t look all that bad, and you will probably not mind your date seeing you in it.
Spanx has a number of bodysuits; you can find their “Assets” collection at Target for $38 right now. And the fact that you can probably just walk into your nearby target and pick it up is an advantage over Skims and Honeylove! And you don’t need a bra to wear it, at least the ones at our local Target. However, the styling isn’t anywhere near as good as the competition, so this is not something that you’ll want your date to see you in!
So which bodysuit is best, Honeylove’s, Skims’ or Spanx’s? We love the styling and amazing construction of the Honeylove, but the price is higher. And since we DO care what it looks like, we’d probably lean toward Skims. But let us know which one you prefer in the comments!!
All three shapewear brands make it easy to buy from home and have shipped to your door, but if you’d rather try a piece on before deciding whether to buy it, Spanx and Skims have the upper hand since you can find them in department and retail stores. Of course, all have generous money-back return policies as well, enabling you to try on in the comfort of your home without too much hassle.
Spanx and Skims also give you a much better selection and a much bigger product line than Honeylove. So if you want a basic bodysuit, any brand could work. But if you want more options, including clothing beyond undergarments, Spanx and Skims will are better bets. And if you’re looking for style that helps you stay sexy, Honeylove is your best option. Between Spanx and Skims, Spanx seems to have more of a focus on outfits while Skims focus is the shape and enhancement of the body.
If this article haven’t made up your mind, what I’d recommend is to check out one more brand to see how it compares — Shapermint vs Honeylove. If that doesn’t help, then simply browse the products on each brand’s site. That will show you the pieces that would be best for your needs and allow you to compare the price of specific products directly. Let us know which shapewear brand you go with in the end, and if you like it!
Discover the latest
D2C wellness products