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Sabrina Gonzalez
El Observador

Like most things in life, a strong foundation is required before layering or building upon, so why should your undergarments be any different? When I say undergarments, I am referring to shapers, bras, panties, and anything worn beneath your clothes that would be considered “underwear.” Often times, undergarments aren’t given much thought, simply because they aren’t visible. The truth is that undergarments are not meant to be seen, yet they’re essential to the way we look and feel in our clothes. Get ready, because I’m about to take you on a trip to the “underworld” of the Underwear Mafia!!! Yes… That’s right!! There is an organized, chain of command… and you don’t want to go committing fashion crimes, because it’s your style that will take the BIG HIT!! So Bada Bing Bada Boom, let me break it down! Shapewear wins the title of the BOSS ,because it can pretty much make or break whatever it is that you’re wearing if you don’t follow the rules.

The brazier secures the role of the UNDERBOSS (no pun intended) because if you don’t partake in shapewear, then it’s all about the “right” bra. Third in pecking order are the panties, they work as the SKIPPERS of the bunch because they only make appearances when the bosses say so and they handle all the dirty work (heehee!). All the other undergarments are the soldiers. That’s because they work for the bosses and are still trying to prove their worth in the underwear mafia!

In order for the Boss to be effective, it must fit properly and be specifically designed to target the area(s) in which you want a quick fix. Shapewear is made in such a variety of styles that it can temporarily curve, enhance, flatten, and slim most problem areas without undergoing any “nip tuck” procedures. Each shaper is made for a specific purpose, but the overall goal is to give the illusion of a fluid and seamless figure, so that you can rock your outerwear with the utmost confidence.

Here are some tips on how to be the boss of bosses and make sure that shapewear doesn’t “Whack” you out!!

»Identify the problem area you wish to alter (body, bust, hips, waist, etc…)

»The waist should stay in place. Sit down, stand up, bend over, and move it all around. If the waist moves, try a different size.

»No binding! Shapewear should not dig into your skin. If it does, consider another type or style of shaper.

Take care of “down there” by doing a crotch check. Make sure the crotch area of the shaper is positioned in the right place to avoid discomfort. If you need to adjust the crotch, use the “pull-up” technique to adjust the sides.

Know your control…Get the level of support that is right for what you need. Control levels vary from light to very firm.

Visible bulk or wrinkles on shapewear is a BIG NO NO!! It’s also a good indicator that the size, length, or both are too big. BUT, bulging up or spilling out of the shapewear is a sign that a larger or taller shaper is needed.

»Legit and functional shapewear does not roll. If it rolls, it’s time for a replacement. No exceptions!

»A sleek and smooth look is the ultimate goal for shapewear and implies the “perfect fit.”

»Make sure the hue of your shapewear is in accordance with your outerwear, so your shapewear stays your secret.

Now onto the Underboss… it “carries” a lot of responsibility – afterall, it will be boosting up your two favorite Goombas! And you definitely want everyone to Say Hello to your little friends! The “right” bra must fit all your needs and demands – support, price, comfort, and style. It should also make you feel secure and sexy.

Wearing the correct bra isn’t only fashionable. It is the right thing to do for your posture and the health of your breast tissue. In order to help maintain good posture, go for a bra that offers the best support and won’t pull your shoulders forward.  Bras that do not offer enough support can displace breast tissue and disfigure the overall look and shape of breasts. You should probably also get rid of (and stay away from) any underwire bras that poke or rub against the skin. Remember, lack of support or stretched out boob tissue = saggy, droopy, boobies!! Do not be afraid to lift the tit!! Here are a couple tips for finding the “right” underboss.

»If you’re wearing shapewear, make sure you wear a bra that is compatible. The bra should be able to contain any extra bulge or bulk being pushed up or out.

»Fact: The elasticity in bras stretches out. Solution: When trying on bras, make sure the bra fits perfectly (firm and snug) and comfortably at the first hook-and-eye so you can tighten the bra band as it stretches and continue to get full support.

»The core of the bra support should come from the bra band and not the shoulder straps. Typically the bra band should align horizontally below the shoulder blades. No Riding Up!!

»Know or learn your bra size. More importantly, have a good understanding of the “bra formula,” because most bras stamped with a “size” will not fit. Boobies are as unique as each of us, so naturally one style or size isn’t going to fit the same on everyone.

»No matter what you are wearing over, always choose a bra that can support and contain “all” of you without creating bulges or spill-overs.  Make sure the hue of your bra is in accordance with your outerwear so that the bra is not visible through clothing and to prevent showing the bra straps.

»Sports bras are meant for athletic activity only and that is the only time they should be worn.

Last in the ranks are the soldiers of the bunch… panties, nylons, thigh highs, etc. The reason these undergarments rank low is because of shapewear. If you wear it then you probably don’t have a need for soldiers. But if you’re an old school O.G. (Original Gangsta) girl or you just like to use the soldiers then here’s my tid-bit…

»In accordance with the higher ups, choose soldiers that fit right and are appropriate for what you’re wearing. If you are wearing shapewear, again, remember to wear panties and nylons compatible with it. Coordinate hues with outerwear to keep your soldier’s business “undercover”. Ya know what I’m saying.

»Consider fabric, style, cut, embellishments, and breathability when it comes to panties and the control top portions of nylons.

»No lines, no seams, ever. When I started writing this article, I thought I’d go all Vito Corleone on ya’ll — and be the “God-Mother” of undergarments – showing you how to Respect the Rules of the Underwear Mafia in a single post. Boy, was I wrong! There is just too much information to fit. I plan to follow up with a part 2 and 3, specifically for shapewear and braziers, in the next few weeks. With that being said, it’s your turn to tell me what makes you an Undergarment Gangster? Spill the secrets of your skivvies, and help other sista’s into shape!


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