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Skip the separate body shaper with stockings that nip in your waist, smooth your tush and tuck in your thighs. High-waisted, high-control hosiery can get rid of ridges and ripples and make that snug jersey dress or perfect pencil skirt look hot, rather than horrible. Get away with a smaller size or hide those five pesky pounds with body-shaping stockings.
Control top pantyhose and tights are available in ivory, beige, tan, cocoa, off-black and black, and they range from ultra-sheer to opaque. In the 2008 CNN Living feature "Dancers Pick the Best Tights," the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes -- the ladies with the amazing legs -- recommend Hue brand tights for those who want bright, bold colors on their gams. Control top hose are lightweight from the toe to the upper thigh, then provide mild to moderate control through the upper thighs, bottom and tummy. While these may flatten your belly and lift your butt, they won't nip in your waist. But they may bake you up a batch of unwanted muffin top, especially if you opt for a too-small size.
Top to Toes
Take a step above control top tights and opt for tights that lift, smooth and shape your tummy, hips, thighs and calves. Full control tights and hosiery aren't ultra-sheer, but they can slim and smooth your bod under dresses and skirts or those slightly snug slacks. The color range is often a bit limited, but the look can't be beat. The Rockettes say that Spanx offers some prints in their Tight End range that rock. Heavier material may make this hosiery a bit longer lived with fewer embarrassing rips and runs.
The best shaping hosiery doesn't stop at your waistline. High-waisted tights and pantyhose that reach up, up and away to the bottom of your bra can nip in your waistline and eliminate lumps and bumps in your torso. Control top versions extend their shaping superpowers to your tush and thighs. Take a pair of Spanx High-Waisted Tight End Tights, recommended by "Lucky" magazine's Lori Bergamatto on a January 2011 episode of "Good Morning America." Tuck those babies under your bra band to keep them in place, or slip a few safety pins into the waistband to avoid drooping drawers.
Keep It Short
While classic pantyhose and tights make up most of the body-shaping stockings on the market, you can also find legging-length or even capri-length shaping hose. Wear these under pants if you're sporting sandals, peep toes or a basic ballet flat. Sneak a shorter shaper under a long skirt or dress to look carefree in the summer while putting the evidence of those extra ice cream cones under wraps. Heavyweight control top leggings make this trend more wearable with a long tunic and comfy boots.