It was only a matter of time before the Kardashians used their powers of personal PR to launch some of the biggest and most viral brands of the past decade. Standing out against the swathes of other celebrity fashion and beauty brands, it’s Kim Kardashian’s Skims that has gone up against scrutiny and, in the face of it, undeniable success.
I’ll preface this edit of the best Skims buys by saying I’m not a Kardashian mega-fan and I’ve never watched the show – not out of defiance, it’s just one of those shows I still haven’t got round to watching because I wasn’t particularly bothered by it either way.
The same went for the Skims launch in 2019. I’ve followed the brand on socials, but only took the plunge of buying one of the bodysuits this year after hearing honest recommendations and wanting something I could put on when I felt bloated. I mention all this to say, you can rely on me to be impartial.
More on Skims:
- The best Skims swimwear (and the best dupes!) to shop for summer holidays
- The sleekest Skims dress dupes in stock right now, starting from £11
- The most affordable Skims underwear rated honestly by a fashion editor
Where Kim was particularly clever was in her positioning of Skims as a shapewear brand, followed by loungewear. By nature, shapewear was previously something hidden, used for practicality, support and smoothing rather than outwardly showcasing a particular brand and trend. “I’ve got my Spanx on” was confessed in hushed tones at big events and weddings. And yet now, people cannot stop talking about shapewear and Skims. It’s always trending. It’s aspirational and subtly luxurious, all backed by viral videos shouting about how brilliant each piece is.
With the investment price tags and fan base, Kim could have easily relied on Skims being a status symbol purchase alone. Skims isn’t cheap, but what’s clever is that we’re willing to spend a bit more on the brand knowing the quality is good (Kim has previously spoken about how much research and testing went into Skims), there’s lots of shades to choose from, and the originals are superior to all the Skims dupes out there.
This leads us on to the success of Skims loungewear, particularly the ribbed dresses and mini tees. Their rise to TikTok fame coincides with a viral fascination with quiet luxury prompted by TV show Succession and brands such as The Row, for which logos are out and a minimal aesthetic and expensive materials are in.
Most recently, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Beiber hit the headlines for their outfit choices at Coachella – low-key looks made up of jeans and plain t-shirts. People are losing their heads over it, but why? It’s mostly their rejection of Coachella’s traditionally more-is-more dress code, in favour of a pared-back, quieter look instead. As TikToker @inamarimaki said, it’s as though they don’t need to be a part of the “Influencer Olympics” anymore and are asserting a whole new level of status, and it’s this image of quiet confidence and low-key luxe dressing that the Skims brand echoes so well.
The first style I tried was the Sculpting Low Back Thong Bodysuit. I thought a style with less coverage would be useful if I was wearing a low-back dress where a VPL might normally show. When it arrived, like lots of other people, I was bemused by how tiny the piece of jersey fabric looked, but as expected, it did stretch out comfortably when I tried it on, and it wasn’t as much of a nightmare as I thought to get it on or off.
There’s no denying that this bodysuit is a great option for wearing underneath dresses. The design really is seamless, so it sits invisibly against your skin. It provides no body-altering effects as your natural shape stays the same, but everything feels smoothed in a supportive and comforting way thanks to the soft, durable fabric.
I was surprised by the lack of support in the bra cups. I’m normally a 32D and not a fan of anything squishing my boobs in and making them disappear. That said, the bodysuit leaves room for you to wear a bra underneath, depending on your preference.
If I decided to wear jeans and a nice top and wanted a bodysuit for underneath, I would ditch the thong style and wear the sculpting bodysuit instead. When I wore the thong bodysuit sat down at my desk in the office, I found that after a while, the high-cut leg kept creeping up higher and dug uncomfortably into my hips. It would be fine for an evening event, but I wouldn’t want to wear it all day long.
An alternative to the Skims Sculpting Bodysuit is the Fits Everybody Square Neck Bodysuit. I was worried it looked a bit flimsy when I unpacked it, but I was happily surprised when I put it on. The fabric felt thick and supportive, it wasn’t transparent, and it was incredibly soft against my skin.
As a great base layer under knitwear and shirts, I wear it all day long and forget it’s even on. Moving into summer, I’d also be confident enough wearing the bodysuit on its own with jeans or cargos, especially in the navy or one of the other limited-edition shades.
Skims briefs review
Next up, I wanted to try the briefs. Wearing a bodysuit for a whole day can feel like a shapewear commitment (no matter how soft they might be), so I wondered whether some briefs might be easier for a similar effect.
Well, this is where I had my big Skims WOW moment. I put on a clingy dress, nose scrunching at how bloated the lower part of my tummy looked in the mirror. Then, on went the Skims and my posture immediately changed and the dress smoothed out over my tummy in a less obvious way. An instant little confidence boost.
Warning – there’s no glamorous way of getting these on or off, but the results are worth it.
Despite being “seamless”, I did notice a line of the edge of the briefs on my bottom through the slip of the dress I was wearing. For me, it didn’t matter, because this was only through my dress’s lining and couldn’t be seen through the fabric on top, but if you were to be wearing a slip dress with no lining or lightweight high waisted trousers you’d be better opting for the Sculpting Shorts to minimise the risk.
To compare, I also tried the Barely There Low Back Shorts. These are made from a silkier fabric with a supportive boning structure on the side seams. They were easier to wriggle on and smoothed out my hips and thighs, but didn’t have the same noticeable sculpting effect on my tummy as the previous styles.
Skims ribbed dress review
Skims dresses have become a Tiktok obsession, so it wouldn’t be an edit of the best Skims buys without them.
Just like the fabric of the Fits Everybody Bodysuit seemed flimsy and unsubstantial at first, the Skims dresses have that same magical quality where the fabric doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but instantly feels supportive and supple as soon as it’s on, every fibre subtly hugging your shape.
They don’t have any sculpting paneling, just stretchy fabric all over, so I’d personally wear some of the sculpting briefs underneath as I’m most conscious of my tummy area. But overall I loved how comfortable the dresses were, that you didn’t need to wear a bra with them and that they felt dressy without trying hard.
Skims bras review
Despite high hopes, I was disappointed by the Fits Everybody Bandeau – it bunched a lot at the back and compressed by boobs in a really unflattering way.
In contrast, I thought the Fits Everybody Scoop Bralette was incredibly soft and looked cute. If I had to be super critical, I found the bra didn’t give me quite enough built-in support to wear all day long. As a size 32D, I’d still wear this bra for lounging at home and would recommend it to anybody with smaller cup sizes, but I’d look to the T-shirt bra instead for wearing out and about.
Skims tee review
Next on my list to try were the Skims tees. Every high street clothing brand out there will have likely made a white T-shirt at some point, so what sets Skims tees apart from all the rest? Expensive-looking, sleek clingy fabrics and that sense of effortless and quiet luxe.
So, what’s actually worth buying from Skims?
I think the sculpting Skims bodysuits and briefs are worth the investment – they perform as you want them to, they continuously wash well, and you can use them as a reliable and comfortable base layer for countless outfits.
The underwear and bras are super soft but have greater competition – especially when there are far more sustainable underwear brands out there to shop from (Skims is rather quiet and vague about its environmental credentials).
My final note? If you’re buying something from Skims, given the investment, you absolutely want to make sure it’s something you’ll wear repeatedly.