US star Katy Perry flaunted no less than 12 outfits hosting the recent MTV Europe Music Awards but the sartorial story wasn't about her show-stopping frocks.

The singer turned to one of this season's hottest trends to cause a stir, underwear as outerwear.

Sporting a series of basques and corsets, Katy wowed the audience with her worn-to-be-seen lingerie, and Beyonce joined the undies club performing on stage in red leotard body and suspenders.

There's no doubt about it, underwear is having a fashion moment.

But if you don't fancy flaunting your smalls to the world at least work them to best effect under your clothing.

With party season approaching and the slinky body-con trend in full force, shapewear support is your best friend in the lingerie drawer.

"Underwear is without a doubt the foundation to a great outfit," say Trinny and Susannah who have added a new All in One Body Shaper to their original Magic Knickers range. "You feel so secure and it keeps everything in place."

So cancel that tummy tuck and stop saving for the lipo, shapewear can be your wardrobe miracle worker to help you drop a dress size.

Slinky scaffolding

Party season may be fun but it's confusing for our poor figures. By day we're swamped in woolly jumpers and winter coats but by night we're shimmying on a dancefloor in next to nothing.

If you've developed your own 'winter layer', don't dismiss all the LBDs and sequin frocks you'd love to wear.

"Shapewear certainly helps," Susannah reassures. "If you know how to dress, you can disguise problem areas very well.

"When I walk at the moment I feel my stomach is walking on its own and isn't actually attached to my body, but if I wear Magic Knickers I feel everything is held in."

And with Trinny and Susannah's vast experience surveying womens bodies, they unanimously agree that "without question, it's the tummy" that's behind most of our figure woes.

Slim pickings

Undecided about which shapewear will conceal your wobbly bits? Your first decision in the body scaffolding debate is whether to go for an all-in-one body tamer or specifically target problem areas.

If a slinky party dress is on the agenda, an all-in-one will suck you in to give you a one-size-smaller body transformation.

"Look for an all-in-one that sits underneath the boobs because we found some all-in-ones really flatten the tits and ride up," Susannah says. "A style with straps is the perfect way to keep it up."

Individual shapewear pieces will sculpt your body giving you oomph just where you need it, but assess your body shape before you buy.

"Trinny advises: "It's divided between top and bottom heavy, so if you are bottom heavy you need to invest in shapewear that slim down your saddlebags.

"If you're pear shaped, like me, it's about lifting the arse."

Shapewear solutions

- Love handles

An all-in-one will flatten your tummy, shape your bottom and define your waist. Available with or without bust support and straps, and can be bought as a leotard style body, dress or shorts.

Try: Trinny & Susannah All in One Body Smoother, £45 (Debenhams); Ultimo Miracle Solutions V-Shaped Body, £45 ( ); Gok Wan Curve Controller, £55 ( ).

- Bum

Give drooping bottom cheeks a lift with high-waisted full pants or shorts, which will smooth your bum and tummy.

Try: Damart 3-in-1 Control Pants, from £36 ( ); Spanx Hide & Sleek High Waist Control Thong, £39 ( ).

- Tum

A high-waisted, high-legged pant will pull in your tummy and give you a streamline look. If your bottom's pert enough, stick to tummy-flattener thongs to avoid VPL with clingy frocks.

Try: Marks and Spencer Magic Firm Control Waist Cincher pants, £30 ( ); BHS Belly Buster Firm Control briefs, £12 ( ).

- Thigh

Give wobbly thighs an instant tone-up with thigh-length shorts. You'll also find cellulite-fighting slimming leggings and tights.

Try: Scala Bio Fir Slimming Leggings, £15 (John Lewis); Damart Slimming Tights, from £15 ( ).