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Benefits of Compression Clothing: From the Catwalk to the Arena

Compression Clothing

You may have seen or heard about compression clothing – especially if you’re an athlete, recovering from an injury, or love the way shape-wear changes the silhouette of your body. These garments have become a staple in fashion shows from New York City to Paris.

Image above – Compression clothing inspired Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M

If you haven’t had much exposure to compression clothing, then you’re probably scratching your head and wondering what it is, or what’s the point of using it? Read on to learn about the many functions of compression clothing and why it has become a global fashion phenomenon:


How Does Compression Clothing Work?

Just as the name implies, compression clothing applies pressure to target parts of the body. The tight-fitting pieces encourage blood circulation, helping the muscles absorb more oxygen. This is why compression garments are so effective for physical training, soothing sore muscles, and speeding up recovery.

Image Above – Mr. Giorgio Armani himself took on to design Compression Clothing for Italian Olympics team. 

Compression therapy is often used to supplement physical therapy. It reduces swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. The tight fit also helps maintain body temperature, which is yet another reason why they are often preferred by athletes and sports enthusiasts.

Types of Compression Clothing

Compression garments are available for almost every part of the body. But one of the most popular and effective options are high-quality compression socks.

Compression socks provide 24-hour support for the soles, ankles, and calves. They are particularly effective for pain relief, and new designs come in varying degrees of pressure to match different consumers’ needs. There are even styles for specific lifestyles, such as office work and stay-at-home parenting.

Socks are just one of the many forms of compression clothing. Others include shorts, tights, arm sleeves, and shirts.


Compression Clothing for a Sexier Silhouette

Compression clothing is popular as shape-wear. Applying pressure in the right areas can make the wearer look instantly slimmer with a more attractive body contour. More women than ever before are using these garments to target the waist, hips, buttock and love handles. In particular, compression around the waist is effective for those who have recently lost a lot of weight, undergone tummy-tucks, or need extra postpartum support. Compress shape-wear gives many people the confidence to try clothing they may have never thought they could wear.

Image above – Jovana Prosenik by Cynthia Frebour for Design Scene

WebMD reminds readers that if they plan to purchase compression garments, make sure they’re composed of nylon, Lycra, or neoprene.  These will maintain their form after long periods of use. Also, check to see if the garment contains wicking, which will move sweat away from the body, helping the moisture evaporate quicker. See if you can try the garment before you buy it, because it is difficult to eye how tight compression clothing will be. You should feel pressure yet have full range of motion.

Whether you’re a competitive runner, a patient recovering from an injury, a stay-at-home mom, or a fashionista who wants to squeeze into her favorite dress, compression clothing has many uses and benefits. These garments can be a stylish and healthful addition to your wardrobe.

Ava Smith

Ava Smith for L’Officiel Kazakstan by Alvin Kean Wong

Sasha Luss

Sasha Luss & Nastya Sten Cover Vogue Russia October 2015