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Compression Wear and Shapewear: Supporting Health and Fitness

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  • 55 Pages
  • October 2019
  • Region: Global
  • Textiles Intelligence Ltd.
  • ID: 4857768

Compression apparel has long been used in medical applications in the treatment of circulation problems. In recent years, however, there has been a huge increase in the popularity of compression apparel for athletic applications as it is claimed that such garments can improve athletic performance, prevent injury and speed up recovery after exercise. Also, significant developments have been made in shapewear as the variety of shapewear garments available has been expanded, and the overall comfort and appearance of such garments have been vastly improved.

Today, compression wear takes a wide range of forms - including bottoms, tops, sleeves, socks, and stockings - and companies operating in the market are continuing to innovate in order to promote the physiological and psychological benefits of their products to consumers. Looking ahead, the pace of developments in compression wear and shapewear is set to remain fast. Many compression garments available today have a futuristic look, which provides an indication of the direction this market is taking.

This report provides a wealth of information on recent developments in the market for compression wear and shapewear and discusses the opportunities and challenges facing suppliers to the market. Topics explored in the report include: athletic compression wear; medical compression wear; shapewear; markets for compression wear and shapewear; principles and types of compression garments and the benefits they provide; key features of compression garments; innovations in compression wear and shapewear; and forecasts of future demand.

Table of Contents



  • What are compression garments?
  • Items of compression wear
  • Market segments
  • Compression wear for medical applications
  • Compression wear for athletic applications
  • Shapewear


  • Categories of compression wear and shapewear by application
  • Market concentration
  • Prospects for future demand
  • Projections of revenues in the compression wear and shapewear markets
  • Sales channels for compression wear and shapewear
  • The market for athletic compression wear
  • The market for medical compression wear
  • Market for shapewear
  • The market for compression wear worn as casual wear


  • How do compression garments work?


  • Preventing and treating medical conditions
  • Healing after an injury or surgical operation
  • Relieving physical discomfort
  • Reducing pain
  • Minimising bruising
  • Smoothing the surface of the skin
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Enhanced warm-up and overall circulation
  • Heightened proprioception
  • Reduced muscle vibration
  • Reduction in drag
  • Lower build-up of lactic acid
  • Improved recovery after exercise
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Reduced damage to muscles
  • Improved posture
  • Lower risk of repetitive strain injuries
  • Providing a psychological lift


  • Fibre blends
  • Yarn diameter
  • Fabric construction
  • Warp knitted fabrics
  • Circular knitted fabrics
  • Seams
  • Fit
  • Pattern design
  • Sizing
  • Waistbands and drawstrings
  • Fasteners


  • Types of compression garments used for athletic wear
  • Targeted compression garments
  • Smart compression garments
  • Effects of compression garments on athletic performance
  • Research into the effects of compression garments on athletic performance
  • Testing and standards of compression wear


  • Optimum pressure levels
  • Treatment for lymphoedema
  • Prevention of blood clots
  • Post-surgical healing
  • Types of medical compression garments
  • Compression stockings
  • Therapeutic fashionwear



  • 2XU: MCS (Muscle Containment Stamping)
  • Adidas: Alphaskin
  • Amerx Health Care Corporation (Amerx): Extremit-Ease
  • CW-X: Endurance Generator Joint & Muscle Support Compression Tights
  • EC3D Sports: compression garments for pain relief
  • Essity: Jobst Relax
  • Essity: orthostatic intolerance garment (OIG)
  • Nike: Nike Pro AeroAdapt
  • Opedix: Knee-Tec Tights
  • Spanx: Suit Your Fancy
  • Spanx: OnCore
  • Under Armour: Rush compression garments
  • Vertics: compression sleeves for climbing
  • X-Bionic: Partialkompression


List of tables
Table 1: Compression wear products
Table 2: Leading companies in compression wear and shapewear markets
Table 3: Findings of research on the effects of compression garments on physiological factors and athletic performance, 1987-2018
Table 4: Indications for the use of medical compression garments
Table 5: Common types of medical compression garment and their use

List of figures
Figure 1: Global market for compression wear and shapewear, 2015-22
Figure 2: Compression wear: geographical breakdown of sales, 2015 and 2022
Figure 3: Compression top
Figure 4: Compression leggings
Figure 5: Compression arm sleeve
Figure 6: Compression calf sleeve
Figure 7: Compression stocking
Figure 8: Patterned compression socks
Figure 9: Alphaskin 360 top
Figure 10: Alphaskin Sport tights
Figure 11: Exo-Web for muscles and joints
Figure 12: Cross-section of fabric used in Jobst Relax garments
Figure 13: Nike Pro AeroAdapt tights

Executive Summary

The global market for shapewear is set for resurgence as demand is spurred by celebrity endorsements of brands, selfie culture, and social media, according to a report in issue 66 of Performance Apparel Markets.

Over the seven years to 2022, the global market for shapewear is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 4% to US$1.1 bn.

This growth will be due in part to the increase in popularity of shapewear, particularly among young women, teenagers and men. For many of these consumers, physical appearance has taken on greater importance as a result of pressures associated with social media and a selfie culture.

Garments with body-shaping properties have been shown to make such consumers feel more positive about their physical appearance. For example, a recent survey found that three out of every four women who participated in the survey reported that they felt much more confident when wearing shapewear.

The growth of the global shapewear market will also be due in part to the increasing popularity of shapewear among pop culture icons and celebrities.

In June 2019 Kim Kardashian West -- an American celebrity and pop culture icon who is well recognised for her exaggerated hourglass figure -- launched a shapewear line under the brand name SKIMS which sold out entirely within hours. The line is described as "solutionwear" and provides different shapewear styles for different outfits while also being comfortable and fashionable. The launch of the line caused a media storm about shapewear.

Similarly, in May 2019 Karlie Kloss -- an American supermodel -- attracted media attention when she wore a shapewear bodysuit developed by Spanx to the prestigious Met Gala, which is held annually at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute in New York, USA.

The popularity of shapewear among such icons and celebrities has influenced consumers and, as a result, caused a spur in demand which will continue to contribute to the growth of the global shapewear market.

Also, the growth of the market will be due in part to product improvements and innovations. Most recently, the look and, crucially, the feel of shapewear have been transformed by the use of seamless technologies. In cases where shapewear was once considered to be restrictive and unpleasant, it is now considered to be flattering, stylish and comfortable.

In fact, product improvements and innovations are seen as being key to securing long-term continued growth for the global shapewear market.

Companies Mentioned

  • 2XU  
  • Adidas  
  • Amerx Health Care Corporation (Amerx)  
  • CW-X
  • EC3D Sports
  • Essity
  • Nike
  • Opedix  
  • Spanx  
  • Under Armour
  • Vertics
  • X-Bionic