It has been a few decades since maternity shape-wear made its entry into the women’s fashion space. The need to look good is always predominant for women, and some women will go any distance to ensure that – at times even without regard to potential consequences of overdoing it. Little additional assistance to keep some of those bulges that are considered ugly by some women could be very helpful.
There are several brands misleading for your attention in Australia and elsewhere and apart from maternity shape-wear, these brands also offer shape-wear for regular use. But some leading brands like Spanx have faced significant scrutiny for their maternity shape-wear under the brand name “Mama Spanx”. Spanx claims that the panties under this brand are designed to provide comfort through an under belly support and a non-binding waistband to firm up and lift the right places without impacting the safety of the baby.
Spanx maternity wear was originally found in 2004 and attracted heated discussions ever since. Most of these debates have revolved around body image vs safety of the baby and the mom. Another question being debated is whether mothers-to-be need to shame on how they look at the changes that take place to accommodate the growing baby. Another concern figuring in these debates is constricted oxygen supply and blood flow to the foetus. But then, all these revolve around maternity wear and not shape-wear for occasions other than maternity.
But, what are the top brands in the Australian shape-wear market
Controversies and questions often help brands to gain quick public attention than thousands of dollars spent on advertising their product. Therefore, some of these avowed controversies can also be the brainchild of smart marketers. That being said, today the Australian market has over a dozen shape-wear brands vying for your attention. These include:-
Bellabodies, Spanx, B Free Australia, Fayrefoam, Bernie, Miraclesuit, Moontide, Baku, Trunks, Bonds, Fantasie etc
What drives the shape-wear markets?
Globally, more and more people are becoming fitness conscious, and the trend is more pronounced in the urban markets with the semi-urban markets following suit. Greater participation in sporting activities has also contributed significantly to the growth of the shape-wear market. Gym wears getting replaced with compression wear is another segment that is beginning to contribute further to the growth of the shape-wear market.
Advanced garment design and fabrics
Fabrics employed in shape-wear, as well as the garment design, have also seen advancements in recent times adding to the growth of the segment. Technologies like laser cutting and bonding have helped shape-wear eliminate the hems, seams, and bulky fastenings. Nylon, Spandex, Lycra and neoprene are the fabrics commonly used by manufacturers. These improved fabrics are also breathable and softer with sculpting properties. Taking things one step forward Sankom Switzerland is offering its exclusive shape-wear line with Aloe Vera infused. Antibacterial properties of Aloe Vera helps in keeping the body cools. Skins International is another branch that has launched its line of compression clothing infused with wrap knitted fabric that uses several fine quality yarns to ensure superior performance. Global markets for compression wear continue to gain from these advancements.
Market size for shape-wear/compression wear
The shape-wear/compression wear is set to rise to about $5,576 million globally, by 2022. These skin-tight apparels are also claimed to promote blood circulation while stabilizing muscles through pressure exerted at specific parts of your body. Compression apparels are also claimed to improve body balance and stamina while controlling body temperature. Another factor that is expected to significantly aid the increase of shape-wear is the unprecedented growth of geriatric population, particularly in the Western nations. According to estimates, some 524 million people aged above 65 years representing about 8% of global population are geriatric, and this number likely reaches about 1.5 billion by 2050. The more elderly population use compression garments for the treatment of phlebitis, oedema, thrombosis etc. Thus, the market for shape-wear/compression wear is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Myths associated with shape-wear/compression wear
They are tight, pull at the ribs and can’t breathe.
This might have been the experience early on, but things have significantly changed with the modern day shape-wear. The comfort factor has significantly improved with innovative fabric and support offered at different levels. For instance, Nancy Ganz now offers shape-wear made out of cotton-stretch fabric that is breathable making it comfortable even during summer.
It is tighter compared to Glad-wrap.
Many customers feel that they should pick smaller sizes to achieve ideal silhouette. But, the regular undergarment size is a better option. Shape-wear by design smoothens your body and gives you that slim feel, and therefore, it is meant to be tight fitting. But, if you think there is a problem with your blood circulation, you can pick one size higher, and that would make it great.
It is recommended for curvy women only.
Some of the best selling sizes are in the range of 10-12, and these are essentially not made just for curvier girls. It is a certain confidence booster for all shapes and sizes.
It is for special events alone.
Shape-wear helps you feel confident even in your tight jeans and is among modern wardrobe solutions for any occasion. Therefore, it is not something designed especially for special events alone.
Apart from the above, most women choose compression garments or shape-wear to change the size of a part of the body or just for support. These garments are also claimed to have anti-cellulite as well as micro-massaging properties with the capability of instantly reducing your body to fit three sizes smaller. The effect is, however, temporary, and when you use them over a long-term, some health risks are inevitable.