Functional Clothing for Posture Correction, Stress Reduction, Lymphatic Drainage and More

2 weeks ago 15

A pair of leggings that provide lymphatic drainage. A bra that corrects posture. A swimsuit with sun protection. These all make up the hottest new wellness trend: functional clothing, essentially items that provide a benefit to the wearer.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the largest opportunity is for climate adaptive clothing — think cooling textiles and sun protective fabrics.

“We’re seeing a lot of innovation in terms of personal cooling clothing, lots of exciting stuff that’s out there being developed and is a few years away from the marketplace,” according to Jane Kitchen, editor at large at Spa Business, speaking at the Global Wellness Summit’s “The Future of Wellness 2024” press presentation. “A lot of this technology will become more mainstream and will be put into our regular clothes so that you can have things like phase change inks that will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter, thermoadaptive textiles [and] wearable patches that draw heat away from your body.”

While we are still a few years away from these climate adaptive technologies reaching the mass market, there are some already available like Arctic Cool, which has a lineup of cooling activewear.

Concurrently, sun protective swimwear has become trendy as people are increasingly concerned about skin damage and antiaging.

“In the realm of longevity and antiaging, we are very concerned about photoaging, oxidation, oxidative stress and DNA damage from the sun affecting skin and causing accelerated aging and even cancer. I’m all for many more ways of getting SPF,” says Dr. Amanda Kahn, a New York City-based personalized primary care physician and longevity expert.

Although climate adaptive clothing is trending right now, experts say there are several other interesting use cases at the moment, particularly lymphatic drainage.

“I was looking for a garment that was medical-grade compression that could help post procedurally and in between sessions when patients are just living their daily life, something that could help with lymphatic drainage and with post procedure swelling,” says Kahn, which led her to find compression company Elastique Athletics.

Here, a look at Elastique Athletics and other brands tapping into functional clothing for an array of use cases.

Elastique Athletics L’Original Leggings, $197

Elastique Athletics L’Original Leggings

Elastique Athletics L’Original Leggings Courtesy

Across its lineup, which includes leggings, bras, tops, bodysuits and shorts, Elastique Athletics combines compression with its patented MicroPerle technology, which employs beads that act as a micro massage. The impact: lymphatic drainage that supports recovery and daily functions, reduces swelling and promotes smoother skin overall. With its many benefits, the brand has become a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Thera Weighted Therahoodie, $158

Thera Weighted Therahoodie

Thera Weighted Therahoodie Maya Fraser Photo

Think of this one as a wearable weighted blanket. The Therahoodie, which comes in a classic hoodie material and a more plush fabric, uses 10 pounds of weighted pressure to reduce anxiety and promote healthy sleep. According to the brand, it is especially effective for combatting travel-related stress. 

SwimZip Women’s Half Zip Swim Dress Cover Up, $75

SwimZip Women's Half Zip Swim Dress Cover Up

SwimZip Women’s Half Zip Swim Dress Cover Up Courtesy

SwimZip is addressing the ongoing climate crisis through its line of products, which employ UPF 50+, the highest level of sun protection for fabrics. In addition to women’s cover-ups and swimsuits, the brand has a collection of products for children and men. 

Forme Power Bra, $178 

Forme Power Bra

Forme Power Bra Courtesy

The Forme Power Bra has been a favorite of Taylor Swift’s while in rehearsal for the “Eras” tour, making it a hot ticket item. The bra employs tension fabrics and double-fabric panels to provide support and posture correction, allowing wearers to stand taller and have proper alignment.  

Knix Leakproof Classic One Piece Swimsuit, $100 

Knix Leakproof Classic One Piece Swimsuit

Knix Leakproof Classic One Piece Swimsuit Courtesy

The new swimwear collection from Knix, known for its period underwear, provides light leak protection. According to the brand, the suits can absorb about the same amount as one regular Tampon. To make the collection even more functional, the fabric provides additional sun protection with UPF 50+.

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