Smart Shapewear? Yeah, It's a Thing | ITEM m6
My introduction to medical-grade compression clothing was through a visit to my dad in the hospital in 2016. Lying prostrate in a single bed, he was wearing white and blue knee socks that looked like he should be warming up for the Yankees, not recuperating after an appendectomy.
“Old people wear them,” He said, “to help with blood circulation when they are unable to move around on their own.” What a punishment! After that, I thought the only “hip” thing about compression clothing was that the people wearing it probably needed a new one.
So you can picture my furrowed brow when I made a new friend at the Create & Cultivate conference (hi, Sanaz!) who told me she worked for a compression shapewear company called ITEM m6. Oh God, you make those white baseball socks, don’t you? I thought to myself upon meeting her. I was so, so wrong.
Item m6 isn’t your grandmother’s girdle* and hosiery company. With over 60 years in the medical compression industry under their parent company medi, ITEM m6 saw an opportunity to transition medical-grade compression clothing into fashion with a purpose. Their leggings, tights, socks, and bodysuits all contain “intelligent” fibers that hold you in place while fighting cellulite and increasing circulation. I know, I know: it’s a lot to handle for a little piece of clothing.
When I received my first package, courtesy of ITEM m6, I excitedly ripped open the box and wriggled into their Shape Tights (in Opaque). As a tights snob, I’ve got to say: I was objectively impressed. I wore (read: danced) around my apartment to test out how long I could go without feeling like a suffocated Veruca Salt at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...but the moment never came.
The real test came when I wore their translucent polka dot patterned tights to a photoshoot. I’d be running around the city, changing quickly in the backseat of a car. These are definitely going to snag, I thought. NOPE. Not a single tear from these sheer tights (which is even better because I’m slightly obsessed with the polka dot design).
So they don’t suffocate. They don’t snag. And they don’t lose their shape! Another one of my favorite pieces is the Shape Pants Shorty. It’s got this silicone strip at the waistband so there’s no chance of it rolling down, and the added length at both ends makes for what they describe as a “no show” fit. Even after hours of wear, I can take it off only to have it return to the exact shape and size as it was before. It’s like magic (except not, because it’s ~*technology*~).
When I started My Pink Docs, I made a promise to only promote brands I actually like (I promise, you won’t see me hawking #TummyTea.) ITEM m6 is one of those brands. Sure, the pieces are pricier than what you’re going to see in the hosiery section at Target. But a little investment is worth the aforementioned perks. And just like the organic tampon companies I’ve come to love, ITEM m6’s branding doesn’t automatically associate its clientele with the color pink**, an added reprieve for a traditionally feminine product. But don’t take my word for it, head to their website and see for yourself: no baseball socks in sight.
*Easily one of my least favorite words. Ew.
**Even though it’s my favorite color, I recognize not every woman wants to be associated with it all all times.