Underwear for both males and females has a long and varied history through thousands of years. And while the style of the garments vary, and the materials are much softer and smoother, the shapewear of today owes much to the underwear of the past.
But what is shapewear? Briefly (no pun intended), shapewear is tight-fitting underwear that controls and shapes a figure. This is a significant industry segment that is estimated by Allied Market Research to reach nearly $7 billion by 2030.
The latest trend in the industry today? Well, the hottest trend in the shapewear industry are garments designed specifically for men. Just as for women, the men’s shapewear is all intended to help men look their best under clothes.
Men’s garments include t-shirts, briefs, vests, and tops made from stretchy and form-fitting synthetic blends that help flatten mid-section love handles and firm the glutes. Some men balk at calling it ‘shapewear ‘though – that sounds too much like women’s lingerie. So, ‘compression wear’ is more commonly used for men’s undergarments. Compression wear for athletics is still very closely related to shapewear though, as compression wear is meant to optimize athletic performance and help with recovery (as well as help us look good).
And of course we can blame the pandemic for the rise (another not-intended pun) in shapewear demand as we emerge from small circles and into gyms and fitness centers again.
What’s your favorite look?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
- Where is shapewear on the PLC? Where is men’s shapewear?
- Show websites for men’s shapewear:
- Spanx: https://spanx.com/collections/mens
- Core Wear: https://getcorewear.com/
- HisRoom: https://www.hisroom.com/
- Students may also look for additional manufacturers. What are the main marketing messages?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a PLC and plot various clothing and accessories on the chart.
- What does it take to reposition a product on the PLC?
Source: Waters, J. (Nov 9 2021), Yes, Men Do Wear Spanx. Here’s Why, Wall Street Journal.