If you are looking for a great posture correcting shirt, then you will find this comparison of three top brands and their best-performing shirts in the industry very useful!
Poor posture has been linked to a variety of negative effects for things like digestion, breathing, emotional and mental well-being.
Of course, it can also lead to more obvious things like uncomfortable tightness in the muscles and perhaps even pain.
Moreover, bad postural habits like hunching forward and rotating the pelvis or “duck posture” simply result in unattractive body shape.
All in all, there are a good number of reasons why you would want to improve your posture, and this is where these so-called posture shirts come in handy!
Posture-correcting shirts will also give you a slimmer appearance through a combination of pulling back the shoulders, straightening the spine into an upright position and generally constricting the stomach area.
Read below to learn the pros and cons of 3 of the best performing brands on the market for men’s posture-correcting shirts namely, Intelliskin vs Equmen vs Spanx.
Intelliskin Newest Men’s Foundation Vtee
The Intelliskin products are usually on the pricier side of the posture improving clothing market, and this Vtee is no exception.
The compression fabric is latex-free and made from a blend of cotton, nylon and spandex fibers. This material is ideal for strenuous activity or workouts because it is moisture wicking, durable, anti-odor, and anti-microbial.
While the product description does not mention whether hot water could damage the material, consumers recommend not taking the risk with this rather expensive product and advise washing the shirt with cold water and a mild detergent.
As far as sizing, the chart accommodates size XS (a 32 to 34-inch chest) to XXXL (a 50 to 55-inch chest). The sizing chart also includes a waist measurement but unfortunately does not specify a sleeve or arm measurement.
For more information on Intelliskin, a more in-depth review of Intelliskin is available.
Understandably, the main criticisms of the Intelliskin are the result of high expectations as far as posture support due to the price point. However, most posture correcting, compression shirts are not designed to give the same level of support like a brace (read more below).
Other common complaints include some discomfort with the rubberized hem on the end of the shirt as well as itchiness due to the stitching. Some users have also felt irritation in the armpits (which is common with long-term wear of most posture correcting products).
Despite this, the majority of people describe the Intelliskin as relatively comfortable and easy to wear, and if you get a wrong size Intelliskin offers free shipping on domestic returns.
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If you have the disposable income, the Intelliskin Vtee provides an inconspicuous and less intense alternative to a brace. Its attractive design in comparison to most plain, solid color posture correcting shirts means it can be worn by itself and this continues to make it a great-selling product.
Equmen Men’s Core Precision Undershirt
What you could describe as a mid-pricing-range, the Equmen is usually at a lower price than the Intelliskin. The Equmen is also latex-free and made from a blend of fibers. The fabric is 73% Polyester Cationi, 13% Nylon and 14% Spandex.
It is also marketed as being anti-microbial and moisture wicking. Even though it has no cotton fibers, the targeted mesh design seems to be effective at temperature control.
Customers describe the undershirt as surprisingly breathable and suitable for hot and humid climates. The undershirt also helps to reduce embarrassing sweat stains and its seamless design makes the Equmen particularly comfortable against the skin.
The Equmen is one of the more versatile posture correcting shirts and can be worn casually or for lumbar support during workouts. However, for those who want to work up a sweat during exercise, the breathability of the Equmen may be considered a disadvantage.
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Although it only comes in solid colors, it is important to bear in mind that it is marketed primarily as a posture correcting undershirt and therefore should be worn under other clothing.
The brand also specifies care instructions, recommending machine washing the shirt in cold water and laying it flat to dry.
In comparison to other products, the Equmen undershirt is described as being especially comfortable even with long-term wear. This makes it ideal for those with “desk jockey” jobs who would like discreet back support at the office.
Despite the brand offering a “big and tall shirt” for larger consumers, Equmen’s biggest size, the XXXL, fits a 45.67 inch chest, which is smaller than most XXL shirts from other brands. Similarly, its smallest size, S, fits a 36 to 37 inch chest which is a few inches wider than most size small shirts from other brands.
As far as performance, the Equmen undershirt does accomplish a slimming effect and supports the back muscles.
Consumers who wanted extra support have claimed that the Equmen made them appear taller and people with more serious issues such as herniated discs have reported significant pain relief.
Spanx Men’s Cotton Compression Crew
The Spanx Men’s Cotton Compression Crew is priced according to its size and there is a significant price difference between size Small and XX-Large.
So depending on what size you order the product in you could be saving money compared to the other products above or not.
Price aside, Spanx offers one of the widest ranges in sizing. Unlike other brands, they also include waist and sleeve measurements to ensure the perfect fit.
Spanx is also unique in comparison to the Intelliskin and the Equmen, as the compression shirt is made of 100% cotton.
While other brands depend on their stretchable fabric blends to compress the body, the Spanx crew relies instead on a hook and eye closure mechanisms to create tightness around the stomach and lower back.
This makes it a little more difficult to wear and remove than other brands which simply direct you to slip on their shirts as you would a traditional t-shirt. In addition, most consumers find that the Spanx crew is still not as tight as other posture-correcting shirts.
Loose Fit, Not That Much Posture Correction
The looser fit also means that it does not provide as much back support as other brands. However, for customers who find stretchable compression shirts too restricting, the Spanx crew may provide more room and comfort.
Of course, cotton has other advantages, it is known to be a breathable fabric and is much easier to maintain in terms of machine washing. However, this may not be the most ideal material for posture support during strenuous activity or exercise.
Customers who bought larger sizes (and therefore expected more value for their price points) have criticized the shirt for not being particularly durable. On the other hand, customers who bought smaller sizes considered their purchase a budget saver.
Despite this disparity in price and reviews, the Spanx crew continues to be a best seller as it suits the needs of consumers who require less lumbar support and prefer a more comfortable compression shirt with a slimming effect. Like the Equmen, the Spanx compression crew comes in 2 solid colors, black and white–and is ideally worn as an undershirt.
Small and Medium-sized customers who are more interested in a trimmer appearance than posture reinforcement will most enjoy this product. Like the Equmen, the Spanx is suitable for office workers looking for an inconspicuous body lift and comfortable, gentle support.
Posture Shirts Critique
Not Enough Support
An often occurring critique of the posture shirts is that they don’t give the amount of support as the customer expected.
If you worry about this as well, let me just say that wearing a posture shirt has been clinically proven to have posture improving effects. It is especially the two companies Intelliskin and Alignmed who have done trials and arranged for clinical tests to be conducted.
This doesn’t change the fact that some people feel disappointed after wearing the shirt and perhaps the companies could be more clear when describing their product and what should be expected of it.
However, I think this issue is mainly due to people mistakenly think that a posture shirt will provide the same level of “support” as a posture brace.
So let me be clear on this matter, a posture improving shirt similar to the ones in this review will never provide the same level of support as a posture brace and that was never the intention.
This is both good and bad for a number of reasons which I talk more about here. Essentially it is about the viability of long-term use. Use a posture brace for too long and you risk your muscles atrophying and becoming weaker because the brace is doing most of the work. This is not the case with a posture shirt.
Not A Complete Solution
If you really want to improve your posture, you most likely can’t just get a posture shirt and call it a day.
What you need to do is a series of things that address the problem from different angles.
I like to suggest that you focus on these three things:
- Improve your ergonomics with a strict focus on where you spend the time most, e.g. your desk, your bed (often forgotten), couch, and car.
- Improve “postural awareness” – Become familiar with what good posture looks and feels like. For this, I believe a posture shirt is a great help and a better alternative than a brace. Although a brace can also work well.
- Reverse the effects that maintaining poor posture have had by stretching shortened and tight muscles and strengthen elongated and weak muscles. You can check out some exercises here.
Best Posture Shirt At A Glance
As with all posture-correcting products, it is advised that first-time users wear them for no longer than just 30 minutes to an hour a day. After getting more used to wearing the shirt you can gradually increase the time.
The level of discomfort you may initially experience depends on your level of posture fitness which will get better over time.
If you have had any major injuries in the past or recently had surgery, I would highly suggest you consult with a medical professional before making the purchase.
With that in mind, these are best picks by category:
Best Design: Intelliskin Newest Men’s Foundation Vtee
Although it may be on the more expensive side, the Intelliskin is one of the better-looking posture corrections shirts on the market.
Unlike the plain, solid colors of the most posture correcting shirts which are meant to be worn under other clothing, the Intelliskin shirt boasts an attractive sporty pattern and can be worn by itself.
Best Posture Improvement: Intelliskin
Intelliskin is known for having extensively tested and trialed their posture clothing. It also one of the reasons why a lot of pro-athletes turn to Intelliskin as improving posture can affect their sports performance.
Best Budget Buy: Equmen Men’s Core Precision Undershirt
Combining comfort and posture correction, the Equmen is perfect to wear under dress shirts at the office and gently discourages the dreaded slouch.
Its sizing range may be a little more limited than other brands but it more than makes up for this in overall performance.
Best Trim: Spanx Men’s Cotton Compression Crew
Despite having a slightly looser fit than other brands, the Spanx shirt is one of the more comfortable options as far as tucking in those unsightly “love handles” and flattening out the gut.
Its low maintenance cotton fabric is easy to handle for customers who do not want a big fuss over a subtle body lift. For customers who wear a size small or medium, this can also be considered a budget buy.