With the rise of athleisure fashion — off-duty comfort clothing that doubles as workout attire — a niche market has become trendy among busy millennials: compression stockings.
The company VIM &VIGR has reimagined the look, bringing fun colors and patterns such as polka dots to the traditionally dowdy hosiery. And recent startup Tramps Fashion Compression Hosiery sells sexy thigh-highs and tights.
But what’s the draw for the younger crowd, when the stockings’ traditional buyer is an older American with high blood pressure or varicose veins?
“Millennials in general want to be more proactive with their health,” VIM &VIGR founder Michelle Huie says.
“You don’t need a prescription anymore,” notes Tomas Reyes, co-founder of Tramps.
A more active lifestyle may lead the younger generation to seek out alternate ways of staying healthy.
Mandy, who purchased a pair of VIM &VIGR stockings at a scrubs store in Montana, uses them during 12-hour shifts at her job in the emergency room, according to her Amazon review. And Sid, who sits a lot at her job, purchased several pairs to maintain a healthy blood flow.
Dr. Robert Ruess, a local venous specialist with 36 years experience in the field, agrees and recommends taking preventive measures.
“If you know you’re going to get pregnant or sitting or standing on your job a lot, I definitely would recommend that you be proactive,” Ruess says. He touts the benefits of compression stockings as an easy way to slow the natural degradation of veins as we age.
But where is the hard medical proof behind the concept? Reyes acknowledges he consulted loosely with his brother, a doctor specializing in endocrinology, before creating Tramps’ product, but focused more on the fashion aspect as a draw.
“They’re cute, it’s something that they (millennials) want to wear. … You will look good and better as you age if you start wearing these type of garments.”