by John Russel Jones

“Stand up straight!”

Can’t you hear your mom’s or dad’s voice echoing in your ears every time you try on a new suit, or have a photograph taken? Of course, she was right. According to the Harvard Medical School, slouching promotes heartburn, incontinence, and more; and many of us are more likely to have poor posture because of modern desk jobs or staring down at our smartphones all day. The bad habit can also affect our performance in sports — whether on the golf course, the tennis court, or weight training — eventually harming knees, shoulders, and spines. 

Performance features moved from active sportswear to golf shirts to dress shirts, in the last decade or so, and now it’s possible to sell clothing from head-to-toe that offers stretch, wicking, anti-odor, cooling, warming, and more. Now Forme is offering a selection of products that pick up where our parents left off: Founded and designed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Liu, the collection includes T-shirts, polos, shorts, and socks, all structured to correct and train alignment of the spine, neck, shoulder, and hip to increase joint movement, reduce injuries, boost recovery, and provide better breathing through the use of multidirectional tensile materials. The pieces are even registered as FDA medical devices. The concept is simple: As the product tugs on the wearer’s shoulders, pulling the back into an ideal posture position, the body learns good posture through positive muscle memory. 

Liu originally designed these pieces to help someone close to him battle the poor posture and compressed lungs that came as a result of late-stage cancer. The product has since grown to help correct more mainstream posture issues, as well as help folks with spinal and musculoskeletal disorders. It’s now a hit with PGA pros, trainers, U.S. Olympic teams, and athletes in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL, as well as both the men’s and women’s U.S. national rugby teams. PGA players who are fans include CT Pan, Louis Oosthuizen, Jared Wolfe, and Tyson Alexander. 

The collection includes two basic T-shirts, Core ($168) and Ace (in crew, $158, or V-neck, $148), and the Ace Polo ($198). The Core uses eco-friendly Tencel for the outer body, whereas the Ace models get a synthetic poly blend with quick-dry, sweat-wicking capabilities. The Pro short ($98) corrects hip and pelvis alignment, and the brand’s most recent addition, the Arch Booster sock ($29), is designed to engage small foot muscles for better balance, mobility, and recovery. The women’s collection includes sports bras, leggings, T-shirts, and shorts. Forme is also Made in the USA, and manufactured in Southern California. 

At the moment, Forme is only sold DTC through its website and a few high-end golf shops. The brand also sells direct to several professional sports teams. 

Now that luxury brands are selling wrinkle-free, odor-absorbing stretch dress shirts, and blending performance fibers with merino and cashmere for luxurious sweaters that can be worn like activewear, can a posture-correcting dress shirt or suit be far behind? If so, look to tailor – er – Doctor Liu and Forme to create it.