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UPCOUTURE Fashion With A Focus On Posture


Are you a slumped over mess? If your posture is a little too nonchalant, you might want to add some wearable tech to the wardrobe. Neda Naef is the creator of UpCouture, anti-slouch fashion that includes extra-thin elastic film built in-between organic cotton layers to help your shoulders stay in the right place. After working as a lawyer and spending most of her day on a computer, Naef recognised there was a definite market for a posture pick-me-up.

She says it took over a year of daily experiments to find the right system, then a year after that of research and development to find the right textile technology, and finally, another six months of daily trials on many different people. Made in France, the idea’s proven a hit with the French (partly because the sleek designs are fashion-savvy too) and now the rest of the world’s getting into the concept.

So how does it work? Extra-thin elastic bands are sewn and bonded into the clothing, making slouching uncomfortable. The posture position isn’t forced, more redirecting your shoulders when alignment isn’t right. Basically the idea is it won’t give easily when you start pouring over your work and your face ends up closer to the desk (or screen) than it really should. And a reminder to straighten up can’t hurt, right?

“The first observation was that the system has be “closed” so that traction would not be lost at an open end,” Naef explains in regards to the patented mechanism. “The second observation was that in order to pull the shoulders backwards and align them, the system has to be non-tubular (as in tubular system, there can be compression, but no direction and alignment). This ended in the discovery of a double-8 system, going around each shoulder, and with a loop around each upper arm.” Then it was a matter of locking down the textile technology, “…to incorporate the correct modulus of elastic resistance (making the efficient double-8 figure mentioned above), in a beautiful, high-quality garment.”

The t-shirts are 92% organic cotton and have a GOTS certificate. When asked if it was kind of startling to wear at first (since we’re all so prone to slumping), she says many people think it feels strange the first couple of minutes, and then it feels wonderful. “The Up Shirt makes standing/sitting up straight more comfortable than slumping, so the first feeling is, ‘Oh, something’s pulling my shoulders,’ and then you straighten up and it feels good.” She points out we’re all slumping because of earth’s gravity. “The interesting thing is that those who take care of themselves and exercise regularly are those who realise the most they need to improve their posture.”

The line is transeasonal. “UpCouture is basically all-year wear,” confirms Naef. “It can easily be combined with other pieces of clothing.” So far, sales are approximately 45% to men, and 55% to women. “I think both men and women benefit from the Up Shirt just the same.”

Naef says the brand serves Australia directly from Paris through the website and offers free shipping to Australia.




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