One Arm Compression Shirts: Origins, Benefits, & How to Buy

Steph Curry shooting wearing a one arm compression shirt and leg sleeve

Before we begin this article on the topic of asymmetrical sportswear and one arm compression shirts, it’s important to note up front that LVLS Sportswear has a significant bias towards this developing sports fashion trend. We were one of the first brands to release Single Leg Tights and are now the first to deliver both a short sleeve and sleeveless one arm compression shirt, which we refer to as Ace Compression Shirts (ace as in asymmetrical).

If you are interested in ordering an asymmetrical or one arm compression shirt of your own, take a look at the available options for our Short Sleeve Ace Compression Shirts or Sleeveless Ace Compression Shirts.

Okay, let’s get into it…

Where Does the Trend of One Arm Compression Shirts Come From?

If you’re a fan of the NBA, then you’re probably aware of Steph Curry’s recent return to play. However, it’s not actually his incredible performances and recent stats that have social media buzzing, but rather what he’s been wearing to facilitate the recovery of his recent shoulder injury. Curry made his 2023 debut on January 10th against the Phoenix Suns wearing a compression shirt, designed with one sleeve down to his wrist and the other sleeve sleeveless.

Now, if you’re not actively observing and analyzing the subtle trends emerging in sports-fashion, you may jump to conclusions, claiming that this new base-layer style was sparked by Curry himself. But we are here to tell you that that may not be the case, though he should absolutely be credited for its sudden increase in popularity!

Many NBA 2K lovers will be eager to mention that they’ve been sporting a similar style for years. On top of that, we’ve highlighted in earlier blogs that the growing trend of athletes wearing a compression t-shirt with a shooting sleeve has also been on the rise.

patrick mahomes wearing compression t-shirt and arm sleeve

When our team first started out, we began with designs for our Single Leg Tights, but immediately knew there would be an equally as passionate market for athletes who wanted a similar asymmetrical style for their upper body undergarments as well. Once the order of compression tights had arrived, we began prototyping a more functional arm sleeve. As luck would have it, the day we received the confirmation from our manufacturer that our bulk order had shipped, Steph Curry just happened to step out on the court sporting his new ‘Winter Soldier’ look.

What Are the Benefits of a Compression Shirt with One Sleeve?

Like most undergarment athleticwear these days, moisture wicking compression gear has a number of health benefits. Tighter compression of the muscles and joints during athletic activity can increase blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, accelerate the process of rebuilding muscle tissue, and provide support where you need it most. Most compression apparel is manufactured with sweat wicking materials, designed to help regulate body temperature, keep you dry, and increase the likelihood of peak performance.

When a compression t-shirt or sleeveless compression shirt is compared to asymmetrically designed compression shirts, then we start to get into the functionality of the products themselves.

First and foremost, athletes most commonly purchase our short sleeve and sleeveless Ace Compression Shirts for the style. Let’s face it, the trend of asymmetrical sportswear is fashionable! Athletes across the world, playing all kinds of sports have begun showing signs of appeal to the concept of asymmetry in their athletic styles. Although the added health benefits are a plus, we find that a lot of our customers value our products for the fashion statement over the performance benefits.

However, it is important to note that a smaller, but still significant portion of those that purchase a compression shirt with one sleeve also value them as a more functional alternative to arm sleeves or shooting sleeves. Who wants to have to constantly readjust their arm sleeve every time they shoot, throw, run, or catch? With single arm compression shirts, the style is maintained while the functionality is immensely improved. You shouldn’t have to worry about your apparel moving and requiring readjustment while you play!

How to Determine Your Size and Shirt Preference?

If you’re interested in purchasing an Ace Compression Shirt, then you’ve come to the right place. But, before you do, here are a few quick things to note.

Most athletes already have a preferred arm that they designate for the longer sleeve, but if you’re knew to this style and haven’t worn shooting sleeves in the past, our advice is most commonly to select the longer sleeve for your non-dominant hand. Unless you’re Russell Westbrook and wear shooting sleeves on both arms, most athletes prefer their throwing or shooting arm to be free and nimble. That’s not to say if you’re a pitcher or quarterback looking for some extra compression to an already exhausted throwing arm, you shouldn’t purchase a single arm compression shirt for your dominant hand. Do what makes you feel most comfortable! We are merely speaking from experience and from analyzing the general athletic population – most athletes prefer the longer sleeve on their non-dominant arm.

We also commonly advise customers to purchase a size down for increased compression. We’ve worked with models in the past that are 6’3” 200 lbs and prefer a size medium over a large to give a little more compression around the chest and longer sleeve. But again, do what you think would make you most comfortable during gameplay!

black sleeveless one arm compression shirt

Our Ace Compression Shirts are obviously constructed asymmetrically, which means that there is far more tensile strength pulling at the longer sleeves’ side than the sleeveless or short sleeve. As such, the garment could potentially move slightly to favor the longer sleeve side. This isn’t something to grow concerned over – it’s something that our team has been aware of and it’s part of the reason we designed the compression shirts with a diagonal seam across the chest and back. You can either purchase a size down to increase compression and reduce the effects of the product moving to one side or simply tuck the waist of the shorter sleeve side into your shorts a little deeper than the long sleeve side to help the product stay in one place. A very minor issue, but one we’d like our customers to be aware of before purchasing the product!

As a final note, we’ve had customers in the past confused about how to select which arm for the longer sleeve. We built our interactive product builder to provide you with a rendering of what your order will look like when facing you. By selecting ‘Right’ for the longer arm preference, this means that the longer sleeve will be on the right arm.

We hope this article was helpful and insightful for you, but please feel free to reach out to our team here at LVLS Sportswear with any additional questions you may have!

See more