Comparing Custom and Off the Shelf/Ready to Wear Garments

Lymphedema refers to the chronic swelling that generally occurs in legs and arms. It occurs when too much of lymph fluid accumulates in legs and arms. When your lymphatic system is blocked, it results in the swelling of different body parts. Breast cancer related lymphedema occurs due to abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid in the interstitial tissue space.

There is no said cure for the treatment of breast cancer related lymphedema. However, it can be managed by wearing custom lymphedema garments. But then again the patients have the choice to choose between readymade garments and custom made garments. Each of them has their own set of unique characteristics which need to be considered prior finalizing which one to go for.

What are Off the Shelf / Ready Made Garments?

You can find readymade garments in limited variety of fabrics, compression and lengths. You get predefined sizes which may or may not meet the needs of an individual patient. If you are suffering from advanced cases of lymphedema, readymade ones will not provide full support to the skin folds. They are suitable for those with mild lymphedema.

What are Custom Lymphedema Garments?

The customized lymphedema garments are made up of breathable materials. Since they are customizable, you get to choose from an unlimited sizes, lengths and compression classes. They are considered fit among lymphedema patients who have shape distortion in their limbs. The thicker the material, more will be the stiffness. They make patients wearing these garments less prone to swelling and twisting. In the customized garments, you also have the advantage of getting different compression level.

Custom and Ready To Wear Garments: A Comparison Chart

Categories Custom Off the shelf
Fabric l  Custom made as per the individual’s shape

l  Made up of thick fabrics

l  Available in four compression classes

l  You get ready to wear garments

l  Available in a limited variety of lengths, fabrics and compression class.

Aesthetics l  Breathable fabric that is comfortable to wear ·        More cosmetically appealing


Fitting l  Can be produced in unlimited shapes and sizes.

l  A fitter can help you find your perfect fit in a personalized fitting session

l  Might not fit properly and are less adaptable to the patients individual shape.

l  You cannot get it fit by any fitter as they are readymade garments


Suitable For Suitable for all lymphadema patients. It gives different levels of compression at different areas. Patients with mild edema. It does not provide enough support to patients with advanced lymphedema.
Cost Generally more expensive but worth the investment. Cheaper than custom made garments.


If you require custom fittings for lymphedema garments and compression sleeves, you have come to the right place! Pink Ribbon Boutique provides personalized, professional and discreet fittings of custom lymphedema garments. To book an appointment, call us at (479) 242-9277.