Supportive Gear Is Not For Novice Lifters
Unfortunately, over the years I have seen many novice powerlifters compete in bench shirts and squat suits. Many times these lifters are accompanied by “equipped” training partners or advisors who have encouraged the novice lifter to jump into supportive gear too soon. The novice lifter has not had the opportunity to gain a good raw strength base because they tend to spend an inordinate amount of time training and competing in supportive gear. It is not unusual to see these same lifters compete for years without getting noticeably stronger.
Give yourself a chance to learn how to build a good raw strength foundation and continue to improve upon it before adding the supportive gear. (especially if you are in the youth/teen divisions).