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In this paper, the on-body performance of a range of wearable antennas was investigated by measuring |S 21| path gain between two devices mounted on tissue-equivalent numerical and experimental phantoms, representative of human muscle tissue at 2.45 GHz. In particular, the study focused on the performance of a compact higher mode microstrip patch antenna (HMMPA) with a profile as low as lambda/20. The 5- and 10-mm-high HMMPA prototypes had an impedance bandwidth of 6.7% and 8.6%, respectively, sufficient for the operating requirements of the 2.45-GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band and both antennas offered 11-dB higher path gain compared to a fundamental-mode microstrip patch antenna. It was also demonstrated that a 7-dB improvement in path gain can be obtained for a fundamental-mode patch through the addition of a shortening wall. Notably, on-body HMMPA performance was comparable to a quarter wave monopole antenna on the same size of groundplane, mounted normal to the tissue surface, indicating that the low-profile and physically more robust antenna is a promising solution for bodyworn antenna applications.