The Ultimate Guide To Being Fashionably Ill
Fashion? I’m sure the last thing most of us think about is fashion when it comes to having a Chronic Illness. That we can get out of bed and put clothes on is a miracle some, if not most days. Let alone be concerned with the idea of being fashionable. Living with a Chronic illness or a Chronic Disease such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, puts fashion at the bottom of the list of personal priorities for most of us.
Gone are the days of wearing high heels (which, I for one, miss terribly!). Skin tight jeans, restrictive clothing, big, bulky items just create too many issues. Rigid waistbands, tiny little buttons, hooks, zippers and fasteners? No, just no. Skin sensitivity makes wearing a lot of things impossible, no matter how cute they are. I once was getting ready to go to a party, slipped on a favorite pair of jeans with zero stretch in them and the next thing I know, I was in a monster of a Fibro Flare Up. So I had to find something else to wear, which ruined my “look” for the evening and deal with the Flare Up, because I wasn’t missing yet another social event. It may seem trivial and shallow to some, but I know you know what I’m talking about. We want to strive to still fit in. Find some level of “normalness”. Who wants to wear sweat pants to a party?
I’d like to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout the years. While pajamas and sweat pants have their place, it’s most certainly not the grocery store or anywhere else public. Well except the sweat pants, those belong in the gym. The trick is finding cloths that are soft, flexible and that feel like pajamas, that allow you you to keep up with the latest trends, while allowing your own personality to shine through.
Think soft, loose, lightweight, flowing tops and tunics. A pretty cami for coverage underneath a low cut top. Longer cardigans and dusters are great pieces to finish an outfit with. For those of us who are a Plus Size or Curvy, longer cardigans and dusters cover those not so perfect areas. Yoga pants, leggings and jeggings are your best friends. Things that are easy to slip on and off. Cotton/Lycra/Spandex blends are your best bet. Look for things that don’t need to be ironed or dry cleaned. Invest in a lingerie bag to care for the more delicate items in your wardrobe. A lingerie bag will increase the lifespan of those favorite pieces in your wardrobe. It will also keep things from getting snagged, tangled up and torn in the wash.
Buy the pieces you are drawn too. Find your color palette. Most of us are naturally drawn to our favorite colors and what looks best on us. If you stick within a range of colors, you can create many different outfits without spending a fortune. Many of us are on SSI/SSDI and have fixed incomes. Not a lot of money to spend on pricey designer items.
We are in a fashion era where almost anything goes. Mix and match styles and pieces to create a look that works for you. HAVE FUN choosing your wardrobe. Go with the things that make you smile and feel good when you touch them. It has to be comfortable on your body and in YOUR eye. A little personal attention goes a long way when suffering from a Chronic Illness. Spending a few minutes a day on ourselves doesn’t mean we are shallow or vain. It’s a way of loving ourselves. It makes it easier to face the challenges of the day, when we feel good about how we look. There is a lot to be said for cuddling up in that favorite sweater when waiting in the doctors office. We need to surround ourselves in comfort whenever and where ever we can. It can reduce stress and anxiety in dealing with everyday life with Chronic Illnesses.
Here is an example of some plus size clothes that are both cute and comfortable, if there is something you like just click on the piece and it will take you to a website that shows you what store it’s in, how much the item is, and if the items can even be shipped.
Have you found any helpful fashion tips since you’ve been diagnosed with an Chronic Illness? Please comment in the section below.