I bet I will get a number of hits from people looking for their big break in starting the latest fashion trend but will stop reading this as soon as they learn what I blog about. The truth is that those of us with chronic illness find the demands of looking fashionable in high heels, tight-fitting jeans and diving necklines too painful.
Long before diagnosis, buttoned slacks and skirts were difficult for me to tolerate. As a professional, I tried to look sharp but when possible, I hid in my office with my jacket off, skirt unbuttoned, and blouse untucked. In some cases, I admit that my waistline grew, but more often, the clothes didn’t feel tight as much as imprisoning as I imagine a straight jacket might feel. The minute I came home, the clothes went flying off and sweats were put on. I could breathe again. I managed to find some designers passed as presentable in the business world. I found outfits by Eileen Fisher and the store Chico’s kind to those of us with tender nerves but most cared little about comfort.
I could no longer bear panty hose, for the confinement of my legs proved unbearable. In the summer, I could get away with tanned legs and open toed shoes but winters were more of a challenge. I often wore pant coordinates and suits but I like the freedom of dresses and skirts. Midi and maxi lengthed skirts allowed me to get away with knee highs. Can you imagine the horror that Stacey and Clinton of that cable tv show What not to Wear might experience if they ever learned of my fashion style? If an ambush makeover was ever attempted on me, I’m certain they’d give up.
I am fortunate now that style is not as important when working from my home in rural Texas. Drawstring sweatpants and XL t-shirts are not offensive to the computer or telephone. I don’t have to impress anyone at the grocery store or bank and I have found blue jeans and other casual clothes that are comfortable.
But I do think the fashion gurus need to give those of us who have tender nerves and are often in pain a break. High heels, zippers, buttons, and ties are not conducive to our bodies. Since there are millions of us out there struggling to make it through the day, it sure would be nice if someone would keep those of us with painful joints, muscles, and nerves in mind when you create your next fashion trend.