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Thread: Dressing with Lupus

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    Default Dressing with Lupus

    Because of lupus, the last few years my style of dress has changed more than ever.

    The pain in my upper body makes wearing a traditional bra torturous. I've had to switch to a man's shoe, a size larger than I used to wear because the bones in my feet hurt (women's wide all seem to be ugly or impractical). And forget about even thinking about heals or even pumps.

    My stomach hurts too much to wear any pants except elastic or a loose pair of drawstring pants, and even then it is hard to find pants that are large enough around the waist to not hurt without a baggy butt.

    Then there is the necessity of covering up completely when going out to avoid all sun contact which is never easy in the summer. I can't afford to buy expensive trendy UVA sunblock clothes so I wear what I can find that covers and breaths somewhat (I live in the desert). Last summer I ended up again in the mens department buying a man's white dress shirt that was all cotton and buttoned up well to protect the neck.

    I started wearing long skirts because they feel more feminine than baggy pants. I wear a cheap version of Spanx type tank tops instead of bras (My girls are large so I layer two). They started making "Earth Shoes" again, they fit great but are none too pretty, It is like walking in sand, good for the legs but again, pricey.

    Make-up has also been an issue. I am allergic to almost everything I try. When my face is really bad I feel so self conscience when I go out, but if I try to cover it up it will make it 10 times worse. I did find a sulfur lotion that helps keep my face from exacerbating called Peter Gillham's Natural Vitality but this stuff is pricey. I make sacrifices to try to always have some around, but sometimes its just not possible.

    Does anyone else have the same problems? Any tips or suggestions?

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    Your change of style and clothing are familiar to many of us. Staying covered in the summer has been a topic on these forums almost every year. When I was at my worst with Lupus, I too wore men's shoes because of the inflammation and pain. I also wore men's pants because they exerted less pressure on my body.
    The men's shirts have (and continue to be) my primary article of clothing. I wear them over everything, especially in the summer. I've purchased them in a variety of materials, prints and styles. I can wear men's T-shirts underneath the large shirt which gives me the option of keeping the large shirt buttoned or completely open (mostly open with a variety of tank tops, t-shirts, or spandex tops underneath). Hatlady and I are big on always wearing hats, so my collection is quite expansive (although I think that hers is probably much bigger than mine) and I am always in a hat (winter and summer).
    You can still be quite vogue-ish (is that a word?) with the ensemble that you've described - not to mention the fact that you can start your own fashion identity. I often look at the clothing of other people to see if I can find someone who, like me, is dressing due to an illness. If I see someone that I think may be doing what I am doing, I always make a point to compliment them on their ensemble and their sense of style. More often than not, I've been correct in my assessment! So, I think that we are all very unique and exceptionally beautiful! That includes you!

    Peace and Blessings
    Saysusie
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    Yeah im that way too. I am mostly homebound. Usually I wear pj bottoms during the day with a tank top and a hoody. On days that my arms hurt I dont take it off I just have to turn the heat down until someone comes home to help me. Other days I take it off when I get hot. Im always switching up because I cant stay stable in being hot or cold. When I do get our I wear this hoody that has SPF in it and a wide brimmed hat. I wear it in Walmart too.

    K

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    Yes that was the first thing I started doing, too...I could wear a bra, until recently, but it is so hard to breath at times, it seems wearing a bra or even any type of pants causes me to have an even harder time of it. Right now I am having a hard time finding things to live in.

    I am truly sorry that you are in so much pain...you are in my thoughts.

    Hugs...gentle ones
    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.......Robert Frost

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    I have to wear the hypoallergenic make-up like Almay or Physicians Formula. I like Physicians Formula. I can't wear any make-up that has a fragrance. I haven't been able to wear high heels for many years and it has been a real blow to me. Not only is my balance bad but my feet hurt far too much to wear them. I am afraid of falling down in them and I have already fallen wearing flats, more than once.

    Loose fitting clothing works best for me and I try to avoid synthetic fabrics as they don't breathe well and I get hot flashes!

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    Wink

    You're in good company.....

    I found Rit Sunguard (a powdered product in with Rit Dye) to be a godsend - I put my summer cover-up-shirts and light sweaters in it and then know that I have the spf I need. Washes in, lasts for 30 washings, per their label. The fancy sun-protector clothing is so nice to look at....but the prices!!!!

    I'm covered head to toe year round. I miss wearing the nice skirts that brushed my knees - but the sun on my legs, even with nylons....nope.

    Cotton and now the new bamboo products are so soft on the skin - I still wear bras but find I've switched to the comfiest I can find - which translates to breathable cotton....

    Shoes? Comfort first. I find DSW's sale rack a good thing - flats only, and rubber soled only. I've been lucky - the one near here has a good selection of wider ones that still look relatively nice.

    The one piece I have fun with? (no need to guess hard here) My hats.
    ~"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe." (Dalai Lama)

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    I haven't had to dress any differently with SLE.......yet.

    With the bloating from gastroparesis, I have added stretch waistbands to my wardrobe because I can experience a weight/gain loss seemingly overnight....especially if I switch to an all liquid diet And, after giving away all my "fat" clothes three years ago, I quickly learned that my weight can fluctuate quite a bit. I have my current size clothes in one part of my closet; clothes that fit me if I should lose 10-15 lbs. just beneath my current clothes and if I hit the jackpot and lose more than that, I have the closet in my "guest" bedroom with those jewels. Go down a size and it's like Christmas!

    I was diagnosed with SLE and SjS in December of '08. Last summer, I thoroughly enjoyed our swimming pool and tanning like I was a fearless teen. I wonder how the sun may impact my summer this year? I do know that I'll be more concienscous of the harmful rays and will wear something besides baby oil (just kidding!). Looking back, I remember a bit of a "rash" on one of my arms--more like a few raised bumps--but nothing elsewhere. I did have a rash on one of my ankles in November, but the ankle hadn't seen the light of day in quite a while and I thought my new jeans may have caused it.

    Reading what you've all posted, I am truly humbled as I've not experienced any of these sometimes disfiguring rashes. I'm really sorry that you're having to worry about what to wear to prevent sun damage and the resultant rashes. Us humans, we sure take a lot for granted.

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    My problems begain with my feet.

    The bones in my feet hurt with every step and felt like they would snap at any second.

    I was fitted for orthotics and ugly shoes to match. I found a pair of good leather shoes at Naturalizer that weren't completely ugly. I can remove the insole and put my orthotic in to it.

    I wore the orthotic for 1 1/2 yrs. My feet stopped hurting my bones stopped screaming. Then summer came...and the pretty shoes started a calling to me.

    I found a well structured pretty sandle that was flat but well supported....and I bought them.

    Then I found another pair of red patten leather sandles. Shiney pretty and good support. (Found those at Obo shoes)

    From late spring till early fall, I lived in my pretty shoes. This winter I have not worn my orthotic even once.

    I do not wear heals any more...sigh...but I live for spring when I can bust out my pretty sandles.

    I work in an office, it's very hard finding dress pants that are comfortable, and with the arthritic in my hands, dresses with pantyhose are OUT of the question. Summer is fine for dresses, something long and flowing and loose with bare legs is okay.

    A good bra, properly fitted with wide straps is a lot easier on me. I went for a fitting so I would know what to buy. Turns out I had been doing it WRONG most of my adulthood lol

    I'm at the stage in my life where I'm happy to find anything I can function in at work and at home.

    I keep waiting for stacey and clinton to pop out from around a corner and drag me off to new york for a lesson in what NOT to wear lol
    Oh look ... a cookie

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    What a blessing you are. I feel so much better about the way I dress after reading everyones comments. It would get so frustrating trying to find the right clothes in the women's section. I found some great cotton tie pants recently at Fashion Bug that are not as baggy. I don't get out much so I order clothes online, if they don't fit then I can take them in to the store for credit on grocery shopping day. It is too tiring trying clothes on.

    You all probably get overheated too. This summer I am going to look for the ice vest. Does anybody know about them? Someone told me about them, they have pockets where special ice packs fit in.

    My head gets so HOT when I wear my hats. We need hats with a cool pack. I wear the neck coolers but they only help a little. You dip them in water and the beads expand to hold the water. You all probably have tried them. I bought one of those funky desert caps that has the back and sides. It is just too funky even for me.

    Does the onset of summer start to freak you guys out too?





    Quote Originally Posted by Saysusie View Post
    Your change of style and clothing are familiar to many of us. Staying covered in the summer has been a topic on these forums almost every year. When I was at my worst with Lupus, I too wore men's shoes because of the inflammation and pain. I also wore men's pants because they exerted less pressure on my body.
    The men's shirts have (and continue to be) my primary article of clothing. I wear them over everything, especially in the summer. I've purchased them in a variety of materials, prints and styles. I can wear men's T-shirts underneath the large shirt which gives me the option of keeping the large shirt buttoned or completely open (mostly open with a variety of tank tops, t-shirts, or spandex tops underneath). Hatlady and I are big on always wearing hats, so my collection is quite expansive (although I think that hers is probably much bigger than mine) and I am always in a hat (winter and summer).
    You can still be quite vogue-ish (is that a word?) with the ensemble that you've described - not to mention the fact that you can start your own fashion identity. I often look at the clothing of other people to see if I can find someone who, like me, is dressing due to an illness. If I see someone that I think may be doing what I am doing, I always make a point to compliment them on their ensemble and their sense of style. More often than not, I've been correct in my assessment! So, I think that we are all very unique and exceptionally beautiful! That includes you!

    Peace and Blessings
    Saysusie

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick n tired View Post
    Yes that was the first thing I started doing, too...I could wear a bra, until recently, but it is so hard to breath at times, it seems wearing a bra or even any type of pants causes me to have an even harder time of it. Right now I am having a hard time finding things to live in.

    I am truly sorry that you are in so much pain...you are in my thoughts.

    Hugs...gentle ones
    You are so special, and you are all already rooted deep in my heart. I hate that anybody suffers with this, but finding you all has changed my life.

    I am having a hard time finding things that do not look mega frumpy for at home. I slap myself when I start to think old lady housecoats are looking doable. I like bicycle shorts and capri length tights a size or 2 larger. I used to live in Hawaii and got used to wearing sarongs so sometimes I wear them over. It is hard to find the right size sarongs. I need a larger size and they are pricey for the non see through type.

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