Many things changed when I became unwell, but to begin with I didn't think that clothes and chronic illness had much of a relationship. Boy, was I wrong! Anything too tight, too scratchy or that will aggravate my symptoms has long left my wardrobe. Now shopping trips are about finding clothes that are cute and comfortable!
I asked on my Instagram for suggestions of brands that either have comfortable clothes or that help manage symptoms of chronic illness conditions such as migraine, POTS and endometriosis. Once again, my lovely insta friends came through, and they had so many good suggestions. The one I like the most, because it just shows how we can keep our style:
Comfy bralettes and sweats feel sexy and comfy
Hope you find these suggestions helpful - if you have any thoughts on clothes and chronic illness, or favourite brands do comment below so we can help each other out!
Chronic illness and clothes can feel like a bit of a minefield at times. It's upsetting to have to change how we dress as it often gives us a sense of self-confidence and just makes us feel like ourselves.
For years I was a skinny jeans, high heeled boots and loose top kind of girl. It was practically my uniform for work and play. Now, vestibular migraine means heels will only make me fall over and chronic pain means skinny jeans are only an occasional event for a few hours at most.
Comfort is definitely key for many with chronic illness conditions. Here are some issues, as well as suggestions, given by people living with chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions:
Jeggings are fab! No zips, and comfy too.
No freaking buttons!
Baggy and stretchy on flare up days!
Under-wiring hurts me! (bras)
Clothing that is made of modal is suuuper soft and comfortable!
Brands with comfy clothes
Walmart - my, you guys are definitely a fan of their clothes! So many suggestions for their brand, or brands they stock, for pyjama bottoms, socks, 'granny pants' as one person called them(!) and no-drawstring sweats.
Old Navy - for their pants (trousers for my UK readers!)
Lou and Grey - for sweats and leggings too.
Lularose - for their soft 'Jade' leggings
Cuddl duds - soft and comfy!
Popfit leggings - good pockets, comfy seams.
Clothes and chronic illness symptom management
For some conditions, clothes can actually be beneficial for helping to mange symptoms such as POTS / dysautonomia and endometriosis and pelvic pain conditions. While it isn't really 'fashion' (although I think we can all style it up!) there are wearable headache hats for those with migraine.
Blisslets nausea relief bands are the stylish acupressure bands I wish I had known about when I first started to experience motion sickness and nausea from vestibular migraine and dysautonomia. I always disliked the 'medical' looking ones I had from the pharmacy and felt awkward wearing them. Acupressure works through placing pressure on the P6 point and has been used for centuries to help with nausea.
The Blisslets bands will look cute with any outfit. There are lots of colours and styles to choose from, with leather bands and fabric ones too. So you can match your bracelet to all of your outfits!
Read my review of Blisslets to find out more!
Blisslets has kindly given me an affiliate link with 15% off with the code fibrofog
Recommended by a friend with POTS / dysautonomia, the 2XU women's compression leggings were described as 'compression so they're tight but I have not found them uncomfortable - actually more comfortable than other leggings!'
In the UK, you can get compression tights on prescription from your doctor, and I wore them for quite some time on the advice of my doctor to help manage my POTS symptoms. However, they definitely weren't too cute and it felt like a workout just to get them on, so I tried compression leggings from Skins instead, which I much prefer.
POTS UK actually mentions Skins as an alternative to tights, although it does note that the compression isn't as much. Check with your doctor before using compression clothes, particularly if you have diabetes.
Skins women's compression recovery leggings - plain black, and can be worn with a t-shirt or cosy jumper in the winter.
Avulux migraine glasses
Avulux migraine glasses are a really good option if you have light sensitivity, whether it is from using screens or from other light sources. They work to block harmful light spectrums, such as blue and amber, yet let in soothing green light.
Read my review of Avulux glasses to find out more!
Avulux has kindly offered my readers $25 USD off with the code: Throughthefibrofog
Migraine shields are brilliant glasses designed for those with migraine to help prevent attacks and manage symptoms. The Migraine Shields glasses work by using BluTech lenses that filter blue light such as from a computer screen, which can help prevent attacks. There are lots of styles to choose from, so I'm sure you will find one you like!
Migraine Shields have kindly given me a code for my readers to get 20% off the glasses: throughthefibro
Koldtec is a really brilliant brand for those with migraine and chronic pain. Their products provide targeted cooling relief with engineered ice. I love the ice towel as it is super soft and made from bamboo. I wrap it around my head or shoulders, and sometimes my cranky knee too!
As well as the ice towel, Koldtec also have a brilliant 'Halo' headache hat. It's a wearable hat that you can adjust to your head and target the particularly sore spots with the ice therapy. You can also fall asleep with it and pull it down over your eyes, which is so useful.
If you live with migraine or chronic headache I would really recommend having a look at the Koldtec products, I know I use mine all the time!
When I asked a friend about her experience of the Headache Hat she said she loved it so much, she had 5 or 6 and 'a whole freezer drawer full and a spare'! I think it's safe to say she is a fan! I've heard so many good things about the Headache Hat from my friends on Instagram and it's on my list of products to buy for sure.
Hope you like my round-up of clothes and chronic illness and all the helpful advice and brands recommended by myself and my fellow spoonie friends. I know so many of these items help me, and I hope you find them helpful too for managing your symptoms while looking super cute too!
I'm active on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to follow along for more posts like this on living with chronic illness.
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Please follow the advice of your doctor as to all medical treatments, supplements and dietary choices, as set out in my disclaimer. I am not a medical professional, and this post, as well as all other posts on this blog, are for informational purposes only.
Carrie Kellenberger says
This post made me laugh! 'Comfy bralettes and sweats feel sexy and comfy' -> INDEED THEY DO! I've just discovered a line of lightweight tie-dye sweats that don't look too awful if I go out. I've never been a tie-dye person aside from what I
wore in the 70s and 80s, so it makes me a laugh a bit that this is what I've returned to. Better than boring old grey, I guess!
GREAT RESOURCE by the way. My closet has been pared down so often, I barely have anything left to remind me of my old life. I've got one bra and one party dress just in case.
The tie dye sweats sound BRILLIANT!!! I have boring grey and even more boring beige, so I need some fun ones in my life.
And thank you, I hope it is helpful for everyone 🙂
I love this post, so many wonderful resources and I had never heard of companies that offer comfortable and stylish wear for us with chronic illness. The ice hats sound like a lifesaver and the bracelets for nausea as I also suffer from vestibular migraines. I really like the idea of clothes with important messages and supporting the people behind these brands. Fantastic post thankyou!
Thanks Sarah! So glad that it's helpful. All products recommended by those with chronic illness so I know they are tried and tested and great ones! I love so many of them myself and have my eye on getting the jeans . . .
Great resources! It can be hard to find comfortable and stylish clothes when dealing with chronic illness. I'm working on my clothing line for people who have fibromyalgia and other chronic pain.
Thanks Camille! Your clothing line sounds so exciting - I'll have to add it to the post when it is all finalised 🙂
Thanks for sharing Anna, I didn't know about certain fabrics being used for medicinal purposes, that's so interesting! Followed you back 🙂
Thanks for compiling this useful list so we can refer to them easily! And the extra stuff like Koldtec sounds so comfy and soothing!
So hope it's helpful for everyone. Koldtec are great! i love the ice towel so much.
chronic mom says
I just had a conversation the other day where I told my sister about wireless bras, she had never heard of them before. So it's great to get the word out there for comfortable clothes.
That's good that she knows about them now! I barely wear anything else at home as they are so much more comfortable.
Shruti Chopra says
Claire! This is such a helpful list - You've made life easier for us with this research 🙂 ...I would love to sink into a cosy and huge sweater - sadly we don't really get a winter in Mumbai so it's loose shirts and kurtas for me usually.
So glad it's helpful! I can imagine that a thick sweater would be way too much in the Mumbai heat, so loose shirts sounds like a great option 🙂
Katie Clark says
I'm always on the search for comfy yet cute clothing. With Costochondritis, I HATE wearing bras. I have gone through so many trying to find something that works. (Bathing suit tops, too). I also HATE spending a lot of $ on them. One thing you might add to your list above is leak-proof undies. I like Spaex best but Knix is pretty good, too (and less expensive).
Hi Katie, I've been living in non-underwired ones too since we have been staying home.
And thank you for the suggestions - I'm sure people will find them helpful!