Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bye bye skinnies

Lately, my leg has been bigger. I have a feeling it’s a mixture of increased stress, less sleep, increased exercise, and I need to replace my wraps. With the bigger leg, I said bye bye to my skinny jeans and to my leggings much of the time too. So here I am again at the question that has baffled women for ages, "what should I wear?"

With the recession, I am guessing you are like me and have to be a budget shopper. Depending on how bad your lymphedema is, I think you can still look great when you're going out with your friends even when your leg acts up. Don't do what I used to do...that is, begin a full on attack against your closet--throwing your clothes all over the floor and bed and then surrendering with a collapse on the ground defeated.

We (lymphies) should stay away from heels most of the time. I do, however, think if you have kitten heels and aren’t running all over the city that you should wear them for the office or out with friends for a few hours. Please stay away from 3 to 5 inch heels. We all know we have trouble balancing and walking as it is without adding extra inches that could really hurt us.

So my favorite 4 items to have for a fail-safe outfit:

1. Kitten heels
2. Boot cut jeans
3. Belt
4. Slimming black top or any color really

The heels. Bandalino. I am sure other brands are good but I have never found another shoe that is affordable and doesn’t kill my feet. I think the kitten heel is about 1 inch-maybe 1.5. Its small but it’s just enough to give you a nice dressed up look. The trick is, don’t ever pay more than $30 for these shoes. On occasion they are $40. If you go to a place like DSW or Off Broadway, you can usually get them majorly discounted. The great thing is that these shoes last. My first pair I got for working retail and that pair lasted all the way from retail and foot fatness to job interviews to going out with friends. I think I have had them about 2.5 years and they still look good. I just got my second pair for the holidays. Even with my swollen foot, they didn’t hurt. I didn’t have to go up a size so it actually fits both feet and they look great.

The jeans. H&M. They have all different sizes and all lengths. I got the boot cut ones and they fit great. They are $40 not on sale so they really aren’t too badly priced compared to all those fancy and overprices department store jeans.

The belt. I got this as part of my uniform for retail but any belt will do. I would stick to the basic colors like black or brown so it can go with more. Mine is a patent leather wide belt that I wear higher on my waist to make my waist appear thinner. It works!

The top. Really any top will do. A flowy silk one, a dressier t shirt, a flowy tank, etc. Any color will do too. Well stay away from yellow and black, you don’t want to look like a bumble bee.

Add accessories. Add a necklace, bracelets, earrings etc. You don’t have to go wild. You could wear a pair of bright, funky earrings and then nothing else. Just add a little something to the outfit with jewelry and it will look nice.

So that is my opinion on the fail-safe outfit for us lymphies.


Anonymous said...

hi Lindsay, i really like your blog. I am 16 years old and was diagnosed with primary lymphoedema in my right leg last year. My doctor thinks i may also have it in my other leg so i am having some tests for that soon. i live in Australia and i never know what to wear in summer. I don't like wearing my stockings in public with shorts, and it is too hot to be wearing tights over the top, do you have any suggestions?

Lindsay Nichols said...

I am really sorry to hear about your diagnosis. How severe is the swelling?
I can only imagine how incredibly hot you are all of the time. I live in Chicago which is incredibly cold much of the time but the summer months are tricky. I also have family in Florida that I often visit and have to worry about the heat then also.
The one item that I cannot live without in the warm weather is a long, maxi dress. I think any girl can wear it, no matter her height. They are very popular right now so many stores are selling them. I am not sure if there are H&M’s or Forever 21’s in Australia but they sell them for about $20 a piece. I have it in blue, black, grey, and I am looking for more colors! You can wear it alone or add a belt for a different look. Pair it with a ¾ length cardigan if you are inside or going somewhere conservative.
In an office environment, long dresses are not so appropriate so if you decide to wear pants, go for a light weight, loose material. That way it won’t stick to you in the heat. The Limited and Express make excellent dress pants that can go casual or dressy. I sometimes wear jeans but the heavy and tight denim make warm weather very uncomfortable and at times, can increase the swelling in my leg due to the tightness.
If you are comfortable with this then I would try this too. It depends on the type of stockings that you get but some are not very attractive to wear with shorter dresses or skirts. Luckily, if you buy a nude pair of hosiery that is sheer you can wear it over your compression stockings (to wear with nude colored compression stockings). If you wear a dress that is knee length, the stockings will be barely noticeable.
Lymphedema and heat are not great pals so try to keep yourself hydrated and to prop your leg up at the end of the day. Try to exercise indoors on extremely hot days and avoid impact and heat, all of these will cause your leg to swell.
Feel free to ask me any more questions. I am more than happy to talk to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the reply Lindsay! Sorry I don't know how to get my name on this, but it is Annabel. The swelling is not too severe yet and we are keeping it under control by bandaging/wearing compression stockings and massaging. Yes the heat doesnt exactly help with the swelling!!
Wearing maxi dresses in summer is such a good idea I hadn't even thought of that! I have a few, but now I have an excuse to go shopping for some more :) We don't have those stores you mentioned, but I am sure I can find some elsewhere. Are there any shoes you would recommend to wear in the summer? My stockings cover my toes, so I ususally just wear ballet flats.
I am still at school and we wear a uniform. It is a dress which practically touches the floor (not very attractive haha) but my stockings are barely noticable which is great.
Tights over the top of my stockings is also a good idea, thank you! I could do that in both summer and winter. I have nude/skin colour compression stockings, except I am quite pale and they don't seem to be my skin colour, so wearing stockings over them should solve that!
Thank you so much for your help Lindsay! I will continue to read your blog :)