susan@vibrantpathways.com
818-232-3186
Susan Ortolano, M.A., CMRC, PCC
Intuitive Life & Relationship Coach
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Archive for March, 2010

Creative Shopping

 bigstockphoto_Shopping_bags_849877                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a store called For Your Thighs Only that had you pick a style of pants and then a friendly alterations specialist would come to measure and design the pants just for your shape? The pants would be designed so perfectly in whichever material you wanted them to be.

Living with chronic illness often means it’s even more difficult to find clothing, shoes, and even make-up that fits, is comfortable, and really suits our needs. With my condition I have had a lot of joint pain, specifically in my knees. I have had to wear pants that were loose and comfortable. I also initially gained about 27 pounds of swelling and just about ran out of things I could wear. Back then, I could barely walk and couldn’t get around to the mall often or for long enough to seek out new clothing. Besides, the idea of buying bigger pants felt humiliating, frustrating, and just incredibly sad for me. I also had to wear medical compression socks and couldn’t wear most of my shoes. It was hard to find what I needed and what I could wear since the fashion trends dictate what’s in most of the stores and they generally cater to very thin women, between the ages of 12 and 29, who are very healthy.

It was a difficult time and I found it infuriating not being able to get what I needed and not being able to get out and shop. And let’s face it, the stuff out there that is comfortable is often on the frumpy side.

I finally decided I had to take a stand for myself and reinvent my sense of style. I had to find specialty shops and do special orders at times to find clothing I liked that also worked for me. Once I had my new look put together, I was able to search the internet and find what I was looking for. I would go to specialty shops for larger women and then get alterations done to have the clothing fit. It worked! I was able to get clothing… finally. I also discovered the fabulous Zappos. Through Zappos I have been able to order shoes, get them delivered, try them on in my own home and send back the shoes that don’t work for me. I’m so grateful for this online shopping service and for clothing companies that think beyond the trends.

Even though I’ve lost a good portion of my weight, my knees are still sensitive and I still need to shop at specialty stores. I’m grateful to have so many other options and creative ideas about what to wear and I love the style I’ve created.

For most people, it’s relatively easy to find something to wear.  For those of us with chronic illness who need things outside of what’s trendy, we just need to get a little creative and reinvent our own sense of style!