I adore fashion and I used to love choosing outfits to wear! Since I fell ill though, I’ve struggled with it a lot. 🌸
Over the past few years, I used to feel ashamed of my legs and didn’t always like to get dressed up, as I didn’t like the way I looked. I was anxious that people would comment on the muscle wasting. And unfortunately doctors especially did comment a lot! But it seems now that I most likely have a muscle condition which can cause excessive wasting. The wasting is caused not only by dis-use but also caused by the condition itself, which is why the muscle wasting is severe. (This hasn’t helped me feel much better about the wasting, but I have recently found clothes that I feel more comfortable in, such as midi & maxi dresses!)
Also I developed severe sensory problems during my illness. This causes pain very easily if anything rubs against or pinches my skin. So to be comfortable and not be in pain, I must wear comfy clothes! They must be made of soft materials with elastic..and I can’t wear tight clothes with buttons & zips anymore. I don’t wear jeans or buttoned trousers or skirts. I wear loose elasticated trousers and stretchy dresses. My tops need to be soft and stretchy and comfy too, without anything pokey or rough in it. Bras must be non-wired. Also, my clothes have to be easy and quick to put on and take off, otherwise due to chronic illness, I’ll get too exhausted and in pain when getting dressed. No rows of buttons here! I also usually choose cotton because it’s the most breathable, and doesn’t make you feel too hot or too cold.
I know that all these sorts of issues are really common in the chronic illness / sensory difficulties community too. So there’s a lot of us who struggle with this. 💛
Even with all these requirements, I’ve managed to find lots of cute outfits! I made it my mission to find clothes that make me happy while still being super comfortable.. I hope these recommendations help you find a new favourite too.
Life is short, so I don’t believe in waiting anymore for a “special occasion” to wear something special! Every day is precious and wearing a pretty dress automatically brightens up even dull days like hospital visits. I even make sure to buy pretty and colourful pyjamas for home so I can feel happy in my clothes at home. 💛
I’ve recently started wearing a lot of fairy princess-y dresses. Clothes with ruffles, lace, embroidery, pastel and bright colours, pinks and blues and yellows.. anything that makes me feel like a princess! 👗
🌸 Lucy and Yak 🌸
I love Lucy & Yak because they make a lot of sensory friendly clothes: soft colourful cotton tops, dungarees, and trousers with elasticated waists. My favourite type of trousers are the Lucy and Yak’s Alexa Trousers. They have no zips or buttons so don’t cause any issues with sensory sensitivities. It has a “big hips shape”, so is loose through the hips and legs.
They are made of cotton, and come in lots of different colours and in a good size range – UK 6-32 in “tall” and “regular”.
🌸 Wide leg or other elasticated trousers 🌸
ASOS is one of my favourite places to find wide leg trousers! I found these on ASOS:
I got these Hello Kitty trousers custom from @patternparlour on Instagram. She also makes trousers, sets and dresses in different prints. I love upcycled garments like these, made from old duvets and sheets!
This strawberry set from sustainable brand By Megan Crosby, is also very cute! She makes elasticated trousers in rainbow and gingham prints too.
🌸 Skirts and dresses 🌸
I buy dresses which have a loose “smock” / “babydoll” shape, or an elasticated smocked bodice. Ie without zips or buttons, that can be put on & taken off easily and don’t have fastenings. And of course feel soft and comfortable to lie down in, & sit in a wheelchair in! (You may be surprised to learn that a lot of clothes are not actually comfortable to wear if you use a wheelchair. A lot of clothes dig in to you when sat down or reclined (especially tight fitting or zipped clothes), move around from where they’re supposed to be, gape at the back or front when you’re sat down, or they ride up constantly).
I’ve found some beautiful long dresses & pinafores on ASOS, but my two favourite brands with princess style dresses have to be Amy Jane London and Dreaming of Ivy!
Amy Jane London make the most beautiful princess-y dresses. 💗 The best thing is that so many of their dresses are made from cotton which is breathable and comfortable, and they also use elastic shirring in many of their designs. I highly recommend waiting for the New Year/Christmas sale where prices are 70% off. This Luna dress is my most favourite dress in my wardrobe! It is so comfortable with the shirred bodice, feels soft to wear, and looks really pretty.
Dreaming of Ivy also make beautiful, princess-y, vintage-inspired skirts, tops and dresses, with elastic and soft shirring 💫
If you like Disney or fandoms, there are online shops like vicurystudioo on Instagram, and Silly girl club (now closed), that do custom outfits and smock dresses, including Disney dresses. I love finding small businesses which make custom clothes, because they can make it fit to your body shape & needs:
Junk Factory Liverpool also make smock dresses from reworked vintage Disney and other retro sheets, in different styles:
I find that mainstream brands are now making comfort more of a priority too, and coming out with more and more clothes made of soft & comfy materials, which are also sensory & disability friendly, without compromising on the look or quality of a garment. Sometimes it’s a bit more difficult to find (you have to check descriptions carefully), but I’m glad there are so many different types and styles of clothes nowadays!
When life is hard, I think it can be lovely to dress up and feel beautiful again. After all, you probably are just a fairy princess who lost her way & ended up in an hospital clinic instead of a magical forest! 🍄 I hope I’ve given you inspiration if you’re searching for your own disability and sensory friendly clothes 😊🍓