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'Sup Britches 👖
Where Emma talks dressing
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50-100 words: what it’s about
When I received my diagnosis I knew that there was a shitshow of symptoms, lifestyle changes and adaptions coming my way. But no bugger warned me about getting dressed. Now ok, I realised fiddly stuff was going to be an issue…buttons be gone! But that my whole outlook towards clothing would need to change…well, that I wasn’t expecting.
I haven’t ever been that girly a gal and indeed not a follower of fashion. In fact, I liked my clothes to serve every purpose until they literally fell to pieces. So a uniform of jeans, boots and sweaters with the occasional dash-of-bling carried me to most places and situations.
Parkinson’s fashion features more elastic, dribble-proofing and padding than my previous sartorial flair.
God forbid you try anything with buttons, laces or hooks. Frequently I end up with one bosom inside the bra and the other outside the t-shirt. I’ve tried sports bras but they are so industrially elasticised that getting an arm stuck above your head and a boob against your cheek is commonplace. Almost every first attempt at jumpers, t-shirts and pants ends up backwards and/or inside out. Trousers must be applied whilst in the sitting position lest you smack your head off the wardrobe or wall as you hop and tumble your way into them. Socks = impossible. Shoes are tough when your dystonic foot twists and contorts like a cobra in heat.
Dresses, you say? Well, I struggle in the north of Scotland with the cold even on a balmy summer’s day with the top temp being approx 17ºC. And since tights are the work of the devil, they are firmly off my list.
We are left with fuddy-duddy nylon grossness. Most fabrics are scratchy and uncomfortable as my skin has become really sensitive. (Side note: I have become allergic to things recently…not sure if it’s PD or since I had Coivd 🤔)
I’m spending an inordinate amount of time finding the softest fabrics I can, ripping out labels and trying to discover fun, warm and comfortable styles to wear. One of the biggest challenges is my tiny budget. Thank goodness for eBay…bargains and they deliver them to my door!
Why does it matter? Surely you have enough to worry about, Emma. Family, work, house, illness, money, the state of the world, the plight of lesser bearded newts…
Dressing comfortable and stylishly is a radical act of self-care for chronically ill people. We should not be martyrs to our pain and beholden only to the essential caretaking of our illness. Doing my makeup every day and dressing well even on the worst of days, taught me the value of taking care of the outside of me. Those days I am stuck in bed? A squirt of perfume and a nice scarf pick me up and remind me that I am still a person who is attractive and worthy of care.