During a pain flare, feeling anything touch your body can be excruciating. On those days, you’ll likely reach for soft, comfortable clothes that don’t add to your pain. Hello leggings, goodbye tailored pants.
While you could just throw on an old T-shirt, wearing something that’s fashionable and comfortable can help boost your mood and make you feel more confident if you have to run out to the pharmacy or go to work. Luckily, there are many brands out there that offer a variety of comfortable and fashionable options.
LuLaRoe bills itself as “where fashion meets comfort,” and indeed, the company offers a selection of loose-fitting tops and T-shirts, stretch-knit dresses, A-line skirts and leggings (their most popular item). Unlike many clothing collections designed for comfort, these pieces come in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns. A pair of leggings usually retails for $25.
“In the past few weeks, I’ve been buying more and more LuLaRoe clothing,” Samantha Carter told The Mighty. “The leggings provide support that isn’t constricting when I’m dealing with an interstitial cystitis flare or muscle spasms relating to other pelvic issues, and the tops and dresses are loose and flowy, so they don’t irritate my skin when my nerves start going bonkers from my fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome — even when everything else I wear feels like it’s constantly scratching a sunburn I don’t really have.”
A bad pain day sometimes means all you can tolerate is the basics — T-shirt, underwear, and maybe leggings or sweatpants. Hanes offers wardrobe staples in soft and comfortable cotton and jersey. As an added bonus, many of their shirts are tagless. Most items cost between $3.99 and $20.
Not all women like the idea of wearing maternity clothes when they’re not pregnant (especially those struggling with infertility). But if you’re OK with it, maternity clothes can provide comfort to those dealing with chronic pain, weight fluctuations, skin sensitivity and bloating. Motherhood Maternity offers tunic tops (retailing for around $30), maxi skirts ($35) and jeans with stretch waistbands ($50).
“Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit Belly Jeans. I started wearing them during pregnancy and still love them because they don’t bother my back, actually the belly band puts slight pressure on my lower back which helps ease some pain,” Kristina Bentle told The Mighty. “Plus I love that they help with my hypersensitivity, they don’t dig into you like normal jeans. And I’m not running around in leggings 24/7.”
For the days when you’re able to put on a pair of shoes, you’ll likely want a brand that offers support but doesn’t constrain any part of your foot. “[Sketchers] is the only brand that doesn’t pinch my Achilles’ tendon or put shock into my kneecaps,” Jaime Robeson told The Mighty. Most pairs retail for around $50 to $70.
And1 is a men’s athletic brand that offers basketball shoes, shorts, sweatpants and hoodies. Just because it’s a men’s brand doesn’t mean women can’t wear it, too. “I can buy oversized sweatpants, hoodies, shirts. Really cozy and keep me warm when I’m super cold,” Nicole Tyrrell shared. Most items retail for around $10 to $20.
Torrid features funky, trendy styles up to a size 30. Their leggings come in a variety of fun prints, including Disney and Harry Potter, and most of their tops and dresses feature a loose fit. Leggings cost about $25 to $30, dresses go for about $60, and tops are about $28 to $50.
“Yes, I am bigger, but not all Torrid’s line is large. They are edgy which is nice for me, they have leggings like LuLaRoe in funky colors and schemes. Pair the two and I feel comfortable and punk again,” Rebecca Stormcrowe said.
7. Old Navy
Old Navy combines classic items like T-shirts and jeans with natural fabrics and forgiving cuts. Most items come in a rainbow of colors and low prices (most pieces are less than $50, with some shirts as low as $6). “I shop a lot at Old Navy because so many of their clothes are cotton. Cotton and rayon are my go-to’s.” Amanda Coleman said.
PINK is Victoria’s Secret’s apparel collection and offers sweatshirts, leggings, sweatpants and shorts with stretchy waistbands, as well as oversized shirts and tanks in feminine prints and colors. Most items sell for between $30 and $60. “I wear a lot of PINK clothing as it can be very loose and soft,” Kerri Donchez told The Mighty.
Chico’s blouses and dresses could easily be worn to work or out running errands on the days you’re able to leave home. Nancy Lea Martine Koontz gave The Mighty a tip and recommended shoppers go up a size since Chico’s sizing system is “weird.”
“The clothing is comfy, and even ordering a size larger still fits well, and isn’t uncomfortable as far as bottoms and tops go. They are a little pricey, however, you can get an app, Poshmark, that is a wonderful site that sells many name brand clothing at a discount (it’s kind of like an online consignment store),” Koontz said.
Yours offers a huge selection of everything from wraps to tunic dresses to knitwear, all in sizes 16 to 36. The styles are ideal for those who prefer looser clothing over more structured pieces. Dresses range from $20 to $100, blouses from $30 to $40 and pants around $30.
“Lots of roomy long T-shirts and batwing tops, jeggings. I don’t feel comfortable in clingy, tight-fitting clothes,” Libby Listens Bassnett told The Mighty.