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04-05-2009
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Dressing around an injury/physical condition
I thought I'd ask if anyone else has experience or thoughts on this...
Basically, has (or is) anyone dealing with an injury or physical condition that sort of challenges your sense of personal style? Obviously it challenges much more than that, but it sure is a downer to have something that normally is fun and an outlet (fashion) complicated by this. I thought I'd start this thread to share experiences and ideas...sort of a spinoff of "the skin you're in" thread too, only this one is maintaining that sense of self when it's challenged by something like a chronic injury.


I've been dealing with a knee injury/condition (patellofemoral syndrome) since this past February. The problem is with both of my knees. I've had to wear knee braces on and off, and right now sometimes wear the fabric kind that you can wear under your clothes. Problem is, when they say it can fit under pants, they only mean ones that are sort of wide leg--the kind that as a petite person, I never used to wear!

I also normally tend to wear skirts/dresses that hit above my knee. Since the knee braces goes down to lower than that, it shows pretty clearly. Sometimes I say screw it, and other times I don't want to be so conspicuous.

I did get one long dress...normally I'm not into maxi dresses and it isn't really one...I like the silhouette much more, and am very picky. I also got a pair of cotton gauze pants, which I'm going to try to pull of with a nice blouse and bracelets or something.

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04-05-2009
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^Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery

I've had a broken leg and wrist, but I was quite young and not too bothered by what I was wearing. With my wrist, my doctor insisted on giving me a green-plastered cast, but that was only out of solidarity for his favorite sports team. Doctors can be closet football hooligans, wouldn't you know.

Let's see, a recent page on the 'Grace Kelly' thread shows her nursing her injured arm in a very chic scarf. Surprisingly, Hermes didn't capitalize on that one. What better than a ridiculously overpriced but deliciously lucrative "Kelly" arm-brace to go along with her namesake bag? And I love the image of Daria Werbowy in a killer LBD and a leg cast, supported by crutches. Let me see if I can dig that up.

What I'm trying to say is, don't let your injury have a negative effect on your body-image and overall assessment of your looks. It does not diminish beauty; what it does do is make finding clothes that look good and are easy to put on more challenging.

But I realize that this thread also applies to those who have chronic illness' and impairments, and in that case, society is neither always accepting of their beauty nor accomodating towards their particular stylistic needs, unfortunately. But I'll let other people have their say first, I don't want this thread to take a glum turn from the get-go


Last edited by GasolineRainbow; 04-05-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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04-05-2009
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what a great idea for a thread.

i was just reading about Chikara- a clothing line created to flatter women's bodies after mastectomies this weekend...its an upscale line sold in some hospital boutiques.

gracelikerain, some palazzo pants are back in style it seems. topshop is selling a few.

gerard darel has great maxi dresses. not at all frumpy.

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04-05-2009
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I had a cast a couple of years ago that made wearing pants (and cute shoes) impossible. My advice would be to not worry about showing your knee braces. Embrace those cute skirts you like. If there is a pair of skinny pants you like, you can wear your knee brace over the pants. Maybe accesorize with a scarf to pull atttention up to your face and away from your knee?

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05-05-2009
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I wonder if it would be possible to cover the knee brace in a fabric you like ... to actually make it decorative?

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05-05-2009
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Thanks so much for your responses!
GasolineRainbow, I'll look for the picture of Grace Kelly that you mentioned as well as the one of Daria Werbowy
lucy92-- thanks i am looking up palazzo pants and gerard daniel.
Annavtree, the scarf suggestion is great--I noticed I have been wearing silk scarves around my neck more often since getting the knee injury. I'm sort of scared to wear this knee brace over skinny jeans because it is very fitted and I am scared of it damaging them in some way. Maybe I'm just overcautious though because I previously used a knee brace with velcro that just goes over pants, and the velcro tore at the denim and messed up 2 pairs of pretty expensive jeans that I had....I was furious!
fashionista-ta--It may be possible..heh, I'm not sure though because the knee brace covers a pretty large area. Maybe in a neutral color though...

This is a picture that I found online of the knee brace that my dr. gave me.. I don't have to wear it literally all of the time though...but mainly do when walking anywhere, and I live in a walking city and don't have a car. I usually like to take it off when I'm indoors and am going to be sitting or something for a while.

credit painreliever.com


Last edited by fashionista-ta; 05-05-2009 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Please note that credits should not be links per tFS guidelines
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05-05-2009
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^ Hmm, doesn't look too bad ... the black part looks like leggings ... can you wear leggings with it? I was just thinking that you could maybe make both legs 'match' that way ...

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05-05-2009
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Neat idea about the leggings... I'm not sure--Heh, I actually don't think I own a single pair of leggings! Strange I know.

Yeah, there are much bulkier knee braces out there... The problem is that my "non-injured" knee hurts sometimes too so the dr. actually gave me two braces just in case.. (They think the "injury" was related to the exercise I was doing and the fact that I am double jointed and have been my whole life.)

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05-05-2009
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^ There's that whole neoprene/athletic wear trend that this kinda fits with ... I would be tempted to color coordinate with that blue ...

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06-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gracelikerain View Post
Yeah, there are much bulkier knee braces out there... The problem is that my "non-injured" knee hurts sometimes too so the dr. actually gave me two braces just in case..
With my leg and wrist, my other leg and arm would start to hurt too, probably because I was using them overtime.

Not to sound flighty, but that knee brace looks really cool, and fits into the futuristic trend. Perhaps you could tailor your overall style to fit that vibe. Sporty silhouettes, neutral colors with a pop of neon...I'm thinking of early DKNY and Yohji Yamamoto/Stella McCartney for Adidas as inspiration.

Pictures of Daria's cast can be found around p. 1027, from her Jan. '04-09 thread. Example:


wireimage.com

Also, Erin Wasson:

getkempt.com


corbis.com


chictopia.com

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06-05-2009
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^ I love what Erin is wearing on her other leg. I think matching the silhouette and color of the cast with something supercool on the other side really works ...

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06-05-2009
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Thank you for all of those pictures! I definitely agree about what Erin has on her other leg--and Grace Kelly's scarf on her arm goes so well with the rest of her look (skirt etc)

Heh, you both are right about the neoprene/futuristic thing...I looked it up and found some pictures at http://niwde.blogspot.com/2009/03/ne...n-fashion.html
(though some of them are from several years ago)
But I don't know that I'd have the guts to do it with 2 knee braces clearly showing and the rest of my outfit built around that...lol. But it definitely is a neat idea!

I read the description of them--and apparently I'm SUPPOSED to take them off if I am going to be sitting down and not walking around a lot. I just wear them (or one ) for walking around etc. So am just trying to wear outfits that it's easy to do that with...

I did get this Nicole Miller dress from ideeli... The picture is tiny but when my camera is working, I may scan a larger one..


ideeli.com


Last edited by gracelikerain; 06-05-2009 at 11:47 AM.
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06-05-2009
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^ There's a trend page in one of this month's magazines (US Vogue? Elle?) about the neoprene/athletic/high-heeled sneaks trend. It's not new, but it is current. There were some neoprene bathing suits, including a bikini, featured that you can surf & really swim in & they won't come off. (Needless to say, with my pale skin and stellar athletic abilities, this has been a huge concern :p)

You could get a clear plastic tote for the braces so they would still show & coordinate with the rest of the outfit even when you're not wearing them

PS You know, I did once have an injury I had to dress around. I forget what happened, but I'd injured but not broken my foot, and it was too sore and swollen to wear any shoes for about a week. I forget whether I wore one shoe or not, but I wore bright cotton sock(s) that coordinated with my outfit. I remember one of the security guards in the building where I worked could not stop staring. I did not favor him with an explanation I remember wearing a long, bright orange dress & orange socks one day. The socks were all from my existing collection

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 06-05-2009 at 02:20 PM.
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09-05-2009
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Neat...I subscribe to both Vogue and Elle so will check that out. I like the tote idea.
That's awesome about you wearing those color coordinating outfites+ socks when you hurt your foot... especially since you didn't give that security guard an explanation

I was trying to add a picture of my knee brace to Polyvore but it wasn't working... was thinking about trying to put together some outfits on there.

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10-05-2009
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Quote:
I forget whether I wore one shoe or not, but I wore bright cotton sock(s) that coordinated with my outfit.
That's one thing I've picked up about any kind of injury, illness, or physical abnormality. It helps to carry yourself in a bold, dignified way, more than usual in fact, whether it's through your outfit or your overall demeanor. I once had a big, black eye from a minor eye surgery; plus I wear contacts, so having to wear my glasses made it stand out more.

I wore my usual clothes (casual, but not pyjama-casual) to college, and people were unusually gentle towards me. I think they may have assumed that my boyfriend had hit me. Slowly I started to dress more smartly, like really put-together, and their studied politeness subsided somewhat. It was like my armor, and I came across as more self-assured. And if I joked about my eye and mentioned the surgery in passing, then they seemed to visibly relax.


Last edited by GasolineRainbow; 10-05-2009 at 02:22 PM.
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