Written by our very own “Fashionably Lymphie.”- Chronically Motivated’s exclusive personal assistant!

Struggling with what to wear and not sure how to dress with Lymphedema? Before you and your Lymphie limb run out and purchase a whole new wardrobe, consider a quick fix to alter your existing clothes and shop from your own closet. These are specific “tricks of the trade” that I’ve picked up along the way by working in the entertainment business as a film and television Costume Designer- and dealing with my own daily struggle of having Lymphedema in my left leg.

Pants and Shirts…sleeves and legs….consider buying fabric and making friends with a local tailor or seamstress. Most cities have these talented individuals available within a local dry cleaner, or an individual alterations business. And hats off to you if you know how to sew! Even better. Add invisible zippers (this type of zipper doesn’t have exposed “teeth” that could potentially snag compression garments) to ankles of pants and sleeves to widen arm holes and leg openings. Exposed zippers add a touch of fashion and you can buy zippers in different colors too! Add snaps to do the same. Add inches of fabric to make hidden panels at the inside arm seam or inside leg seam to enlarge as well. I especially like racing stripes added to widen legs or sleeves. You can use contrasting colors and add your own design element!

Shoes are sometimes “isShoes!”  Again, adding zippers and elastic is a great way to expand the foot hole for that Lymphie leg. Shoe craftsmen are in most towns and offer selected services to help slice n’ dice a shoe to make it fit. I’ve even had stiletto heels thickened so they are easier to walk in and more comfortable. And anything that covers my ankle is an added bonus so I love above the knee fabric boots for a night out on the town! You can find a multitude of these boots online and add ties in the back by splitting up the back seam of fabric and add ties to adjust fit. For leather, add elastic.

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