Vintage & Chronic Illness

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Instagram has been full of unpopular opinions of vintage fashion, lately. And I noticed a few things: people are tired of the “rules”. Which is funny to me, fashion has no rules. Like, ever. There were certain types of fashion during certain eras, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow those. As I’m chronically ill, I can’t even follow most of those rules, and there are tons of people who might want to try out vintage and retro fashion, but don’t do it because they are afraid because they are chronically ill! Here are some of my tips on how I dress I want to, without restricting myself.

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But first, my backstory. In case you don’t know, I got diagnosed with fibromyaglia  in the summer of 2018. Before that I’ve been sick my entire life, basically. Doctors didn’t take me seriously (oh I could write books about that!) and it took nearly 24 YEARS before someone figured out why my bones hurt. I won’t get into mental health in this post, as my mental health doesn’t affect my way of dress, my physical pain does. My fibro is the reason why my joints get dislocated a lot, especially my tailbone, my knees, my shoulders and I even had my jaw dislocated at one point. When I wear clothes that are too tight around my knees, my knees swell and get really painful. Other than that, it gave me IBS so I can’t eat a lot of things and when my clothes are too tight, my tummy decides food doesn’t belong in me and it wants to get out, to put it in a friendly manner. When I get really cold, I can’t really move my neck and arms because the muscles just tense up really badly (which is great fun when you work in a shop that has no heaters and always has the doors open). Some days I can do everything, some days I can’t even get up the stairs because my legs hurt so much. And the more stressed I am, the more ill I become. Some days I can eat everything I want, and some days I can’t even have a cookie without having a subscription to the bathroom. And that basically sums it up!

IMG_20180802_202541_383.jpgSO, my tips and tricks to wearing vintage and retro clothing, without restricting yourself!

know what your issues are.
I know, this sounds so obvious, but really, some people don’t know what causes there issues to be worse. Like I mentioned, tight clothes make me feel a lot worse, so I tend to go for late 1940’s and 1950s style dresses and skirts, as they don’t restrict my knees nor my tummy. Try to look for clothes or a style that will benefit you. What are the clothes that you feel the best physically in? Are they tight clothes? Look for those styles. Do you feel more comfortable in clothes that are more baggy? Look for those styles, yes they do exist in vintage and retro fashion! Do you feel more comfortable in trousers? Just find out what you feel best in, and look from there!

don’t be afraid to mix and match.
Honestly, there are no rules to fashion. If you feel like certain elements from certain eras look good on you, wear them! Please, never ever care about being authentic, because that will only bring you misery. Not saying that people who really love being authentic are bad, no, they wear what makes them happy, but if you start out with retro/vintage fashion and you do have some issues that make it even harder for you to wear it, please don’t do that. It’ll make it twice as hard for you! If you like that 1930s blouse with those 1960s style trousers, who is stopping you? Nobody is going to stop you in the street and start yelling at you that you aren’t being authentic or anything.

Accessories are everything
Accessories really make a look. Ok, granted, I don’t really use them myself, but they can change a whole outfit. Just a shirt and jeans can look so much more vintage with just the right pair of earings or the right necklace. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on those, so this is a great way to make it look more vintage than it is!

DO NOT do things that hurt you!
Again, so obvious, but for example, I can’t curl my hair. It hurts my arms to leave them up so long and I pop them all the time when I do it. There are TONS of cute hairstyles that look great without curling your hair! People who say you HAVE to curl your hair to look vintage, are quite honestly, ableist as heck. Sometimes when I’m having a good day and feel like it I will  curl my hair, but that’s honestly only once every 3 months really. Never ever EVER do things for a look that will hurt you or effect your health. That’s just stupid, there are tons of ways to “cheat” the system to look good, and it should never make you feel worse. You deserve better!!

Do whatever the HECK you want
Please, please, please, never wear something that will make you sad. Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful, wear whatever makes you feel good, but never compromise on your health. Also, do wear your uniforms, I mean, if you have to wear uniforms to school or work please wear those, I don’t want you to get in trouble! 😉  This is really my biggest tip, why wear something you don’t feel good in if you can wear something that WILL make you feel good?

This post is getting really long, so I will write a second post about some fashion inspirations for you to check out! 🙂
I hope you found this post beneficial and if you have some tips and tricks yourself, share them with us! 🙂

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