Healthy wardrobe vs poorly wardrobe

A flare up of a chronic health condition can cause a dramatic change in weight, for example with Crohn’s Disease swift weight loss occurs due to the diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite. After my worst bout of CD I left hospital weighing less than 6 stone (85 pounds) and was able to fit into a pair of size zero jeans (UK size 6).  At 5ft 4in that was a very uncomfortable weight and size – I was constantly cold, sore, and my bones were very noticeable. On the other hand steroid medication caused me to put weight on – up to 11 stone (154 pounds) – equally uncomfortable for me – look at those weights again, nearly double in weight from my lightest to my heaviest.

An added complication is that after a couple surgeries I find tight waistbands very uncomfortable, especially if they are low rise.

I have now learnt that I need to have a range of sizes in my wardrobe to cope with the ‘healthy’, ‘poorly’ and ‘too healthy’ periods of my life.

Useful wardrobe items that can shrink or grow slightly include:

  • Boyfriend style jeans which can be belted to fit
  • Straight leg jeans with spandex which can expand or contract to fit
  • Tunic type tops
  • Ribbed vests and t-shirts that can expand and contract – but look just as good loose or tight
  • Waist button extenders
  • Belts
  • Yoga pants
  • Suits for work which can either work as a summer suit, or when you lose weight – you can wear in the winter with heavier layers

What clothes do you find useful for accommodating weight loss / weight gain associated with your illness?


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