10 Ways to Dress for Chronic Illness

Clothing for Chronic Illness - four outfit ideas at Euphoria Boutique

We see you, chronic pain & fibromyalgia sufferers

Living with chronic illness can frequently have you feeling invisible, like the world is going on its bright gaudy way and you have to sit around in pyjamas.

At Euphoria, we know feeling rotten is already a bad enough feeling - reaching for a wardrobe that will hurt, constrain, or just generally dishearten you is something we want to help you fight. We love helping customers who suffer from fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses find clothes that feel great and look amazing.

Ideas: comfortable clothing for chronic pain

Here are some tips to help you as you curate a wardrobe that will help you, even during flare-ups and on hard days, be able to put something on that will be comfortable and make you feel just a bit special inside (because we see you - and you are absolutely fabulous!).

Woman sitting down in colourful clothing for chronic illnesses at Euphoria Boutique
  •  Wear the colour, baby

Feeling rough doesn’t mean you have to avoid colour. If you’re already feeling meh, why not pick something that, despite feeling rotten, makes you feel alive (as one of our lovely ladies said). Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour and wear that bubblegum pink top you’d love to wear but worry ‘is too much’ (it isn’t. seriously.)


  • Go for soft clothing | Choose your fabrics carefully

So many of our ladies love that even on ‘I can’t wear clothes’ days, when clothes feel uncomfortable on skin, they can wear a flowy top and joggers and feel put together without adding to their pain. This is partly down to many of our clothes having gorgeously gentle fabrics that lay comfortably against your skin.


  • Cut the irritations (no, not the husband!)

A great tip on our Facebook group was regarding labels and other extras that get sewn into clothes. If you aren’t planning on re-selling your clothes regularly, just cut out the labels. It’s simple but sometimes just taking out little things can make a difference between an itchy top and one that feels comfy.


  • Boycott the buttons

Nothing personal against those pesky round discs that are on every item of clothing but when fingers are in pain, you don’t want to have to fiddle with buttons as well. Look for shirts with velcro instead of buttons or just skip fastenings of any type and go freesize.

Colourful Elasticated Trousers with pink boots at Chronic Illness Clothing for Euphoria Boutique

Leggings, joggers, and magical stretch trousers give you a comfortable loungewear feel but look like the stylish clothes they are. Jeans and belts can be hard to put on and incredibly uncomfortable to wear so finding clothes that look like jeans or smart trousers but are actually pull-on trousers make life so much easier. Many of our customers have spoken with joy about being able to wear something that looks dressy but has the ease of pyjamas!


  • Freesize it!

 If you struggle with weight fluctuation (changing sizes even during the course of a day) then free size clothing is your best friend. It probably isn’t practical to buy a new wardrobe each time your weight changes - a really disheartening factor of chronic illness - but free size will adjust, meaning your favourite top yesterday will still fit and look amazing today. (Katie has a great post about 'what is free size' here on the blog)


  • Go loose

Go loose. Clothes that aren’t too fitted generally work best if your skin hurts to touch or rub. A comfy loose fit, not too tight, tend to feel most comfortable.


  • Layer, layer, and then throw on an extra one for luck

Temperature changes means not only do you have to deal with Britain’s fantastic weather system, your body also has its own personal thermostat. Changing outfits multiple times a day can be a faff so why not start layering? Grab a comfy camisole or vest, throw on a nice flowy top, then add a hoodie and, if you want another layer again, add a chunky scarf! Each layer can be taken off or put on as your temperature spikes or plummets (plus layering looks really stylish!).

Cosy layers with colourful scarf - tips for Chronic Illness Clothing at Euphoria Boutique
  • Ssh, but ditch the bra

Another advantage of those layers is the ability to hide your lack of bra! The constrictions of bras can feel like utter torture during a flareup, not to mention the fun of doing them up. Wearing a soft vest top or camisole underneath a flowing tunic and oversized hoodie may mean you can get away without it, upping your comfort levels! (Several women mentioned this being a huge plus of Euphoria’s flowing styles!)


It can pretty much all be summed up into one final tip: find clothes that look like a hundred bucks but feel like your pyjamas. Always go for comfort but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or colour.

If your previous favourite item of clothing was jeans, why not get some magical stretch trousers so you can still have the look of structured trousers but don’t have to deal with stiff fabric or buttons. Likewise, if colour was always your thing, don’t be afraid to keep playing with colour combinations that make you feel happy.


For more tips, outfit ideas, and all things fashion with chronic illness, check out our new 'fashion for chronic illness' page here (which we'll keep linking new blog posts to).

Or, of course, join the conversation at our Euphoria Boutique Exclusive Facebook Group which is packed full of other lovely human beings with tips on surviving life with a chronic illness and living life bright and colourful.