Clothing that works with MS

Your clothing should make you look good and feel comfortable. And you're the judge of what you wear. Go through your wardrobe and pull out all the clothing that doesn't look or feel good, or is hard to put on or take off. Depending on your budget and how attached you are to the clothes, you may choose to replace them, or you may want to just modify items that no longer work. Here are some tips on what to look for in new clothing and how to modify old clothing.

  • Choose fabrics that contain a bit of spandex (Lycra). These materials make the fabric more stretchy and comfortable, and can improve the fit.
  • Loose, stretchy clothing is more comfortable and can make it easier to get around. But don't take it too far! Avoid long billowing skirts, sleeves, or wraps that may get caught on nearby objects or mobility aids, causing you to trip or fall.
  • Pick colours that flatter your hair and skin tone. If you're not sure which colors to choose, you can often get a free consultation at your local makeup counter. Bright colours can have a "feel-good" effect.
  • If you have trouble with buttons and zippers, consider having the buttons sewn onto the outside of the garment and using Velcro on the inside to keep it closed. If you're buying new clothes, look for garments that pull on, have Velcro fasteners, or have large zippers down the front.
  • If you're in a wheelchair, you may want to have your clothing altered to fit the way you are sitting. This will give the clothing a better fit and a neater look. Medical supply companies often make clothing specially designed for people in wheelchairs. Check with your MS nurse or doctor for a supplier near you.
  • Having trouble putting on your tie in the morning? Try pre-knotted, clip-on, or zipper-fastened ties. Or, if your workplace allows, move to a business casual (no tie) look.
  • If you need a mobility aid, consider getting one in a bright color or a funky pattern to make it look less "medical." Or you can customize your existing medical aid with your own stickers or fabrics.

Many of these suggestions involve alterations. A friend or family member may be able to do them for you. Otherwise, many clothing stores and mail-order catalogs offer free alterations on the clothing you purchase from them. Or you can try a dry cleaner or department store. They usually offer reasonable rates and may give a discount for multiple items.

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