Saturday, 31 March 2012

Sophisticated Tina

This post is about a stylish woman I met at the patient weekend recently. She was a huge inspiration and I want to share with you guys. She had had Lymphedema for much longer than me, I forget if it was eight or 15 years, I met so many people there and I have some of their info mixed up.
Anyway, this lady really knew how to look stylish and make the most of her options with Lymphedema.
She made a point of wearing a nice makeup, jewellery, stylish hair and glasses – she had at least two pairs of glasses to shift between. Her upper body was having a party with colours, feathers etc. Lots going on there, shifting the focus from her problem area to another place. It really worked!
For example, she would wear a bright green tunic with a sleeveless jacket in another colour over. A little bit like this:

While I was searching for these pictures I also found these two below, doesn't it look stylish? Great way to spice up a plain top and bring attention to the upper body (leg lymphers). You can find lots of scarf tutorials on Youtube.

Reg. trousers/pants, she was good at sewing and she would alter her own trousers/pants. She sort of said – as did the stylist who spoke on the first night, and the stylist I went to before Christmas – to forget about boxpants. It makes our legs look bigger. It is true. When I look at pictures from a trip last year where I wore some really widelegged jeans both of my legs look enormous. See:

It's me in the middle.

It's me to the left.

Sophisticated Tina showed me her foot once and I saw her whole leg when we were swimming together, her leg is at least the size of mine, if not more, but she worked around it so well that no one would ever guess anything was wrong. I think it really makes a difference to be able to see that difference between leg and foot, even if covered in boots and baggy pants. Like this outfit I got at the personal shopper last year:

I have a waist now, yay!

She would buy shoes and boots in different sizes, one for each leg. Perhaps I should do that more, get on with it and focus on what I can do instead of what I can't do. Accepting that this is what I have to do and then stop worrying about it. What do I get from pretending I can still wear the same size as before when I can't? Nothing. No wait, grief. Perhaps if I buy different sizes I can actually wear more styles than I think I can. Maybe not stilettos but perhaps a little heel. She would also have shoes and boots made wider at a shoemaker, if nessesary. I've been aware of this option too but haven't used it yet. On the first day she wore Converse sneakers, I am not sure if they were high or low but I would go for high, I think. Later I saw her in some stylish boots a little like the ones below, she had the one made wider. She wore them with jeans (that she had altered) over, folded up so the boot showed.

She had a pair of shoes, the one two sizes bigger than the other, for when wrapped. She would be wrapped four days every two weeks at her therapist. I might look for some cheap, comfy shoes for wrapping instead of my trekking sandals.

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