Top 5 Clothing Brands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
By Samantha Anderson
Fashion and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome don’t always walk hand in hand. Trying to find clothing that is comfortable can be a task. This article features primarily women’s clothing brands (although some fit both), but stay tuned for a men’s clothing article!
Finding comfortable clothing can be a hassle for every day people. Adding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome into the equation can complicate matters even more. Every person with CRPS is so different. Some people need clothing that does not move around very much and stays close to the skin, as the movement of the fabric causes pain. Others cannot wear tight clothing and need things that are more flowy so they are not restricted and there is not constant stimulation happening. Then, add in whether someone has upper, lower, or full body Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and more issues present themselves. Some brands of clothing are better for tops whereas others may be better for bottoms. Then, some brands are more female oriented instead of male oriented. It can be hard to determine what is best.
As someone that started with lower body Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, but is now facing upper body CRPS 11 years later, I have had a lot of trial and error with clothing. For me, every day is different. Sometimes, I need clothing that fits close to my skin. Other days, I need the loosest clothing possible. This list of top 5 brands of clothing is my own opinion based on my life with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I included some information about pricing and some of the pros and cons as well!
LuLaRoe is a clothing company known for their “buttery soft” leggings. I had heard many of my friends with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome talk about this company, so I decided to check them out. After I ordered my first pair of leggings, I fell in love. I have quite a collection now. They are super soft and are great for the days I cannot handle flowy fabric. Their tops are also great and come in a variety of styles. The Classic T isn’t tight around the waist or arms, but is flattering. The Perfect T is very flowy and can be styled in a variety of ways. Then there are tops like the Lynnae, which is a long-sleeved version of the Classic T, and the Gigi which is a tighter fitting shirt. Most consultants will tell you about the fabric of the item and will detail how soft it is if you ask. I was never one for patterns (I love black clothing), but this also helped me branch out into different colors and patterns in my wardrobe.
Cost: Leggings are generally $25 and tops can vary from $28-$45.
Pros: Sizes offered go smaller than XXS (you can order kids sizes) and go up to 3XL. Some of the 3XLs are actually the equivalent to 5XL. There are a lot of different styles that allow you to optimize your comfort level. The items are so comfortable and versatile. There are also men’s styles and “dressy” styles available.
Cons: Items can only be bought on Facebook or in person, as that is the way that LuLaRoe sells their products. Products are a little pricey and aren’t supposed to be machine washed.
- C9 by Champion
C9 by Champion was a bit of a happy accident for me. I was looking for a top to wear to an appointment, which needed to be like a workout top. I then found C9 at Target (my home away from home). These items were a lot like Under Armor without the steep pricing. Everything was pretty reasonable. There were tops, sweatshirts, and pants for men and women. The tops are relatively silky, which is a nice feel compared to some other fabrics (the best it can feel when you’re in pain). These are great for hanging around the house or going to appointments. If you can do basic workouts, these are also great for that.
Cost: Price vary from about $7-$50 (higher prices for nice jackets).
Pros: Easy to access. Target offers deals on these products on a regular basis (online, too). There are a variety of colors and sizes. Very lightweight.
Cons: Sizing can vary from item to item and there are not any “dressier” items for more formal occasions.
A lot of people own Gildan items without knowing it. Gildan is generally one of the main providers for screen printers. Event shirts are normally from this brand and get softer with each wash. This brand is also sold at Walmart and on Amazon. They offer a great variety of products, from t-shirts to sweatpants. I have a lot of event and concert t-shirts, which I wear more frequently than most of my clothes. It is almost like the fabric molds to your body as time goes on. It is also a pretty cheap option, even if you are ordering custom shirts from websites like Teespring.
Cost: Varies, but generally under $25
Pros: Affordable clothing. Gets softer when it is washed. A variety of different looks and customization options.
Cons: Cheaper shirts do not always last as long, depending on how well it was made. Fit can vary from item to item. Starts off a little itchy.
- Victoria’s Secret/Pink
Victoria’s Secret has branched out to sell much more than undergarments. They offer a variety of clothing including t-shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and yoga pants. Their Pink line features some Sherpa lined items and soft, loose clothing. Their Sport line offers tighter, stretchy clothing that keeps the sweat away. So, whether you need something flowy or something tight, Victoria’s Secret can fit your needs. They are generally pretty true to size, although their size variety seems to be XS to XL. I am a lover of all things fleece and Sherpa, so this line is my dream.
Cost: Pricy, generally upwards of $25 and averaging at $50.
Pros: Great variety. Soft or stretchy fabrics. Variety of color options. Easy to order online or in store.
Cons: Generally women’s only clothing. Expensive. Brand is often in large letters on the clothing. Size range.
- Chin Up Apparel
I stumbled upon Chin Up Apparel as a happy accident. I had a favorite shirt that I bought at a local store and wanted to find more of them. I looked at the tag, which was printed on the shirt instead of an itchy tag, and it said Chin Up. At the time, I was not aware that this was an entire line of items. On their website, the declare themselves to be a workout line. They have all different styles of t-shirts and sweatshirts. These items always have fun sayings on them, which can really brighten a day. For example, one of the baseball style tees on their site says: “After This We’re Getting Tacos,” which truly spoke to my heart. The material is generally very light and airy, which is nice for the days where clothing is just so painful that you’d rather wear nothing. This is a nice alternative. Plus, the sayings on the shirt can either tell people to back off or can make you smile with the silliness. I just wish they made pants. I should pitch my ideas.
Cost: $19.95 to $37 (sweatshirts are the $37 items).
Pros: Funny sayings cheer up the gloomiest of days. Sizes seem to be flexible. Material is soft and airy. Can be found in stores or online.
Cons: Limited men’s items. Can be considered pricey. Some of the sayings may not fit your life.
Clothing can be stressful. While we joke that it takes me a while to get dressed because I’m indecisive about what to wear, I am generally trying to gauge my level of comfort. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and clothing may not be the best of friends, but these brands can at least make them acquaintances. I hope you are able to try out some of these brands and that they bring you the most comfort possible. I will continue to research some men’s fashion and try it out to tell you about the comfort of other brands to maybe write a follow up to this one! Good luck and rock what you wear!