In my 25 years experience as the highest profile fashion expert on TV I talked about fashion and did make-overs for men, women and children. My recent work with JA Kids made me realize that no one talks about fashion for this group, so I decided to start a blog series using my knowledge as a fashion reporter and my experience living with RA. This first blog is for the little ones, the next for the teens and the last for young adults. Everyone likes to look good, but when you are sick, it’s even more important to help you feel good.
While style is important to the outside world, for JA kids comfort rules, style follows! And for the JA parents, not aggravating those sore spots or inflamed joints is priority.
Here are some basic tips for toddlers to 6 year olds:
1) Look at clothing items not for style as much as for ease in getting them on and off. Let colors, patterns, and logos make the statement instead of uncomfortable closures, stitching and fabrics.
2) Snaps at the shoulders and crotch for little ones make dressing so much easier. Going to the doctor is trauma enough for an infant so make sure they are in snaps and easy access clothing.
3) No tight elastic or restricted clothing for any age. Inflamed joints don’t need anything aggravating them, from parents hands squeezing a little arm into a tight arm hole to a 6-year-old pulling at a restricting elastic waistband all day long. I love drawstrings or if elastic, buy one size up so it will be loose.
4) Buttons are hard on little fingers, so for those Superheroes dressing themselves, zippers, snaps or wide neck pullovers work best.
5) Look at wrist or armbands on clothing, make sure they are not tight.
6) Leggings are comfy and stylish for girls, just make sure they are not too tight and they are made up of more natural fabrics (cotton, wool, linen) rather than all synthetics that don’t breath and can add heat to already inflamed joints. A little synthetic keeps the shape, too much doesn’t let the skin breathe.
7) For boys, make sure the head opening is wide enough or has enough buttons to go over the head and shoulders without squeezing. When wearing Superhero capes make sure the closure is Velcro that can be adjusted so it’s not tight on the neck, or is actually sewn on the back of the T-shirt.
8) For kids that find any underwear restricting or binding the Wonsie is soft, easy in and out, with snaps at the crotch and it’s made in larger sizes.
9) Shoes need to cushion sore feet. Test the sole to see if it is flexible, and thick-two important components for walking and running.
Slip-ons and Velcro closers are lifesavers for sore feet and fingers tying to tie laces.
10) I always believe in accessories. They can take the most basic outfit and make it fun.
11) And everyone looks super stylish in a T-shirt that creates JA awareness!
Christine Schwab is the the founder of “Christine’s Kids,” the popular Facebook page and online community for children and teens with juvenile arthritis.
To visit Christine’s Kids on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christines-Kids/218905234862177?fref=ts