One of you lovelies wrote to me awhile back and we had a bit of a chat about how she might dress in a way that helped her feel less (in her words), “scrawny” in the aftermath of chemotherapy. That was the summer, and I think I recommended that she look into maxi dresses and chunky sandals. If not, I meant to.
It is hard to lose one’s size and strength following an illness, and important to dress in comfortable clothes that feel cuddly and not constricting. In the colder season this is easier to do, so let’s talk about some styling tips for those who are feeling less than robust.
Bulky knits are wonderful. What would make a rounder figure look too hefty will be lovely on a slimmer frame:
You certainly don’t need to take things THIS far (below), but I love this color combo. Sexy neutrals. Here’s a hint: if you add details like faux fur or nubby textures, your neutrals go from BLA to BAM! And why not wear a hat indoors? Or a warm scarf around your hair or wig? Be warm, be chic, be piss-elegant, baby. What other time in your life will be so appropriate to the wearing of divaesque turbans, for example?
Layer, layer, layer. This groovy chick is way more Carnaby Street fab than we’re going to be (especially with the short skirt), but the mixed patterns and layering are wonderful (and apropros of another recent conversation on here, note the adorable brooch)!
A skinny gal can wear a bulky sweater that hits right at the waist and belt it. You could wear this with a pair of woollen plaid trousers for a nice substantial feeling. Just make sure your clothes aren’t falling off you and you won’t look at all scrawny.
Luxe touches like faux fur collars, nubby textures and long knits can swath you in warmth and give you a bit of welcome bulk while not obliterating your shape.
Remember that fashion models are tiny-boned, very skinny people. The key to dressing well when your size is diminished is to not get lost inside of tons of excess fabric. Keep garments fitted but substantial, wear layers if you’re concerned about people worrying about your weight loss, keep a warm, beautiful shawl at hand for warmth, and take good care of yourself. Oh, and you heard it from Auntie PeaceBang: you’re not obligated to wear any rainbow striped leg warmers, glittery, rayon scarves or Hello Kitty knit caps well-meaning people give you as a gift. If anyone asks where their gift is, tell them that you love it but that it itches you. If anyone has a problem with that, they can talk to Mr. Jesus about their pettiness issues.
You have more important things to think about.
I sometimes think there should be a special blog for clergy with cancer. There’s just so much to talk about, so many things to share. We have done some sharing on this blog — you can do a keyword search if you want to see some of the archives. Here’s one on head-coverings for the temporarily bald. Here’s one on cancer and clergy image.
May God’s care enfold you and may your community’s compassion surround you.