I’m willing to put up with some discomfort for the sake of a look. I have shoes that make my feet ache, blazers that make it impossible to reach for items on high shelves, and pairs of tights that transform me into a Segmented Worm. But I don’t LIKE being uncomfortable. It makes me crabby and scowly and entirely un-fun to be around. So I’ve found a few simple ways to achieve the looks I love by utilizing slight variations on the gorgeous-but-uncomfortable pieces I adore. Prepare! I will now divulge my secrets:
Jersey knit button-down shirts
Oh my GOSH button-downs are controversial. Who knew that an item deemed “classic” by every style guru on the planet could cause such strife? Button-down shirts are stiff, they wrinkle easily, they gap at the placket, they stain, they’re just generally a pain in the butt. And yet, even women who loathe this garment often long to find ways to wear it. My workaround? Jersey knit variations. They stretch, they breathe, they’re washable, they don’t wrinkle, and they give a good 90% of the sleek, classic look conveyed by a true button-down. Although my first exposure to this style was via Boden, they’re not selling this particular shirt this season. However, there are usually a few on eBay, if you keep your eyes peeled. Other options here and here (pictured above). If the shape of button-downs doesn’t work for YOUR shape, even jersey versions may thwart you … but since they’re more flexible and soft than their woven cousins, they’re worth mentioning.
I don’t hate jeans as much as I used to, but I still prefer skirts. The very presence of a zip fly and metal button at tummy-level irritates and unnerves me. Plus the digging waistband. Bleh. Workaround: Jeggings. Jean-leggings hybrids are the epitome of comfort, tuck into boots easier than any skinny jean, and maintain the chic of denim without any of the hassle. I prefer fly-free jeggings myself, like the HUE ones pictured above, but I also own Gap Jean Leggings and give them the thumbs up.
Scarf and tie belts
Stiff leather belts can pinch and dig, create artificial segmentation, and slide around crazily on your torso. Using scarves as belts allows you to accentuate your waistline without all that fuss and discomfort. Tie belts made from soft leather are another great option. Scarves and tie belts are both easily thriftable, in my experience, but more options here (pictured above), hereand here.
It took me a while to determine if high-waisted tights were worth the extra bank, but after an entire season of wearing them, I have a final verdict: YES. Yes, yes, yessssss they are worth it. If, like me, you find that your tights squeeze and pinch your midsection and if, like me, you find that it’s comfier to yank that waistband up ribcage-ward where it has actual bone to counteract the squeeze instead of sensitive internal organs, this workaround will make you joyous. I have three pairs of SPANX High-waisted Tight-End Tights, have scouted out a few more options hereand here, and truly hope that more vendors hop on the high-waisted bandwagon soon.
Would any of these comfort-centric work-arounds work for YOU? Any other ideas you’d like to share for items that offer a comfortable variation on a classic theme? If you’ve got links, please share them in the comments!
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