Psoriasis Style Guide: What to Wear This Fallby Sabrina Skiles Patient Advocate
Falling leaves. Warm apple cider. Pumpkin-flavored everything. There are so many things to look forward to with the weather change. But when you’re living with psoriasis, sometimes the only thing you can think about is how this weather will push your psoriasis flares into overdrive. Have no fear, I’m here—with my glam squad, including a celeb stylist, top dermatologists, and other fashionistas living with psoriasis—to share the do’s and don’ts of dressing for cool weather while living with a chronic skin condition.
I know what you’re probably thinking—heavy metal? Heck, no! But stay with me here. This fall, metallics are a fresh way to spotlight the season’s cozy knits with styles available for work and play. So think more shimmer and shine like a sparkle sequins blazer jacket (check out this one by Anna-Kaci, available at amazon.com), which is great when you’re experiencing flare ups on your arms but still want to dress up.
Do…Load Up on Lightweight Fabrics
When picking pieces to put in your closet for the cooler weather, layer light weight fabrics, like cotton, rayon, or viscose instead of bulking up with wool. “They’re less likely to irritate the skin,” says Sapna Palep, M.D., a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. Psoriasis blogger Reena Ruparelia (@Psoriasis_thoughts) adds: “I love wearing cotton kimonos or dusters right now," says Palep, who lives in Toronto. "I’ll pair one over longer dresses or high-waisted jeans with a nice tank. Kimonos are breathable, flowy, and give enough coverage when you are flaring.”
Don't…Wear Spandex or Polyester
Sure, many of us are working from home…and yes, wearing leggings all day sounds perfect. But, here’s the thing: Tight-fitting clothing that’s made of spandex could constrain and irritate the skin, says Dr. Palep. “Synthetic fibers, like polyester are also best to avoid because they are not breathable, can rub the skin and cause flares,” adds Dr. Palep.
This is where your athleisure-wear can come into play. “Power up on all things tailored,” says E! News Style Contributor Stacee Michelle. “From structured blazers to tapered pants and joggers, these are classics that will be staples in your closet.”
Do…Wear Bright Colors
Fall is all about changing colors, so bring the outdoors to your wardrobe. Take it from this fashionista living with psoriasis and go for gold (or yellows!): “One thing that is helpful for me is to wear more colors like mustards, yellows and oranges,” says Ruparelia. “If I’m flaring on my scalp and I’m wearing yellow you can’t see the flakes as much. I feel like my flakes stick to black anytime I chose that color, then I feel like my flakes are taking over. Wearing brighter colors, makes me feel put together and it allows the flakes to blend in more.”
Do…Invest in a Few Premium Pieces
Don’t let sweater weather scare you when it comes to choosing the fabrics for your favorite pieces. This can also be a time to invest in a few good pieces. “Cashmere actually has some breathability to it so it’s a great piece to invest in if you’re wanting a nice sweater for this season,” says Michelle.
Do…Become a Caped Crusader
All psoriasis warriors rejoice! This season is all about wearing a cape as a coat. Think: noticeably oversized or styled with a belt at the waist. The thing about a cape coat is that it’s got some give and flow and won’t constrict over layers (and those flares that crop up on your arms and shoulders). One caveat: Make sure to stick with breathable fabrics like cotton or viscose.
Do…Embrace the Victorian Secret
Never have psoriasis warriors been excited for a fall trend as much as this one. The Victorian look that’s hot this fall comes with billowing sleeves, high-neck tops, and flowy long-sleeve dresses that gently cover those random flare situations we wake up with sometimes. I’m pretty much obsessing over this Ruffle Trim Lantern Sleeve Tee and this Women's Floral Print Long Sleeve Babydoll Dress. When you feel called to embrace your flares, you’ll feel like a super model rocking this trend.
Do…Go Shoe Shopping
If you’re due for a new pair this fall, consider a pair of the Adidas Boost NMD_R1 Shoes, available in a ton of different colors and patters. The knit upper fabric gives you breathability, should you have flares on your feet while the boost midsole provides you with extra support, which is great for those who have psoriatic arthritis in their feet. I’ve had mine going on two years and they are practically the only shoes I want to wear.
Don't…Use Scented Laundry Detergent
Fall fashion is fun, but let’s not forget about how we wash our clothes to help manage psoriasis. “When I wash my clothes, I use detergents which are fragrance and dye-free,” says Alisha Bridges who has lived with psoriasis since the age of seven. “Laundry detergents with fragrances smell good but irritate my skin and make me feel itchy.”
Ruparelia echoes this sentiment. “I [also] hang dry a lot of my clothes, because I don’t use fabric softeners (too many chemicals). As much as I love the smell, keeping my skin free of those irritants is important to me.”