Sweater Weather: What To Wear
Last updated: October 2023
It's my favorite time of the year: Fall! Who doesn't love Fall? The breeze is breezin', the leaves are falling, the hot cocoa is steaming, and the hayrides are swaying. Ahhhh. Fall is my version of Goldie Locks' "just right" porridge. My absolute favorite part of fall? The clothes. The flannels and the boots, the cozy sweaters and blankets. But what I love and what my skin loves are two totally different things. Scratchy sweaters irritate my skin, and too tight clothing feels suffocating. And with online ordering, you never know what kind of fabric you're getting.
These are some of my favorite brands and fabrics to bundle up in.
Brands I love
Cottonique covers the basics with, you guessed it: cotton. They cover everything from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Their neutral color options are not just soft on the skin but on the eyes as well. All of Cottonique's clothing contains zero latex and zero spandex. They pride themselves on applying "over a decade of innovation in clothing production to bring you allergy-free clothing safe from allergens, irritants, and other harmful chemicals." Every article of clothing is made from 100% pure cotton. From when the seeds are planted to when the garment is stitched, Cottonique ensures that no chemicals are involved in the process.
When visiting the Cottonique website, start by scrolling over the category you wish to shop from (e.g. "men," "women," "kids"). The dropdown menu will allow you to shop by category, collection, and even by conditions such as chemical sensitivities and latex allergies. The unique approach to clothing by Cottonique made me feel at ease and assured me that I was not the only one searching for soft fabrics due to my skin disease.
As an added touch, Cottonique also offers a "Medical Articles" section for your reading pleasure. I not only love the clothing but also the message and thought behind the clothing. 10/10 Cottonique. (P.S. Cottonique sells hypoallergenic gloves for comfort, skin allergies on the hands, soothing relief, and to prevent scratching. I wish they had these ten years ago when I was ripping the skin off my body in the middle of the night.)
Quince is extravagance without the extravagant price tag. The founders of Quince believe that we should all have the option to own nice things. They say, "we started Quince to challenge the existing idea that nice things have to cost a lot. Our mission was simple—create products of equal or greater quality than the leading luxury brands at a much lower price. Because we believe quality should never be a luxury."
Not only does Quince product quality products at an affordable price but they aim to make the world a more liveable place. Sustainability is built into everything they do. Whenever possible, they choose organic materials, environmentally conscientious packaging and ethical business practices. They also choose premium materials and designs that last. Quince says, "our products feel nicer and last longer, on purpose."
I don't know about you, but I'm a hoodie and sweatpants kinda gal. You can buy a hoodie and sweats from nearly anywhere but if you want something a little more high quality, check out Outdoor Voices.
What sets Outdoor Voices apart from other brands? Founder Tyler Haney started the brand with a "fabric first" approach with her clothing. As a serious athlete growing up, Haney knows what comfort feels (and doesn't feel) like. OV is definitely a little pricier than other comfort/athleisure brands but I truly believe that you get what you pay for in most cases. Don't get me wrong, I love my $12 hoodies from Marshalls but occasionally it's nice to throw on something that just takes comfort to the next level, even if it costs me a little bit more.
Fabrics I stick to
Tried and true, cotton will always be at the top of my list. The higher the cotton content in a fabric, the more comfortable it will be next to the skin. Cotton is a soft, breathable fabric, that can be worn for any season and it never goes out of style.
Even if you choose to layer up this fall, try wearing lightweight cotton clothing next to your skin and throw the uncomfortable (but possibly stylish) clothes on top. And avoid materials such as wool and synthetic fabrics. Synthetic clothes don’t breathe as much as cottons and are a bit worse because they cause heat retention. Yuck.
"Multiple studies have pointed to the antimicrobial properties of a special European silk fabric called DermaSilk," says Jennifer Peterson, MD, a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Houston. Dermasilk differs from regular silk in that it's free of sericin, a protein produced by the silkworm. Sericin and other protein or bacteria can aggitate psoriasis and other skin conditions, so antimicrobial agents help skin stay clear and free of irritation.
Because silk is composed of smooth, long, natural fibers tightly woven together, it helps decrease the skin's loss of moisture and is tolerated better than other fabrics by people with sensitive skin.
Modal, a type of rayon, is a manufactured fiber, but is not synthetic — it’s made from wood pulp, a naturally occurring raw material. Modal is an ideal fabric for people with psoriasis because it is lightweight, smooth, soft and extremely breathable. It is similar in texture to cotton, but less likely to shrink, fade or pill. Look for undergarments and workout clothes made of modal, as they wick moisture away from the skin and dry faster in heavy sweating conditions. Often, sweating is a trigger for people with psoriasis because it stimulates itching and scratching of the skin and worsens psoriasis symptoms.
Bamboo fabrics come directly from the bamboo plant, which makes it a natural fiber. Due to its excellent breathability and moisture wicking, bamboo fabrics are an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin. It's also hypoallergenic and contains no dangerous chemicals, making it gentle enough for even a baby to wear.
Bamboo has a host of benefits as far as fabrics are concerned. It's ultra-soft, lightweight, breathable, and great for wicking moisture from the skin, which can cause bacteria to grow. Another plus is that bamboo remains soft after multiple washes. No wear and tear on your clothing equals no wear and tear on your sensitive skin.
When buying clothing for sensitive skin, I look for:
- Silky soft materials: Soft materials are less likely to rub and chafe against the skin, causing bacteria to spread and skin conditions to inflame.
- Breathable fabrics: Breathable fabrics allow air to circulate easily, keeping skin cool, and reducing the risk of further inflammation.
- Coverage: Good coverage can be a great way to minimize the risk of scratching, which can cause plaques to bleed.
- Antibacterial: Antibacterial and hypoallergenic materials minimize bacteria growth, which means skin is less likely to flare up.
Chemical free garments: Avoid products made with chemicals and synthetic dyes. These can irritate the skin and cause discomfort.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?