Pain-Free Clothing for Today's Pain Sufferers - PainPathways Magazine Pain-Free Clothing for Today's Pain Sufferers - PainPathways Magazine

Pain-Free Clothing for Today’s Pain Sufferers

What does pain-free clothing mean if you suffer from fibromyalgia, CRPS/RSD or another condition that makes getting dressed a painful experience? If your shirts drive you crazy, shoes hurt your feet or pants always feel tight, read on to see what you can do. (Be sure you get to the end…we have a surprise waiting for you.)

Recently, we asked our Facebook fans about which clothes and brands they find most comfortable, and there were many helpful ideas worth sharing. While there may not be completely pain-free clothing, there are ways to be more comfortable.

pain-free clothing

Nine Ways to Dress More Comfortably

  1. Purchase clothing at thrift and consignment stores where many of the clothes are already worn and broken in.
  2. Tailor clothes to fit you the way you want.
  3. Try thigh-highs instead of pantyhose. They keep your legs looking nice without pinching your mid-section.
  4. Go low with bikini briefs and low-rise pants that sit on your hips instead of your waist. If you feel exposed, wear a long shirt to cover your midsection.
  5. Consider maternity clothes, especially pants and skirts that sit under your stomach and provide a more comfortable option.
  6. Look for a draw string instead of an elastic waistband. Since it’s adjustable it will provide more comfort and can easily be expanded.
  7. Ditch underwire bras and try soft-cup bras with wide shoulder straps.
  8. Experiment with different brands of sports bras, bralettes or bandeaus to find more comfortable alternatives to traditional bras.
  9. Search for “sensitive foot socks” online and in specialty stores. They may provide more comfort than regular socks. If your socks squeeze your foot and ankle, try different lengths and thickness to find the right socks for you.

Brands Our Facebook Fans Recommend

– Soul Flower “Their clothes feel so soft and light weight. Great for my sensitive skin.”

– Alfani sleepwear “Love the smooth texture and great to sleep in.”

– Sketchers shoes “Good for walking”

– Soft Surroundings clothes “They have a cloud rating system to tell you how soft things are.”

– Soma sleepwear “Their fabric is so soft, lightweight and stretchy”

– Gap loungewear “Love to wear in public. It’s so comfortable, like PJs.”

– H&M socks “I wear them all the time in the house with no shoes, since they are inexpensive I can buy lots of them.”

– UGG boots “I wear them 24/7. They are the only shoes I can put my foot inside without pain.”

– The White Cotton Gown “Love their gowns and reasonable prices. I’m a fan of The Ashley.”

pain-free clothing

Lazy Day Lounger

A Clothing Brand Dedicated to Softness

We reached out to Soft Surroundings to learn more about a brand dedicated to soft, comforting clothes. Their goal is to provide flattering clothes that are also extremely comfortable. From so soft to heavenly soft to ultimate softness, all fabrics are rated for softness – guaranteed! Plus, the fabrics are made and the apparel and bedding are designed at their headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri giving Soft Surroundings complete control of quality and fit.

“Our clothing is designed with our customer’s comfort AND style in mind. We want to provide her with options to express herself, look terrific and feel really great in her clothes – all at the same time. I took the inspiration for many of our fabrics from baby clothes – nothing is softer or more comforting.” – Robin Sheldon, President and Founder of Soft Surroundings

Although their clothes are for all women who want to look and feel good, they are a perfect fit for women living with Fibromyalgia and other pain conditions. The company receives letters from Fibro sufferers thanking them for their comfortable clothes including this one from Darcy.

Want a chance to win a Lazy Day Lounger from Soft Surroundings? Leave a reply on this article or your own pain-free clothing experience in the comments below, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on October 10th!

And the WINNER is Lori Whalen. Lori, we will be sending you a Lazy Day Lounger. We hope it provides you much-needed comfort. Thanks to everyone who commented and shared their personal stories and suggestions.

Posted: 09/26/2014

Written by

PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.
  • Debbie

    Clothes that are tight in the waist bother me and I hate wearing shoes and socks!

    • Susan

      I have not heard of these companies either. When I could still work I wore knit dresses, sweater knit in winter, SAS sandals after got swelling done in my foot. Still can’t stand full shoe. SAS is very expensive but has triple footbed so very soft. I mostly wear rayon dresses. Can’t stand long enough to pull pants up and down which would be very painful. I can’t wear socks anymore either. I CAN be freezing, put a slipper on and it burns so bad can’t stand it. You are right about second hand clothes already broken in. Everything makes me burn bad, but rayon is the softest I have found that still allows air in. Can’t stand double layers anything extra not matter so cold I am, double layers make me burn so bad. I have to cut my tops off just below my cotton knit bras to relieve the burning. I will look up these companies. I can’t where pants anymore. I have to just where night shirts that don’t cover my legs. Have to use a blanket support to keep sheet from touching me. Thank for the ideas.

  • Jackie

    Thank you for this information! I have not heard of most of these clothing brands. I do shop at thrift stores frequently to find looser fitting clothes. Bras are some of the hardest to find for ease of binding, but still be supportive. Thank you, again, for all the helpful tips!

  • Dana Hardin Cook

    I have to wear pants with elastic waist. Anything else just hurts. The fiber has to have a stretch to it too.

  • CindyC

    I like satin pajamas, they slide so nicely on the sheets and I don’t feel like The Princess and the pea!

  • Mary Harrison

    Love the look of this garment all clothes are a pain for me I can’t wait to come home and put on my nighty

  • Lori Whalen

    I’m so glad to have this information and the opportunity to win a Lazy Day Lounger. I have RSD and clothes are the last thing I ever thought would be a problem to wear. Most of us have to spend money to buy products which, unfortunately, end up going to others because we simply cannot stand the feel of them. So often I tell my friends and family that I wish God had a way to give all chronic pain sufferers a cloud to sit or sleep on so we could have a good night’s sleep and focus on life rather than our pain. It’s difficult to keep going when the pain is so strong. Thank you for this opportunity and for thinking about us.

  • Patti

    Since developing central pain syndrome, CPS, I’ve replaced my favorite clothes w/ the softest sweatpants, flannel or cotton materials. And shoes have to be flat w/ no arches, otherwise it worsens the feeling of walking on marbles. Not exactly a fashion statement, but it helps.

  • Whitney S

    I want a Lazy Day Lounger. It looks so cozy and warm!

  • Kenra Mills

    Thank you for this information. I am always looking for comfortable clothing. There are days I can’t wear some items I have in my closet and wonder why I bought them. I am now trying to concentrate on buying things that are always comfortable 🙂

  • Danielle von-Kaenel

    I have CRPS type two, plus other nerve conditions following two back surgeries. The only pajamas I can tolerate are made by Soma. Some days, even a soft, lightweight dress can feel like it is cutting into my leg. I look forward to seeing what Soft Surroundings has to offer. Thanks for the information!

  • Joan Sloane-campbell

    The only thing I look forward to is getting OUT of my street clothes and into something comfortable. Something loose and soft and feels pleasurable to wear as everything else has become almost torture.

  • Kristina J Aguilera

    I have found that long maxi skirts and t – shirts work very well. It hides my leg so people don’t see that it is purple and blotted. With the maxi skirt I can move it up or down depending on how much pain my lower back is in to avoid the trigger spots. A loose t – shirt, or at least open arms with no elastic on the wrist, works great for my upper extremity RSD.

  • Linda Virgilio

    I have endured fibro myalgia and nerve damage from a shattered knee. 2 years ago, I had Shingles, and now I am trying desperately to cope with the PHN (Post Heretic Neuralgia). I have a hard time finding clothes to feel good in – and this looks so comfy!!!

  • Brooke Browning

    I find that anything soft with give is a life saver for me. I have hyperalgesia from Chronic myofascial pain and I also can’t have anything push on my bladder because of interstitial cystitis. I do tend to wear things like undies abd pants on the larger side so there is no pulling on my skin. I love soft buttery fabrics and love a comfy bra with no underwire, but still need support cause that doesn’t help otherwise. I love jeggings etc. Yeah for soft stretchy but classy clothes!

  • I have fibromyalgia, ddd, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, sciatica, etc. I dislike going places because i have to get dressed. Plus being overweight doesnt help me find comfortable clothes easily. I usually wear nightgowns at home, dresses out, even in winter.

  • Debra V.

    Thank you for this article and for the chance to win the comfy chair. I live with Fibromyalgia, CFS, Arthritis and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and I agree with all here that the loose, soft and comfy articles of clothing are by far the best to wear for those of us who live with chronic pain conditions.

  • Amanda Dove

    I’d love to just have a comfy long dress to sleep in and I love the sleeves and pockets. Women want pockets too right? Anyways TM makes just putting clothes on a chore and then they are super uncomfortable.

  • Kathryn Ervin Maurer

    I would love to wear clothes that didn’t bother or hurt me when I wear them, I can’t even wear socks without being in pain, CRPS / RSD makes it hard to even wear a pair of slippers.. I can’t even wear a pair of sneakers, would love to have a lazy day lounger to sit and sleep in..

  • Lisa Davis Budzinski

    Thank you for this article and reaching out to the store. I have CPS (central pain syndrome) from a stroke in the thalamus, Lupus and Graves disease post thyroid cancer. Clothes can be so very painful in addition to the environmental conditions we have to deal with.

  • ShannonWalker

    Would love to win! One of the hardest things for me is that I have no “neutral position” that is pain-free: hurts to stand, hurts to sit, hurts to lie down. I tend to wear old or 2nd hand clothes because they are already worn out and are usually softer, stretched out, and I don’t care what happens to them! But they don’t last very long and they aren’t always that attractive or have holes/missing buttons/etc. Pain-free clothing sounds like a fantastic thing!

  • Lisa A

    the softer the clothes are, the better!

  • Little Miz Spoonie Sue

    Pjs are my staple at home for comfort,. When I do go out, it’s pull on trousers & loose tops – they look good, but are extremely comfy

  • Barb Ladyansky

    Great article! Thank you so much for providing names and links to a variety of clothing sites. With RSD I feel like i always in my pajamas!

  • Suzette Gorrell

    I have hypermobility and the pain it can cause is nothing I would have believed before now.
    I am always in yoga pants and an oversized shirt when I’m at home. I try not to be out for long periods because the pain getting (and being) in “every day ” clothing can cause.
    I’m thankful for winter and leggings and tunics… I plan to wear them as much as possible while out so I can try to be as comfortable in public as I am I at home!

  • lisa foor

    This is great info I have so much trouble finding clothes to wear that are comfortable I have crps in all four limbs I am in stretch knits 24/7 no socks still trying to find comfortable shoes for summer for winter its uggs slip on can’t wear boots going to check on some of brands mentioned here and keep fingers crossed to win thanks

  • Candice Coalson

    I have cfs/me, rsd, and fm. I can’t have children bcuz I can’t barely take care of myself and each morning to get to work on time. I do not get refreshing sleep which is from cfs as I have been tested for sleep disorders and do not have one. As soon as I get home from work I strip bare. I cannot stand the pain that clothes brings me throughout the day at wk and many times have had to suffer from fashion bcuz of it or endure severe pain just to look nice which I occasionally do for important days or when I force myself to go do something once every 3 months in order to feel one day like the rest of the world. I’ve recently purchased foam/gel pillows and that has made a world of difference and now am in the search for a foam/gel mattress topper or preferably a whole new foam/gel mattress. My mattress is only 2 yrs old but it hurts so bad just laying on my side etc. I feel so blessed to have found this article as I never knew you all existed and will be checking u guys out. I am all for comfort. I absolutely hate bras and when I have to leave my house if I’m not going to work I put on one of those thin camis that have the built in lining for the boobs. Once again thank you so veft very much for giving us this opportunity to win a cozy comfy article of clothing from your online store. We greatly appreciate it. 🙂

    • Sarah

      I have fibro.really bad,I purchase a foam and gel mattress and elevated bed. One of the best purchase I have ever made.after a couple of days of sleeping on this bed I have been pain free.When I get up in the morning,this is not a cure all.but it will help.

  • Nora Hull

    Oh so soft looking and loose. The softer the better. Only time I am comfortable is in loose and soft, and this looks per-fect!

  • Allison

    I love the lazy day longer because it looks so comfortable! I love the way it looks & I know it’d be very nice to wear one. They look pretty cool, like a hoodie/sweat suit, buy light material. I’d really like to win one!!! I’d be lounging in it quite frequently. Thanks!!!

  • Gin Skilton

    I will certainly be looking into this. I hate clothes and am ready to get out of them as soon as I can and put on something comfy. It would be nice to go completely naked but that would be a severe shock to others so I guess I won’t do that! lol I hope there will be some clothes that I can purchase to ease my days wearing clothes. I’ve had extensive neck surgery so can’t wear tops that touch my neck, double knee replacement and a severe ankle repair so pants and socks are important to me. I also can’t wear boots due to the screw that is protruding from my ankle and it rubs on everything.
    Since having my surgeries and the skin sensitivity due to the scars I’ve looked for clothes to wear that don’t aggravate my fibro symptoms. Thanks for the opportunity to learn about new options in clothing.

  • Jennifer

    I’m truly excited that one of us will win this spectacular outfit. I’m Jennifer. Email: in case my name gets pulled as winner. Starting to wear my socks inside out due to the seam. Gentle Hugs ….Jennifer

  • #1Fan

    I wear cloths two sizes bigger then my own because of pain.

  • lynn julian

    I try to buy clothes with stretchy waistband and no elastic in them. If something is given to me with an elastic in the waist, I take the point of a scissors and poked in the material of the waist to cut the elastic waistband on the inside. This leaves it all loose and comfortable on my tummy… and only a tiny little hole on the inside of the waist!

  • Dionetta

    I shop by feel. I walk down an aisle and feel the clothes. When something feels just right I then will stop and look at it more closely. I just washed a pair of sweat pants that I,love to wear on days I am home not feeling well. They are so thread bare but So comfy I can’t bear to part with them. Would love that lounger looks so comfy. I am more into comfort than style these days. And if it can not go into the washer and drier then it is not in my wardrobe. Soft, loose and comfy are my key criteria.

  • Jennifer Patrone-Martin

    I have severe case of fibromyalgia n crps..I am very picky about clothes . The lazy day lounger look like a big cozy , soft hug! I would love to have one to lounge in & snuggle with my fur babies!

  • Ami Withrow

    I work in an office, so as you can imagine, my work clothes are very uncomfortable. When I get home, I almost leave a trail to my room as I disrobe and take off the offending items. I put on a lounge/sleeping bra, my husband’s fuzzy pajama bottoms that are 2-3 sizes too large and one of his shirts that hang down to my knees. I put on fuzzy slippers with non skid bottoms (gotta be safe now). I get my soft pillow, neck pillow, fluffy blankey and lay on my nice soft memory foam very large “bean bag” style chair, the big brown one in the picture. But I sure would love to win a Lazy Day Lounger!

  • Kacee Chandler

    My circulation is horrible in my legs so loose soft clothing eases. rather than irritates.. i get cold easily so warm clothing is a must have…my preference is cotton…all though its difficult to dress myself everyday…i try to find clothing that is easy to get into

  • Christine Sample Berardi

    The Lounger looks really comfortable. I sure would love to be able to lay around and read in that. I find Reebok has some go shoe for walking. This article gave me some good suggestions and some stores to look for clothing. Thank you .

  • Sharon Reisen Minally

    I am always looking for something comfortable to wear especially on my high pain days and I don’t want anything tight or fitted. I reach for nightgowns, cotton, loose, usually looking like an older womans gown. I go for comfort not fashion. I take one look at the Lazy Day Lounger and want to put it on. Looks so warm especially when I get the chills. Nice and long never having to worry if I am covered up. My hands are always ice cold so the pocket is a perfect complement to this cozy want to have now gown. I would be so pleased to win so I can snuggle in comfort with my three chihuahuas surrounding me…pure happiness.

  • Cecily Bornemann

    Sounds like a good pain free clothing choice. I can’t wait to get out my clothes most days.

  • Karen Ward Chagnon

    I have Neuropathay that has reached my waistline. I’m finding less and less in my wardrobe that I am able to wear. I try to replace my clothing with tag less, seamless soft material at times when I can afford to buy something. Most days you’ll find me in my pj’s on inside out to keep the seams from causing pain from the pressure of them touching my skin. I clicked on the link for Soft Surroundings as soon as I saw it mentioned in the article. I’m headed there now to check out their page. It sounds promising!

  • Katherine Moser Curcio

    Thought I’m far past the date of entry to win an article of free clothing, I’d like to share some of my tips with you.
    JCrew & The Gap’s My Favorite Long sleeve T shirts I wear year round as their 98% cotton and 2% spandex so they stay nice and cool and on those hot days when you scrunch your sleeves Up to your elbows, and the cuffs get all out of shape, after washing and drying them, they look just like new. I find that even though I live in SWFL I still wear long sleeves every day as I’m hot one second and freezing the next. Ibliterally ised to LIVE IN THESE SHIRTS. A few months back I switched to all organic cotton and there’re a few people on Esty that’ll make you organic long sleeve T’s.
    The same gal make me my yoga pants. In 3/4 length that have the slightest flare at the bottom of them so nothing right around my calves and around my ankles she makes them just a hair bigger (aprox 1″) so not ankle restriction either. She makes them with a build in crotch no underwear, is necessary.
    As for shoes, I live in merrills slip on’s. I can’t wear flip flops due to balance issues but Merrills come in styles for all seasons and don’t look like any therapy shoe.

    Hope this helps someone.

    Oh, and Diabetic socks that are seemless are a great option. They also make seemless clothes for those that are autistic who can’t stand seems and and tags.

    Both JCrew and The Gaps T’s are soft and tagless. If you don’t want to purchase your clothes on Esty, you can opt for Danskin leggings (but in the last two years they’ve changed their design and are too restrictive for me. JCrew makes AMAZING leggings that are super soft and full length.

  • Dee Waite

    Thank you for the tips on clothing that is as painless as possible. I’m headed to check out these brands.

  • Karen Hall

    Wow, I thought I was CRAZY, CAN’T. Wear underwear ever… Bras only when I have to for WORK! This is so helpful
    Thanks Karen Hall

  • gkadams69

    It’s not just clothing. I buy vintage pillowcases because new, store-bought ones feel like sandpaper. Clothes with labels printed on the fabric rather than scratchy tags are a lifesaver.

  • Samuelette

    Clothing has been an issue from the get go. I dress up to go out and make sure I am comfortable by wearing loose clothing that is fashionable. As soon as I get home, I switch to a nightgown. For years, I have been attending the season end sales so I stock up on loose nightgowns. I am able to buy the higher end ones that are bettered with quality fabrics. I only wear a bra and my prosthetic for my left breast when I feel it is essential because the extra weight and pressure irritate me. I buy grannie stye panties that are larger than my own size for comfort. I buy the oversize men’s socks sizes 15 to 18 so they will be loose or I buy the diabetic socks. I like being bare foot but my doctor advised me to wear shoes or socks because of neuropathy. I used to injure my feet when I went barefoot. I even wear the loose socks for sleep as my feet get cold and I find by keeping my feet warm, the pain is lessened. I buy high quality walking shoes for going out and will wear a low heel for specialty occasions. My body easily gets overheated so I keep the room temperature down while my husband likes it much warmer so we have a battle with the thermostat. Because of the overheating, I get dehydrated very easily so I prepare water bottle for the refrigerator so I can have chilled water ready to drink. I lose my balance so I use a cane when I leave the house. Living where I do we have winters that can be very cold and I do not tolerate temperature and weather changes well. so dressing in layers when I go out allows me the chance to remove layers or add layers as needed. It is important to have all my clothing washable and change clothing often to feel more comfortable. I just automatically adapt to conditions using my clothing. When I go out, I will have a bag with me so i can make the changes that occur while I am out. I do what I need to do and have stopped trying to explain myself because it is simply sensible self care that helps me survive and thrive. Since fatigue is a major issue, I pace myself and use naps so I can continue to do some of the things I would not be able to do otherwise. Housework is not easy so it gets done if and only if I can do it. I have a saying “I do what I can do when and where I can do it and the rest does not matter. I have dust bunnies for pets. If you do not like what you see, you have two choice. You can push up your sleeves and help me out by cleaning up or you can leave but do not tell me what I need to do.” I know very well what things look like but I choose to use my time doing what helps me feel better and not what pleases others. On occasion, I do hire someone but I can’t afford to do it all the time. My husband has his own health issues and does what he can to help and he hires people to help with the yard work in the summer and snow in the winter. One thing I would like to add is that my body gravitates to the horizontal position as I feel less pain when I lay down. This is better than popping endless numbers of numbing pills and not knowing what day it is. Focus on what one can do and the way I have to adapt what I want to do so that it will get done. I am doing the best I can under conditions that I would have never chosen if I had a choice. No one wants this life but it the one I have and I do what I can when I can. I remember to laugh and play because the option of tears and bad feelings of pity party are not right for me. I sometimes find myself living through others and being happy for them that they are able to do what they are doing instead of envying them. Having a diagnosis and taking ownership of the health issues makes it easier to cope. Pain affects every single thing we do in ways many could not imagine and I do not care if others feel my pain, I just do not want to be reminded about it by others who are insensitive and downright nasty in their attitudes and opinions. Taking care of ones self involves instituting the measure that can minimize our struggle. Wearing tight clothing especially jeans may look nice to some but all I want to do is scream in dressing like that. I do what works for me. Thank you for bringing up the issues we face with information that can help us and others to make better decisions about every aspect of our own self care and help us live with peace, joy,understanding and dignity.

  • Carrie Melnik

    I change my clothes as soon as I hit the door but still continue to have problems with my feet, they are always cold because I can’t stand socks or anything on my toes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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