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I have suffered from psoriasis for more than half my life. Occasionally I am asked by people why I go to such efforts to conceal it. Is it really necessary to hide it? Am I ashamed of my skin? The answer to all these questions is a resounding no! I am certainly not ashamed of my skin, but neither do I want it to be the first thing that people notice about me. Mindful of the saying that, ‘you never get a second chance to make a good impression’, I would rather that my first impression is based on me rather than on my flaking skin. Whilst other sufferers may be happy to expose their psoriasis, my personal preference is to hide it and with many years’ experience of doing so, I am happy to share my tips and tricks. I have long been a believer that if you know you look good, you will feel more confident, and let’s face it, confidence is something that so many sufferers of psoriasis struggle with. So with this in mind, here are some of the wardrobe staples that I think will offer you that same confidence this year.
If I was asked to pick a favourite item of clothing, I would instantly opt for a blazer. They are the perfect item to pull an outfit together. A simple jeans and tee becomes chic. It works in place of a coat on warmer days, and adds an element of formality to any office look. For those of us with psoriasis, a white blazer is a key item to have as it will conceal any rogue scalp flakes and will ensure you looked stylish at all times. Much to my joy, the trouser suit is making a comeback – quite simply a godsend! Whilst jumpsuits can prove tricky when it comes to bathroom needs (and don’t get me started on the fact that they are nearly all black!) a trouser suit offers a range of wardrobe options: wear separately to form alternative outfits; pair with a simple tee and trainers for a great weekend look; add heels and silk vest for the evening; ideal for Christenings, weddings and birthday celebrations! Trust me … this is an investment buy that will work out at mere pennies per wear. There’s no need to break the bank either, as there are options to suit every budget. If you have limited cash to spare, this option from Mango is a real winner. The Essential Cotton Blend Blazer and the Slim Fit Cotton Blend Trousers will see you through every possible event between now and the end of summer.
Moving onto the higher end of the budget, we have this rather unusual gingham suit. I have a feeling that this may just be a tad ‘marmite’ for some, but I love it! Pair with white in summer, but switch up to black to bring the suit right into the autumn. The gingham pattern is the ideal camouflage for psoriasis and doesn’t it make an interesting change to the usual block colour? The Slim Fit Gingham Check Suit Blazer and Slim Fit Gingham Check Suit Trousers are available from Massimo Dutti.
When it comes to looking good, never underestimate the power of a good jacket or coat. It’s all about creating the right impression and if your coat is smart, nobody really notices what’s underneath! The grey marl Coat with Shoulder Pads from Zara is exactly the sort of coat I mean. Beautifully structured, good quality fabric, flattering shade and very smart, this coat will add style to anything you are wearing. Pretty impossible not to look or feel good in this one, I reckon!
Something that has been deemed a wardrobe staple by every fashionista is the rain mac. Season after season, the mac appears and at this stage it’s a classic coat that will never look dated. Given its traditional beige colour, it really is the perfect coat for anyone troubled with scalp psoriasis and as it’s generally lighter than its winter woollen counterparts, it can be worn all through spring (and probably on through summer as well if we’re honest) offering much needed coverage without making your skin hot and uncomfortable. Each year M&S include a range in their collection and this year’s Belted Trench with Stormwear is the perfect classic shape.
Finally, the right accessories can often make all the difference to your look. A new handbag can instantly update an outfit, whilst the addition of a scarf can inject a pop of colour or pattern. This Leather Crossbody Bag with Chain from Zara is very much the shape of the moment and will bring that classic mac or structured crombie coat right into 2018.
Equally, if you have a grey or cream jacket that you’ve been hauling out of the wardrobe for the past couple of years, a scarf such as this Neutral Floral Print Scarf from Next will add a burst of spring freshness to the overall look (and I’ve conveniently noticed will tie in beautifully with the khaki Zara bag.)
So you see, it’s not about trying to hide your skin. It’s about trying to find ways of dressing that highlight your best bits and make you look good … which in turn will make you feel good and who wouldn’t want a bit of that?!
UK/IE MAT-15057. Date of preparation: February 2018
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.