Getting dressed can be difficult when you’re dealing with Parkinson’s symptoms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the latest fashion trends.
We sat down with wardrobe brander and image consultant Brandon Gaston to get his fashion advice for the sunny seasons.
BGF: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get into fashion?
I’ve always been into fashion and clothes – and not just how they look but how they feel too. I call it the psychology of fashion. When I first started out in business, I recognized that when you dress up, you get noticed. But not everyone dresses the part for what they’re trying to do. So I started image consulting, helping people translate trends for a professional environment. That’s why I’m so excited to be working with you to help people with Parkinson’s translate trends into wearable clothing that feels good and reflects their fashion sense.
BGF: Tremors are common in Parkinson’s, making it difficult for people to do fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts. Any tips?
T-shirts are always in style. For people that want a more elevated look, choose a V-neck cut over a crewneck.
If you want a shirt that’s a little more dressed up than a t-shirt, popover tops that only have a few buttons are one option. Polo shirts are a great example of this trend.
Shirt jackets are another option for dressing up a t-shirt. This is a shirt that’s meant to be worn open like a jacket over a t-shirt. Kimonos are another trendy option right now that are also worn open over a shirt to dress up a look.
Sweaters in lightweight linen/cotton blends are also a great option for spring.
BGF: Any tips for pants that are easy to pull on and don’t require buttons?
Drawstring trousers are really trendy right now and are so comfortable. We’re even seeing drawstring pants with suits and other formal wear. You can take this look from day to night because the suits are in lighter fabrics for the daytime but still look elevated for the evening.
Joggers and track pants are also really popular and you can just pull them on. With this style, you can still be comfortable while being on trend. Track suits are really trendy right now and you can wear the jackets open over a t-shirt, too.
BGF: Bending over to put on shoes and tying laces can also be difficult for people with Parkinson’s. Any tips for trendy shoes this spring?
Loafers that slip on can be worn just about anywhere and especially here in the northwest where the environment is pretty casual.
Slip-on sneakers are also really trendy right now. Vans are super popular but any luxury brand is also carrying a slip-on sneaker.
Also Velcro straps are really fashion forward this spring. Kids are even wearing them! But they are very trendy right now and don’t require tying laces.
Another great spring and summer option for shoes is espadrilles. They’re slip-ons but they are a super chic option for both men and women. I consider espadrilles a summer staple that a lot of people don’t consider.
BGF: Any trends we should know about this spring?
What we’re seeing in the transition to spring and summer seasons is more about colors, fabrics and silhouettes in fashion.
Bright colors – especially fluorescents – are popular right now. Red is also really popular, especially with white.
We’re also seeing a lot of monochromatic looks, wearing head to toe in the same color tone. So dark red pants with a lighter red blouse, for example. We’re also seeing floral prints head to toe.
And as we shift into a new season, we also shift to lighter fabrics, like silk and silk blends.
BGF: Our gala is coming up! What’s your advice for dressing up for special occasions?
Add color! I appreciate the transition to color for the spring and summer season because it allows us to dress up even more without looking overly formal. So whereas a black tuxedo is the ultimate formal wear for a man, a lilac tuxedo is less formal but still elevated and elegant. I’m also a big proponent of white pants for dressing up in the spring and summer.
It’s always the details that make the difference. Make sure your clothes fit and are tailored to you. And accessorize! For men, pocket squares and ties will make you stand out.
Brandon Gaston is a wardrobe brander and image consultant. To learn more about his services and his company, The Lifestylest, visit www.thelifestylist.com.