After discovering that my skin hates synthetic fabrics (particularly polyester), I tossed out 95% of my wardrobe and bought 100% cotton clothing. I'm still building up my wardrobe, but it's been worth it. Going 100% cotton sounds easier than it is... a lot of things claim to be cotton and all it means is that it's a cotton blend. And that's not what I've been going for. Those of us with sensitive skin whether it's due to allergies, eczema or just being plain ol' sensitive tend to do better with 100% cotton. You'll find that a lot of baby clothing and other items like blankets are made out of 100% cotton. Why? Because babies are extremely sensitive in their early stages.
For those of you who are making the switch as well (for whatever reason - maybe it's not even because you have allergies, here are some tips for those shopping trips you may dread:
- Bring a friend. Finding 100% cotton items involves reading the labels and therefore touching fabric before you know what it actually is. Depending on how sensitive you are, you could end up with some allergic reactions from your investigating. A friend can help you cut down on the amount of stuff you have to touch. Then take this friend out for a meal to thank them ;-)
- Wear gloves. This is a lot easier in the winter when you may already be wearing some due to the weather.
- Shop online. With the lovely feature of search engines built within online stores, you can easily draw up their cotton items all at once. Be aware, though, that not all websites are created equal. Some websites search function doesn't include fabric content. In my experience, it's about a 60/40 chance that the search function will work for me.
- Check out the online shop's return policy. Not being able to try on clothing before purchasing can result in returns, so it's nice to not have to go through a lot of trouble to do so.
- Find a store near you to get familiar with their sizes. Then, go online and shop away! This worked out great for me when I did some shopping at LOFT.com. They had an in-store and online sale going on, so I went in the store and tried on some dresses (as I was shopping for summer) and bought some. I had more money left in my shopping budget for the day, so I went online and snagged some other great deals as well, knowing that the dresses would fit. It was all around an awesome way to do it.
- Hit up the end of summer sales. It's so easy to find cotton clothing when it's summer time. These pieces can be used for layering under sweaters during the colder weather - tank tops, t-shirts and of course long sleeve shirts are great to snatch up for this purpose.
- Develop a few favorite stores and re-visit them again and again. You'll find better and better stores as you go along and you can swap out your top favs. I LOVE finding a new store that carries lots of cotton items regularly. Online I go to: Asos, Polyvore, and LOFT. When I stop by the mall, I go to H&M, LOFT, and Macy's.