How to Look Stylish in Warm Weather When You Have to Wear Leg Compression Garments


Do you have Lymphedema or another condition that requires you to wear compression socks or stockings all the time?  It’s an issue that has come up (and I’ve had a few emails about this style issue) so I wanted to share some tips to help you still feel stylish even when the compression garments and shoes you need to wear for your health are the opposite of what you’d normally wear to look stylish.

I asked one of my fabulous and stylish 7 Steppers  Lana Chu (who is an amazing artist  – check out her website here) who has this issue shares with you here how she deals with this and also where to get compression socks and stockings that have a little more style!  Here are her thoughts:

Take Your Doctor’s Advice

If compression is for a medical condition it is so important to wear them as directed by your physician to avoid complications. I personally wear them all the time unless I am home with my leg elevated.  Since my condition is mild I prefer to wear compression socks from Sockwell which are in my compression level.   They are cute and come in various colors and patterns.

For people who need higher-level medical-grade compression, these will not be enough.  Other manufacturers are making Medical grade colorful or patterned compression tights but these can be expensive. 

Medical grade compression legwear retailers:

Winter Style

Winter is usually not a problem, because one can wear tights with a dress or compression under jeans or trousers. For dresses, I wear skin tone compression or another pair of regular fun tights or leggings worn over the plain compression garment for a fun change.

What to Wear in Summer With Your Compression Stockings

What to wear in summer with compression stockings or socks

In the hot summer, I find it best to wear my compression socks with loose-fitting linen or other breathable trousers.

Skin tone will obviously be the least visible.  

There are compression garments that are toeless, which will be great to wear with sandals, or thigh highs which will be cooler than tights.  

Another option is to wear a maxi dress with a toeless compression garment and sandals. 

Cooler compression for summer is available from Bright Life Direct

What About Shoes

Lana finds that high tops or a high vamp add additional support to control swelling. Shoes with ties or with stretch are more practical because they allow for fluctuations in swelling throughout the day. She typically prefer high top sneakers, lace-up booties, slip-on shoes with stretch or sandals with Velcro for easy adjustability. 

Some cute ideas for outfits:

How to Look Stylish in Warm Weather When You Have to Wear Leg Compression Garments


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  • Thank you for this post, Imogen! I struggle with primary leg lymphedema and it helps to hear from someone else who understands. The beige colors offered in compression stockings don’t match my skintone very well, so I opt for light greys, off whites, and some tie dye for fun! in the summer. As Lana said, wintertime is easier, because opaque stockings look more “normal” and they help keep me warm, too. Summer is more of a challenge because compression wear is hot, and summer is when we swell more so I think people who suffer from venous swelling too, will identify with this post. and know they are not alone! Thanks again for bringing this up, it’s much appreciated!

  • I wear Jobst thigh high stockings everyday since a leg injury 3 years ago. Jobst are fairly breathable. I team them with Geox shoes for maximum comfort. The ultra sheer looks less medical, and I have been asked where I got my ‘nice tights’ (though not in summer).

  • Thank you for this excellent post. I will share this info with my sister who has been searching for this type of product.

  • Medical compression hose can be dyed with acid dyes. Even just food color and vinegar will do. Perhaps practice on some cheap knee-highs first, though. I once made a very nice berry burgundy this way, from Sigvaris Ultrasheer nude.

  • That is my issues too. But I don’t wear sandals, only openwork shoes. The thing is I look bad in maxi skirts (still wear them) and hate stockings, so I can’t wear knee-lenght skirts, which are the best for me. Anyway, the health is more important than looks.

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