As someone diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes pretty young, I was oddly lucky. My mom taught me from the get-go not to be ashamed of my disease – I’ve got to do whatever it takes when it comes to my health. If this means whipping out syringes at the dinner table or chugging O.J. straight from the carton because of a desperately low blood sugar situation, so be it. “Don’t let anyone get in the way of taking care of yourself, baby girl,” she’d say. And yes, to this day Mom still calls me baby girl cause even at 28 I’m still the youngest in the family.
Although mom taught me to never be ashamed of my diabetes, it’s sometimes still a little embarrassing. Not because of the things I sometimes have to do—but because of the way my diabetes tries to style itself. I mean, have you seen diabetic socks? And what about medical ID jewelry? It’s pretty horrendous. I just want some leopard print, people!
So, this is it ladies. I’m giving my diabetes and its accessories a make-over. Check out my plans to amp up my diabetic wardrobe:
Adorable Golden Retriever Puppy Dog Fanny Pack (Etsy, $26)
What: Fanny pack
Uses: To fasten test kit, insulin and glucose tablets to waist on long walks, jogs and bike rides.
Aesthetic: Usually associated with tourists.
How I’m styling this: I checked out Chira Designs on Etsy and they were loaded with the fanny pack MADNESS. I really love dogs though so I think this is the one for me!
KEEP Collective Personalized Leather Bracelet (KeepCollective, $89)
What: Medical ID jewelry
Uses: To let people know what your illness is the second it goes corrupt and leaves you passed out on the sidewalk.
Aesthetic: Hunks of metal with a threatening logo on it that looks like it’s straight out of Dagny Taggart’s jewelry box.
How I’m styling this: This was a bracelet I designed on KEEP Collective and I wear it with everything. I adore how it’s all crystal’d up, looking all Versace.
Medtronic Starry Night Skin (Medtronic, $14.99)
What: Skins for your monitors and pumps
Use: Your pump keeps you staying alive Saturday Night Fever-style, and Continuous Glucose Monitors checks your blood sugar level every 5 minutes.
Aesthetic: Beautiful in the sense that it keeps you alive, but otherwise it just looks like a beeper.
How I’m styling this: I brought up my personal need in life to have art everywhere to the lady who sold me my monitor at Medtronic and she was like “Girl, check out our skins.” I asked what she was talking about since “skins” sounded creepy. Then she laughed kindly and said, “They’re basically covers for your pumps and stuff.” It turns out, Medtronic makes a classic Starry Night one. Sold!
Betsey Johnson Kitchi Cat Rose Cosmetic Bag (Neiman Marcus Last Call, $28)
What: Test Kit Pouch.
Use: To keep your test kit and insulin in one place. Sort of like a diabetes wallet.
Aesthetic: The actual case for your test kit comes in is thin and a black canvas material and sad. Just… sad.
How I’m styling this: I checked out Neiman Marcus Last Call online and found this sick-with-it Betsey Johnson cosmetic case. Perfect place for me to store my test kit, insulin and pricker for those times I have to take a shot (not the alcoholic kind).
Fidler Tall Sock (Free People, $28)
What: Diabetic socks.
Use: To keep your feet from freezing off their hinges and going all numb as soon as the temp drops below 60 degrees.
Aesthetic: Like you have marshmallow feet only not in a cute way, ’cause me saying marshmallow feet makes it sound kind of cute. But really, it’s not.
How I’m styling this: On those random days that are left in spring when Hell suddenly freezes over in the night, and the temperature drops below 60, you all may be walking around saying, “Oh, that breeze is so nice!” Well for me, my little feet will turn to iceboxes that will seriously cause me to call up the man Zeus himself and ask, “What world is this you made?” It’s just not right. But this spring and maybe even cool summer nights, as soon as the wind blows you’ll see me in these over-the-knees from Free People with some cute shorts I bought from Rainbow, cause you know spending $10 on shorts is the only way I can justify paying $28 on socks.
Yeterday Sandal (Aerosoles, $74.99)
What: Comfortable shoes.
Use: Again, with the feet. Feet + diabetes = STRUGGLES.
Aesthetic: Actually, I like the look of some comfortable shoes, especially sneakers. But sometimes, I want to get a little dressier.
How I’m styling this: Aerosoles came out with this simple sandal that feels like you’re standing on a pillow top mattress after a day of working and walking.