Informative Options of What To Wear For Chemo

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Here’s an article that you hope you never need. One of my readers, Frances, will need this idea for what to wear for chemo. And she thought that others might benefit from the article.

Needless to say, the three of us don’t have personal experience with this, so we reached out to people who did to get some advice.

Quote of the day: “There are three C’s in life. Choices. Chances. Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.” Brian Tracy

Since we are talking about what to wear for chemo which is part of cancer, I thought this quote would be appropriate with the C’s in life. It’s really one reason I try to share ideas in my emails about lifestyle, nutrition, as well as funny antecdotes.

I hope you sign up for the emails below. Besides the free eBook, my email family gets personal tidbits of what’s going on in my life along with other happenings, sales, information, giveaways, extra photos, and interesting articles.

I’d also like to introduce my cousin, Joy, who joined us for this photo shoot. You have seen her ages ago on my site, when her mother passed away and we were all wearing some of Aunt Nancy’s items.

Meet Susan of The Midlifefashionista

I know Susan, through Instagram and she is the founder of Uncommon Threads which helps low-income women see and feel their true potential by using clothing and image as tools for building self-esteem and self-worth.
The Uncommon Threads site also has a secondhand online shop called Uncommon Closet where all proceeds go to help these women who come by the office.

Susan has been battling cancer of late and has first-hand experience with what to wear for chemo. She wrote about it on her site if you are interested.

One of the statements that Susan shared was: Wear your inspiration.  Throughout my cancer journey, friends have sent me jewelry and tee shirts with inspiring messages. I always wear at least one piece to make me feel hopeful and strong during chemo. Maybe it’s mind over matter, but whatever the reason, it helps!”

Kicking Cancer in the Heels

Susan and her friend, Michele, started a site called, Kicking Cancer in the Heels which is an online community for active women in midlife impacted by all types of cancer. They address themes not typically covered in the oncology world related to everyday lifestyle, fashion, and beauty as well as medical topics that impact both physical and mental wellness.

It is because of Susan that I had some ideas of outfits for us to style for what to wear for chemo.

Lesley and Input from Judy

Leggings: Suave-Steinmart ~~ Cardigan: Zenana-Just Be Youtiful~~ Top: Basic Editions ~~ Shoes: Anne Klein~~ Scarf: no label~~ Purse: no label

Lesley’s oldest friend, Judy, went through 6 weeks of weekly radiation this past winter. Therefore Lesley received first-hand advice on what to wear. While radiation treatment is different from chemotherapy, the effect on a woman’s attitude and emotions is much the same. 

Lesley’s friend’s treatment was in the neck area which dictated a top without metal in it. Her advice is to wear colors or prints that give you a mental boost because they flatter you, cheer you, or are associated with happiness. 

Taking Judy’s advice to heart, Lesley wore blue with a pair of black leggings. Then she added a fun pair of shoes for cheer. They are easy to slip into her tote where she has a silly pair of socks to change into. 

Details and More Advice

Lesley’s friend commented that she saw many women having chemo who were dressed stylishly. One detail is that once their ports are inserted, the treatment is easy and less messy. Of course, the effects can be awful.
This means that it is important to feel as good about yourself as possible and stylish outfits help.  She also saw many women with fun and beautiful hats to cover their bare heads. 

In fact, there is an amazing array of styles and colors for head coverage on Amazon.

 A woman Lesley takes swimming classes with always wears wonderful “chemo caps” in beautiful colors with sparkling accents.  After talking with this swimmer, Lesley has been so impressed with her positive attitude. 

Lesley’s takeaway: “I learned from these two women that there are roses even in the snow.”

Charlotte: Layers and Spunk

Pants: Attyre-thrifted ~~ Cardigan: Gibson-Nordstrom Rack ~~ Top: Silver One ~~ Shoes: SO-Kohls ~~ Purse: no label ~~Hat: Wallaroo found on Amazon

Charlotte knows some women who have gone through chemo but haven’t had to experience it herself. Therefore we talked about Susan’s tips for what to wear for chemo, and this was my mom’s outfit.

While Susan did talk about not wearing white in case of any blood spills, I am one of those people who hate to be told that I can’t wear something. And here’s my defense in case of blood stains.
1-After buying the book, Laundry Love, I am skilled at removing stains. (The only book I’ve ever bought after reading the library copy).
2-Exactly why secondhand items can be advantageous. If you do stain or ruin them, it’s not so traumatic since they didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Besides the detail at the bottom of these white pants really add spunk to the overall look.

A sleeveless top under the cardigan is smart to allow ease for any blood draws. Susan did say that a fitted sleeve can be hard once you are attached to the machine, but with a waterfall cardigan like this, you can also wear it as a wrap and just layer it over your shoulders like a blanket.

And just as I always talk about, showing our arms should not be an embarrassing task. I think once you go through a cancer diagnosis, you start to realize how those silly things we used to think were important, are really not!


Fabulous hats are also a great option to wear to cover the loss of hair. Granted, they may not be as comfortable when you are sitting in the chair for hours, but they are easy to remove. Just having it for the trip to and back from your appointment when you are out in public can make women feel more confident.

My mom kept her accessories minimal so they wouldn’t be annoying or in the way of any procedure.

Joy’s Similar as a Travel Look

Pants: Dreamknit by Vuori~~ Jacket: Lululemon~~ Top: ~~ Shoes: Vans ~~ Purse: no label

Joy flew out to Arizona this day, and we had talked about how a travel outfit would be very similar to what to wear for chemo. You want comfort as you’ll be sitting a lot, you want layers for the different temperatures, and you want to feel good about what you are wearing.

My cousin is enthralled by these Vuori pants because of how soft and comfy they are. Me? I had never heard of the brand, but I linked a couple in case you are interested.

Joy wore a jacket that she could use if she got chilly. And the sleeves on her shirt are easily pulled up or down depending on what is needed.


A slip-on shoe was something that Susan suggested and Joy complied with her Vans. Slip-on shoes are fabulous not only for what to wear for chemo but also for your travel outfits.

Jodie: Skirt Option for What to Wear For Chemo

Skirt: eShakti-Use my link for $50 off your first purchase ~~ Kimono: Time for Me c/o~~ Top: Zara ~~ Shoes: Blowfish Malibu c/o ~~ Scarf: Pashmina from Amazon ~~ Purse: Patricia Nash-won in the giveaway

I have been a huge advocate for how certain skirts and dresses can be the choice for comfort, especially when it comes to bathroom breaks.
One key is that the skirt isn’t too long for tripping issues, but long enough to provide coverage especially when sitting down. It’s also important to have comfort meaning that the material feels good.

This eShakti skirt fits all of the requirements. I’ve worn it as proof that you can wear these tiered skirts with many options in the past.

Insider discount: eShakti has a share program where you can get $50 off your first order with my link and then I get $25 credit on their site. Considering most of their dresses (along with skirts, pants, and tops) are under $80, it’s a fabulous deal. What I learned the first time I used the deal from someone else is the minimum charge will be $25. That’s a steal for a custom-sized item.

I originally wore this kimono with my Bermuda shorts when we first talked about this brand. However, with a longer, voluminous skirt like this tiered one, I thought it was better suited to be cropped. Do you wonder how I cropped it?
Just put it on upside down and adjust. You’ve seen me do this with sweaters like in this video. It’s a great reminder that we are the boss of our clothes.

Kimonos are a wonderful option for what to wear for chemo since most have a wider sleeve that could be slipped over any equipment coming out of your arm.
Also, keep in mind many swimsuit cover-ups would work too.


Even though I brought a topper for the AC, I also added a pashmina to my purse in case I would need it. These pashminas are found on Amazon and come in tons of colors. I list them as one of my Tools of the Trade because they are magical pieces of material and aren’t expensive.

I carried a large purse so I could hide snacks, socks, and reading material in it. Heck, if I was too warm, even my kimono would fit inside it.

The concept of what to wear for chemo is certainly not a subject we want to ever have to think about for ourselves. But since we don’t have as much control over our life as we would like, this is here to help if you ever need it.
Or if you know someone who will be going through this, share it with them.

There is also a company that designs comfortable clothing for those undergoing chemo. The clothing also has zipper areas for ports, etc. It’s called RonWear.

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

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