Cindy Matthews is an on-air personality for Easy Spirit on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). She’s been on-air at HSN for seven years and spent 10 years as a news anchor and consumer reporter. After suffering from a DVT, she began wearing compression and learned about Juzo. An avid traveler (she’s visited 49 states!), Cindy understands the benefits of compression when you’re on the go, but she wasn’t sure how they affected her style. We sent her some stockings before she took a trip to Europe, and here’s what she learned about the fashionable aspect of compression.
Stockings are back! Bare legs have been all the rage for a decade or two, but the tide is finally turning. Pantyhose and tights strutted down the runways during the Fall 2018 fashion shows, and now real women around the globe are jumping on the trend. That’s fabulous news for those of us who need to wear compression stockings.
It’s only been a few months since my vein doctor told me I need to be wearing compression socks or stockings every day after suffering a DVT four years ago. The garments make an enormous difference in my comfort throughout the day. But, I’ve always been a little embarrassed when I thought people could tell I was wearing compression garments. Maybe it’s because so many people think of vein disease as something that only impacts old people. My 20’s are long gone, but I’m far from old! So, I was determined to embrace this opportunity to get more comfortable with my new normal – wearing compression stockings all the time.
Juzo sent me knee-highs in nude, black, bright pink and plum to see how fashionably they would complement my outfits. My European vacation seemed to be the perfect timing. It’s always easier to take fashion risks when you’re surrounded by strangers! Plus, the graduated compression would keep me going on the long days of sightseeing in London, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin.
First stop… London. My nude compression socks are peeking out from under my cropped pants as I posed with an iconic red phone booth. Not too bad. But my goal was still to hide my socks, or at least draw the eye away from them.
Over the next few days, my perspective started to shift. Everywhere I looked, young fashionable women were wearing nude pantyhose with their mini-skirts and dresses. It wasn’t even chilly outside – temperatures hovered around 70 degrees.
I admit, it took me a few days to realize what was happening. At first, I simply noticed that an awful lot of women seemed to have perfect legs – no veins or lumps and bumps. I kept thinking the European diet and lifestyle must be great for legs! Then, the sun came out, and I noticed the tell-tale subtle shimmer of stockings. It’s been so long since stockings were a wardrobe staple, I’d forgotten they work like a great Instagram filter, hiding imperfections. Suddenly, I was a little less self-conscious about a few inches of my compression socks showing. My stockings were on-trend!
Time to go bold. I broke out a hot pink knee-high for an evening at the Vienna Symphony. After all, the pink highlighted the pink in my dress. Why just one sock? The veins in my left leg are far worse than those in my right, so I can get away with just one some of the time. It seemed like the best option since I run hot and the sold-out concert hall would likely be warm. While my outfit was a little unconventional, I felt fabulous! It was liberating to stop being so self-conscious and finally have a little fun with my compression socks. People did seem to notice my one bright pink sock, but that was it. No judgment. No strange looks. Wow! What a relief!
By the time I got to Berlin, cooler temperatures settled in. My deep plum compression knee-highs brightened my day even though no one else could really see them hidden under my long pants. I guess it’s like wearing nice underwear – no one else knows you have it on, but you feel more glamorous anyway. And the comfort from the graduated compression keeps my legs from swelling and throbbing.
I was getting the hang of this! Next, I donned the hot pink socks with navy floral cropped pants. The bright color brought an overall feeling of playfulness and energy to a gray day. Every time I looked down, I couldn’t help but smile. I was proud to show off these compression socks. And I was wishing I had more fashion colors to try!
Temperatures continued to drop, so this freezing Florida girl bundled up. My black knee-highs were completely covered up by my pants. But I did notice a striking fashion trend all over Berlin – black hosiery with simple, white leather sneakers. Wild! The first time I saw the combination I assumed a fellow tourist had simply run out of clean socks. Then I kept seeing the look on stylish 20-something locals and tourists alike. I quickly warmed up to it. It was a chic, fresh look. This shop worker’s black knee-highs and white leather sneakers elevated her neutral outfit. Nude socks just wouldn’t have given the sneakers the same punch.
I didn’t have the guts to try the black stocking/white sneaker trend while I was abroad. To complete my fashion challenge, I tried it at home. I paired my black knee-highs and white sneakers with black cropped pants and a black shirt. It felt a little weird at first. I suspect a few people assumed I desperately needed to do laundry. But then, a hip, young barista at my favorite coffee shop said she loved my sneakers. I’ll take it! That means I was wearing them well. I’m going to try this look again!
Thank you, Juzo. This fashion challenge gave me a much-needed attitude adjustment. Never again will I sulk as I pull on my compression socks, convinced they’ll destroy my style. Now I know I can get the relief and comfort I need for my veins while being fashionable. I will revel in the flawless, airbrushed look my legs get with your nude compression stockings and stretch my fashion boundaries with the fun pops of color from your seasonal shades.