Diabetes Self-Management Blog

"Why," my grandson asked as he observed the sleeves of his short wetsuit flapping around on his toothpick arms, "do they assume that, just because you’re tall, you’re bigger around?"

"Why," I responded, "do they assume that, if you’re bigger around, you’re tall?"

Honestly, if I wanted a skirt that came to mid-knee, I’d have to buy a miniskirt.

I have the “typical” Type 2 body shape: big boobs, round belly, no tush, and skinny legs. With the number of people with Type 2 diabetes rising, I assume there are plenty of people out there with similar figures. You think an astute clothing manufacturer could corner the market if it would just cut the clothes to fit us a bit better?

Leafing through clothing catalogues for the “more to love” set, I see descriptions that say something along the lines of “fuller through the hips” and “fuller-cut legs.” Some promise spandex “for a perfect fit.” I can assure you that if a pair of pants are “fuller through the hips” and have “fuller-cut legs,” they ain’t gonna fit. Nope. The bottom and legs on those pants are going to flap like a flag on a windy day in March.

There’s more than one reason I prefer to wear skirts: They don’t have legs to deal with (hips are another matter, but not as obvious on skirts as on pants).

The other problem is that I can’t buy top and bottom sets of clothing. (Big boobs, no bottom, remember?) If I get a top that fits around my ta-tas, the bottom piece will fall off. If I get the bottom that fits, I’ll be popping the buttons on the top from here to Kansas.

Pockets. Pockets would be nice. Men have pockets in their clothing; why can’t women? Pockets for insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) receivers. Pockets for Byetta and Symlin (exenatide and pramilintide) pens. Pockets for a small meter, container of strips, and a finger-poker. It would be nice not to have to carry around a suitcase all of the time to hold diabetes-related supplies and equipment. It would be nice to have a pocket to put my pump and CGM in aside from the one between my, um, protuberances. (You haven’t lived until you’ve “lost” your pump in your bra in a restaurant and looked up to find everyone staring at the woman with the hand groping around under her shirt.)

By the way, guys, what do you carry all your diabetes stuff around in, anyway? Your briefcase? A man-purse? Camera bag? Fishing tackle box? I’ve always wondered.

Also, speaking of designers, I wish companies would also design medical equipment used by consumers (like those with a chronic condition such as diabetes) so that it doesn’t look like medical equipment. We are not a hospital, lab, or clinic.

Some meters and insulin pumps have some color and maybe a tad of pizzazz. For some, there are skins. But then they come with dull, everyday-looking cases. Blech! How about a little bling? Some style? A color or two (which would also help me find that case that’s dug its way to the bottom of a giant purse)? I want a flamingo print on my SymlinPen; pink sequins on my meter case; a purple pump.

Clothes that fit and glitz on my diabetes stuff. Is it too much to ask?


  1. I, too have the typical type 2 body–especially the round belly and SKINNY legs and NO butt! When I buy jeans, I get them to fit my skinny legs and no butt. If the waistband doesn’t fit, (which is usually the case) I take them home and slash the waistband in several places down to the stitching. This gives a lot of “give” and allows me to button them! Because I NEVER tuck in my tops, the slashing never shows. It works for me–it might work for others!

    Posted by marshnello |
  2. Don’t forget Stickme Designs! Maybe you could request one with sequins.

    Posted by Lili |
  3. Lili, thanks for letting me know about Stickme Designs. They’re still not as off-the-wall as I like, but it did give me an idea. My neighbor is a very accomplished quilter and said she would take a stab at making a glitzy meter case for me. WaHOO! In the meantime, Stickme will do custom designs (for a price) and I may just pay it if my neighbor doesn’t think she can do it. I’m so tired of dull, dreary diabetes “stuff.”

    Posted by Jan Chait |
  4. I whole heartedly agree - I have been built this same way for years and can never get matching suits because they come in sets vs mix and match. I have recentely added glitz to my tees by buying iron-on rhinestone etc patches and they really go over well. We do want pockets too! Wish these comments would go on to clothing designers. We exist too! Our group is growing and we have to buy new clothes too.

    Posted by ShuShu |
  5. Thanks Jan, Lili and ShuShu! I thought I was loosing my mind, until I read your comments. I was always small-boobed. Now I’ve suddenly realized why they grown sooo, in the past 5 0r 6yrs. Never gave it a thought it could be the diabetes. I also have Fibromyalgia and hate wearing bras! They make me feel like I”m chocking. Had a heart-attack Oct. 19, 2007. Was hospitalized till Nov. 2, 2007. Had double by-pass Oct.30,2007. Found out that I not only have diabetic arteries but, also have fibro. arteries. I agree with you Jan! No pant sets ect. can be found to fit me either! And Lili, I’m going to look-up “Stickme Designs.” Thanks to all of You I don’t feel so wierd! Ellen

    Posted by Ellen |
  6. I hate trying to buy clothes. I’m not a young person but I hate having to buy frumpy clothes. They have no style, dresses so long they drag the floor. What’s wrong with frilly skirts that look feminine with maybe mix & match tops? The clothing world is so prdjudice against heavier women. You’re “suppose to be” one size fits all!!!NOT!


    Posted by mhattabaugh |
  7. Margaret, try silhouettes.com and see if you like what it has.

    Posted by Jan Chait |
  8. I am in an even more ignored group of body types. Big belly no butt AND NO BOOBS! I have to buy everything to fit my belly. And I thank God that Glamorize (in the Just My Size catalogue) has introduced large band A&B cup bras!

    You’d be surprised how huge the necklines are on large clothing when you aren’t big up top.

    I’m also SHORT. I buy capris to wear as long pants. I have to hem petites.

    And while we are on clothing styles, lets not forget diabetic shoes! Granny clompers and athletic shoes are all I’ve seen. How about something that will look decent when we are dressed up? Loafers, even?

    Posted by Ephrenia |
  9. Why are all the diabetic “carrying cases” black? I finally bought a pick makeup case to carry my meter, strips, and pen.

    Posted by Cindi |
  10. I totally agree with Ephrenia. The shoes and sneakers are styles my 85 year old mother would not want to wear. I think they need to be a lot more stylish.

    Posted by Vivian |
  11. I Googled “stylish orthopedic shoes” and came up pretty quickly with . Looks like some possibilities there and, if you search farther than I did, you might find more.


    Posted by Jan Chait |
  12. I am so glad to know I am not the only one with these clothes problems. Thought I just had an awful figure—didn’t even know there was a Type 2 body. I have to buy pants with elastic to get them big enough for my middle(what waist?) and even then the legs are too baggy. I buy petites and even then the straddle is too long. I end up rolling the waist band over on some(I also wear all tops out). And finding petites isn’t fun. I have to buy tops and pants or skirts that come separately–can’t buy a set together. And don’t even think about buying a dress! It would seem with all us Type 2 bodies, the designers could create a whole new line of clothes. Anybody out there in designing?

    Jan, I am so happy I get this newsletter. You always make me laugh outloud. All the bloggers are so smart and tell it like it really is in the diabetic world. Thanks.

    Posted by Linda |
  13. I love your comments about the Type 2 body. My husband hated to shop for clothes for me because nothing was stylish. Then we found CJ Banks. We can always find separates in styles, colors and sizes we like! They also have a website, , you need to check out. The clothes are made for those of us with Type 2 bodies, and even have some petite lengths in their bottoms!

    Otherwise, my advise is to learn to sew! I have used a makeup case to carry my meter, meds etc. When I go out, I carry my gear in the car and only put the bare essentials in my purse. Works pretty well for me. I hate the black meter cases! Have you ever tried to find one in a dark car at night? Can’t be done! Hope some designers are listening!

    Posted by Carol |
  14. I agree. I finally got a got a meter case from Accuchek that is light teal and green with bright yellow trim.Yea! No more black case and my meter the aviva is now decked out in flowers. Even came with a little light that I can use to see in my diabetes “suitcase” Hey and I can see it. Now for the other diabetes supplies. I love the idea of sequins or what about flashing lights? When you can’t find your meter you push a button and it flashes different colors from the bottom of your diabetes suitcase so you can find it.

    Posted by deafmack |

    Posted by prshorty |

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