Stop Snoring and Start Wearing Compression Socks

Did you know that there are a few simple things you can do to stop snoring loudly at night? It’s as easy as wearing compression socks during the day, or changing the position you typically sleep in. If you’re sick and tired of snoring and keeping your loved ones awake, here are some tips to help you sleep better, without modifying your routine much.

Although snoring is a somewhat normal occurrence, your body is trying to tell you something. Most people don’t recognize the symptoms of a sleeping disorder early on to be able to treat it properly. If you often snore loudly when you sleep, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop and start breathing while you rest. This may happen hundreds of times a night and can last for 10-20 seconds each time. This prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, which is why you feel slow or tired the next day, no matter how long you slept the night before.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, irregular breathing while sleeping, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, being unable to concentrate, and feeling tired or have trouble staying awake during the day. Sleep apnea may also be the reason why you feel depressed, irritable or experience mood swings. It is important to understand the difference between snoring and a sleeping disorder to make sure there isn’t a serious problem going on. Sleep apnea can cause diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and even increase your risk of a stroke if left untreated.

Whether you have a sleeping disorder or if you are just a loud snorer, there are tons of things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Start by wearing compression socks during the day. Those with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) wear compression socks to reduce the how much fluid builds up in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid moves into the neck area, which can lead to sleep apnea and snoring. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom a lot, wearing compression socks will also help to reduce this. Compression stockings are also great to energize tired, achy legs, reduce swelling, improve blood flow and to wear while traveling or exercising. Choose from tons of everyday and dress styles in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose options. After a long day of being on your feet, you will love how great your legs feel.

“The Toronto study found that by the end of two weeks, patients with CVI who used compression stockings cut the number of apnea episodes in half while patients who didn’t use the socks showed no change.”

Some quick and easy things you can do to stop snoring is to use a humidifier when you sleep, take a shower or change your sleeping position. Taking a shower helps to open your nasal passages, which eliminates a stuffy nose and helps you breath better. Dry air can lead to snoring, so try using a humidifier to cut down on snoring. One of the best solutions to stop snoring is to change how you sleep.  Start sleeping on your side instead of your back. When you lay on your back it makes it harder to breathe as the airway narrows, which may be the source of your snoring. Use nasal spray before you go to bed to keep your nasal passages open so you can breathe better at night.

A couple of other things you can do for a more long-term solution are to stop smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Another key factor is to keep a clean house because dust often stirs up allergies and can also lead to snoring. Talk to your doctor to find the best sleeping solution for you. Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and most aren’t even aware of it. For more information, check out the resources below.

Resources

What Is Sleep Apnea?

American Sleep Apnea Association

BrightLife Direct – Compression Socks

Click Here If You Are New To Compression

Men’s Health: The No-Snore Sleep Solution

Blog: Sleep Through The Night With Compression Socks

Are You At Risk For Varicose Veins?

Did you know that running and lifting weights can cause varicose veins? Things that you think are helping your body may not be benefiting it in the same way you would like.  It’s not just hereditary, things you do on a day to day basis can increase your chances of developing varicose and spider veins. Even standing for long periods of time can put you at risk.

Generally, varicose veins is most common in older people and pregnant women, and usually occur in the legs and thighs. Your family history, age, lifestyle and hormones can all play a factor in developing varicose veins. Obesity can also increase your risk. Additionally, women are more likely to develop this condition than men. Although in most cases this is not a life-threatening condition, it can still cause pain and discomfort, or turn into something more serious.

About Varicose Veins

First things first-what exactly are varicose veins? This condition develops when your blood is not circulating properly. In your veins, there are one-way valves that pump blood to your heart. When these valves become too damaged or weak to stop blood from flowing in the wrong direction, the blood remains in the vein, causing the veins to swell and twist near the surface of the skin. Both spider veins and varicose veins look somewhat similar in appearance, but the main difference is that spider veins do not usually cause pain or discomfort. Varicose veins can also be caused by inflammation in your veins and from blood clots.

Symptoms include burning, itching, aching, cramping, tiredness and swelling. They can cause blood clots and skin ulcers as well. If it gets worse, the skin may become inflamed and change color. Veins can appear blue and look like they’re going to pop out of your skin. Varicose veins can evolve into a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This can cause symptoms to intensify. According to the ACP Vein Center, 30-50% of adults are at risk of developing CVI. If a blood clot forms and blockage occurs, this can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With all of that being said, you’re ready to hear about some preventative solutions right??

Prevention

To help prevent developing varicose veins, you want to improve circulation in the body. To do so, you want to focus on your calves. They pump blood from your legs back up to your heart, so you want to strengthen these muscles as much as possible. One easy way to improve circulation is by wearing compression socks. The graduated compression helps to reduce swelling and muscle fatigue to keep your legs energized and ache-free all day. You can find thigh highs, pantyhose and knee highs that all fight varicose veins in a variety of colors, fabrics, styles and compression levels. Not sure what level of compression you should use? Check out our Buyers Guide for more information.

Generally, 15-20mmHg is a good compression level for both the occasional and everyday wearer. Compression garments do more than improve circulation. They are great to wear traveling, to work, or when you are sitting or standing for long periods of time. Compression socks can also help athletes enhance performance, speed up recovery time and help to prevent injuries such as shin splints. It’s amazing how good your legs feel when you wear compression pantyhose or socks all day.

Listed below are some compression stockings that help with varicose veins. There are knee high, thigh high and pantyhose styles available by many different brands. Prices can vary anywhere from $12 to $60 or more depending on what compression level you need, the type of fabric and style you prefer. Sockwell has great products if you’re looking for something with style. Try our house brand, Allegro, if you are looking for a more affordable solution. Juzo compression stockings are perfect if you want something that is really comfortable. Wear Sigvaris or Jobst if you appreciate luxurious fabrics and a stylish look. Mediven offers a variety of products in many different styles, fabrics and compression levels for a great price.

For minor varicose veins, try a compression garment that provides 15-20mmHg of gradient compression. This level is perfect for traveling and relieves minor swelling, spider veins and helps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg

Juzo Attractive Sheer Thigh Highs 15-20mmHg

Sigvaris Soft Opaque Pantyhose 15-20mmHg

Use a compression garment that provides firm 20-30mmHg of gradient compression for moderate varicose veins. Wear this compression level to treat mild to moderate swelling, DVT and post-schlerotherapy.

Juzo Basic Ribbed Sock 20-30mmHg

Jobst Opaque Thigh Highs 20-30mmHg

Allegro Sheer Support Pantyhose 20-30mmHg

Wear compression stockings that provide 30-40mmHg of gradient compression under a doctor’s super vision. This compression level is best to wear during healing after surgical or sclerotherapy procedures to reduce swelling and chronic venous insufficiency.

Jobst Relief Knee Highs 30-40mmHg

Medi Assure Thigh high 30-40mmHg

Allegro Surgical Pantyhose 30-40mmHg

When you sit or stand for long periods of time, wearing compression socks improve blood flow. When you are sitting down, it’s harder for your veins to get the blood back up to your heart. Compression socks squeeze the leg to reduce how much pressure and blood is in your veins and helps to regulate and maintain a healthy blood flow. By improving circulation, recovery time for tired, achy legs decreases. It is also important to keep your legs flat on the floor instead of crossing them when you sit. Making sure you get up and walk around every half hour to an hour when you are sitting for a long time can also help.

Walking is a great exercise to keep your legs happy and healthy. You want to find activities that stretch the muscle and also strengthen it without going overboard. This is why running and lifting weights can cause so much damage to your body. Lifting weights and doing activities like Pilates and Yoga can strain your abdomen which results in less blood being able to reach the heart. Light, moderate exercise can help prevent varicose veins from getting worse. It is important to keep your body health and in the best shape possible. Losing weight and wearing loose clothing can also help prevent varicose veins from worsening.

Treatment

There are a couple of procedures to treat varicose veins. One option is to undergo sclerotherapy, which is where a solution is injected into your veins, which prevents blood from filling them. The veins are eventually absorbed by the body and fade as time passes. However, this isn’t for everyone. Pregnant women cannot use this treatment. People who have a history of blood clots may not be eligible either. Other treatments include vein stripping, where an incision is made to remove the vein, and may result in scarring, or a similar operation called ambulatory phlebectomy that results in minimal scarring. It is really important to wear compression socks after this procedure to reduce the pain. Another option is laser treatment. In this procedure, a tiny fiber is put in the vein that sends out laser energy to kill the part of the vein that is diseased. Read more about treatments at the Society for Vascular Surgery website.

Resources on Varicose Veins

Why Be Concerned About Varicose Veins? – Johns Hopkins

Frequently Asked Questions – Venefit

What Are Varicose Veins? – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Truths and Myths about Varicose Veins – Venefit

Difference between spider and varicose veins – American Academy of Dermatology

What you should know about varicose veins – American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Treatment Resources

Varicose vein treatment – Radiologyinfo.org

Hear what people have to say about sclerotherapy – Realself.com

Varicose veins and exercise – La Jolla Light

Treatment Resources – Baptist Health Systems

Forums and Blogs

Varicose veins forum – American Venous Forum

Should I stop lifting due to varicose veins? – Bodybuilding Forum

Varicose veins and dieting obstacles forum

Varicose Vein Forum – Patient.co.uk

Varicose Vein Blogs – Smart Living Network

Community Forum – MedHelp.org

Support Groups

Varicose veins support group – DailyStrength.org

Varicose veins information and support group – Varistop.com

Q&A, blog and support group – Drugs.com

Varicose veins discussions and support group – People Helping People

Best Selling Products of 2014

As another year comes to a close, we tend to look back on the highlights of this past year. Here at BrightLife Direct, we are excited to share some of our major accomplishments of 2014: Our best sellers! Here is a list of all of your favorite products from this past year. Thank you for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without you all. Happy New Year!!!

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Best Selling Sheer Compression

  1. Allegro Sheer Hosiery
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling Compression Sock

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Allegro Ribbed Support Socks
  3. Therafirm Core-Spun Socks

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves
  3. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless
  3. Allegro Pillow Soft Diabetic Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Combined Armsleeves and Gauntlets

  1. Allegro Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo
  2. Mediven Harmony Armsleeve & Gauntlet
  3. Sigvaris 912 Advance Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Jobst Active Athletic Socks
  3. Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks

Best Selling High Compression Socks (30-40 mmhg)

  1. Allegro Surgical Knee High
  2. Jobst Relief Knee Highs
  3. Allegro Men’s Super Support Sock

Compression Stockings with a Zipper

“Does BrightLife carry stockings with a zipper?”  We are asked this question every day.  In fact, there are compression stockings with zippers.  Jobst UlcerCare, Jobst Variox and Curad are the three styles we sell.  Customers have also told us about a TV ad selling compression socks with zippers, 2 pair for $19.99….

But before you go running for the phone, there’s a reason more companies don’t make compression stockings with a zipper…. it takes 3 hands to put them on.

Imagine squeezing into those skinny jeans that haven’t fit for years, and the fun of trying to zip them up.  That’s a compression stocking with a zipper.  If you have hairy legs, zipping up your socks in the morning will really wake you up.  Plus the wear and tear of pulling on a zipper attached to a knit fabric means these socks don’t have a very long life span.

The few stockings that do have a zipper are really designed for wound care.  The zipper allows the stocking to be applied without pulling it up and over a bandage or wound.  Once the wound is healed, most people go back to a traditional circular knit stocking.

If you struggle to put on your compression stockings, there are donning aids that really do help.   Send us a message or give us a call and we can recommend one for you.  Unfortunately, zippered stockings may not be the solution you are looking for.

Affordable Compression Stockings

A pair of 15-20mmHg Jobst UltraSheer pantyhose currently costs $59.92.  A pair of Jobst for Men knee highs in the same compression are $35.92.  Both are very nice stockings, but many people can’t or don’t want to spend $60 on a pair of stockings…. even if they do make your legs feel better.  There are other options.

Allegro Compression Stockings are knit on the same machines (Merz and Lonati) as Jobst and the other major brands.   A pair of 15-20mmHg Allegro Sheer pantyhose are $21.94, with an open or closed toe.  Allegro Men’s Nylon Dress socks are $14.12.  For $16.94 you can get a men’s knee high knit from a combination of microfiber and cotton, very similar to Jobst Casual for Men.  And these are our everyday Allegro prices.   When we have a buy 3 get 1 free sale, you can save an additional 25%.

allegro-blogSo what is the difference?   A big part of the price difference is marketing.  Unlike Jobst, Allegro doesn’t have an army of salespeople making calls to convince doctors to recommend their brand.  Allegro is packaged in a simple poly-bag with a paper insert… no fancy box.  The fibers and fabric used by Jobst are perhaps a bit more expensive, but both stockings provide the same degree of graduated compression that will reduce swelling, increase blood flow, and make your legs feel better.

If you wear compression stockings, give Allegro a try.  BrightLife offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.  And don’t miss out on our amazing sales.  Because Allegro isn’t covered under minimum advertised pricing (MAP) like the major brands, we offer discounts throughout the year.  Be sure to sign-up for our emails so you don’t miss out on these great opportunities to save some money…. one is coming up very soon.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Best Socks for Veterinarians

Our Director of Security – Oslo the standard schnauzer, just came home from a visit to the vet.  At 7 months old it was time to be spayed.  Thanks to the doctors and staff at Friendship Animal Hospital for taking such great care of our girl.  She came out wagging her tail, and her adjustment to wearing a cone has already provided many comical moments.

In the visits to Friendship these past few days, the only people I saw sitting were the pets and their owners.  The entire staff, from the people working at the front desk, to the techs and vets taking care of the animals, never sat down.

So why would a veterinarian wear compression socks? When you’re standing all day, gravity has an enormous effect on the circulation of your blood.  You may remember from anatomy class, blood pumps from your heart into arteries, which carries the fresh, oxygenated blood to all of your extremities. Veins bring the blood back to your heart and lungs for more oxygen. When we stand, the veins have to work a great deal harder to move that blood from our feet back to the heart. So, as the day wears on our feet and ankles start to swell, and our legs feel tired, heavy, and achy. We feel this way because all of the blood isn’t making it back up to the heart, it’s pooling in our ankles (thus the swelling). Graduated compression socks help the veins push blood back up to your heart. These socks increase blood circulation and reducing pressure on your veins.

Medical staff from doctors, to nurses and vets, have been wearing them for years.

Recommended socks for Veterinarians:

Allegro Athletic Support Socks: This unisex stocking has a soft padded foot portion, and a wide comfortable top-band.  Made with Cool-Max Polyester, they will keep your feet comfortable all day.

Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton: Available in 15-20mmhg, or 20-30mmHg for those that need more support, this sock is woven so only cotton touches the skin.  A low friction toe-seam prevents irritation.

Jobst ActiveWear: From the #1 brand, this sock for men and women comes in four compression levels.  It’s extremely comfortable and fits a wide range of sizes.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Compression Socks for Golfers

How do your legs feel after 18 holes of golf? After walking anywhere from three to six miles with a heavy bag of clubs, your answer is probably tired, achy, sluggish. So, what can you do to make your day on the course better and prevent tired golf legs? The answer is compression socks!

In 2010, three dozen golfers, both men and women, ranging in skill level, were evaluated wearing SIGVARIS compression socks during a round of golf. After the study,  86% (31 of 36) of the golfers, responded that their legs and/or ankles felt LESS tired and aching at the end of the golf round when wearing the SIGVARIS graduated compression golf sock (Source: Sigvaris).

Why do compression socks help golfers?  When you’re on your feet all day long, your body struggles to push blood from your feet back to your heart. Graduated compression helps enhance blood circulation in your legs, taking pressure off of your circulatory system and making sure fresh, oxygenated blood is getting to your muscles.  The compression also stops the lactic acid build up which causes soreness.

Professional golfers are already realizing the benefits of compression. In recent LPGA and PGA tours, many golfers were wearing knee high compression socks with shorts, skirts and pants.

Brittany Lincicome, one of the longest drivers in women’s golf, is a recent fan of compression socks. She said, “I was unaware of the differences that a graduated compression sock could make in my performance, but my recovery is quicker from my workouts and that allows me to focus on my golf game. SIGVARIS graduated compression socks work wonderfully and make my legs feel energized and lighter.”

So, what kind of compression socks do we recommend for golfers?

  • Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton for Men 15-20 mmHg – the original sock from the Sigvaris study mentioned above. Tested and approved by male golfers!
  • Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Sock 15-20 mmHg –  A unisex sock that features a padded foot, arch support, DriRelease fabric, and mild graduated compression.
  • Allegro Athletic Support Socks 15-20 mmHg – Extremely soft with the added benefit of a padded foot for all day comfort. Customers say: “The first time that I put the Allegro Athletic Support Stockings on, my legs felt wonderful. I use them each time that I play golf and I can walk the course now.”
  • Jobst Sport 20-30 mmHg – Has a padded foot bed, moisture-wicking fabric for warm days, and moderate graduated compression to keep your legs energized.

Are there other socks you would recommend to improve your golf game?

Best Socks for Chefs

chef-cooking-mr-gallery-xAs a chef, you rarely get a chance to sit down and rest.  And – last time I checked – there aren’t many commercial kitchens that even have a chair for chefs to have a moment off their feet. You’re literally standing or on the move the whole time you’re working! While I often find chefs discussing the best shoes to wear to work, I rarely hear chefs discussing the virtues of a particular sock. But, socks are integral to keeping your feet and legs pain free, and preventing varicose and spider veins.

Today we’re listing our top socks for chefs. These socks feature two key qualities: graduated compression and temperature-control fabric.

Compression: Why would a chef need to wear compression socks? When you’re standing all day in the kitchen, gravity has an enormous effect on the circulation of your blood.  As you probably remember from anatomy, blood pumps from your heart into arteries, which carries the fresh, oxygenated blood to all of your extremities. Veins are then supposed to bring the blood back to your heart for fresh oxygen. When we stand, our veins have to work a great deal harder to pump that blood from our feet back to our heart. So, as the day wears on, our feet and ankles start to swell and our legs begin to feel tired, heavy and sometimes achy. You feel this way because all of the blood isn’t making it back up to your heart – instead it’s pooling at your ankles (thus the swelling). Graduated compression socks help those veins push blood back up to your heart. These socks gently encourage blood back up the leg, increasing blood circulation and reducing pressure on your veins. It may sound foreign to many chefs to put on compression socks (something we associate with the elderly), but nurses have been wearing them for years.

Temperature Control: Kitchens can be HOT. With people running every direction and all the ovens on in one room, you’re probably breaking out in a sweat. Are you socks helping to cool you down? They should be. When shopping for socks for work, chefs should consider fabrics that wick away sweat and keep legs and feet cool. Merino wool, microfiber and cotton are great moisture-wicking fabrics. Additionally, if you tend to have smelly feet issues, you should only consider socks that have silver and copper woven into the fabric. These metals kill the bacteria that cause odor on our feet, so at the end of your shift there’s no embarrassing smell when you take those socks off.

Here’s our list of recommended socks for chefs:

Sigvaris Merino Wool Performance Socks – For men & women, these socks are made with soft, thermo-regulating merino wool and feature a cushioned foot bed for maximum comfort.

Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks – For both men & women, these socks are infused with copper to kill 99.9% of bacteria on your foot. They also feature a heavily padded foot bed and CoolMax polyester to keep feet and legs cool.

Jobst Active – Guaranteed to provide 360 degree comfort on your feet, these socks are made with Dri-Release yarn to keep feet cool and come in wide-calf sizes to fit any leg.

Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton Socks – These cotton socks will not only keep your legs cool, but are also great for sensitive skin. They contain built in arch support to ensure your feet are pain free by the end of the day.

Are you a chef? What socks do you wear regularly to keep your feet and legs feeling energized?

Jobst for Men Ambition – First Look

Jobst for Men AmbitionYesterday I wore the new Jobst Ambition dress sock, in a 20-30mmHg compression.  This sock has been completely redesigned, and if successful, will probably replace the current Jobst for Men line which hasn’t had an update in over 15 years.  Ambition is available in three compression levels: 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg, and five colors: black, dark gray, brown, navy and khaki.  A color for every pant.

Ambition is made with cotton and carbon infused polyester.  The cotton gives the fabric a very soft comfortable feel.  The carbon naturally eliminates foot odor.  The sock also has a very high spandex content, which is good.  Spandex provides stretch, so the sock will easily move with your leg throughout the day.

Foot: The foot on Ambition is more fitted than For Men and Casual.  It was very comfortable.  There’s reduced pressure in the toe area, and a toe seam which I could feel, but it’s flat and wasn’t annoying as some can be.  The heel is a new design with seams on each side.  It’s designed to fit larger heels.  The heel fit was perfect.

Leg:  I wasn’t crazy about the leg portion.  There was too much fabric for the length of my leg and I had a hard time smoothing out the wrinkles.  The upside to this extra length is the sock didn’t tug down at all the entire day.  I’m 5’9”, and it seemed like Ambition is made for a longer leg.  The leg also felt tight.  Some people like that feel… they know the sock is working.  I prefer less obvious compression.  Every sock fits people differently, so don’t let this discourage you.  A work colleague wore the 15-20mmHg Ambition, and he said they were the most comfortable socks he had ever worn.

The top band is 2.25” wide, and didn’t move or slip.  They were new out of the box, but that hasn’t stopped other socks I’ve tested from being around my ankles by lunch.

Sizing:  Jobst, which uses the same size chart for all of their stockings 15-20mmHg and up, is using a completely new sizing system for this sock.  Small, medium, and large has been replaced by 1 through 6, and every size is available in a regular or tall length.  This will be great for really tall guys, who don’t have many options in ready-to-wear men’s support socks.

Conclusion:  Overall this was not my favorite sock.  The foot was really comfortable, and the fabric very soft, but the leg portion didn’t fit me as well as I would like.  I’m a little too short, and will stick with the Men’s Casual.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Halloween Inspiration

This Halloween – I’ve decided not to be uncomfortable and cold in my costume. I’m also not going to spend a ton of money on something I’ll never wear again. Enter my favorite compression socks and tights!

Whether you’re walking through the neighborhood with your kids or hopping from costume party to costume party this Halloween, you’re going to be on your feet all night! Don’t sacrifice comfort, warmth and great circulation for a costume. Check out our ideas for DIY Halloween costumes that integrate super comfortable, warm compression socks and stockings.

tinman

It’s the Tin Man (or woman!) – grab your Pewter Juzo stockings, an ax and make yourself a foil hat for this quick and easy costume.

 
eloise

1950’s children’s book character Eloise is as popular as ever. Pair your favorite button down shirt with a skirt, bow, suspenders and Allegro Hop Sox.

 

Bavarianman

If you’re going to be having a beer on Halloween, make it part of your costume! Throw your Jobst for Men knee highs on with a vest and shorts and you’re good to go.

 

cluelessandtherafirm

Cher and Dee had great taste in socks, and so do you. Put your Therafirm Trouser Socks on with some mary janes and you’ll be on your way to 90’s fashion fame.

 

duckjuzo

Juzo’s new Fall/Winter seasonal colors will amp up any outfit, especially a Halloween costume. Use your Maize thigh highs or stockings to become Donald Duck (above), or the customer favorite Juzo Pink leggings (below) to become the Energizer Bunny.

energizerbunnyjuzo
By Brita @ BrightLife Direct
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