Brita

About Brita

Brita joined BrightLife in 2013 as the Digital Marketing Manager.

How to Express Your Personality Despite a Uniform or Dress Code

Uniforms and dress codes exist for a wide variety of reasons, whether it’s to encourage team unity, protect the wearer from job hazards, or make it easier for customers to identify employees. The drawback, however, is that this can detract from your ability to express your unique personality. Having everyone wear the same outfit each day can be tiresome for employees who like to express themselves through their clothing. We’ve got some tips for fun ways you can still show off your sense of style, even if you have a specific uniform or dress code to work around.

Quick reference:
Nursing Uniforms
Wait Staff/Server Uniforms
Office Dress Codes
School Uniforms/Dress Codes

Nursing Uniforms

Though not quite as iconic as the classic apron and cap, modern nursing uniforms (typically scrubs) are a quick way to identify hospital staff. Some hospitals even use color-coded scrubs to help distinguish between nursing specialties. While scrubs can make hospitals more efficient, they don’t provide a lot of opportunity for personal expression. Luckily, there are still some ways nurses can be unique:

  • Scrubs – Depending on the hospital, nurses may actually have a significant amount of freedom with the color or style of their scrubs. While there’s some debate about perceived professionalism, many nurses go with print-based scrubs, like this Tinker Bell one – prints are especially popular with nurses who work with children. If your hospital allows you to choose your own scrubs, experiment with bright colors and prints that show off your sense of fashion.
  • Jewelry/Accessories – Excessive jewelry can make a nurse’s job difficult, but finding the right necklace or pair of earrings can add a subtle, but fun twist to any look. Furthermore, a watch is a necessity for just about every nurse, opening up plenty of stylish options. This adorable nurse-themed watch is a fun choice and for nurses who want something light and functional, but still stylish – Swatch watches are a great option.
  • Stockings – Having the right pair of socks can mean the difference between healthy and aching legs for nurses. Choosing a fun pair of socks can be a great way to subtly inject your personality into your nursing scrubs. As a bonus, you can use compression socks for the added health benefits, like preventing your legs from swelling during your shift. Looking for a cute pair? Try these polka dot compression socks from BrightLife Go.

Please note: Always defer to your hospital’s specific uniform-restrictions, as there may be health or legal reasons for specific requirements.

 

Wait Staff/Server Uniforms

Whether you work in a five-star restaurant or your local diner, you likely have a very specific dress code you need to follow. Restaurants often use their uniforms as a form of branding, so the tone of the outfit will typically match the tone of the restaurant. Serving guests in suits and fancy dresses? Expect to be dressy. If you work in a kid-oriented restaurant, you’ll probably be wearing brighter colors. Here’s how you can make your server clothes more fun:

  • Hairstyle – This depends heavily on the type of restaurant you work at, but experimenting with cute or cool hairstyles can be a great way to express yourself. As long as you maintain a well-groomed appearance, most employers are lenient with hair. Just do a quick search on YouTube or Pinterest and you’ll find tons of tutorials for hair of all lengths.
  • Jewelry/Accessories – Most restaurants are fine with tasteful jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, and sometimes subtle rings – just make sure it doesn’t interfere with your ability to do your job. Watches are also a great way to show off some style, if your boss will allow you to wear one.
  • Socks – Since you spend most of your shift on your feet anyway, you might as well make them a focal point of your personality. Unless specific socks are part of your uniform, most employers won’t mind you donning a whimsical patterned or printed pair. For added health benefits, you could even choose a fun pair of compression socks – being on your feet for hours can lead to all sorts of leg-related issues that compression socks help alleviate.

Juzo Soft Tie-Dye Knee Highs 15-20mmHg

Please note: For health reasons, certain uniform requirements or restrictions may be mandated by law.

 

Office Dress Codes

While few office-based businesses have an official uniform, many offices do have a dress code that employees are expected to follow. This can range from business casual all the way to a suit and tie, but most offices fall somewhere in between. Dress codes, luckily, provide more freedom than full uniforms, but you’ll still want to make sure you appear professional while you’re on the clock. Here are a few safe ways to spruce up your work outfit:

  • Neckwear – For men, ties are the easiest and most obvious way to accessorize. Unless your business has a very conservative dress code, you can usually get away with colorful patterns or interesting prints (like a unique paisley tie). You could even cap it off with a classy tie bar. If your office allows it, you can also mix in a bowtie every once in a while. Women can experiment with neckwear – try out scarves in a variety of knots (especially during colder months).
  • Watches/Bracelets/Necklaces – Flashy accessories are probably best suited for off-work hours, but while you’re in the office you can use subtle jewelry like bracelets, necklaces, and earrings to add flair to your outfit. With the help of stores like J. Crew, statement necklaces have become a stylish part of office-fashion. You could also wear a classy watch to make your outfit more unique.
  • Desk Decorations – Okay, this isn’t technically related to dress codes, but it’s still a great way to express yourself at work. Most offices will allow at least some personalization of your work area, whether it’s family photos, art, or fun trinkets. This is a great chance to show off your interests, which could even help you make connections with co-workers. Try a clever coffee mug or personalized art print from Etsy.
  • Socks – Like with most other uniforms, office dress codes rarely restrict what kind of socks you can wear. Mix it up with a fun pair of argyle or striped socks. If you’re really confident, go with even bolder prints. And since you’re likely sitting at a desk most of your day, why not consider getting a pair of colorful compression socks to help alleviate achy legs and ward off varicose veins? We’ve got a lovely pair of Italian wool socks with a subtle dot over the ankle that are a great way to start testing patterns.

Build-On Brick Mug Additional Image

School Uniform/Dress Codes

Most school districts will at least enforce a minimum dress code, but schools (especially private institutions) are increasingly requiring full uniforms for students in an attempt to minimize distractions and, in some cases, even bullying. Regardless of which category you fall into, there are still plenty of ways to express yourself within your school’s guidelines:

  • Backpacks/Bags – Dress codes usually only determine the clothes you can and can’t wear, but most schools are fairly lenient with backpacks. This presents a wide variety of options, whether it’s with a pre-designed backpack from a store or one you’ve decorated yourself. As long as it’s not offensive or overly distracting, you shouldn’t have any issues – so feel free to show off your favorite show or even your favorite animal!
  • Notebooks/School Supplies – Even the strictest dress codes rarely require specific school supplies. This provides a great opportunity to express yourself, whether it’s notebooks with designs from your favorite bands or television shows, pencils with cute patterns or phrases, or even just a cool water bottle.
  • Socks – Sensing a trend here? Though some schools will have specific socks for students to wear, most dress codes allow for at least some variation in stockings. Try out bright colors or quirky patterns to add some pop to your outfit.

Gentle Reminders Pencils- Mint and Gold, Set of 6, Stocking Stuffers

New Juzo Soft Armsleeves in Patterns!

Juzo Signature Print ArmsleevesJuzo has just released a really exciting product line – their Soft Compression Armsleeves in fun and stylish prints. If you’re tired of wearing beige or one-color sleeves, this will be an amazing option for you. The Juzo Signature Prints series uses the same fabric and size chart as Juzo Soft 2000/2001/2002 (no need to remeasure!). They’re available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg with matching gauntlets in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.

Patterns include butterflies, watercolors, flames, camouflage, tattoos and more. Some prints are subtle and sleek, while others are bold, statement pieces. Whether you’re a fan of neon or muted patterns, you’ll definitely find a pattern that suits your style with over 20 different choices. Check out some of our favorites below or start shopping here.

Juzo Boho Chic Ivory Armsleeve

Juzo Prints Electric Wave Pink Armsleeve

Juzo Stars & Stripes Armsleeve

Juzo Butterfly Morpho Blue Armsleeve

Like Juzo Dream Color sleeves, these products are dyed to order and can take up to two weeks to ship. Don’t worry – the wait will be worth it!

New TheraSport Athletic Socks – Review

Just so everyone is clear – I am a very reluctant runner and probably not a very good one, but I want to be better! I really like the idea of running. No special equipment needed, no extra travel time to the gym or studio, and no set schedule – you can go whenever you’re free and go for as long as you want. In reality, though, it’s a real mental struggle for me to force myself into my sneakers and out the door!

Last night was a perfect example of my typical running struggle. I was exhausted from a long week and hadn’t had a chance to get to the gym – so I knew I should go for a run. I also had a new pair of TheraSport socks I needed to test out and it was beautiful, sunny and relatively cool outside. After stalling for a while on the phone with my sister, I eventually got my gear on.These socks have a lot of stretch to them, so they’re easy to get on. Absolutely dreading the actual running part of running, I did a photo shoot first. They’re great looking socks!

TheraSport Run Sock TheraSport Running Sock

Than I told myself, if I just got to the National Cathedral – my favorite running destination – I’d let myself walk the rest of the way home (internal bargaining with myself is very effective). Off I went – and surprisingly, after about half a mile, I felt really great! Here’s why:

  1. I have a really high arch and often my feet start hurting during my runs because I don’t have enough support to this part of my foot. This sock has compression across the foot to provide support to the arch – I could feel it as soon as I put the sock on and my feet were comfortable the entire run.
  2. I wore the 20-30 mmHg compression socks which are designed for performance. My legs felt fresh and energized during the entire run with this compression level.
  3. The socks have ventilated areas to keep my legs cool, so I didn’t immediately overheat in the 80 degree DC weather. A lot of people struggle to wear knee high socks when they run in the summer – you won’t feel the heat in these.

I got to the National Cathedral and took the break that I promised myself and pictures to prove that I made it there.

TheraSport and National Cathedral

After resting for about 10 minutes, I still felt great, so I ran all the way home too. All in all, I did a total of 3.4 miles, which is pretty impressive for me (having let about 2 weeks go by since my last run). I was expecting to be sore this morning from overdoing it a bit, but I feel completely rested. I did keep the socks on for about an hour after my run to get the maximum recovery benefits. If you can resist the urge to jump in the shower right after you run – I definitely recommend it. Otherwise, shower and put a new pair of compression socks on so you can help your legs recover.

Check them out on our site – they’re available in 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. They’re 10% off until Monday night with coupon code SPORT10.

Best POTS and Dysautonomia Blogs

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I don’t have all the answers to compression product questions! But, I’ve found an amazing resource in the medical blogging community – brave men and women who are blogging about their medical conditions openly and honestly. I can’t say enough about how helpful it is to us, to not only understand the day to day challenges of living with a chronic medical condition, but also to be able to read someone’s personal account of using compression to treat medical symptoms.

I recently had a customer reach out about compression stockings for POTS/Dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is a disease that affects the autonomic nervous system, often manifested by a low blood pressure and/or a high heart rate upon standing (also, called Orthostatic Hypotension and/or POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). While I know that compression stockings are recommended by doctors to help manage some of the symptoms of POTS, I wasn’t quite sure which style or brand was best to recommend. So, I turned to the great community of bloggers who are managing POTS themselves and talking about compression products.

Since I found such helpful information there – I wanted to share it with everyone else! If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, POTS or EDS, definitely check out the great blogs below to learn more.

With a Side of Salt is written by an amazing young woman in Arizona. Crista was diagnosed with POTS while she was in college and is now a patient at Mayo Clinic. Her writing is informative and strong (and sarcastic which I like!). She’s a great resource! Her advice on compression socks is here.

Living with Bob is a prolific blog filled with SO MUCH information. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface, but I definitely recommend. RustyHoe is very funny and very honest about her day to day struggles and triumphs. She also has lots of information on compression here.

Lethargic Smile is written by Jackie, who has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). She is so positive and uplifting – it’s hard not to sit down and read 20 of her posts at once.

Defying Gravity is written by a young woman with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). She also has several posts on compression stockings.

Life with POTS is written by a young Canadian with POTS.  Her advice on compression socks is here.

This is in no way a definitive list. Do you have any more blogs we should add? Let us know in the comments!

Using the New “Easy Reorder” Button

We’re always making updates to our site to make it easier to navigate and easier to shop. Over the past year, we’ve heard customers ask for a simple way to repeat a previous order – with the same size and color – and we listened. Now, with just a few clicks, you can re-order anything from a previous order.  This feature is available on both our regular desktop, and mobile sites.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to Easy Reorder.

  1. Log into your account by selecting the “Log In” button in the top right hand corner of the menu. Note: you must be a Registered User of our website to be able to use the Easy Reorder function. If you have checked out as a guest in the past, you can call our customer service team and have your account switched to a registered account – 1-877-545-8585.
  2. Select “Easy Reorder” from the My Account screen.BrightLife My Account
  3. You will now see all of your previous orders on BrightLife Direct, organized by year via the Date drop-down menu. You can scroll through to see which one of your past orders you’d like to order again. In this case, I really loved the Therafirm Pantyhose I ordered on May 11th, and want to get a few more pairs in the same size and color. To add this exact item to my cart, I simply click “Quick Reorder.” If you already have other items in your cart, uncheck the “Clear Existing Items in Cart” button. If you click “Quick Reorder” and have this box checked, the system will wipe out all of the items in your shopping cart and add ONLY the items from the previous order. BrightLife Reorder
  4. You will now see that my Shopping Cart contains JUST the Therafirm Light Support Pantyhose in Natural, Size Large.  If you want to adjust the number of items, change the number under Qty, and click the gray Update Cart button.  To proceed to the final checkout page, click the orange Checkout button, or PayPal.BrightLife Shopping Cart

Preview: New Juzo Dream Colors for Spring-Summer 2015

After a particularly terrible winter here on the East Coast, we’re very excited that spring is finally here! This week, we’re celebrating the return of sunshine and the launch of Juzo’s new line of colors for their Soft and Naturally Sheer brands. This year’s colors definitely have a Bohemian vibe to go with the return of 70’s fashion, or “Hippy Deluxe” as Vogue is calling it, on the runways.

Check out the new Gypsy Purple in Naturally Sheer below:

Gypsy Purple - Juzo Dream 2015 Spring/SummerIn addition to Gypsy Purple, Juzo has added: Moonbeam Yellow, Driftwood, and Vintage Mauve. Plus, in order to keep the “boho” theme consistent, they’ve renamed two colors that were favorites from last season. Midnight Blue is now Mystic Waters and Mulberry is now Boho Berry.

Juzo Dream 2015 Spring Summer Color SwatchAll of these colors will be available in the Juzo Soft line (knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, arm sleeves, and gauntlets) as well as the Juzo Naturally Sheer line (knee highs, thigh highs, and pantyhose). Compression levels include 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40 mmHg, so you can get the stylish colors you want in the compression level your body needs.

These products will be available to purchase by the end of this week – check our Facebook page or the Juzo product pages for updates!

Mystic Waters - Juzo Dream 2015

 

 

Wool Socks for Winter Months

Sheep - WoolWhile spring may seem within reaching distance, we still have a few more months of cold, snow, slush and bad weather until we reach those May flowers. So – I thought I’d remind everyone that if you’re suffering from cold feet and toes (or maybe even damp, stinky feet), think about switching your cotton and nylon socks out for wool socks. I know – wool sounds itchy and scratchy like the sweaters you got over the holiday season, but if you get the right kind of wool – Merino Wool – you’ll be surprised how soft and comfortable it can be. So, why is wool so great? Let me explain:

  • Wool insulates: Wool fibers trap body heat against your skin to keep you toasty in cold weather.
  • Wool wicks away moisture: Whether you have an issue with sweaty feet or a leaking boot, wool socks have got you covered. Wool can absorb up to 1/3 of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. Plus, they’ll continue to keep your feet warm.
  • Wool is odor resistant: Who doesn’t want to prevent stinky feet? Right. Wool is naturally anti-bacterial, which means it can kill odor causing bacteria around your feet. This also means you can wear them a few times before washing (no judgement).
  • Wool is durable: Wool fibers can bend back and forth 20,000 times without breaking – cotton breaks after 3,200 bends. Think less holes!

Why does this matter? Well, cottons socks can absorb moisture too, but they take a lot longer to dry and have no insulation properties at all, which means damp, cold, stinky feet all day long.

We’ve got some really great Merino Wool (i.e. soft) options for your consideration:

Standing Desks: How to Prevent Swollen Ankles

Nearly all of this year’s must-have gift lists include the new wave of lifestyle monitoring devices like the Fitbit or Jawbone Up. The goal of these is to make people more aware of their activity, or lack of activity as it may be for most. For years, doctors have told us that we’re suffering for the “sitting disease” with more than 86% of American workers sitting all day at work – adding up to about 13 hours of sitting per day (this doesn’t include how many hours you clock in bed sleeping). That’s a lot of sedentary activity! Unfortunately, most of us are required to be in front of a computer 8 hours a day – and there’s no way to avoid that. So, more and more companies are giving employees the option of standing desks. These are great for a number of reasons – they can relieve back pain, improve your posture and help you burn more calories during the day. But, there are some unfortunate side effects to the standing desk that some people are realizing.

A writer at Quartz.com recently wrote about “The Huge Hidden Downside to Standing Desks” – swollen ankles or cankles. See the image below of her sad ankles after a day at her new standing desk:

 

Cankles aren’t the only unfortunate side effect to standing desks. We’ve also read articles citing an increase in spider and varicose veins in the legs, as well as leg and foot pain. It makes sense – nurses, waitresses, bartenders, sales people and more (basically anyone who is required to be on their feet all day) have always complained about these issues. Standing puts an incredible amount of pressure on our circulatory system – gravity makes it hard to pump blood back from the feet to the heart which leads to swelling and enlarged veins.

So, to sum this whole thing up – sitting is bad and standing is bad too. What’re we all supposed to do!?

Wear compression socks, of course! If you have the opportunity to use a standing desk, take it. You can get the great health benefits of standing and prevent the side effect by simply wearing support socks or stockings. Compression hosiery relieves the pressure on the circulatory system by promoting healthy circulation. These socks prevent swelling, spider veins and varicose veins. Here are some of our favorites for standing:

Compression Therapy and Burns

We recently had a customer inquire about compression products for burns – which products are best to reduce scarring?

Why Wear Compression Garments to Recover from Burns

Compression therapy provides several benefits for patients recovering from burns. Consistent pressure over the site of the burn can minimize the development of scarring by promoting circulation of damaged tissues and flattening raised scars. Additionally, Regions Hospital says that compression garments can reduce itching and extremity pain by supporting the vascular system.

According to the University of Washington, compression garments should be worn for at least 6 months, and in some cases up to two or three years after injury.

Importance of Fabric Choice in Compression

Compression garments are made from a variety of different materials, but wearing garments with antimicrobial properties is best for burn patients. We recommend customers wear garments or bandages that are woven with silver, a naturally antibacterial fiber. Silver fibers can kill almost 100% of bacteria on the skin to prevent infection as well as bad smells from forming. Silver is also known for promoting healing and reducing scarring.

Recommended Compression Products

BrightLife offers a variety of options depending on the part of the body that needs compression.

  • Bandaging: Most parts of the body can be reached with bandaging. We recommend starting with a silver fabric, like the Silverseal X-Static Tubular Component and covering it with a short-stretch compression bandage.
  • Knee Highs,Thigh Highs and Pantyhose: If your burn is on your leg, there are many different options for compression. Juzo makes a line of silver infused products from knee highs to thigh highs. Additionally, Solidea has a line of knee highs, shorts and leggings for both men and women that are antimicrobial and massaging.
  • Arm Sleeves and Gloves: Again, Solidea is a great option for silver infused compression garments.
  • Custom Garments: With the help of your medical provider, we can order custom-made compression garments (sewn to your specific measurements) in a number of different brands. Just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 to learn more.

 

Sneak Peak – New Juzo Dream Colors for Fall/Winter 2014

Juzo has an exciting array of colors for its Fall/Winter 2014 line of Juzo Dream (coming soon!). This season, we’re keeping customer favorites from last season – Dolphin, Midnight Blue and Pink. Juzo is adding four bright and trendy colors (with awesome names) – Tangerine, Mulberry, Purple Rain and Candy Apple. Check out the swatches below!

2014 Juzo Fall Winter Dream Colors

 These colors will be available to purchase at the end of September on our website. As always, you’ll be able to purchase these as pantyhose, thigh highs, knee highs, leggings and armsleeves. Products range in compression level from 15-20 mmhg, 20-30 mmhg and 30-40 mmHg.

Juzo 2014 Dream Color Samples

 BUT – the most exciting news is that Juzo will be offering the Dream Colors as part of the Naturally Sheer collection. This will add a hint of color to your wardrobe with the sheer, comfortable fabric you love.

Model in Naturally Sheer Dolphin

Naturally Sheer Dolphin

 Stay tuned for updates on the launch of these products! And get inspired by some of the outfits you can plan soon with these amazing compression products.

Juzo Pink Compression Stockings

Juzo Pink Compression Stockings

Juzo Dream Sleeve and Leggings in Midnight

Juzo Dream Sleeve and Leggings in Midnight Blue

As a reminder, all of these products are dyed to order. It can take over a week to ship items dyed once. For tie-dye products, please expect up to 14 days for your purchases to ship.