‘Clothing for Disabled Users‘ – doesn’t sound that sexy, does it? I regularly browse Instagram and several fashion sites, getting excited about the new trends on show. I look at the colours on offer, choose my size and almost click the ‘buy’ button. Almost. But I never quite bring myself to do it. Why? Because the clothing I buy rarely suits my disability. I know exactly how I want to look, and the patterns and cuts that suit me. Whether or not they suit my wheelchair, however, is a different story. Welcome to the world of disability fashion – a sector that needs much more coverage if it’s ever going to thrive. Until this happens though, let me guide you through my top tips for looking foxy and not frumpy when you’re sat down. Operation Clothing for Disabled Users – go!
Clothing for Disabled Users Tip 1: Low rise = No point.
Up until my mid-teens, jeans weren’t a problem, as I didn’t wear them. Instead, I had three very memorable, and equally delightful pairs of trousers to choose from. Baggy khaki army pants, banana yellow tracksuit bottoms with navy blue poppers up the side that gave me enough self-esteem to think I was Sporty Spice, and, my personal favourites, fluorescent pink trousers with huge tassels hanging from every inch of them… classy, I know. Looking back, it’s no wonder I found the dating game a bit of a drag. I did eventually find the Holy Grail, the ever-elusive ‘good pair of jeans’, but sadly all the styles I liked were low rise. Never a great idea when you’re sitting down with them digging into your hips, or when they decide to slide down just as you need to transfer or crawl up a flight of stairs. Not good at all. So nowadays I stick to maxi dresses and high-rise pencil skirts. A tucked-in tummy and no builders bum. Result!
Clothing for Disabled Users Tip 2: Zips = The bane of my life!
I recently bought an incredible 1950s circle dress that I just HAD to have. This was stupid for two reasons. Firstly, it broke the bank, and secondly, it zips all the way up the back and I can’t fasten the bloody thing without some help. And the cherry on top is that, although it gives me hourglass curves, I struggle to breathe when sat down in it. As a result, it comes out on extremely special occasions, aka never. The only advice I can give in this situation is, if your arms are pretty limited like mine and you struggle to use hidden zips, just go for comfy over-your-head dresses that you’ll look just as gorgeous in, as you’ll be able to relax and smile.
Clothing for Disabled Users Tip 3: Giving those assets some attention
I am relatively unfortunate that, unlike the familiar phrase, I actually look like I have two right feet. No matter how many times I tell them, they just won’t keep straight! So more often than not I wear a comfy pair of converse and a long dress that won’t draw attention to them. I also wear tights and dolly shoes because I don’t really care what my feet look like most of the time, but my foolproof method is there if I’m ever having a self-conscious day. I also try to go bright with my hair, make up and top or dress, so that the attention is drawn up my body, instead of down to the rubbish bits. This tip applies to everyone: know what your good bits are and flaunt them (but ladies in chairs, watch out if you have a killer cleavage; that 6ft guy will be able to see three times as much of it as you can…. But maybe that’s a good thing?!)
So come on, let’s make the most of what we’ve got, and make ‘Clothing for Disabled Users’ a sexy phrase!