I started this piece with the intention of giving fashion and style tips, and I quickly stopped myself. First things first, I am no fashion guru. Although I do quite well on the groovy glasses front, I only wish I followed more beauty trends and always made the effort to look my best… but, I do have a little experience of making sitting down stylish.
So, the best way to write this is to probably say GO FOR IT first of all. Wear whatever makes you feel foxy, and who is anyone else to tell you otherwise? But I will share a few of my own personal faux pas. Sit back; there’s plenty to go around.
Fitted WILL mean fitted
If you spend most of your time sitting down, believe me, that fitted dress or suit jacket will indeed fit snugly. As much as we’d like to, it’s tough for even the skinniest wheelchair user to hide lumps, bumps, curves and humps – great when all those things are in the right places, but if you’re partial to a good bacon buttie, as I am, you may need to buy the next size up of that stunning waistcoat to ensure a smooth silhouette.
Colour and pattern is your friend
Are there parts of your body you really want to flaunt? Or bits you’d like to hide? This is where, for me, colour and pattern comes in. My legs and feet aren’t the straightest, even when I’m sat down, so I like to wear a bold print on my top half, with plenty of jewellery, and tone down my legs and feet with a dark pair of tights, a maxi-length skirt or forgiving trousers.
Shapewear is an even better friend
One for the ladies (sorry boys)! Remember those lumps, bumps and curves I mentioned earlier? A smooth silhouette is easily achieved with a bit of shapewear – consider it a ‘nip and tuck’ without surgery! As a wheelchair user myself, I find my posture is also much better when I’m wearing a fitted dress and a firm hold shaping vest underneath.
Shorter garments are often better
There’s nothing that screams ‘BUY ME’ more than a glam and glitzy floor-length gown, or a knee-length fur coat. Both items lead me into a false sense of glamourous security, simply because the reality of gowns and fur coasts is that I’d run over the material, punching a hole in them with my wheel, and dirty the stunning material as soon as I go outside. As much as I hate to say it, shorter leather jackets and skater dresses work much, much better! Same goes for your jackets, fellas!
Wheelchair fashion does exist!
Fancy buying something that really is made just for you, and your seated position? It’s great to see that fashion and disability are no longer mutually exclusive. Enjoy feeling good enough to wheel down the catwalk, my fashionable friends!
Author: Emily Yates