Finding clothing that is both cute & functional as a wheelchair user is struggle. Being seated at all times means I have to think about how normal length shirts get bunched up, how having smaller legs but a normal sized waist can make pants look baggy, buttons and zippers possibly being a risk for pressure sores, & so many other factors that go into play when shopping for clothes. In this weeks blog I'm going to share some of my favorite brands & ways to style clothes that are functional, but still allow me to feel confident in what I'm wearing.
As a T-5 paraplegic my abdominal control stops right around my sternum. This leaves me with practically zero muscle tone in my stomach area, which if I'm being honest is one of my biggest insecurities. Thankfully, high waisted pants have my back when it comes to giving me back some confidence & keeping my tummy tucked in- haha.
Often times if I am wearing a tighter top, I will pair it with a flannel, jean jacket, or cardigan to give me a little extra coverage & confidence as well.
These cargo pants from Urban Outfitters are super comfortable, don't cut off circulation in my legs, & are easy to get on & off.
Pants- Urban Outfitters
Brallette- Urban Outfitters
I am a sucker for band tees. They are cute, comfy, & are great for the days when you don't exactly feel like showing off your figure.
Band tees can also be paired with just about anything. Going out for drinks & want to be cozy? Band tee, jeans, & a leather jacket. Running errands all day? Band tee & biker shorts. Want to be cute, cozy, AND casual? Band tee, leggings, with a jacket around your waist.
Plus if you know the bands you're wearing, it gives you a chance to show off your great taste in music.. ;-)
Band tee- Amazon
Jeans- American Eagle
Loose cropped shirts with anything high waisted is a pretty flattering combo. Since I am constantly sitting down, normal length sweaters bunch up & make me look frumpier than I'd like. Wearing cropped sweaters with high waisted bottoms flatters my curves, tucks in my tummy, & eliminated the frumpiness that a thick bunched up sweater would give me.
Another tip that I would give anyone in a chair still wanting to wear cute tall boots, is look for pairs with zippers in the back. Side sippers don't always give you as much slack to open the boot, & boots with no zippers can be almost impossible to get your feet into when they have a mind of their own.
The toughest thing for me to find that works are shorts & pants. Having tiny legs due to muscle atrophy, but still having curvy hips is a struggle. While my waist may need a size 2-4, but legs are needing a size 00-0. On top of sizing being difficult, making sure I can get my pants on & off on my own when using the restroom or trying on other clothes when shopping is something I have to keep in mind as well.
To tackle these issues I typically buy stretchy materials. This makes it so that the legs are tighter, but there is still stretch for my waist area to be comfortable. It also makes getting my pants on & off MUCH easier. Pants with no stretch are almost impossible to get on & off on my own, & often times cut off circulation to my legs.
Jeans- American Eagle
Rings- The Striped Cow
I'm not going to lie, it took me a long time after becoming a paraplegic to really figure out what types of styles, fits, & brands work for me. The frustrating thing is, is that what works for some people may not work for you, so there's not always a one size fits all solution to the fashion mishaps people with disabilities face. My word of advice for anyone with a disibility is, stay patient when it comes to finding clothing that works for you. If trying on clothes is exhausting or difficult for you, go with a friend who can help pull on whatever pants you may be trying on, stick to brands that work for you, & if you love the pants/shirt enough- think about buying a back up for if the first item gets ruined.
Feel free to send me a message on my instagram @baeh_gill, email me at email@example.com , or leave a comment in the forum below. I am more than willing to answer any wheelchair related questions, shopping related questions, or just chat about adaptability related problems in general.
Happy shopping my friends!
Till next time,