alt=a person in a wheelchair shows off velcro on her shirt and warm, patterned socks.

Fashion Within the Disability World

This is a topic that I think the world is expanding upon: fashion within the disability world. For a long time, I think there was an idea out there that those of us in a wheelchair or with a disability only needed functionality and comfort, and we didn't care about fashion.

But that's 100% false--we need all three.

For me, being a woman in a wheelchair and having had severe scoliosis and spinal fusion, I have to consider a lot of elements when I'm shopping for clothing.

I have a smaller frame in most areas, so shopping in the younger kids section is often what I have to do. I also have really small feet.

Functional clothing options

Finding clothing that can suit all your individual needs is vital when it comes to functionality. It can be difficult to do so, but it is important to.

The practicality of clothing is maybe the most important aspect of it. If something is cute as can be, but doesn’t allow you wiggle room to move around or even to breathe, it’s probably not worth it.

One specific example is that some people can’t do zippers and buttons. It’s all about finding what works.

If you could find a company that switches all your zippers for velcro, then you’re golden. Another common, classic example: bathing suit fittings.

It can be extremely hard to find something adequate to cover everything you need to be comfortable and something that fits your style. An issue I come across is finding suits in my size that aren’t from the kids’ section.

The same goes for shoes, due to my small feet. But this just means I appreciate the victory of finding pieces that work for me even more.

Cute and comfortable outfits

Comfort is my personal favorite aspect of what I wear. If I put it on, and it’s not comfy on my body, I’m not about it.

What’s cool about the trends now is that sweatpants and yoga pants are trendy, and that’s a great thing. If that’s all you want to wear, then great! Ever since COVID, sweatsuits are the new work suits.

Also speaking to comfort, you can hardly ever catch me wearing shoes. I didn’t wear shoes all summer this year. I always have on a pair of fuzzy socks, and usually cute ones at that.

Focus on fashion

And last but not least, fashion! Fashion is objective and ever-changing; it is relative to the buyer and the buyer’s preferences. All I would have to say is this: buy what you think is cute, and then make it work for you.

And, don’t limit yourself to buying only one section that fits your body. You can get it pinned up! Safety pins are my best friend because I really have a small photo frame.

Sometimes I'll find a really beautiful dress and have to pin it in the back. Or, if you’re not a fan of safety pins, looking into other alternatives such as alterations might be more suitable for you.

Either way, you can find a way to make a piece of clothing work for you! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

You don't have to compromise when it comes to your clothing: it's possible to find functionality, comfortability, and fashion simultaneously. It's just up to you to decide what you prioritize!

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