Struggling to Find the Right Fit
It can be frustrating shopping for clothes that fit my body comfortably, especially dress clothes. I am at an age now where I am getting out of always wearing sweatpants and sporty gear when going out with my family or friends.
Can't always wear sweatpants
However, with SMA, it has been difficult to find nicer clothing that will provide the same comfort and elasticity similar to the athletic gear I have. For the most part, finding dress tops has not been an issue for me, but finding adaptive dress pants, jeans, khakis, and even shoes always seem to be a challenge.
Trying adaptive brands
Fortunately, there are quite a few brands that offer adaptive style clothing, but even some of the adaptive clothing can pose fitting problems.
Because I sit all the time, it is difficult to find pants that are snug and come up high enough so that my backside is not exposed. Another issue is finding the right combination of waist size and pant length. My legs are not that long, due to my contractions and lack of muscle, but my waist is somewhat average. This leads to either getting pants that are a little too long and getting them hemmed or dealing with pants that are tight in the waist and getting the right leg length.
Very rarely do I come across a style of pants that fit my body, but when I do, I make sure to buy them because of the infrequent occurrence.
Shopping in the big kids' section
Many times, the men's clothing section of stores have sizes that are simply too big, which leads me to shopping in the big kids section. This is something that used to frustrate me because I would feel out of place trying on shoes or shopping next to kids who are half my age, but gradually I have become numb to it.
Shopping for jeans
Recently, I was at the mall looking for new jeans, but could not find any that would allow me to operate them based on my needs. All the jeans available had buttons that can be a pain to wield on and off, and zippers that would be tricky to navigate since I am fixed into a sitting position.
Prefer not to always shop online
Personally, I find it annoying that most of the adaptive clothing for wheelchair users are not sold at in-store locations. I am the type of person who likes to still try things on, feel the material, and look at them up close. Even though online shopping has provided so many benefits, it is not the same for someone like me to order clothing online without knowing if it will fit properly.
Even when I browse the internet for adaptive clothing, I come across many online shopping websites that are mainly intended for seniors, not so much for young adults. Shopping for clothes can become more of a hassle for me than an enjoyment.
I am grateful for the strides that have been made in promoting more accessible clothing throughout businesses, but there are definitely additional issues that must be addressed in order to create a more equitable playing field for those like me to discover and obtain clothing, just as many other individuals do.
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