So far in my blog, I’ve not focused to much on my primary passion – wheelchair fashion! There are some great shops and sites that make clothing that is specially cut and adapted for the wheelchair user, but as yet I haven’t been flush enough to order. I would absolutely love to try them out, but for now, I tend to plump for adapting and selecting clothing available on the high street, making the shapes, styles and cuts work for me.
This outfit is very basic, but I find many of the best outfits are. It’s how you style them that gives them extra pizazz and a personalised touch.
Ok, so my fiancee is not the best with the camera – but I hope you get the gist of this look.
Top under jumper – also from New Look
Leggings – TU at Sainsburies
Boots – Dune
None of the items here are particularly current, but there are tonnes of similar items available.
This High-Low Cable knit tunic jumper from Simply Be at £35 is actually more perfect than the one I am wearing in this pic. When you are sat down all the time, tops tend to rise up at the back, and so this current trend for staggered hemlines is perfect for wheelchair wearability.
It doesn’t have the collar detail of the one I am wearing, so would be great teamed with a scarf or statement necklace. I’m a big believer in drawing peoples eyes away from the bits you’re not so keen on, and drawing them to your best assets – the primary one of course being your personality, which is best communicated by your face. It is quite difficult to get people to actually look you in the eye when you’re in wheelchair, not least because you’re not in most peoples line of vision. I find most people talk to the person I am with, even if it is me who started the conversation and/or transaction. More often than not when I pay for something in a shop, the salesperson will give the change to my fiancee, which is more irksome than galling. I think it is difficult for people to know how to interact with people with disabilities, and think that it is as much up to me as it is up to them to change the way the interaction goes ahead.
Back to the outfit
For pretty much every choice of trousers/skirt when in a wheelchair (or indeed when you are attending a function where you will be largely sat down) I recommend high-waisted rather than hipster style. They are much more comfortable, and give a nicer silhouette. These South High Rise leggings from Very – £14 for two pairs, totally fit the bill.
Boots are a matter of taste, but any long boots that coordinate with the sweater will bring this outfit together nicely. I quite like these Love From Australia boots from Asos – but the price tag is a little prohibitive at £138. Maybe something to ask Santa for for Christmas.
Heels are a big debate when it comes to wheelchair fashion, and largely depends on the following factors:
- Personal taste
- Whether or not you can physically walk
- Whether or not you can walk in heels
For those who have a degree of lower body paralysis, heels can be gorgeous and flattering to the legs. The heel height really doesn’t pose a problem, as they are not really for walking in, just making your feet and legs look gorgeous, which heels can be incredibly good at. I personally love heels, but I cannot walk in them. I used to, for many years, and in hindsight it only served to worsen my issues with HMS and hip dysplasia. I will only go for a complete flat myself, I cannot even have a slight (maybe 1 inch) heel. I can only walk a few paces with sticks, but it makes so much difference when taking care of everyday tasks. I cherish that ability and know that ability is something I want to keep as long as humanly possible, and I won’t even let fashion get in the way of that. Now that’s commitment!
Hope you enjoyed reading, and perhaps gleaned a few style tips from the very basic outfit I have showcased here. I do have a veritable compendium of wheelchair style do’s and don’t, which I will write a post about if people would like. If not, I’m sure I will tackle them all anyway as and when.