It doesn’t matter whether your able-bodied or disabled you want to look your best or at least half decent.
The Daily routine wake up, get up, shower, wash hair, dry hair, get dressed, make up Job done! Easy right. Now that was my routine when I was able-bodied now let’s compare that to my reality now.
The Daily routine wake up, get up with help from hubby, shower with help from hubby not everyday as it can take up to 2 hours, wash hair, dry hair (hubby again) hair up hubby, I can just about wash my face and brush my teeth myself every now and then I need a little helping hand from you guest it hubby, getting dressed hubby again, Job done. Not as easy as you might think right!?
So for most people getting dressed in a jiffy is an everyday thing (unless it’s a night out!) whereas for those of us who are less able it can take longer. A lot longer. Then you have the question of what to wear finding that easy wheelchair friendly clothing and it looking as good on someone standing up doesn’t look the same on someone sitting down. How to manage this conundrum?
As a child your mum dresses you so it’s not till you reach your teen years you start to find some kind of clothing identity course I made mistakes in my teen years (didn’t we all?) Being a 90’s teen fruit the loom & sweater shop and Shellsuit where totally in fashion (cringe face) when I was a teen. but over the years discovering my own style has been fun; when I worked it was a standard uniform black trousers, black shirt. By the time I was in my Tweenies I’d found a style I liked and looked pretty good with a huge range of heels to match if I do say so myself.
The effects of having Muscular dystrophy.
Then, of course muscular dystrophy got in on the act. ‘Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle wasting disease that affects your legs, arms and other muscles in your body‘ When my walking was affected the first thing to go was my large high heel shoe collection. The more my MD progressed the less active I got my body changes made it harder to wear the cute little outfits I had so they where rehomed.
The loss of ‘image’ and my own personal style was quite depressing and over time my confidence grew very low. Finding something that looked ok and fitted was a struggle (and still is) I reached a point where just thinking about what to wear seemed like too much effort. Leaving it to hubby to just pick anything and yes I definitely didn’t match, plus I didn’t really care as I have a blanket over my legs so getting away with wearing joggers is easy. Fortunately my mindset has changed lately when I comes to clothing I’m losing weight due to being diagnose the type 2 diabetes so on a low carb diet. I’m still wearing joggers but instead of just any old top it’s all colour coordinated plus I’m finding smarter trousers that work well with my Wheelchair. I’m finding a new wheelchair clothing identity. I also ask my best friend Google just because well that what we do these days ask google ‘what a woman in a wheelchair should wear!
The Google guidelines – I found highly amusing ~ make sure the hair looks good ✔️ wear make-up (unfortunately that’s one I’ve not conquered as of yet but I have 2 PA’s now they can work their magic) use scarves to accentuate and wear lots of bling (er now I’m not Mr T and Definitely not looking at becoming him). The final recommendation was to always make shoes a feature as apparently that’s the first thing people notice when you’re in a wheelchair (now I’m pretty sure the first thing people see is my Wheelchair not my shoes but I’ll stand (no pun intended!) corrected if my other wheelchair friends tell me differently.
For year I suffered with swollen feet due to Lymphoedema unable to wear anything but a pair of black ballerina shoes in all weather’s, now wearing compression socks everyday I’m able to wear sparkly shoes, boot, trainers the shoe world Is my oyster! Plus added bonus my shoes will always look brand new.
I tend to avoid buttons and zips trying to do those up in a wheelchair well let’s says it’s very much a comedy sketch!! I buy clothes that can be pulled on and off without having to cope with any fixings. Most days I opted for trousers I.e smart joggers around the house and just popping out but on events or parties I have Palazzo trousers perfect for just pulling up no fuss comfy to sit in my Wheelchair. It’s finding the right fit for you, it’s taken me a few years to find trousers that work but now I have a few different colours to pick from than just black.
Tops ~ I go for v-necks big boobs problem and short sleeves not having much movement in my arms I find it easier having my arms as free as possible, length wise long enough to tuck down the sides, back and have enough for my Wheelchair belt and not show any tummy. I love a good pashmina I have so many easy to wrap around me I’m my Wheelchair also gives me the freedom I need with my limited movement.
To finish ~ it’s taken a while finding my identity going from walking to wheels and I’m still learning what works and doesn’t. Everyone has different likes and dislikes it’s just finding what works with the movement you have in your wheelchair.
I’d love to know what works for you and what doesn’t, leave me a comment as sometime sharing helps other.