Accidentally accessible fashion trendsJun 29 03:24
Gone are the belly-baring tops that were so trendy in the ‘90s and the heels-on-everything trend; two fashion trends that did nothing for wheelchair-users. After losing hope that a trend would ever come to pass that would work for us, then came the stretchy skirt.
Unintentionally accessible fashion is one of my favorite things in this world, and there are these three trends that have hit the scene in recent years simply rock for wheelchair-users. Its about time a trend or two worked in our favor, and the following three give hope that cool, universal fashion created by big-time manufacturers can actually happen.
Stretchy Cotton Skirts: The invention of the stretchy cotton skirt has transformed my wardrobe. These versatile skirts give shape yet are comfortable, and look incredibly flattering on when you’re seated. The stretchy cotton will define your waist and hip ratio better than any other fabric, yet it won’t bunch or look frumpy as you sit. I haven’t worn a jean skirt in months because of this amazing skirt.
Stretchy cotton is a blessing from the fashion gods and should be worn as often as possible. Both Target and Victoria’s Secret carry stretchy cotton skirts in funky prints. I have a black and white striped stretchy cotton skirt from Vickie’s and a leopard print stretchy cotton skirt from Target. They’re easy to put in on, leave no skin marks, have no buttons/zippers/pocket and best of all - they look fabulous.
Long Tanks: There’s nothing worse than looking boxier than you really are, and its easy for this to happen when you use a wheelchair. What I love about long tank tops, also usually made using stretchy cotton, is that they elongate your body in a snap, and work on all body types.
A long tank top typically goes past your butt, so when in you’re in your wheelchair, the idea is to pull the tank under your butt so the tank hugs your lower hips/upper thighs. You will be amazed at how slenderizing this look is. Long tank tops with lace trim in solid colors are my favorite go-to top this Summer.
Flats: When flats became popular I felt like throwing a party; that’s how pumped I was. I love the way heels look just as much as the next girl, and will happily wear them from my wheelchair, but they’re not something you want to wear everyday. The “flats” of yore were pretty paltry, and consisted of loafers and tennis shoes. Finding a cute flat before 2003 was impossible. But now flats are as popular as heels, with thousands of styles to choose from, from casual to fancy offerings. My current favorite pair of flats are from Guess, black and have a quad-friendly Velcro strap.
My advice? Buy up all the long tanks, flats and stretchy skirts before they’re gone. And who knows when the trends will tip our way again. I’d like to think the fashion industry would see the great basic uses for these garments and make them indefinitely, but like all fashion trends, out with the old and in with the new is the name of the game.
Which other fashion trends do you think accidentally work in our favor?
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1. sportaid | Jul 01 05:06
I haven't thought much about it but awesome. It is great that being in a wheelchair does not have to affect your style in a negative way. We have some great wheelchair clothing here at Sportaid.com. But it is cool to see that fashion has followed suit.
2. Stella | Jul 05 01:12
In Australia there's a new kind of skinny jeans that look like jeans, but are actually leggings. You guessed it, they're called jeggings. As much as the whole concept kind of makes me cringe, they do actually allow me to achieve the skinny jean look without having to pour myself into real jeans. They have an elastic waist instead of a fly, so they're super accessible. Magic!
3. Tiffiny | Jul 05 05:00
I love jeggings, too! So much. I should've totally added them to my blog. My acid wash jeggings are also the first "jeans" I've ever been able to really look good in as a chair-user.
4. TLaura | Aug 05 01:33
Hi I'm a para, T3-T6, and although I'm pretty tall and slender I have a pop belly and my feet swell. Does any one have any suggestions on how to remedy or control any of this as it clashes with my wardrobe.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.