The topic of fashion isn’t something that I follow religiously however, it is something I like to browse every now and then. Some people may say I’m a shopaholic as I seem to be in town at least once a week to see what latest clothes are out, and my wardrobe is chock a block, to the point that I’ve ran out of coat hangers (oops). It doesn’t stop me buying more though and at the start of this year I decided I needed to change up my wardrobe. I was feeling in a bit of a rut, in the sense that I felt like I was wearing the same clothes over and over again. So, I turned to treat myself and do some online shopping, I might of went a bit overboard. You can see everything I bought up on my YouTube channel.

Some of the clothes I bought.
Some of the clothes I bought.

Online shopping isn’t something I do a lot, apart from a quick buy on Amazon, how easy is it to instantly buy things? Usually two clicks and it’s ordered. I like to be able to see things though before I buy them as it’s easier to judge if they’ll fit me or not. With the clothes I bought online at the start of the year I had to send a few items back. There was a dress that was too tight, a top that the sleeves were too long/baggy and a dress which looked more like a dressing gown. It’s the usual though, I’m not able try clothes on in shops as I need my hoist to get out of my powerchair and clothes look entirely different on me than on the models. Disabilities aren’t the only way clothes look different on models, we’re all different shapes and sizes but, I do feel that disabilities are not perceived that much in the fashion world. Don’t get me wrong it is getting better, but it’s still got a long way to go. Fashion brands such as Boohoo and MissGuided have start this movement by campaigning for diversity with fashion and beauty bloggers Tess and Shelby. There not on the main sites though and that’s more where the problem lies. Browsing through clothes online all I see is tall abled body people standing up to show off what you can buy. I’m not saying disability has to be shown everywhere, but more diversity would be good for everyone disability or not.

I have many aspects to consider when buying clothes due to my height, spinal scoliosis, fragile bones and most importantly sitting in my powerchair 24/7. I find it very uncomfortable wearing jeans with buttons, so I usually stick to jeggings or leggings. Although it is getting more difficult to find suitable jeggings just now, which means I’ve had to broaden my horizon. Whilst splurging online I bought 5 pairs of trouser from River Island, yes you read that right 5 pairs of trousers. If I see something that I like and that actually fits me I tend to go a bit overboard and buy them in different colours. I found a pair of black jeggings in the F&F range at Tesco and have about 4 pairs, you never know when you’ll find them again. That’s my excuse anyway. I have the fortunate advantage of still being able to fit into teenage sized clothes, which means there cheaper. However, it also means that they are sometimes more childlike. What’s with unicorns and mermaids being on EVERYTHING just now? With some pieces of clothing like tops and dresses, I can fit into size 6’s depending on the style, but trousers need to be a child’s size. Even with those I have to pay for alterations and it all adds up. I keep saying I need to take up sewing.

It doesn’t stop me shopping though, it just means if I see something that would fit me and I like then I don’t hesitate as much about buying it because I’m more limited than others. Like I’ve said in previous blog posts though improvisation is key, and it’s the same for fashion in my case. If something is slightly too long I’ll either get it altered, tuck it in or roll it up a little. I find my own way of making things work and I’d say I’m pretty fashionable.

2 thoughts on “Disability and Fashion”

  1. Good post that made me think. I suppose at least children’s clothes shouldn’t have VAT. I keep meaning to learn to use the sewing machine but have you tried Wundaweb the iron on stuff. I use it to shorten trousers and it is very easy to use. It could work for your leggings. You just put a strip of Wundaweb in the bit you are altering, cover it with a damp cloth and then press with a hot iron. Sticks well and lasts. Could save you money on alterations and leave you more money to buy clothes 😃

  2. I could do with a bit of help with styling Claire, so might need to hire you as my personal shopper! Great article!

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