Before I started to rely on mobility aids to get around, crutches at first and a wheelchair later, my sense of style when it came to fashion was just about non-existent. I would throw on skinny jeans, a plain t-shirt and chuck on my converse and that was me ready to go. I would wear the same sort of outfit every single day. When I started blogging I did start to develop more of an interest in fashion but it wasn’t until I started using a powerchair over a year ago that I really started to enjoy fashion and developing my style.
Seeing other powerchair users enjoying fashion, wearing bright and daring clothes, really inspired me. Part of me thought ‘people are already staring at me, so I could potentially get away with wearing whatever I want’ and there is some truth in that. I wasn’t sure where to begin though, I had to learn how to dress for sitting down, I thought it would be easy making the transition but it hasn’t been. It’s been well over a year now since I got my powerchair and I still don’t have it all figured out.
I understand basic things like trousers being shorter because I’m sitting down, a challenge when I already need to shop in the tall sections, but I’m still figuring out styling dresses and working out the perfect dress length. I quickly realised when experimenting with my style that skirts just didn’t look right on me sitting down, I lose most of my torso and they just never sit right so I completely avoid them now but midi dresses have turned out to be perfect for me, long enough that I’m not flashing everyone but not too long that the material gets caught anywhere.
I’ve also been playing around with bold colours, patterns and prints that I wouldn’t have even looked at before I was a powerchair user. I feel like I can often get lost in my chair, and that people’s attention is drawn more to the equipment rather than myself so I’ve really been wanting to try out some bold colours to try and draw that attention back to me. I’ve been loving wearing red’s and mustard yellow, especially now we’re in Autumn, and I find myself gravitating towards clothes that I could never imagine myself wearing a year ago. I am still all about comfort though, sitting down all day can be uncomfortable at the best of times so I’m not about to sacrifice my comfort for the latest high-street trends.
I think confidence has a lot to do with my continued enthusiasm to step out my comfort zone, I feel more confident in my powerchair than out of it because it gives me independence and open’s so many doors for me, I have such a positive relationship with my chair and I think that has absolutely helped my confidence when it comes to fashion. I’m not ready to start wearing the latest weird trends from the catwalks but I’m definitely ready to wave goodbye to my plain t-shirt and skinny jeans combo.