With summer unofficially here, summer fashion has also returned. From shorts, to skirts, to swimsuits, to sandals, all of the accouterments and garments that make up a well-stocked summer wardrobe are back in our mind’s eye. But for wheelers, donning ourselves in these things can be a bit tricky.
But don’t give up on your quest to look cool, as well as feel cool. You too can wear all of the above things by following a few simple suggestions. Read on and let summer fashion be your friend!
– Shorts: A lot of fashion gurus will tell you that if you’re a woman, you should never wear shorts (and opt for skirts instead), but in all honesty, this advice just isn’t practical. So many American women out there love their shorts, they’ll never listen to this advice. So if you’re a female wheeler and want to sport shorts this summer, the key is finding shorts that are the right length. If they’re too short when you sit, they’ll ride up between your thighs and look unflattering. The good news is that a lot of stores like New York & Company are selling shorts with longer inseams this season (as well as Capri pants). Here’s a pair I highly recommend.
And for you men out there, shorts aren’t as eschewed. Just make sure they fit you well and aren’t as short inseam-wise either. Here’s a cool pair of shorts that are in-style and will look good on wheelers.
– Skirts: I’m a huge fan of skirts and wear them all year round. I know a lot of women out there who use wheelchairs shy away from skirts for a variety of reasons, saying it’s because they’re legs splay open too easily and they don’t want to give anyone a free show, to the common reason of, “It just doesn’t look right when I sit.” But I’m a firm believer that skirts can work for women wheelers no matter your body shape. You just have to know what features to look for in a skirt. And as with shorts, it’s all about the length. Make sure it hits your knee AT LEAST (and nothing shorter). This guarantees it won’t be too short when you sit.
I’m a big fan of jersey fabric skirts. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and the inseam can be adjusted depending on how you fold the waistline. I also think every wheeler woman should own a jean skirt. They match everything and always look great (especially when you’re not sure what else to wear). And find one with a stretchy blend in it for an easy fit.
– Swimsuits: The dreaded swimsuit. I know a lot of you ladies out there, disabled or no, refuse to wear any kind of swimsuit, but hey, aren’t you sick of feeling this way? There are so many great new styles and cuts of suits out there now that almost anyone can find a suit that’ll flatter their shape. Tankini tops paired with a long flowy skirt always look great (and this pairing can look good on people of all different weights). And a bikini top paired with a cool pair of sporty shorts also works. I rarely if ever wear the swimsuit bottom because even on me (and I’m pretty skinny) it just doesn’t look right (quad flab. ugh.). Now if I plan on getting wet I will, but I’ll usually just wear them under my shorts or skirt.
Old Navy has some super cute suits this season. Here’s one of my favs (I love stripes!).
– Sandals: I love wearing sandals all summer. They’re great for your skin because they let it breath, and they also are an easy way to look seasonally in-style. While Tevas (and likeminded shoes) are popular with a lot of wheelers out there (because they’re comfortable, easy to put on, and don’t fall off; a critical selling point), they’re not exactly the cutest shoes on the planet. If you’re looking for something new to wear this summer (and you’re a woman), here’s a nice pair of casual sandals that’ll work for most summer looks.
And for the dudes out there, these simple sandals should do the trick.
– Summer accessories: Whether it’s hats, sunglasses, head scarves, toe rings, or bangles, there are a plethora of cool summer accessories out there that can amp up your look. Aviator sunglasses (think Top Gun) are HUGE this summer for both men and women (I bought my pair from Target for $19.99). Also, bracelets (wearing multiple bracelets) can help a lot of women wheelers look uber chic. Try it!
What are your favorite summer styles or tips? What styles have you found to be the most comfortable or flattering?