Universal Design: 8 Fashion Items for ALL Women (including Wheelchair Divas)

Ooh wee! It’s hot..and I love it.  I’m a “cold quad” so it can never get too hot for me.  For the remainder of this week, 70+ temps will toast the DMV and I am getting my gear ready. These are the things that work well for me and will do right by you too:

1. The Maxi dress is the most comfortable piece of clothing in my closet. One piece on, one piece off is the way to go when you are a woman on wheels that is constantly on the go. Classy and carefree. I told you guys how challenging it can be to put on/take off pants, so this easy-to-adjust garb is a breeze in the ladies’ room!

2. When I bought my first pair of sandals with zippers, I was smitten. Unfortunately, most buckles on sandals force you to put that annoying bar in the tiny hole and my hands just aren’t having it. What’s the alternative? Well, flip-flops fall off during transfers and elastic straps can be dangerous for circulation. So, hooraaaay, for back zip closures! Love them!

3. A cropped jacket on some, is the perfect length for me. Extra fabric on my waist is added girth that I don’t need because I had a baby and I have a tetra tummy (relaxed abdominal muscles, so my insides are pushing out…I warned you that I will keep it real.) This little number is the perfect addition to any wardrobe.

4. Supporting the girls is not a daunting task anymore. Camis with shelf bras are for tweens (the ones that don’t eat hormone-laden fast food and still look like little girls) and sports bras are…uh, for sports — no one wants the dreaded “uniboob.” So, body-shapers with molded shelf bras are great! Ladies with limited hand function don’t have to wrestle with those pesky back closures. But when it gets too hot for camis, front-closure bras are a go!

5. An empire waist blouse looks flattering on any figure. Every woman wants to rid themselves of love handles and muffin tops. Fluff is good for s’mores or hot cocoa, not your waistline. These tops will camouflage the cushion and keep you comfy and cool.

6. I’m a dog lover, but I adore my kitten heels! I can’t rock a formal dress in a pair of ballet flats, so a little height on the back is needed. Most heels scrape the ground for manual wheelchair riders (although I’ve seen some ladies do it, it just doesn’t work for me.) I wish designers would provide more of a variety though.  For now, the sexiest heels are still stilettos.

7. Leggings and Jeggings, you are my friends! Easy up. Easy down. Just don’t rock ‘em with a t-shirt tied to the side and blue eyeshadow on your lids. Choose a tunic instead, please.

8. Finally, don’t forget to accessorize. Scarves keep my neck warm which essentially keeps my body temperature regulated. They make a boring out fit fun and can add a pop of your color to a neutral or black outfit. If you’re not a fan of scarves, grab a cute statement necklace. This is a great way to bring the focus to your face as opposed to the clothes…or your wheels.

Ready, set, swag!