3 Best Jeans Styling Tips for Wheelchair Users
I personally believe there are two reasons for us to dress up. First, it’s a biological need, we need to stay warm and comfortable. And second, it’s a cultural protocol, we need to look good and fashionable and attractive to others. Unfortunately, for disabled people, the fashion industry can’t provide for either of these needs. But don’t worry! With this guide you’re about to read, I’m going to give you a solution for all of your adaptive clothing needs.
If you’re a wheelchair user or have any other kind of disability, you probably don’t have many choices when it comes to dressing up. Let’s accept it, we all want to look good in what we’re wearing. But more importantly, we all desire to be comfortable. It’s an easy check for persons without disabilities. I’m sure many of them don’t even think about not having enough choices to dress up. Thankfully, adaptive fashion is growing every day as an industry to help solve this issue. The thing is a little different than that for the differently-abled. In this post, I’ll try to give you a few tips to know before you buy your jeans so you can be both comfortable and stylish. Let’s get to it.
1- Being comfortable is a must.
There’s a lot of jeans out there in stores and online across different price ranges and different styles. You can buy skinny jeans, wide-leg jeans, tapered jeans, button-fly jeans, ripped jeans, flared bottom jeans, cargo jeans, and my personal favorite baggy jeans. But before you make any purchase decision, you should make sure there are adaptive clothing. That means these jeans are tailored to your specific needs as a disabled person. They need to be able to accommodate you in your daily quest.
Wheelchair pants usually have a different styled torso. Because you’re mostly seated, your pants need to be built for that. Some designers are using elastic waists for easier movement and I think it’s a fantastic idea. This makes sure that your adaptive jeans are able to look good and make you feel better about your appearance, and be comfortable and make you feel better about your own self.
2- Take a good look at the closures (and think twice about zippers).
There’s a lot of different ways to wear jeans these days. Many designers and retailers have come up with different ways to make sure that your jeans are going to stay on. This is a more important element of adaptive clothing and the adaptive fashion industry in general.
You can close your jeans with the help of traditional buttons. It can be a little hard at times, but if it’s tailored in the right way, it shouldn’t be a problem. As we all know, there’s also zippers that go with most jeans. I personally think these zippers are not the best choice, especially for wheelchair users. First, because it’s hard to zip up when seated. You need to be in a standing position to zip up. Second, because you need to have steady hands and strong fingers to use the zipper. It has nothing to do with disability. I personally have very shaky hands and I suffer it every time I try to take a picture of my cat, carry my coffee mug from kitchen to my bedroom, and of course, every time I try to use those darn zippers. Sometimes my hand gets in the way, and sometimes the zipper either breaks or gets stuck with a bit of thread in there. I confess, I really don’t like zippers, especially in jeans. That’s why I use it the least when we design our adaptive Kekalove collection. Zippers, however, can be a great addition when it’s on the sides of the torso or at the ends of the legs to give an extra boost for the user. That will make it easy to dress up.
Magnets, in my humble opinion, are the best. They’re a little pricey but they come in very handy for all types of adaptive clothing, be it adaptive jeans, adaptive shirts, adaptive dresses, and what-not. We like to make the best use of magnets at the house of Kekalove so sometimes we sprinkle some magnets in our designs. They’re just so practical! Velcro is a cheaper alternative for magnets. I was out shopping for our spring prototypes back in March (which had to be put off because of, you guessed it, the coronavirus pandemic) but I did end up buying both magnets and velcro. Pricewise velcro is much more affordable but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not as durable and comfortable as magnets. I’ll let you know about that once we’re done with these prototypes. Velcro is more widely used than magnets but they have a certain amount of life expectancy. You can only use a velcro so many times until it wears out and doesn’t close again. But because it’s so cheap, it can easily be replaced with a new one. Both magnets and velcro will come with new washing and cleaning instructions so you should be careful about that too.
If it were to me, I would personally go with magnets. They don’t require much effort to the user end and they’re better quality than other reasonable alternatives.
3- Listen to your heart
When you’re dressing up, you’re dressing up for yourself. You want to be confident in your jeans. You want them to not lag you behind but empower you as you go about your day and keep doing great things. Clothing has a much deeper and much more influential effect on our psychology than we think it does, so don’t forget that when you’re browsing through websites and trying to find a new pair of adaptive jeans. Read the reviews, look at the models, check out other stores, find styling inspiration online and buy the pair that speaks to you most. There’s a lot to weigh in when it comes to buying clothing online, but for me personally, it’s my desire to be wearing that particular piece.
I’m big into fashion, but for me, the main driver of my wardrobe choices is not what’s trending or what’s currently cool. I always try to be comfortable, laid-back in my clothing, have a lot of space to move my body and be confident when I look in the mirror. I only wear things that appeal to my taste as an individual. I live a very busy life, I got to school, I work, I attend events and being in uncomfortable clothing is one thing I’m not willing to live through. Even thinking about it makes me feel terrible.
I hope I was able to get my message across for you. Making the right fashion choices is extremely important for wheelchair users and the most important thing about that, and I cannot stress this enough, is to be comfortable with your choices.
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