A Textile Survey

Even though we’re all wheelchair-users, our needs regarding clothes still vary person to person. I know that for me, since I’m 5’10 with really long legs, and I sit all day, I need extra-long inseams on all of my pants, but not every other gimp is like me…

I also need:

– A long torso in my shirts so they don’t ride up, exposing my belly.

– Non-bell/flowy sleeves.

– Skirts that aren’t above the knee.

– No long jackets; they just bunch-up behind my back.

– Fabric that moves and no bulky seams.

– No itchy fabric like wool.

With that said, what do you look for in pants, shirts, jackets, etc, when buying clothes for your non-standing lifestyle?

– Tiff

  1. i have the usual problem of manual wheelchair users: dirty sleeves…..white button downs, cashmere sweaters, jackets….everything! i HATE mud! other than that….super low-waisted pants that are supposed to sit right on the hips or under…they don’t sit where they’re supposed to, they hit in a really weird, not-quite-the-middle-of-my-ass kind of place.

  2. I’m fairly new to buying clothes specifically for my chair-using needs, but it is fast becoming clear that I need much longer pants. I agree with the non-flowy/bell sleeves. I also find that if I have a jacket/blazer on but unbuttoned, it tend to hit my wheels, so jacket or cardigan type things that just have one button up at the top don’t work.

    I also avoid buttons/snaps in general, but that’s not directly wheelchair-related.

  3. I adore skinny jeans!!! with a super long inseam, Pacsun has supppper awesome skinny deals 2 for $55 available in LONG YaY! I ALWAYS wear leg warmers on my calfs under my jeans so they look full and awesome…I’m a student so I dont buy work clothes…and mary janes look awesome with skinnies…I always wear belt to keep it together and accesorize, Abercrombie and Fitch has super long shirts to cover the belly…always rock sun glasses necklaces, breacelettes etc. It just looks great I think. Victoria secrete sells awesome long cute slacks for works…I put my feet up everywhere so they dont get ‘fluffly’ like baked bread in your shoe lol

  4. oh and check out Forever21.com for the cutest tops EVER!!!!

  5. Ugh. I hate buying clothes. I need ‘long’ pants – even though I am only 5’4″ – I hate that ‘waiting for a flood’ look. I also can’t buy any shirts with the long/flowy sleeves and I try to stay away from white or light colors because of the mud issue on my sleeves. I don’t usually get tight shirts because of the belly issue, and I try to find shirts that are long to cover all of my back. If I bend down to get something (which is bound to happen because I drop stuff all of the time), nobody wants to see a back brace and panties =)

  6. interesting responses, ladies. thx for responding! it looks like finding pants that work is our numbero uno problem.

  7. The model in the pic Tiff – I could never wear that! Looks way too uncomfortable and impractical. Or is it just me? I’m with you all on cropped/short jackets.

  8. cinderella of boston…..i cannot explain to anyone how happy this website has made me!! to wear a size two in childrens and try to find cute shoes, while easier than it used to be, can still be frustrating, especially when i want a heel!

  9. ester, the heels on her are ridiculous…totally.

  10. sharon, “cinderalla of boston?” that’s like the greatest line ever. i don’t get it, and maybe that’s why.

  11. cinderellaofboston.com…oralia’s contribution above

  12. shirts must be long, pants must be long and. Most of the time, i only wear jeans. finding the right size is a must. i really like A & F and Old Navy. pants must be made of sturdy material.

    i am completely done with skirts/dresses. i don’t like wearing them in my chair. i always feel like i’m gonna have a “7 Year Itch” moment.

  13. I’ve really short legs and a long body, so always had a problem getting trousers (can you tell I’m a Brit?) to fit. It’s even worse now as I’m a lot heavier these days, but I had the problem as a skinny Cat too 🙂 I use my powerchair most of the time, but occasionally use elbow crutches for transferring & short distances when my legs deign to play along with what my brain is telling them. So if I wear trousers that look okay in the chair they’re dragging badly on the ground if I use my crutches.

    I’ve only just got a car big enough to take my powerchair out in, so I’m probably going to be adjusting my clothes buying again as it was more aimed towards my manual chair use before.

    I normally wear long skirts, & weirdly since I’ve started using the chair most of the time I’ve gone down two skirt sizes (I was expecting it to go the other way). Unless my scales are on the blink I haven’t lost weight, so it must have just moved somewhere… 😉 Cue total embarrassment when out for lunch one time (before I could take the powerchair, as I just stay in it) & went to transfer from my manual to the seat at the table. Stood up & down goes my skirt. Luckily one of my friends managed to grab it before anyone at the other tables saw. I was concentrating so hard on staying upright I hadn’t even noticed!!!

  14. […] all hipster cripples Inspired by a recent post at Beauty Ability and the discovery of a $100 Old Navy gift card I got for Xmas, last week I set off to the mall in […]

  15. Hi! I went to school for special education and fashion design, and I learned early on that I could combine my two loves by doing a line of adaptive clothing–I’ve noticed there’s not much of anything stylish out there. I have decided to start with jeans for man, woman, and child. I’m so glad I found this site. If anyone has any clothing complaints for wheelchair users, I’d love to hear them. My email is sarahjeanstar@gmail.com. So far, I’m thinking of doing a lightweight stretch denim (cotton for breathability and comfort) on top and possibly a knit on the bottom, longer inseams, a knit panel in the waist so the waist isn’t digging into you, a lower front rise and a higher back rise, and a longer side opening. And they will be cute! Does anyone need any openings on the inseams (like for a leg bag, etc.)? I’ve seen some wheelchair jeans companies out there, but they are not attractive. Thanks and I will be back soon : )

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