I’ve never been one for sticking rigidly to fashion (understatement of the century), in fact I’ve worn some *very* odd things in my time, but as I get older I find myself making less of an effort to stand out from the crowd with my clothes, and just buy whatever suits me and fits.
I have however subscribed to the skinny jean phenomenon, particularly ‘Jeggings’, anything that is stretchy and I can buy cheaply at the supermarket is a winner with me. Having lost a lot of weight from my illness, I bought a couple of new pairs of jeans online a few months back, one in my usual style – Elastic Waisted Mom Jeans for Millennials – and a slightly trendier grey pair that actually had a button. I did not realise how much of a mistake the latter pair would be…
Getting dressed when you can’t stand up comes with it’s own set of challenges. Putting trousers on involves a ridiculous sitting bum shuffle dance, lifting one cheek at a time and wrestling the garment up over your posterior (possessing a hefty posterior as I do only adds a further dimension to the challenge). This is a challenge alone with the lovely stretchy jeggings, but with skinny denim that doesn’t have the stretch factor (that sounds like I’m in a really dodgy reality TV show), it’s bloody difficult.
I decided to wear the grey skinny jeans today, don’t ask me why, I didn’t think about the heat, I’m so isolated from the outside world sometimes I forget that I’m going to have to face the weather. So I put extra body butter on my legs in an attempt to aid them to glide up my legs (anyone else having flash backs to Ross’s paste pants?), wrestle myself into them whilst trying to adopt as much of a lying down position in my chair as possibly, and eventually get them on. It would have been far easier to take them with me to the bedroom and put them on lying down, but brain fog impedes my ability to use common sense. So, I’m dressed, I put my face on, a top, as that usually helps, and my friend and I go for lunch.
We went to Ed’s Easy Diner, a place that appeared in Rugby a couple of years ago, and we’ve been meaning to try for ages, but haven’t got round to, but today we figured they’d have nice cool air conditioning. Once inside, we found it lovely and cool, and we had a fab waitress, I had my very first Coke float, I was slightly disappointed. We both had massive burgers with bacon, hash brown, egg and cheese; chips, coleslaw and onion rings. We were stuffed. By this point, the air con seemed to have stopped working/been turned off, and it had got really warm in there. I needed the loo, so I grabbed my trusty Radar Key and headed off to the Little Cripples’ room.
This is where I realised that I had made a major mistake when getting dressed this morning. I was hot, I’d eaten a large meal, my jeans were freshly washed, and I was in a public bathroom. I tried to do the ridiculous bum shuffle, but I just couldn’t get the jeans up! After several minutes of wriggling and huffing and puffing, I realised my friend must be wondering what I was doing in here, so I text her, thinking I might need her to come and help, somehow! I then figured that perhaps trying to do it on the toilet was the wrong approach, I needed to replicate how I did it this morning, so I managed to transfer from the loo, back to the chair with my jeans around my knees (dignity is not my strong point), and tried to get back into the lying down-ish position. After much more wriggling, and much more huffing and puffing, I’d got the bastard things on. A bit more huffing and puffing and they were done up. I then made it worse when I returned to the table, I declared “I thought I was never getting out of there”…she’d not seen the text 😳
Now I’m sure you’re thinking “just buy bigger jeans you fat cow”, but they do fit, I’m still ‘just’ a size 16 on my lower half, if I stood up, they would go up just fine, but add in all the factors I’ve listed above and you’ve got a physics problem. Jeggings go on just fine, I have to think carefully about what I buy. I was foolish to buy something that would be difficult to get on from a seated position. I need things that will slide up nice and easily, elastic waists are perfect and on almost all of my trousers.
I once saw an article about clothes for people in wheelchairs, and thought it was ridiculous, they must just be capitalising on people’s disabilities, but I totally get it now, there are so many things to consider, and not just the difficulty in actually putting the clothes on, but how they look sitting down.
Trousers and tops gape, leaving my (large) knickers on show. Of course I could wear smaller knickers, but I like big knickers, they’re comfortable, and they stay put on curvy frames like mine. So, I have to wear high waisted trousers and long tops if I want to keep my unmentionables unmentioned. 👙
Long sleeves will catch on my wheels, impeding the pushing action, and leaving dirty marks and damaging my clothes. The same goes for cardigans, I need to be able to do them up so they don’t get caught in the wheels.
I can’t wear a long sleeved coat for the same reason. People often ask if I’m not cold wearing just a Gillet in the winter, but it’s because I need something without sleeves because of the wheels.
If I wear a dress, it has to be a style that come down to my knees, otherwise I risk flashing my knickers when transferring out of the chair, plus all my movements are in my chair, so a dress will move around and can easily ride up.
Any tops/dresses I do wear, I have to have a lot of range of movement in the arms because of operating the chair, a tight dress that looks good but doesn’t allow for full range of motion isn’t any good for me.
As I am plus size, I carry weight on my tummy – my preffered term is ‘tummylicious’ – however this is exacerbated/looks worse when sitting down. The weight doesn’t bother me, but when buying clothes, you have to consider how it will look and if it will be flattering as you don’t get the option of it looking OK when standing, especially for photos etc.
I’m sure I will make lots of other mistakes with clothes in the future, and any other tips from wheelies are very welcome, but I know for sure I won’t be buying skinny jeans again!