Fashion week in Sacramento brings inspiration to all people

State Hornet Staff

Fashion week has come and gone in Sacramento, but fashion for someone with a disability is a continuous adventure.

Disability fashion comes with adaptation of all types, as well as an eye for what is current in the fashion world, but also what is comfortable.

“I like to look good no matter what style I am wearing,” said child development junior Alexa McBride.

Looking good, regardless of the style we are rocking is a must for young ladies in the disabled community. Having a sense of style is essential because it helps break down the barriers between us and our non-disabled counterparts.

Just like everyone else, we focus on the style of a piece first and just hope the functionality of it works for us.

Young women in the disabled community are likely to try and make trends work for them. But certain trends, such as oversized sweaters or anything baggy, tends to be difficult for us manual chair users due to the hazard of things getting caught in the wheels.

McBride said she feels lucky she does not have to adapt much in terms of the clothes she wears, and that she will wear anything with color.

The disabled female community also has to consider certain things when shopping for clothing after new trends start coming out—and they always are.

For manual chair users, such as myself, anything tight in the arms is almost guaranteed not to work because it not only cuts off circulation, but it is just so darn uncomfortable. And for someone who may be using a walker, they are likely to have to watch out for the length of long, flowy skirts and pants.

“I look for tops that fit my broad shoulders and I usually have trouble with anything that is tight fitted,” said senior recreational therapy major Jenny Zimmer.

But other than those few adaptations, the fashion world is open to everyone including those who are disabled and use different modes of transportation. We all have individual preferences in terms of what we look for in clothing style and shouldn’t be limited to options based on mobility.  

“As for colors, I tend to avoid the color yellow, but I love wearing blues, purples and greens, and whatever I wear has to be comfortable to sit in,” Zimmer said.

Personally, I stay away from things that are overly loose and some types of scarves because I have actually gotten a scarf stuck in my wheel or on my break more than once. Clothing that is too loose is more likely to rub between me and my tires, which just gets it dirty.

Fashion and disability can go together, it just takes time and effort. Time to shop, navigate the sometimes inaccessible stores, put together outfits and try them on. Trying on outfits requires the energy to transfer in-and-out of our wheelchairs or other adaptive devices, while maintaining balance.

Once we find those perfect looks, all the shopping and effort feels truly worth it and helps us, as young disabled females, prove that fashion sense and disability do truly belong together.