Sarah Alexander

Summer Fashion for Wheelchair Users

Blogger and Motability Scheme customer Sarah Alexander, from Sarah Lex, writes about all things disability, beauty, fashion and lifestyle related. We can all find it difficult to dress appropriately in the heat; however it can be especially difficult if you’re a wheelchair user. In this article, Sarah discusses how she stays comfortable, yet fashionable, in the warmer months.

The weather has been pretty hit and miss lately and I, for one, am glad the sun hasn’t had its hat on non-stop as I am not a lover of the heat. I can’t control my body temperature and I end up an itchy, red, all-over blotch as I’m much more of a winter baby. Not only that, sitting in a wheelchair when the sun is blazing means I end up sitting in a sweaty puddle that is really uncomfortable and not a good look for anyone.

So, how do I combat this and go out, not melt, but still look like I have made an effort with my clothes?

Firstly, I take a look at fabric choice; the most lightweight and breathable fabrics for clothing when it’s a scorcher are:

  • Cotton – lightweight, breathable, affordable, sweat absorbent and available in so many styles; always a winner in my eyes.
  • Linen – light and loosely woven which allows heat to escape. It also absorbs moisture and dries really quickly so will keep you cool.
  • Chambray – a great alternative to denim, much lighter and moisture absorbent. It’s the ultimate absorption fabric that even wheelchair sweat shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Jersey – flexible, breathable and lightweight; some of my favourite trousers I wear during the summer are made of jersey.

If you want to stay cool as a cucumber this summer, I highly recommend looking out for these fabrics, and I can guarantee that you’ll no doubt have a few in your wardrobe already.

Materials that you most definitely want to avoid are: nylon, acrylic, fleece, and polyester; they are not ideal for hot weather and you will thank me later.

Sarah Alexander

After I have considered fabric choices, I then hone in on comfort. Do you know that saying, ‘fashion is pain’? I don’t believe that, nor do I live up to it; for me, fashion is looking and feeling great, and if something makes me uncomfortable, I don’t wear it. Being comfy is essential and my go-to items for this season are jersey print trousers; I have a few animal prints, polka dot, and striped pairs that are easy to wear, require zero ironing, keep me cool and look stylish, that I couldn’t be without.

Midi and maxi skirts and culottes are another must have as the occasional breeze on the legs whilst sat in my wheelchair is lovely and you’re still covered, if that is your preference. Do be careful with wide leg trousers and maxi skirts though, they can get caught up in wheelchair wheels and we certainly don’t want that happening!

Other than that, don’t forget sunscreen, stay hydrated and top your look off with some sunglasses and/or a hat. I’m a huge lover of a big pair of sunnies and they’re a must-have at this time of year.

And a few extra little tips; if you have a cool mat for your pet, get one for yourself and sit on it whenever you go out in your wheelchair (I also use it under my feet indoors to help regulate my temperature), it keeps you cool and is a massive game changer. Also pick up a handheld battery operated fan; mine has made going out on hot days much more bearable and they’re portable enough to pop in your bag.

If you’re a sun worshipper, enjoy it. If you’re not (like me), I hope my advice helps and it makes things a little easier for you.

Read more from Sarah at www.fromsarahlex.com

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