Our built environment isn’t the only thing that prevents some people from enjoying everything that they desire, clothing can cause serious barriers as well. I can speak firsthand about my experience with clothing since using a wheelchair, two words sum it up completely – freaking frustrating.
I was convinced that I was still a medium-sized dude following my injury so I continued to purchase medium-sized clothing. Little did I know that I was no longer a medium, I was doing the backstroke in my threads. Just last year I picked up a couple of small sized shirts but even they didn’t fit quite right. Although the shoulders fit well there is always too much material in the front which causes the shirt to bunch up.
No matter what size, pants are always tricky items as well for a wheelchair user. Pants are made to fit a standing and mobile person. This means the waistband is tailored relatively horizontally but we all know what happens when we sit down, the waistband lowers and if our shirt hasn’t already untucked itself we tend to show off a little butt crack. Along with some backside exposure the front side typically bunches and encroaches on our front bits. In structural engineering we would call this a failure, it just wouldn’t pass building code.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to an amazing woman who is on a mission to make it possible for wheelchair users to finally enjoy their clothing. Izzy Camilleri just opened a new shop in the junction in Toronto and with her many years of experience designing clothing for the runway she is jumping feet first into a market that screams for her product – fashionable clothing for a seated clientele. Visit her amazing website at – www.izadaptive.com. I recently picked up a pair of jeans from Izzy’s collection and they are fantastic, I will never buy a pair of conventionally tailored jeans again.