Tag Archives: disabled shopping

Hats: Add Sun Protection to Your Warm-Weather Fashion Statement

8 May
sunn protection, disabled shopping, summer hats, disabled accesssories, wefly2,hats

Straw hat, no brand available, regifted from a neighbor.

Self-portrait in straw hat.

Self-portrait in straw hat.

Living in the skin cancer capital of the US (Arizona), I am always concerned with avoiding harmful rays and staying relatively cool. While using sunblock is important, donning a hat that keeps the sun off both the face and back of the neck is also helpful. For disabled women who may be waiting for public transportation or otherwise spending time outdoors in sunny climates, wide-brimmed hats are useful as well as stylish in the heat. I recommend straw or cotton for breathability.

While my own recently acquired straw hat came from a former neighbor who never wore it and  no longer wanted it, I have noticed straw and canvas broad-brims displayed in unusual places, such as Walgreens and Sprouts. When I thought about this, I asked myself, why not? These stores do cater to our health. Other venues and catalogs, of course, carry them as well.

Baseball Caps Won’t Cut It

As popular as they are, baseball caps keep the sun off only the face, not the back of the neck. Landscapers and other outdoor workers may tuck a short towel under the backs of their caps to ward off the sunlight and absorb perspiration, but if you want a more stylish look, these hats just won’t cut it. I also saw a rapper on MTV sporting a baseball cap with a hoodie pulled over it, but I confess the look didn’t do much for me. Practically speaking, however, the hoodie-cap ensemble would keep the sun off. It depends on your aesthetic, and my age may be showing here.

But I Don’t Look Good in Hats

You probably aren’t used to wearing a hat and feel more self-conscious than you need to.  But despite America’s love of hatless freedom (except for the baseball cap), fashion history has had many periods in which everybody wore a chapeau of some kind, regardless of how they looked. You are going to remove your hat when you go inside for that lunch date, movie, or sporting event anyway. If it makes you feel better, look at my pic and have a giggle. I may look as if I have fallen off a 19th-century hay wagon, but I am melanoma-free. Chortle away!

Heeding the Wake-Up Call

Bicyclists and light-rail riders in Phoenix have been putting on hats during their trips, so the trend seems to be taking hold. Good job, ladies! For light-skinned people of Northern European extraction, like me, the Arizona sun can wreak havoc with our pale complexions. A hat is a necessity as well as a fashion statement. Olive-skinned people are not exempt from skin cancer, and even those of African descent carry a slight risk of contracting it. In addition, our bright sun poses another problem in late spring and summer, no matter how you travel: visibility!  The light is so piercing that at certain times of the day, you cannot see well, even with sunglasses. The extra shade of a hat brim helps here too, especially if you don’t have a hand to put up to shield your eyes. So if you are outside during the day for any reason, you really need protection. Plop on that hat and rub on some sunblock, or have your caregiver do it, even on a cloudy day. Your skin, eyes, and hair will thank you.

You Thought the Overt Skank Look Was Passe? Not Quite

20 Feb
thong, wefly2, undergarments, fashion statement, disabled shopping,disabled clothing

Photo from Peopleofwalmart.com.

“That’s not a pretty picture,” a nurse whispered to me as I waited for a patient outside a restroom in the ER. As a patient companion (“sitter,”) I see aspects of human nature I never expected to see. This night, it would include fashion as well. Turning my head, I saw a young woman leaving the hospital on crutches. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But wait! My eye caught something else: sweatpants, sagging in back, revealing a thong and most of her derriere.

Nothing Personal

You’ll notice I have included a photo of  a related fashion faux-pas, but not the specific offender. A photo of her would have violated patient confidentiality, as the thong-wearer was still inside the hospital; also, as I said in my first post, wefly2 does not go in for personal attacks. I saw nothing wrong with the woman’s figure, and I am happy her injury was treated and she was able to go home. It was her taste level that provoked me.
The Message: Warning: Graphic Comment

I don’t usually get down and dirty in this blog, but this time I will. Most of us are aware that our clothing, or lack of it, sends messages to those around us. A thong and a mostly-bare butt not only says “I’m super available,” but “I’ll do it in the convenience-store parking lot, and I don’t mind being sloppy seconds!”

Sorry about that. My understated, suggest-rather-than-flaunt aesthetic was offended.  By the way, the nurse and I were not the only ones who noticed, or rolled our eyes.

Everything in its Place

Am I becoming an undergarment censor? Of course not. A friend of mine wears thongs, but, as she says, “You’ll never see them; they are underwear.” It is entirely possible the patient didn’t have the presence of mind to think about her clothing choices in the throes of  her pain.  I will cut her some slack in that event. She may also not have realized that her sweatpants would sag as she adjusted her arms to use the crutches.

On the other hand, if one is not rushing to the ER, there are other, more tasteful ways to show off a nice rear, such as cupping it in well-fitting pants.  If you want the overstated skank look, I will not hold you back; I believe in freedom of speech, no matter how tasteless. But please, be aware of the message you are sending to your audience.

PS–My laptop caught a nasty virus, but I am finally back online (thanks, Jeremy!)

Finally, Rain in the Desert! TravelSmith Can Help You Weather the Storm

16 Dec
rain coat, TravelSmith, disabled fashion, disabled women, wefly2, disabled shopping, online shopping

My short trench rain coat from TravelSmith.

Rain in Phoenix is a novelty. Seriously. I have seen people run to the windows of their homes and offices when water pours from the sky, as it did yesterday. Some folks are unprepared and don’t even bother to turn on their windshield wipers, let alone purchase rain gear. Me? I carried an umbrella to dinner Friday night, as it had rained earlier in the day, but of course it didn’t in the evening. Last night, however, I was grateful for my TravelSmith short trench raincoat.

Water-Repellant, Handy, and Chic

I finished walking the dog in steady rain and was dry thanks to my coat‘s water-repellent qualities. Polyester with nylon lining, the tan trench-style coat lies somewhere between long jacket and car-coat length. It covers a blazer but does not look odd with any length of skirt. When you sit down while wearing it, it doesn’t pull anywhere–a plus for wheelchair and scooter users, although you may want a longer garment to keep your legs dry, like TravelSmith’s Navy Waterproof Trench Coat.  My TravelSmith coat also features a self-belt, silver-toned buttons, two outside pockets that button and two hidden pockets inside.   TravelSmith always thinks of safety options for travelers; this is their forte.

Current Offerings for Rain or Cool Weather

The most recent travelsmith.com offerings include a white “Nautical Crinkled” version of my coat for $99, the price I paid. This beauty still has the four pockets, self-belt, a crisp appearance and is supposed to shed wrinkles when packed for travel. Prefer another color? TravelSmith also offers a Navy Trench Jacket with similar, but not identical, styling for $149, and the Waterproof Trench Coat in several colors for $129-$179.

rain coats,rain jackets, trench jackets, travelsmith.com, disabled shopping, online shopping

The most recent version of TravelSmith’s trench rain jacket, available at travelsmith.com. Photo from travelsmith.com.

A Note About Fit

My short trench was a little snug in the hips when I first purchased it–I was not able to button the bottom button–but fit perfectly once I dropped a few pounds. I am not pear-shaped, but the tummy got in the way, I think! Sizes run as high as XL (18-20). If you think you might have the same problem I did and can’t order a size up, you might consider the full-length trench coat or some of the shorter jackets travelsmith.com has. Be sure to check the clearance section, too!

Ah, Climate

I love it when it rains here. I used to feel silly having a raincoat in my closet, but not anymore. We Phoenicians may not need hardcore winter wear like our friends in colder climates–we laugh when we see sweaters in department stores in September, and it is still 100 degrees here–but it always pays to be prepared for the rain. The clouds and dampness are a welcome change, and chic coats from TravelSmith can help us enjoy it!

Expert Style Advice: My BODS Profile from the Spashionista

5 Dec
disabled fashion, Spashionista, wefly2, sweater, dress, jeans, low-heeled shoes, mary janes, Old Navy, Payless

The Spashionista’s recommendations for outfits for me. The occasion was a happy-hour meeting. I sent her specs on my figure and foot needs as well.

Fellow fashion blogger Alicia of spashionistareport has developed her own spot-on system of personal shopping for disabled women. She calls it BODS, for Budget, Occasion, Disability, and Shape (or figure type). Provide her with the necessary information, and she researches an outfit for you–including purse and footwear! With her subjects’ permission, she includes her findings in her Friday Fashion posts. On a recent Friday, she completed a BODS profile for me.  Above are the outfit options she came up with, for a happy-hour meeting to discuss disabled fashion. I requested she follow a budget of $100 or less.  Her analysis and commentary appear below:

The Spashionista’s Analysis

” I’ve given Laura two options here. Both share a very similar upper body shape and focus bold, solid color near her face….

Let’s start with option one. The cardinal purple medium weight cotton blend cowl neck sweater dress is from Old Navy. It has an empire waist, hits just above the knee, and is priced at $39.

Because she has to wear orthotics in her shoes they must have a rounded toe and an athletic shoe style heel. These Lower East Side Alex side bow Mary Janes from Payless have a slight heel that mimics athletic shoes,  a rounded toe, and hidden elastic in the strap. These shoes are very comfy – I know this because I own them – and they are a steal at $17.

Laura has expressed a preference for fanny packs but I thought I’d show her a different option. The small Mossimo Supply Co. quilted chain crossbody black bag is from Target; it’s also $17.

Finally, stylesforless.com has these black and silver stacked 6-piece bangles for $9.

Option two replaces the dress with a top and pants. The top is also from Old Navy, a fuchsia, medium weight jersey with a natural waist and cowl neckline that sells for $32. The pants are from Amazon.com. They are Lee’s Comfort Waist straight leg pant in an indigo rinse, essentially a crisp-looking, more comfortable version of jeans. They sell for $28.

If you add up the totals you’ll see that option one comes in at $82. Option two is slightly over-budget at $103, but Laura can skip the bracelets and bring the grand total down to $94.”

There you have it! Online personal shopping, tailored to figure, finance, occasion, and disability. How uplifting is that? Without going into details about my figure, I’ll just say that the Spashionista has nailed it. From the comments her readers make on Fashion Friday, she has an eye for this endeavor. Also, she is always looking for subjects who want BODS profiles. Check her out at spashionistareport.wordpress.com!

When It Hurts to Go Barefoot, your Wallet Shouldn’t Feel the Pinch (Orthotics II)

8 Nov
PayLess Shoes, orthotics, disabled shopping, wefly2,shoes

Mary Janes from PayLess.com.

Let’s face it: sometimes it isn’t possible to save up for that comfy, long-lasting pair of New Balance walkers or SAS Mary Janes, even though you know the fit and quality will be good. You need less expensive shoes now; you are not going to cut back on groceries to buy them, and they still have to accommodate your orthotics. Mission impossible? Not always. Check out some of the less costly venues below.

Target and Target.com

Athletic shoes for $12.99 online…Mossimos for $8.64 in the store, on sale…various sizes and colors, too! The selection is larger online, but if you prefer trying on shoes in person, on-ground stores carry a variety of reasonably priced styles as well. Regular in-store prices range  from $19.99-$39.99.

Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart.com

$9.99 and even $8.99 sneakers on sale here. Like Target, online shopping may yield a bigger selection. A tip: look for removable footbeds to help with a good fit for your orthotics. If the online description doesn’t mention removable footbeds and the sales associate on the phone can’t answer your questions about them, you may want to skip the purchase.

BuyCheapr.com

What a find this site is! Look up your favorite orthotic-friendly styles in the Footsmart catalog, which also tells you which shoes suit flat,regular, and high arches. If BuyCheapr.com carries the same shoe–Nike,New Balance– you can purchase it for up to 50% less! Lots to choose from at good prices even if you don’t use this method.

PayLess and PayLess.com

Inventory changes frequently, and prices are well below those of department stores. Mary Janes, loafers, athletic shoes,  and other styles are all available for about $22.99, and Payless is currently offering a BOGO sale on selected shoes. Definitely worth checking out.

Shoes: Do You Get What You Pay For?

Probably, in many cases. I prefer to save for a pair that has rollbars to prevent pronation and is designed for orthotics and flat arches, even if I own fewer shoes that way. To each her own. But the market does allow us to run out and find good-looking shoes for an interview, date, or just-because-we-feel-like-it occasion without breaking the bank, and we need these options. Orthotics are becoming part of the footwear vocabulary now, slowly but surely! May you find what you need.