Tag Archives: United States

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.

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2013: Will I Avoid My Worst Fashion Faux Pas?

1 Jan
pajamas, dogs, wefly2, sleepwear, casual wear, disabled clothing

A representative pair of cotton-blend pajamas, worn to bed, around the house, and on dog walks.

Well…probably not. Yet, of all the habits a blogger on fashion, albeit a partially disabled one, should eliminate in the New Year, this one tops the list. We all know about diet resolutions (chant it with me now: Baconnaise does not exist. I will not buy it or dip potato chips into it) and exercise vows (30 minutes a day, every day!) But my faux pas? Hang on; this is a bad one.

The Confession

I walk my dog in my pajamas. In broad daylight, in a large American city.

The Rationalizations

It might not matter if I were a Victoria’s Secret Angel, but I was far from that even in my youth. Why would I do this? I work at night, but Tucker has to go out during the day, when I sleep. I am too lazy to get dressed, although I do pause to put on a bra before leashing him up as well as a sweater or jacket in cold weather. I should also point out that my pajamas are opaque and provide full coverage. Sometimes, I don a tee-shirt and  pajama bottoms. My ensemble (if you can call it that) may not be flattering, but it exposes nothing beyond ankles and elbows.

Additionally, Tucker is a Basset Hound. Have you ever heard a Basset bark or howl when he wants something? The woofs and aroos may be endearing in a rural setting, but I don’t want to disturb my neighbors. If he needs out, I want to get him there with minimal noise and fuss. My appearance is simply not a priority at these times.

Basset Hounds, Arizona Basset Hound Rescue

Tucker. With a face like that, I scramble to get him what he wants–pajamas or not!

The Switch to Slovenly

Knowing Tucker had to go out, I used to stay in my work clothes from the night before and doze on the couch, but that wreaked havoc with my neck (Ah, the days when I had a house with a doggy door!) Besides, there is something comforting and cathartic about taking off clothes from the office and stepping into cozy jammies for sleep. Fortunately, my complex is enclosed, set back from the street and blessed with large courtyards, so strangers never see me in this disheveled state. My neighbors, a wonderfully tolerant bunch, are cordial whether I am dressed for an evening out or a pajama-clad dog outing. The late landlord (RIP) behaved the same way. I guess the only thing that would change this unstylish habit is a change in work schedule!

You Do What, and Write What?

If you look at all the sleek, beautifully photographed personal-style blogs out there, you may find it hard to believe anyone writing about any aspect of fashion–even a plus-sized 50-something with neuropathy–would stoop to the sartorial depths that I do, let alone confess to it. (You’ll notice I have not posted a photo of myself in pajamas. I respect my audience, and their stomachs, too much for that).  But I like to admit I am human, confess my foibles, and laugh at them, even if I don’t change or eliminate them. This will not change with the New Year!

To Top It Off: Some Caps Never Go Out of Style

20 Nov
ali_mcgraw_html
Actor/model Ali McGraw (Love Story, among others) in a crocheted cap with attached crocheted flower–or seashell, or abstract object. This style was popular in the early 1970s. Photo from lovemark.com.

 

The picturesque hats at Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s wedding caused quite a stir in the fashion world, as UK

millinery is apt to do. In Spain, as blogger Laura of As Time Goes…Buy informs us, the hat styles worn at the races have an extensive history. Here in the States, many of us go bare-headed, unless we need safety helmets for work. The main exception is the ever-popular baseball cap.

However, as chilly weather descends on many parts of the country, those plucky canvas toppers are not likely to protect our heads from icy winds or frostbite. Despite our liberty-loving ways–does the Constitution specify freedom from hats?–catalogs and department stores still carry winter head coverings, many of which are good-looking and easy for a disabled woman or her caregiver to put on.

A Classic Shape

My favorite by far is the knit cap. Clean, classic, and available in fabrics ranging from acrylic to angora,  the head-hugging cap flatters most face shapes and stays on your head when wind speed picks up. This style also covers the ears but can be rolled back like a cuff to suit the wearer’s comfort. Knit caps pull outfits together, too–I have seen them in Phoenix recently, although our temperatures are still in the 70s–and can be worn plain or accessorized for added verve.

From Simple Decoration to Political Expression

In the early 1970s, one fun, flirty trend entailed threading a ribbon through the holes of the front edge of a crocheted cap and tying it slightly to one side.  This look still appears modern and works on women of varying ages. Fashion jewelry, a flower,  even plastic berries have decorated knit caps.  Another trend from those late-hippie years involved attaching a political-statement pin to the cap, such as “Vote for _____” or “End ______ now!” No reason socially conscious disabled women can’t pin their favorite causes or candidates’ names on their caps before going out. Unsure about adding “stuff” to your cap?  Pick your favorite color, and wear it as you like!

Head-Hugging Popularity

From the cloche of the 1920s to ski caps worn in the Olympics, it is clear that close-fitting head wear is here to stay. For disabled women, the knit cap is one classic, go-to item that requires little thought and no alterations–a major benefit when it comes to shopping for clothing and accessories! Wear yours in good health and your own sense of style!