Friday, 8 March 2019

Shopping for a Disability


I have spent the last 22 years finding ways to deal with a slow but degenerative condition. There are many different ways Muscular Dystrophy affects my day to day life and one aspect is my clothing.

The more certain areas of my body deteriorate, the more my clothing style has changed.

For a long time I was a simple t-shirt, jumper and jean guy in casual situations and a more casual-smart shirt, skinny jeans and a jacket when going out. However, over the years, I have had to sacrifice certain styles in my fashion to suit my body shape and how I move.

One would see this as a great excuse to go shopping but as a person who lives with a Dependant Personality Disorder making decisions, even small ones like choosing clothes, can make shopping a hellish activity.

Recently, I had to make that decision and adapt to both my clothing and my body but luckily Jacamo helped me.

Walking and moving my legs is usually my first priority when choosing clothes. There is usually a battle between wearing jeans and a casual pair of joggers.

Jeans can be a difficult choice for me. Personally I prefer wearing tight or skinny jeans. They fit my legs well and seem to match a fashionable style however, movement wise, they can be incredibly restrictive. If I choose to be in the wheelchair, which seems to be happening more and more, sitting in tight jeans is never comfortable; something I think anyone, abled bodied or not, can agree with.

This has meant that I have needed to change the style that I wear. This time I chose a pair of jeans that are quite loose. Not just around my waist but over my thighs and around my knees. This would aid both walking and being in a wheelchair. Importantly, unlike tight jeans, the pockets are large and deep.

I love a good jumper. It offers the obvious factor of warmth but the added factor of comfort. Hoodies particularly are a favourite of mine. This is where the second change in my physicality is really important on the style that I choose.

For a long time now I have always chosen hoodies that zip up the middle. However, having to hold my walking stick pockets are being used more and more. I find that with zip-up hoodies that once I put items such as my phone in my pockets  the combination of weight and my “awkward” movement means that it only takes a few metres and my zip has pulled itself down and the weight in the pockets create a natural “swing”. I have, subsequently, had to change to hoodies that have a centralised pocket on the front and no zip. It may only be a small style change but one that is important to how I move and feel comfortable.

Finally, my choice in jackets and coats has needed to be changed. This one has been around for a while now and sadly I have usually opted to go without one than invest in a new one. The choice of coats are usually quite expensive and for an ever-changing health condition the decision for a new and long term coat has to be taken seriously.

Coats are usually the most problematic. When walking they need to not restrict my arm movements so I can create enough momentum. They can’t be too tight on my chest for when I sit in a wheelchair, have buttons or zips easy enough for my fingers to do them up and finally, like the hoodies, enough pockets, perfectly placed, to carry items and counter my balance and movement.

So what was my opinion?

The jeans are comfortable, stylish and easy for me to move in. They feel great when I walk and when I sit in the chair. Importantly, choosing both the style and the tone would mean this would be suitable for both casual and more formal events.

I absolutely love my hoodie. I ordered the larger size and it is comfortable, cosy, free moving and the pocket on the front helps to centralise my balance and carry everything I need. It is perfect for both outside and inside the home for any occasion.

As mentioned above, the coat is the biggest and most difficult choice but I feel that Jacamo has great choices to choose from. The one I am wearing isn’t too heavy, there is enough movement under the arms for me to walk with my stick, it is long on me but equally doesn’t pull when I am sat in the wheelchair. I love the style of the buttons on the front and although they were easy for both Hannah and even the kids to do I find them a little tricky but then that is my muscular dystrophy over the design. However, it ticks all of the other boxes for what I would need.

With my health changing and knowing that I have to adapt along the way it is still nice that I can shop and find clothes that feel great, are practical and are still stylish.

What do you think? Am I still rocking the style despite my health restrictions?

(I was gifted these items for free to review. My opinions are my own and I am under no obligations to give a positive review. The choice of clothing, how I move, how the clothing fits and how good I look in the items are my own. Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of my blog)

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