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Friday, 18 August 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: A little bit of fluff


It feels super weird to be posting something as frivolous as a fashion post with all that's going on in the world right now. I wish I had words, words that would mean anything right now. But I really don't. What I have instead is pretty outfit photo.
I believe in the power of fashion blogging; I feel like taking the narrative of fashion back & showing that it is a place for everyone is really powerful. Perhaps it is an odd thing to say but I think of fashion blogging as my little bit of feminist activism, the little bit of good I do in the world that earns my place in it. It makes me feel better about how little else I am able to do.

Sitting here today it really doesn't feel like enough.

I don't know what else to say.


Perhaps all I can hope to do right now is provide a little bit of frivolousness.

Okay, these outfit photos were taken in a nearby park.
I had a whole concept of doing like a tea-party vibe & it totally didn't work :) I even had tea cups, scones....the whole nine yards. These are the only photos that ended up working out :)
Typical.
It's kind of nice to have outfit photos that aren't too conceptualised...although the concept was super cute :)
This is a dress I've worn in a post already, a post already this year even, but it is SO cute! Plus it was a must after I found this brooch.
I'm usually not a big fan of vintage brooches. sacrilege I know but I find them kind of...tacky? There is just something about them that reminds me too much of the old ladies in Kirkgate Market (it means something to me & it doesn't mean anything I aspire to....style wise at least).
I guess all the painsomnia window shopping on Etsy paid off though because I found this broach (which I totally forgot to take a good photo of, I'll make sure I put one on Instagram) & I am totally in love. It required instant outfit photos & this was the outfit I thought of. It seemed pretty perfect to me & it gave me an excuse to get the bolero which I have been lusting over but knew I didn't technically need. It made sense to me okay ^^


So the dress & bolero are both from Pinup Girl Clothing, the shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear & the petticoat is from Oh My Honey :)

Friday, 4 August 2017

Wheelchair Vintage: Which era? Part 1


I get quite a few questions about wearing vintage in a wheelchair so I'm starting a series, 'Wheelchair Vintage' which will aim to answer some of those questions.

Vintage has been quite a journey for me. Originally it was a by-product of trying to find full/circle skirts. What I needed was quite specific, I wanted a long skirt but not maxi, I wanted more volume than I could find in midi skirt & I wanted, I wanted something quite subtle which wasn't really in style at the time. So I found vintage which is all about the kind of skirts I was wanting & it actually helped me fall back in love with clothes & my body & blogging. So thank you to lindy bop for having affordable vintage style clothing.

I'm still pretty close to a total newb in this whole vintage thing but I have gotten a lot better at styling & also knowing what works best on my weird, plus size, wheelchair using body. So, inspired by a post that Jacqueline did on her blog salamistinkt (it was about skirt shapes in wheelchair) I am starting with a post of what eras/styles of 'vintage' work best in a wheelchair....or at least on my wheelchair using body.


1930's


So I'm starting in the 1930s. 1930s are a period that I have a love hate relationship with. I love the clothes but they don't love me lol.
Fashion in the 1930s was very feminine, quite modest, quite plain & honestly very different to the 1920s (I'm actually not a fan of the 1920s, my boobs are too big for that period of fashion). There were lots of almost pencil skirts. Not modern pencil skirts, more like a tighter, straighter, longer and more tailored version of the skirts from the 1920s. The skirts often had kick pleats & these skirt were balanced by outfits having a lot of volume at the top. whether in larger sleeves, blouse-y tops or furs.


So how does it wear on me?


Well, honestly, not that well. The fullest possible 1930s style skirt is not that full, I really had to search to find this dress (the heart of haute Manhattan dress btw). Without a lot of fullness in my skirt my stomach is way too visible for my liking. I am kind of awkward & lumpy looking & I wear a corset to help me have the shape I used to have the vintage silhouette & 30s style clothes show where the fat sticks out at the end of my corset, plus all my other weird lumps. Also the detailing on the shoulders makes my already large shoulders look like I'm padded up to play american football. Don't get me wrong this is actually one of my favourite dresses & I wear it often but, on me, it photographs terribly. I mean I took loads of photos & I basically only got this one & I had to get out of my chair to do it.

How does it wear in wheelchair?


There are lots of factors to this but I'm going to say not great. If you can find 30s style clothes more like this I would say pretty good. Depending on your bodyshape 30s can be a great style for you but it won't take you long to run out of 30s style clothes with the fuller skirt. When that happens pencil skirts are your next best bet & they are much harder to wear in a chair for mobility, comfort & them just fitting the way they are supposed to. Plus true vintage is hard to find & super expensive.

I'm giving it a 2/5

My look:

Dress: Heart of Haute
Gloves: Vintage

Places to look for clothes:

Top Vintage: 30's era
20th Century Foxy: 30's era
Unique Vintage: 30's era
Emmy Design: 30's era


1940's! 


I'm so happy for this one. Clothes that don't hate my body lol.
1940's fashion is, amazingly enough, very much split by the war. In Britain clothing rationing continued until 1949 (apparently only ending because of the distribution of forged clothing coupons) so the clothes here didn't really change much after the war, although obviously after the war Chanel's New Look debuted.
There was also a massive separation between European fashion in the 1940s & American fashion in the 1940s. America in the 1940s is pinup & wartime but there weren't the same limited resources there were in the rest of the world (there was more fabric, it was possible to buy proper stockings & makeup was more readily available) so a lot of what we think of as 1940s fashion is American 1940's fashion.


How does it wear on me?


I'm plus size & that wouldn't have been exactly the norm in the 1940s & there is an element to which I feel like I don't look particularly 1940s just because of that. The clothes in the 1940s are also very plain & simple, the fabrics are soft & the skirts don't have a lot of volume. This makes it both forgiving & not forgiving. It softens me & is subtlety feminine (it would make awesome work wear) but it also has a tendency to cling slightly & make me feel conscious that I look lumpy & large.
Quite honestly though, having grown up watching the Chronicles of Narnia tv series (my brother & I borrowed the VHS of those from blockbusters every time we went, gosh that sentence made me feel OLD) it would take a lot to dissuade me from wearing 1940s style clothes.


How does it wear in a wheelchair?


As I said, the skirts in 1940s clothes don't always have a lot of volume & even the reproduction stuff tends to be made of quite soft fabrics so I would recommend a slip or a very thin petticoat under the skirts to stop them dipping between your legs but honestly I think this is a win. I know a lot of wheelchair users find the fuller, 1950's style skirts that I prefer too big & honestly they can be, especially if you have a manual chair. The 1940s style skirts strike a good balance, they are narrower but not so narrow that it makes movement difficult.
I also think that the 1940s are a good place to start a vintage wardrobe. A lot of the pieces are basics & can cross over into other eras & it's also an era that doesn't look 'too vintage' you know? A shirt dress looks vintage or not depending on how you wear it but a poodle skirt is always going to be a poodle skirt you know?


I'm giving it a 4.5/5


My outfit:


Hat: Etsy
Gloves: Vintage
Blouse: Collectif Clothing
Skirt: 20th Century Foxy
Shoes: B.A.I.T. Footwear

Some places to look for clothes:


Unique Vintage: 40's era
20th Century Foxy: 40's era
Top Vintage: 40's era
Emmy Design: 40's era
Miss Candyfloss


My other 40's looks:


Autumn Pinup, more the top than the skirt but I think it counts
Hurricane Plaid


1950's

So the 1950's was a big era, fashion wise. There are so so many kinds of fashion from the 50's, it's kind of the era when fashion started to boom (I know people credit that to the 60's but I call bull). Anyway, so 50's gives vintage lovers a lot of scope so look out for part two, there'll be more 50's stuff in that one. So, this is new look-ish 1950's. New look style fashion is iconic for the full skirts & tailored, almost peplum jackets, The tailoring look transitioned into clothes that were not suits much like this dress.
Unsurprisingly the 1950's in Britain were much more subdued, fabric was still hard to come by & most people had very little disposable income, so skirts were narrower & petticoats less voluminous.


How does it wear on me?


50's fashion, in all it's forms, is designed for a woman with a more ample figure, ample for the times at least (you wouldn't believe how much vintage 50's clothing has a 24 inch waist...that's about the size of my thigh....). This means that the repro clothing I wear lends it's self to my very ample figure much better than some other styles. I also find that petticoats make outfits easier to photograph as the skirts don't dip between my legs & the volume gives the feel of movement that sitting down takes away from me. I also like that this style of 50's gives me back my hourglass silhouette, all in all 50's works for me.


How does it work in a wheelchair?


Honestly, it depends on your wheelchair. If you use a manual chair I would say badly. Petticoats are key to this kind of 1950's silhouette & they can be very bulky in a wheelchair (I can not count the number of times I've had petticoat caught in my chair or bunching weirdly). For me it works & I like how dressy they make me feel but I know that they can get to be a touch impractical. There are a few options like getting a smaller petticoat (I have the Zooey petticoat from Malco Modes & I really like it) or stiffened underskirts like this one from pinup girl clothing.
In a powerchair or on a mobility scooter 1950's clothes are still bulky but less of a problem as they won't get in your way as much, whilst a skirt could get stuck in the wheels of a manual chair it's unlikely that it's going to get stuck in anything important on a powerchair. 1950's clothes aren't great for transferring to the chair, just because there can be some rearranging needed in order to get the skirt & petticoat settled & that can be tricky to do on your own &/or annoying if you have to do it a couple of times a day.

I'm giving it a 3.5/5


Outift


Hat: Etsy
Sunglasses: Collectif Clothing
Dress: Collectif Clothing
Gloves: Vintage
Shoes: B.A.I.T. Footwear

Places to look for clothes:


Unique Vintage: 50's era
20th Century Foxy: 50's era
Top Vintage: 50's era
Emmydesign: 50's era

My other 50's looks:


Watercolour Roses
Lilac Snowdrops: Let's call this 50's, it's kind of 1958-1962-ish... so I guess it counts.


There will be a part 2 to this post so if you have any suggestions or styles you would like to see please let me know :)


Friday, 21 July 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: It's 5 o'Clock Somewehere


It's kind of amazing to be back at my laptop writing a post. I didn't realise how intensely I would miss this. Blogging is my escape in so many ways, it introduced me to a community & a group of friends who mean the world to me, it gives me permission to spend too much money on my self, it gives me an opportunity to set goals I can achieve & space to keep growing & developing, it allows me to escape into the fantasy my photos create & it also means that I physically escape my house. Seriously, I pretty much don't leave my house when I'm not taking outfit photos.

For all that, it was kind of nice to get a little space. I was getting behind on my blogging & it wasn't leaving me any room to think about the fun parts of it. I would seriously get to the point where my blogging routine was "I need to get a post done for tomorrow" so I'd come up with an outfit as I was getting dressed, take photos, edit them, write a post as fast as possible, post it & spend most of the time in between in bed. It wasn't good for my health & honestly it wasn't that fun.
Which is why I needed a break. Re-think, re-assess & then re-engage. Hopefully even better than before :)


So this dress is the one my little brother got me for my birthday. He over heard me telling my mum how much I loved it but that I didn't want to spend any more money on clothes till autumn & instantly offered to buy it for me (it's moments like that which I use to remind myself that he's my brother & I love him when he is running up & down stairs slamming every door he encounters for no reason absolutely lol).
I wouldn't have let him buy it if it had been as expensive as some of my emergency fund dresses but it's from Lady V Vintage & their dresses are around £45-£60. I think this one was £45-£50 but it's totally out of stock so I can't check. I'd still recommend having a look at their stuff, their prints can be really fun, the styles are really nice & they go up to a size 32.
The petticoat is my first one in a colour & I love it so much! It's from Oh My Honey & it's so pretty & floofy, I need like 8 more. Seriously though the coloured petticoat makes such a difference, even though it's over flowing my skirt everywhere it makes me feel really pulled together. Just like the women you see in picture of the 50's where their hat & shoes & belt match & go with their outfit perfectly. Plus it's all pretty & lavender coloured.


My whole concept for this shoot was, does it sound pretentious when I say 'shoot' or 'photoshoot' to describe what I do because I really don't mean it to. The way I like to take outfit photos is starting to feel a lot like a photo shoot & it's just the word that comes most naturally...
Anyway, the concept for the shoot was all focused around the dress which I think is a perfect garden party dress you know? Sexy, structured, formal & daytime all at once is garden party or wedding to me, at least in my brain. I found these box hedges last time I was at Temple Newsam & I knew I wanted to take photos there so it kind of all came together pretty quickly, apart from the part where I had to take photos twice because the first time the dress wouldn't stay closed over my boobs. I've always had had bigger boobs but things are expanding or whatever & I'm now keeping outfits together with a will & a prayer.....plus a lot of safety pins & double sided sticky tape.
The glamorous behind the scenes of fashion lmao.


Cheers :)

P.S. How cool is this vintage champagne saucer? My mum had 12 of them in a cupboard & hadn't used them in ages. Some fizzy peach juice & some cheap maraschino cherries on a cocktail stick & it totally looks like something people drank at garden parties in the 50's. At least I think so.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Dappled Florals


I've always liked the end of spring/beginning of summer: it doesn't usually start to get warm in Yorkshire until this time of year, the lilacs & bluebells are finally out & my birthday is at the beginning of June. You know I can't remember it ever raining on my birthday, when I was a little kid I thought it was because I'd been really good all year & I still kind of feel like it's at least a little to do with me lol.
Obviously this time of year is also exam season in the UK so for 4 or 5 years before I had to stop going to school I was kind of stuck indoors during this time of year. It still feels very luxurious being out this time of year, like this one time I skipped class in the middle of my GCSE exams & sat in a park with friends eating ice-cream instead. It was pretty incredible, I think I'd done 12 exams that week it felt so incredible just to relax & not to think about tests for a while.


I don't do exams anymore but I still don't get out that much, the joys of M.E. lol.
It's always wonderful when I do though. It's usually the first outfit photos of the year where I'm properly warm (you wouldn't believe how many outfit photos a year I take whilst freezing cold), the light is always super pretty (which makes taking photos much easier) & it's generally just so beautiful everywhere that it's a joy to be out of the house, especially after a long winter. Yes, all my thoughts are about outfit photos but seriously without the outfit photos I would never get out.
For the past few years I have really wanted to do outfit photos near lilacs but lilacs are surprisingly hard to find. Surprisingly because there seems to be a bush in every garden you see....but not in parks or formal gardens. I guess lilac bushes were considered déclassé when they were planted or something but they are nearly impossible to find. Finally I found some in Golden Acre Park (quickly becoming my new favourite place to take outfit pictures) although I had quite an adventure getting to them.



I don't know golden acre park very well so just finding the lilacs was tricky (they are tucked in behind the cafe near the staff car park...it was confusing) & they are then up a not very wheelchair accessible lip? The edge of the path, which is all grass, has one of those kerb thing like on a pavement or something & it is seriously hard to get on or off in a wheelchair. On involved getting out of the chair & my mum lifting it over the kerb & off involved closing my eyes & trying not to squeal as I went over the edge unexpectedly whilst I was trying to find a shallower part of the lip lol.
Totally worth it; the lilacs were beautiful, it was a nice quiet area to take photos & I was able to realise an ambition. And realise it with style, these photos are stunning. I don't even feel like I'm looking at myself.
It's hard to believe that my mum & I took these photos ourselves, they remind me of photos I've seen of Miss Victory Violet & Idda van Munster....although their photos are much MUCH better. I still feel like I've unlocked some kind of secret blogger achievement. I think this one is called 'wheelchair's next top model?'. What do you think? lol.



Outfit talk time. The only place I could find the dress is on Unique Vintage where I got it. It is on sale but it's also only available in a 4XL....which was handy for me because that's my size :) It's a Bernie Dexter Paris dress like the 'summer dress' (not the official name) I had last year. I love the Bernie Dexter Paris dress shape but they are expensive, similar to a Pinup Girl Clothing jenny dress but the skirt isn't as long or as full so it can be slightly hard to justify. Moreover the place I buy them from (Unique Vintage) doesn't have my favourite international shipping. It just takes such a long time......often by the time it arrives I've forgotten I ordered it. Not really ideal I have to say.
Anyway, for this reason & a few others I don't buy a lot of Bernie Dexter dresses so I didn't get this one last year even though I couldn't stop looking at it. However this year I saw it on sale with only my size left & I kind of felt like it was fate. I actually think I like it more than the summer dress I got last year!
The shrug is from Collectif Clothing. It was a little pricey (£32.50, sizes XS-XXL) but I thought it would be a great staple for wearing with summer dresses & it totally is. It is super soft, stretchy, warm but not too warm & really comfortable. I don't know if anyone else has ever had this but I have always found that this kind of bolero/shrug type thing always digs into my neck & curls up all over the place & is generally a nuisance. This was actually amazing. It didn't dig in, it wasn't uncomfortable & it was generally wonderful. 100% recommend.


The petticoat is my regular white petticoat, I would love to get a more colourful petticoat but I can't decide which colour to get. If you have any ideas I'd love to hear them, I really need advice :)
Make sure to check out my Instagram I have loads of other pictures that I'll be sharing :)


Friday, 28 April 2017

Casual Wheelchair Fashion: A How To


A while ago I kind of bumped into a convo @Ixzianna & @mindmagicnatter were having on twitter. They were talking about how hard it is to look as fabulous as you want to in a wheelchair.
I have always thought that sitting down is the main problem, sitting is crazy unflattering because clothes are designed to be stood in. Most of the time wheelchair users don't sit ramrod straight in their chairs (for all kinds of reasons, I sit like that because it's less exhausting) which exacerbates all the problems of sitting. You can be the most stunning person in the world but still look disproportionate when sat awkwardly. So what clothes can you wear to combat the problem?

When I went into this post I thought I was going to write a 'do this, don't do that' like the hundreds of articles we've all seen on 'how to dress for your shape'. My understanding of clothes & how to dress my body comes from a thousand Gok Wan re-runs talking about bodies as apples and pears and hourglasses like something out of Alice in Wonderland. This stuff worked for me as a teenager (in the days before my chair), it built me back up from a shy, uncomfortable teenager who'd been told too often that she was fat & that her clothes were ugly into someone who was able to wear clothes as armour.
The problem is this stuff doesn't work for wheelchair users. It's not just a matter of "apples, pears, hourglasses and, oh yes, those on wheels". There's guidelines I guess, "don't wear a huge flowy satin ball gown" being one of them (satin is shiny & makes it hard not to slip off the chair & all that fabric is bound to get caught in your wheels) but I'm pretty sure there is no-one who wears huge flowy satin ball gowns for casual anyway...


I think my main problem is that these are my 'casual clothes', this is what I wear when I'm not all dressed up (& I usually only get properly dressed two or three times a month). I used to wear casual clothes, one of the things I aimed to achieve in the early days of my M.E. was getting dressed every day, but it has been a lot of years & even more flares since then. I don't even change my pjs every day anymore. I've gone back through my old posts & tagged all my casual outfits so you can find them easily but as you can see, it's been a while.

The best advice I can give you can be simplified into 4 tips:

Buy from places you can return things to easily
I get most of my clothes online (for so many reasons) & I have totally learnt this the hard way, mostly ordering clothes from America that would have cost more to send back than I would have got in the refund. I call it a learning moment (although it doesn't seem to teach me not to do it again) but it can be quite dispiriting...as well as making your bank balance angry with you lol. Even trying things on in the shop isn't an exact science so I always like to be able to return things.

Get your clothes altered (if necessary) 
Everyone has their own personal bugbears with how clothes made for 'regular' people don't fit right (mine is skirt lengths) & most of these can be fixed. Where I live there are loads of shops that just do alterations on clothes & I think there are even places online. If you explain what you want doing they are usually more than happy to help.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
However carefully you pick clothes they aren't necessarily going to look quite right in a wheelchair. There's not much you can do about it....except accessorising. You can't imagine how many outfits I have saved by adding a belt or a super cute necklace.

Most importantly...
Follow as many wheelchair users who post ootd/full body selfies as possible
Wheelchair user are massively under-represented so it can be hard to see yourself. I get a lot of my outfit inspiration from outfits I see other people wearing & it's much easier to come up with outfits that work in a wheelchair if you see outfits that work in a wheelchair. Does that make sense?

The best thing I can do now is introduce you to some wheelchair users with AMAZING fashion sense.


Let me introduce you to Cat. I think I first came across Cat back in my Tumblr days, before I even had a proper blog. It wasn't until I started following her on Instagram however that I realised how much I adore her style. Like I knew but I didn't KNOW.
I think part of the reason I love her style so much is that it reminds me of my black clothes years. I don't wear black much anymore (I don't like it much & I feel like it kind of merges me back into my chair) but I used to be a total emo/goth/scene-girl teenager. I was never as cool as I thought though & definitely not as cool as Cat Sierra.
So, in my opinion the things that make Cat Sierra's style work so well in a wheelchair is that she keeps all the 'bulk' up top (also her awesome taste in jackets). Please keep in mind that I am not a fashion expert so when I give an analysis I have no idea what I'm talking about but I think one of the important things in a wheelchair is that if you are going to have volume in your outfit, have it on the top OR the bottom, not both.
I also think that Cat makes the all black theme work, it looks super chic  it gives a look of....you know that 'fashion rule' where you are supposed to wear the same colour of shoes as your tights? I feel like all black fashion is like the ultimate expansion of that, although the pops of colour are the coolest part of it for me, there is nothing quite as cool as a monochrome look with something bright & cool & chic like the jackets in these pictures.
These are the links to Cat's twitter, instagram, her etsy shop (where she sells really cool enamel pins) & to her GoFundMe where she is raising money for a foldable powerchair. Go follow her :)


My next introduction is Robyn Lambird. I also first came across Robyn in my Tumblr days but she's even cooler now than she was back then. Wheelchair athlete, style icon & disability activist there seriously seems to be no end to the awesomeness of Robyn Lambird. I'm focusing on her style though & seriously it is so cool. I'm pretty certain I have never been this cool and it's hard to narrow down exactly why her style is so cool. Part of it is the effortlessness, part of it is the cool androgonous...ness? of it & part of it is that it always looks like really cool active-wear street style.
Mostly though it's the fact that her style is everything I am scared to wear in a wheelchair.
I guess everyone has their fashion fears & mine is this cool, effortless, relaxed look. I place so many rules on my style because I'm terrified that I'm going to look like a sack of shit with a string tied around the middle (mostly because I do, seriously the reason I wear high waisted skirts is that underneath them it looks like I shoved a very large, very sad, bean bag under my top). It's totally a wheelchair based fashion fear, I was much more casual before I became a wheelchair user & I actually didn't wear that many skirts (pretty much just this really cool tiered tulle mini skirt from H&M that I adored, it was purple & it drove the head of my 6th form crazy) but the wheelchair changes things & it lead to me accessing a very different part of my style :) Seeing wheelchair users dressed like this makes me so happy.
So what makes her style work so well? Well Robyn's signature look is actually a wheelchair user standby - baggy tops & tighter bottoms with comfortable shoes. The thing that makes her look so special is that she injects so much personality into it; there is nothing shy about the way she dresses & that's good! It's interesting, Robyn rarely wears colours that are especially in your face or even very bold patterns but the way she puts things together impels you to be aware of her. Part of it is the clothes but I would say that part of it is 'The Beyonce Factor', just simply being awesome & knowing it. Not exactly helpful I know.
Another part of what makes Robyn's style work so well is that she breaks all kinds of 'rules'. I mean if anyone was going to write a set of Rules for wheelchair fashion I'm pretty sure one of the big ones would say no short skirts, especially not without tight/leggings. But as Robyn proves in the first picture, it's not so much what you are wearing as how you wear it.
You can find Robyn on her Youtube, InstagramTwitter & Tumblr. I totally recommend following her on as many of these as possible :)


This is mermaiddisguised. A while ago I was looking for other wheelchair users who did fashion &/or beauty blogging (I was feeling kind of like the odd one out) & I ended up coming across Beth. Just knowing Beth was out there made me feel more confident as a blogger, I wasn't alone anymore & I would credit it with a lot of the braver things I have done as a blogger.
Representation in action :)
Beth doesn't post quite as many outfit posts as some of the others but I love her style, it is the perfect combo of comfortable & cute. It's kind of my approach to casual fashion- simple-ish, classy clothes, loose tops, tight bottoms & comfortable shoes - but much MUCH cuter :) It's weird, because this is so close to what I would choose to wear it is hard for me to break it down....
The reason I wear my clothes baggy on top & tighter on the bottom is that I carry my weight in my stomach & butt so that when I gained all my I'm-comfort-eating-retaining-water-and-not-moving-that-much weight it was easy to hide with baggy tops (or high waisted skirts). It's a pretty good look even if you don't have any extra weight to mask because it tends to sit pretty well in a wheelchair.
Why Beth in particular? I don't know really...there is an element of that kind of ineffable Parisian Chic-ness to it - simple pieces worn in interesting & appealing ways. About the most helpful thing I could possibly have said huh? I guess that's just my jam today :)
Her hair is also always really cute which totally helps (a good hair cut can make a big difference).
You also totally have to check out her blog it's a lot of fun & a good read. You can also find her on instagram, twitter & facebook.



Finally Sitting_Pretty. I love Rebekah, she is the person I want to be when I grow up (possibly merged with Bianca Del Rio and Marlene Dietrich...which would also be the coolest, most badass kind of Manticore ever). One of the things I lost through my M.E. was my voice, not my physical voice but my writing voice. I was never going to write the next best seller or the next prize winning piece of investigative journalism but I wrote really good essays & it is this skill that I miss the most, more than walking. reading & getting dressed by myself. I lost the voice my brain spoke in & it feels weird every day. Partly that is why I love Rebekah's feed so much, for every single selfie she posts there is a wonderfully crafted pocket memoir, essay...I don't know what to call it, a wonderful piece of writing that blurs the lines between poetry & simple exposition.
Don't get me wrong though, Rebekah's style is also super cool. It's got that great ModCloth geek t-shirt vibe (if that makes any sense to anyone but me). This is yet another style that I ADORE but would never wear - mostly because these cool geeky t-shirts usually come in high neck styles that make me look 90% boob &/or they don't come in big enough sizes to get past my boobs....plus the sad beanbag that is my stomach would be way too visible. However there is something really cool about wearing something as simple as a t-shirt & making it look put together & pretty. Plus there is nothing better than a really cool geek-y t-shirt.
Whilst it is really simple (& I'm sure Rebekah didn't spend an hour putting her looks together) there are a few little tricks being employed her that make it work especially well.
First, the t-shirts are over-sized. This is subtle, 'womens' fit t-shirts are usually designed to be worn skin tight but these are maybe a size bigger than that, possibly two? Perfect sizing because it sits better in the chair & honestly it's also a lot comfier than form fitting clothes.
Second, she tends to pair them with tighter bottoms. Yes I have gone on about this one a bit, it's not a required wheelchair user fashion thing but it really does look good & makes putting together outfits easier.
Finally, she carries it all with confidence. Rebekah always seems to be ready to take on the world & honestly she could wear one of those big yellow IKEA bags & she would still look amazing because she presents as being so confident.
Find Rebekah on her instagram, on her website & on many guest posts around the web.


To sum up: 
Wheelchair fashion, much like all fashion, is subjective. It depends on your tastes, your body shape & your personality (as well as how forgiving your bank balance is). As with many things in life there are no hard and fast rules, what you like & you feel good in is going to work better than anything I recommend.
However what I have gleaned from looking at many MANY wheelchair users' ootds is as follows:

  • Cute hair styles help, as does liberal application of hair dye
  • Larger tops & tighter bottoms (in a clothing sense, my mum has a dirty mind & made this sentence seem gross)
  • Dress for you, people who say crap things are saying more about them than they are about you
It can be hard being confident in who you are & what you are wearing, especially when so many people feel they need to talk shit. My Grandma (mum's mum) is a total bitch about this, she's been telling me I'm too fat for as long as I can remember & it got even worse after I got sick & started using the wheelchair, she has said some truly unforgivable things. Her words really used to chip away at my confidence & self esteem making me feel disgusting.
I would say it wasn't until I started doing outfit posts that I managed to develop some confidence in myself & my body & I would totally recommend it to anyone, wheelchair user or not, who is not feeling body/style confident. The internet is not a 100% positive place but it does contain a lot of wonderful, supportive people & there is very little better than the friends you can make online & the support they can offer.

Other people to follow:

Erin Clark: Instagram Website Twitter
Ruby Allegra: Instagram Twitter (I wish I had known about Ruby when I started this post because I 100% would have included her, she's amazing!)
Elianne Speksnijder: Instagram Youtube Twitter Facebook
Claire Freeman: Instagram 
Rachel Marie: Instagram Blog 
Michelle Roger: Instagram Blog Twitter Youtube
Jacqueline van Kuilenburg: Instagram Blog Twitter Facebook
Jillian Mercado: Instagram Tumblr Twitter Youtube

The wheelchairfashion hastag on instagram (which has grown so much since I first used it, it used to be like two or 3 people & a lot of disability aids, now there are so many people using it it is amazing).


P.S. the top in the first image is from Scarlett & Jo.


Friday, 7 April 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Aqua


Writing my outfit posts seems so unreal sometimes, today especially. I'm not quite sure why, but there's something about sitting in a darkened room, with freezing cold feet hearing the semi-muffled voices my brother & his friend talking at the top of their voices that makes it seem like there is no way that only a few days ago I was out taking outfit photos & that it was relatively warm...or at least it felt so at the time. But then maybe it isn't all that real, the lake looks kind of clean in the photos & I can tell you from experience that it's really not (I used to kayak on it in my pre-M.E. days & it is super gross).
I guess a touch of unreality is part & parcel of the blogger's life. No-one would want to see a picture of me looking as I do right now. Trust.


Semi-philosophic musings aside this skirt is seriously amazing. It's one of the best things I have ever owned, not just based off of the print. I know I say that all the time but I am serious for this one. The only thing it is missing is pockets. Other than that, the shape, the length, the print & the quality are A++ standard. Seriously Heart of Haute are really amazing. The only place I can find it in stock is on pinup girl clothing. I would still look on heart of haute though, they may not have this one but the ones they do have are stunning.
Talking of things that are near impossible to get, the top is one of pinup girl clothing's old style of peasant blouse (they changed the underbust from straight to a curve...) so it's not instock anywhere I could find. I think they released a similar colour recently though if you were looking for something in this colour family.
The cardigan, shoes & hair bow are simpler. The hair bow is a scarf from collectif clothing (£6.50), the cardigan is from Deadly is the Female (£25 uk sizes 8-24, 11 colours) & shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear ($72, US sizes 6-11).


Sorry if things got a little abrupt there at the end but my cat has decided that my laptop taken up enough of my time and that it's now her turn so she's taken over my lap & keep looking up to make sure I'm not doing any more work. I'm having to finish this via the voice to text feature on my phone lol. Cats are adorable but they are definitely in charge Yes, yes you are

Friday, 17 March 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Lilac Snowdrops


I believe in clothes much as Audrey Hepburn believed in pink & Marilyn Monroe believed in shoes. (Doesn't that sound good, doesn't mean anything but it sounds good lol.)
Seriously though I believe that the right clothes at the right time can change the world just a little bit. My world anyway & I have an 'emergency dress fund' precisely for those kinds of clothes.
I tend to be quite practical with my clothes choices, vintage style clothes can be really expensive so I can't just buy whatever looks cute. I pick separates over dresses every time because they can be worn multiple ways & I only buy anything if I can think of 3 ways I can wear it with the pieces I already have. Whilst this is sensible & means that most of the things in my wardrobe work well together, it can be a little joyless. I can't count how many dresses I adored I've had to let pass because it's not really the practical choice.
That's where the 'emergency dress fund' came in. Once a season & no more I can pull the emergency dress fund card & buy some ridiculous dress that I can't live without. Surprisingly I've only bought 3 so far. Even more surprisingly they have all become staples for days when I can't stand to wear pyjamas one second longer.


This dress is the 3rd 'emergency fund' dress I've gotten (1st & 2nd) & it may be my favourite. It's definitely the most obviously me. I mean all those pretty lilacs? I literally have a tattoo of lilacs! It's my favourite flower 100%. Plus there is all the lovely deep purple roses & the great blues...this print could have been made for me, it contains all my favourite colours. It's got that great timeless English rose floral print type look. I could have been wearing a dress with a print like this going back to the Georgian period. It probably wouldn't have been in purple but historical accuracy is not really the point, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been tattooed, in a wheelchair or showing all this much leg either. Little details.


So dress, it's a Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny Dress (capitalised with good reason, it's a title with heritage & dignity lol).
The dress cost $168 (you can see why it was an emergency fund dress...) & comes in XS-4XL. I am EXACTLY in between a 2XL & a 3XL in the Jenny Dress (the 2XL being a 36 inch waist & the 3XL being a 40 inch waist). The last jenny dress I got was in the 3XL....possibly a mistake. SUPER comfortable & great for casual wear without shape wear but it doesn't look quite right otherwise. I got this one in the 2XL, 100% by accident (I'm a 2XL in most Pinup Girl Clothing items so I didn't even think to check the size guide). I'm so pleased I did mess up though because this dress is exactly the right size, especially with a tightly laced corset (I get my corsets from Orchard Corsets & I wore a mesh one under this dress because it was the only one I had that I could zip my dress over...).


So, the jenny dress. I am a massive fan of the shape of the Jenny skirt; they are pretty much what converted me to the whole pin-up/vintage life. That should mean that I am an equally big fan of jenny dresses but I have to say I'm not 100% sold on them. They are lovely dresses, don't get me wrong, I just have a few quibbles.
My biggest quibble is the zip in the back, how the beep are people supposed to get dressed by themselves if they can't even reach the zip? It's weird, especially as hidden zips in the side are so common place now.

My next big quibble is the waist. I'm not a true hourglass anymore but I do have quite a small waist in proportion to everything else & I look best when my skirts sit on that waist (it's why I wear statement belts & cropped cardigans & big retro style skirts...it's kind of my signature look). The jenny dress has quite a long bodice, dropping a good inch & a half below my natural waist. It takes some creative accessorising to make my proportions look right, worth it but slightly annoying.
(My mum tried on the dress & the waist hits her perfectly, so I guess it's a body shape thing.)

My only other quibble is the price. Jenny dresses are pricey, depending on your budget I would say they can be worth it but they are decidedly not cheap, especially after postage to the UK.


On the other hand I am totally in love with this dress & have worn it 3 times already (which might not seem like a lot but I normally only wear non-pj clothes 3 times a month maximum, you can see how this is more than is normal for me). I would totally recommend it if you have a lot of weddings to go to this summer, or if you just really adore a good floral print. It's one of those dresses you have in your wardrobe that works for any occasion you know?

Plus I got loads of compliments on it when I was out taking pictures & I almost never do, at most one person will say something. This time I was complimented three times! It's just that kind of dress.

P.S. How nice are the snow drops? Snowdrops are one of my favourite spring flowers & it's so unusual to see more than one or two at a time!

P.P.S. Notes from my Mum. "The pockets are really handy and it looks good even on a fat old lady."

Friday, 10 February 2017

Wheelchair Fashion: Rockabilly Cat Lady


I hope you don't mind but my cat kind of crashed the party a little for this ootd post. Of course you don't mind, she is totally adorable & cats do rule the internet after all. Of the many MANY things that prevented me from posting over January getting Renata (my cat) was one of them.
The last time I had a cat I was maybe 3? I don't remember her at all but I have been pestering my mum for a pet ever since I can remember. There were always so many good reasons why we couldn't get one that it didn't seem like it would ever be possible.... I guess I finally wore her down though because last month we went to the RSPCA & adopted Renata (formerly Lulu). She is a 9 year old former stray with a food allergy & the sweetest, most cuddly cat ever. She will literally snuggle up to anyone who has a lap spare & spends most of her day on the end of my footstool pushing me off 😊


I get the feeling I might be talking a little bit too much about a cat in what is supposed to be a wheelchair fashion post...that isn't even in a wheelchair. There are two very good reasons for that 1) it was -2°C & raining & 2) my chair is broken again. Also inside I can put my pjs back on as soon as I've finished. Which I did.

Not that I didn't like this outfit, super cute & really comfortable for being real people clothes, I especially like the jumper (collectif clothing £14.75 on sale, usually sizes 8-22). Now I usually don't pick things that aren't a deep scoop neck because I realised in high school that high necklines make me look like my boobs start at my chin & end at my waist (not a flattering look) & that I generally can't pull them off (otherwise I would have some of the miss fortune knitted tops). But 2016 was a year where I took a whole load of fashion risks, totally changing my style being one of them) & I'm trying to keep that doing in 2017 so I bought the top, it was on sale anyway so I wasn't loosing anything...I seriously love it. Cute top, cute print, flattering cut. Can be dressed down, can be dressed up. Light enough to layer but warm enough to wear on it's own. Would work in all seasons, especially spring/English summer though, you ever notice how nautical is in every year?


The skirt is also on sale btw, although I got it at full price. You know, usually I would regret that but I have gotten so much wear out of this already that I can't be mad about it you know? It's quite a long skirt, not really the length I would choose for wearing in my wheelchair usually, but it's not too long if you're not sitting down. The fabric is nice & heavy, it's cute with a petticoat & that sparkle is EVERYTHING! I don't particularly like the belt but that's a personal preference thing, not a problem with the belt.
Plus the zip is good, nice lining & the cut with the cool panelling....awesome.

The headband/scarf/whatever thing is also from collectif clothing. It's my first one, I've never had anything like it so I don't know how it stacks up to any others but it's nice & wide, long & very soft which makes it pretty multi-purpose. You can tie the bow any which way you like & I have to rate it just for that. It's a good introduction to the whole hair bow thing if nothing else.
I am totally hooked, I already ordered a whole bunch more on etsy.

So you don't think the whole look is from collectif clothing, the belt is from modcloth (too old for a link I'm afraid). I'm truly not sponsored by collectif clothing, their store is just in the UK & has a good range of well made clothing so when I am being brave I tend to pick them as I can always return something if I hate it. Only one return so far & it was my mistake not anything wrong with the item.


How was your January? Do you have any pets & any advice to a new pet servant owner?

P.S. I call this 'wheelchair fashion' because it is what I would have worn in my wheelchair if I'd been able to use it.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Only 8 more Sleeps till Christmas...


The festive season is very low key in my family. The house really isn't big enough for a Christmas Tree - we used to have one when we were kids that went up Christmas Eve & came down Boxing Day - & we don't really do any other decorating. That's not that we don't celebrate in our own way but it's more 'Happy Holidays' than 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' you know? Plus I'm always extra sick over Christmas so we are even quieter than we were before I got sick.
The one, over the top, glitzy, 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' thing I go nuts for is the festive clothes. The festive season is the one time of the year where you can wear the most fun, sparkly, glamorous clothes. Or at least buy them, put them in your wardrobe & never wear them. I have totally done that, like more than once.


Christmas fashion being the best part of the whole thing (in my opinion) I was really happy to treat myself to this outfit. I had thought it was a massive splurge & that none of the pieces would be re-wearable but I actually really love them, despite their quirks.
The top is from Collectif Clothing (£53.50, UK sizes 6-22. I chose an 18). I seriously love this top, it's comfortable, easy to get on & it feels like I'm wearing shapewear even if I'm not. Plus that neck line is incredible, I wouldn't have thought it would work for me but it is super cute & is making me re-think what looks good on me.
It has a few quirks though. Firstly, it hates boobs. Seriously. I had 4 safety pins on this & it still kept moving around. It was literally impossible to keep the shawl bit at the back down without the safety pins, I was thinking of adding masking tape at one point. Now this may be because I got it smaller than my usual size based off of the size guide on Top Vintage.net. but I'm not sure that it would have looked as good if I'd gotten it any bigger though.
Also the zip is a bit tricky, after the first few times it stopped going up over the area where the ruching starts. That's pretty standard. waistbands & ruching are really hard to set a zip into but it's a little annoying. It's a pay off though, I'm happy the zip is in the side, even if it means that it doesn't totally unzip...
Don't let that put you off though, it is totally possible to hide the safety pins. Plus, I got my younger brother to try it on to see how it would work on someone with no curves. I was convinced it wouldn't work but it was AMAZING. This top creates curves, it's legitimately magic. I recommend it to anyone wanting something sparkly to wear during the festive season.


The skirt. Legitimately the best skirt I've bought all year, if not the best item of clothing I got all year.
The skirt is also from Collectif Clothing (£69 UK sizes 6-22, I wear a 22). The fullness is amazing, the fabric is stunning & there is a light layer of netting inside it that acts as a very thin petticoat. It's thin enough that you could wear a petticoat if you wanted but enough that it gives the skirt shape.
My only problem is the length of the skirt. In my chair it's not too bad, & as most electric chairs are even taller than mine it probably wouldn't be a problem for them either, but it might be one to avoid if you use a manual chair simply because it's so long & full.

The belt is from Modcloth (£29.99, sizes S/M & M/L, available in 4 colours) it's actually slightly too small for me but I extend my belts with ribbon when they are too small, yet another quirk of this outfit. The tights & shoes are old, M&S & accessorize respectively I think.


Oh & the necklace is from a small independent sell that doesn't sell online unfortunately because this is really cool, it's both a necklace & a broach making it multipurpose. It's a piece of coniferous tree (I think a kind of fir?) that has been coated in silver. Very festive no?

What's your idea of festive fashion? How do you celebrate Christmas?

Happy Holidays everyone. 


Friday, 2 December 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Freezing in Wonderland


Why do I persist on taking photos in the freezing cold? I don't look happy & it makes it hard to get good photos....mostly because the shivering makes it hard to focus on posing...

I have been wanting to take photos in this skirt for AGES! It's really, really pretty but autumn was incredibly beautiful this year so it kept getting pushed back & now it is way too cold to be wearing this outfit. I mean it's got to be pretty bad when the fleece lined ballet pumps are the warmest part of your outfit... I'm thinking of investing in a pair of cute thermals for next time.


 I am totally incapable of making sentences at the moment. I wish I could explain how much I love this skirt - it's probably the only wonderland themed item of clothing I have ever fallen in love with - but that would involve my brain making sentences.
It's a lovely 50's style skirt, not a true circle but it is full enough that petticoats still work underneath it. The button came off the first time I wore it but it's easy to sew back on & I'm pretty sure it was my fault. Plus the pockets are good & the waist band is a nice width.
I sound really boring but it really is pretty. I got mine on Unique Vintage.com (XS-4XL, $72, I wear a 3XL) but it's also available on deadly is the female.


The top is from Heart of Haute (XS-3XL, $40, I wear a 2XL) & is one of my favourite pieces from last year. It's such a good basic, coming in such a lovely range of colours...it's also SUPER comfortable since it's in a lovely soft, stretchy fabric. Very different to the Pin Up Girl Clothing tops that I usually wear (very structured with only a little stretch).
The belt is years old, from a Spring/Summer Hell Bunny collection. I wish I could find more belts this width, they seem to have gone sadly out of fashion which is awkward for me as they look best on me. I've been wearing belts this width for 7 years, random but true. It's pretty much my signature, the only part of my style that hasn't really changed at all...seriously in that time I have gone from wearing leggings, plaid shirts & long vest tops to wearing a LOT of black to the vintage style I wear today...


Gosh it was difficult to focus whilst reading, or more accurately trying not to read. It's hard to avoid when you are holding one of your favourite ever books... (I wanted to be holding 'Alice in Wonderland' but I actually don't have a copy & the copy of 'Through the Looking Glass' was so worn that I didn't want to expose it to the elements, or the rough & tumble of my handbag. This is actually one of my much loved Eva Ibbotson romance novels).


Thank you for bearing with me through this very incoherent post. I will try to be better next time.